Thursday, February 10, 2011


Somewhere over at Rainbow, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Yesterdays shopping epiphany at Rainbow still has me all churned up. Perusing the hundreds of jars of spices and herbs I'm a bit at a loss. I want to start opening and smelling and measuring little scoops of powders and seeds and leaves into little bags and writing my own labels, like some mad scientist.
I see the giant jar of cinnamon and my heart leaps a little as I see the Vietnamese cinnamon. Yay! I'm reminded of SK's Spicy Applesauce Cake and now she describes her trip to herb & spice emporium Penzey's in NYC. Danger zone. A trip for one or two small items ends up requiring a shopping cart.
Home I go with my tiny bag of cinnamon amongt my other spoils of the trip and start looking at recipes in a whole new light. Next time I'm down to Emerald City I'll have a list...or not.
I didn't make the applesauce but I did make a leek salad with mustard vinaigrette from Melissa Clarks "Good Appetite". She lured me into this one with her story about dijon mustard.
I can't say that I've ever been a big fan of dijon. I found it too hot. That was then and this is now. MC describes how a friend of hers always comes back from France with jars of mustard that though the labels can be purchased here, mustard is much fresher, more yellow and much more flavorful bottled at their source. She then goes on to describe her first encounter with this leek salad discovering that it needs a good rest so don't be disappointed at first as it does progress from bland to Wow!
I never gave it a chance to get to Wow! I finished it off at Good. That took about an hour. MC says she left hers for a couple of hours, which is what I'd intended to do. I tasted it every half hour and noticed a little more flavor each time. I'd fully intended for it to go back in the fridge, but I was still a little hungry after my pizza and before I knew it, leeks was gone.
Now I'm thinking that I'll have to give this another shot. Last night even after I'd just consumed this very tasty dish, I had my doubts about whether or not to attempt it again. Why? 'cuz it looked pretty awful and the slimy texture of the ribbons of limp leeks was just unpleasant. If someone plopped a plate down in front of me with a pile of that on it I'd probably give it the hairy eyeball  and a very hesitant tiny taste so as not to be rude.
Should I try it with fresher leeks, two were a definitely past their sell-by date and the other two were still 2 days old...and perhaps I'd cooked them a little too long.
ok...ok...I've only known Melissa for a very short time but she's made such an impact on me that I bow to her kitchen goddess status and have another go.

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