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I just spent the entire day tweaking the fonts, lines and paragraphs on my website (not my blog). Then I looked at all my work in three browsers and five different monitor sizes, many times, before I was satisfied that it was working properly.
Why am I telling you this incredibly boring minutia?
Because, though I'll freely admit that I tend to obsess over details and can get carried away with the picayune, why can't the people who are paid actual money to watch the details, um, watch the details?
There is a small city in Wisconsin by the name of 'Eau Claire'. I know this. I've been there. It's easy enough to verify on a map or on the internet. Yet a book I just finished referred to it on two different occasions as 'Eau Claire City'.
Kenosha, also in Wisconsin, is, to my recollection, located in the middle of fairly flat farm country. On an American TV show last night the main character returned 'home' to Kenosha, Wisconsin (yes, they pointedly supplied the city and state), and proceeded to wander through miles and miles of thickly wooded, steep hills and run into people with an Appalachian accent so thick I could barely understand them.
Does anyone watch 'Men in Trees'? According to what I see on the telly, Elmo, Alaska gets more sunny days, more daylight hours, balmier temperatures and less snow in the middle of winter, than we do here in the Vendee. If that's an accurate depiction, why live in South Carolina when the scenery is better and the climate nicer in Alaska?
Why do I care? Because the little mistakes jolt me out of the story.
I don't like to be jolted.
Now, I shall stop. It's not been a good day and I tend to get nasty and….
I rarely post about my boring, everyday, reliable foods…so I shall. Both easy. One healthy, one not so much… You decide.
The first is another recipe whose origins are lost in the mists of time. It's delicious, easy and helps me get my weekly ration of spinach. Even non-spinach lovers are happy with this. With a bit of bread and a salad it can also make a light lunch.
Mock Spinach Soufflé
1 package frozen spinach, 8 – 9 oz, or the equivalent (250 gr)
2 eggs or 2 egg whites
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil
Thaw spinach (use microwave, hot water or saucepan) and squeeze out excess moisture. In medium bowl beat eggs well. Add yogurt, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix well. Add spinach and mix well. Lightly oil a small baking dish. (I use a 7 inch square glass baking dish) Pour in spinach and bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes or until set. Remove and serve directly from baking dish.
A mandolin makes quick work of slicing the potatoes but is not necessary. Clarifying the butter is not difficult, just a bit fussy. Try to make the first layer as neat as you can. Remember this will be the lovely, golden brown top when you unmold the Pommes Anna. This serves 4 – if you're in the mood to share…
1/3 cup butter
3 – 4 medium potatoes, 24oz, 750gr, peeling optional (I don't bother but purists would be appalled).
salt & pepper
Clarify butter: melt butter in small pan over low heat just so that it is melted. You will notice the white milk solids in the butter. We don't want these. With a small spoon skim off as much of the floating milk solids as you can. Then carefully pour the clear (mostly) butter into a glass measuring cup leaving behind the remaining solids.
Using a basting brush and some of the clarified butter, generously butter the inside of a round, glass baking dish. Mine is about 8" (20cm) in diameter and the potatoes will come up about 2/3's to the top. Slice the potatoes into paper thin slices, using a mandolin, box slicer, food processor, or a sharp knife. Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of potato, brush very lightly with butter. Add a layer of potato, brush with butter. Repeat until you have used all of the potatoes. If you use salt & pepper put a little on the middle and top layers. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 60 minutes. Remove, and let rest for 5 – 10 minutes. Invert on to a large plate – it should retain it's shape. Slice half of the Pommes Anna into wedges and serve.
It's not as pretty as normal: for some reason the potatoes right in the center stuck a bit.
What can I say…It's been that kind of day!