Still rather jet-lagged.
Still wrapping my mind around stuff and getting used to the new reality.
And absolutely enjoying the brilliant sunshine and warm air that greeted me.
Spring arrived while I was away. Hyacinths are blooming, tulips are up, fruit trees are blossoming, puppies are digging…. All signs of spring.
It's always interesting visiting the US, especially in an election year. The vitriol is already flying and I'm comforted to know that my belief that most people don't have a clue as to what they're talking about is still valid. Sadly, this seems especially true of people who profess to know more than the rest of us and manage to broadcast their opinions the furthest.
Mind you, I'm not saying that I know more or better, it's just that I like to actually check my facts before I engage my mouth. Because I didn't actually have a lot of time to do any fact-checking I did a lot of mouth-clamping.
Now that I think about it…. Keeping my mouth shut is usually best.
I don't have a lot of time to sit and read magazines at home, so I do it when I travel. My cooking magazines go in the car and my science magazines go in my bag for the plane.
Since I'm a little behind in my reading, you may already know that a cure for HIV is (was) imminent, that all the CSI shows on TV get the arson bit wrong, waste water (sewage) is being recycled for drinking, language is not learned but innate and Einstein's Theory is about to be overturned – or at least given a thorough shake-up.
There is a quote from Carl Sagan, printed in the Editor's note in one of the 'Discover' magazines I read that is appropriate for both the political scene and the science scene:
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know, that's a really good argument, my position is mistaken', and then they would actually change their minds, and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.
(Emphasis is mine)
And that, my friends, is all I will say on the topic.
I do want to thank all of you for the thoughts and prayers sent my way over the past two weeks. It was a difficult time and your care was very much appreciated.
I seem to remember something about another recipe to use up the last of the duck I had for the Duck Confit and Potato Gratin.
If you don't happen to have any duck confit lurking in the fridge, use whatever meat (or none) that appeals.
2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbs butter
3/4 cup (3oz, 90gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Cook lentils (see Condimenti)
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
In medium saucepan heat butter; add onion and sauté until tender. Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir.
When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before you add the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just 'al dente' – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1 tbs at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it's shape on a plate.
Add the Parmesan and the condimenti stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff.
The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
1/4 black, Beluga lentils or green Lentils du Puy
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
2 cups confit of duck, pulled and roughly cut if needed
2 tsp olive oil
Cook lentils in stock until tender.
Sauté onion, carrot and celery in oil until until tender, 8 – 10 minutes. Add duck, turn heat to low and keep warm until needed
When lentils are done, drain and add to skillet.
It's been so long since I cooked, I hope I remember how…. I think we're having boiled fish for dinner.
Or was that fried pasta….