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I’ve been busy the last two weeks – there was a lovely wedding to photograph out on the ski trail and of course lots of computer work following. And this week I needed to produce a newsletter too. Now that I’ve finished both of those projects I can go on to some personal stuff. The dogs and I have had a few walks with friends and one evening this week I got to take a pasta making class at Tappi, a wonderful Italian restaurant in Twisp. It was a small class – just five students – taught by the owner and cook who learned cooking from his mother. I love that he cooks by feel, not so much with recipes; that’s how I cook. He showed us some cookbooks but then went on to say he doesn’t use them although some were obviously old and well-thumbed through. For the pasta, he said one egg per serving and enough flour to absorb the egg. How much flour? Well that depends on lots of stuff – how big is the egg, how humid/dry is it, how warm/cold are your hands, and so on. For the three sauce he showed us, he gave us a list of ingredients and approximate measures and then he showed us how he makes them in his own kitchen. There was Emma’s (his mother) , Diavolo (the devil) and Carbona (yes, there was bacon in it, lots of bacon) sauces. And the best part of a cooking class is the eating! To go with the three pastas, he fixed us a lovely salad with a nice chevre and roasted buttercup squash and red onions from the brick wood-fired oven and it was all paired with wonderful wines from Italy. By the time we finished eating, well after 9 pm, I think everyone was very satisfied with the evening.

Here are a few images from my cell phone. It was all too good NOT to photograph!

We ate very well on this trip. The fresh fruit was amazing! Papayas and mangoes and citrus were ripe and juicy like you never taste them at home. Avocados were big and ripened perfectly. We visited the fish market twice; buying the beautiful lobsters the first time and returning for fish at the end of the week. Every morning after yoga practice we’d prepare a large bowl of fresh fruit for breakfast along with granola or eggs. We needed energy for the rest of the day! The house sits on a hill with view to north, south and west.

 

Ok, we like to eat. And we eat pretty well. So we eat a lot. But we do enjoy what we eat. Today I made spring rolls with nasturiams. Dogs surrounded me even though they didn’t get any spring rolls. Just the idea of it. Ken smiled. He likes spring rolls. So do I.

All the fresh stuff came from our garden.

 

The nasturtiams

 

The mess

 

Serve these up with peanut sauce and a savory sauce and what else do you need? A cold beer or a glass of white wine!

Life is good. Maybe we should make a t shirt! Oh wait, that’s been done…………

 

What are you thankful for? Here are some of the things that make me grateful.

 

Living in this beautiful place

 

Sam still has the heart to be with us even though she lives with pain that might make me want to curl up in a ball and cry

 

Warm pumpkin cranberry loaves

 

Pomegranate seeds in champagne

 

Brussells sprouts ready to roast with balsamic vinegar

 

Carmelized onions for the dressing

 

A table to share with our loved ones

 

Warm conversation after a satisfying meal

 

A bluebird morning on groomed ski trails

 

Laying down the newest track with my sweetie

 

Us, in front of our Christmas Tree

 

I am grateful to the 35 year old tree that will soon grace our living room

 

And I’m grateful to Ken for doing the heavy lifting

 We are SO grateful to be here together in this place. It doesn’t get any better than this.

 

Our neighbor shared some homemade lox with us last year and when I expressed interest in learning how to make our own from freshly caught fish, he volunteered to teach me this year. The first step is having an excellent salmon and he generously provided an Alaskan Sockeye. With a deft hand and a sharp knife he had it quickly filleted and ready to be cured.

Making lox at home

 

Then we spread the cure of salt, sugar, crushed peppercorns across the bottom filletMaking lox at home

 

Tom had told me last summer to freeze fresh dill from my garden just for this purpose. Here the dill is placed between the two fillets.Making lox at home

 

The two fillets ready to be wrapped and cured in the refrigerator for five days.Making lox at home

 

Wrapped and ready. It needed to be turned every twelve hours. By the end of the five days, it was a sticky mess.Making lox at home

 

The finished product, cold smoked and ready to eat!Making lox at home

 

I served it with cream cheese and capers and red onions on thinly sliced breadMaking lox at home

 

It doesn’t get much better than this!Making lox at home

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