12 February 2014

Back from San Francisco: Guess what's for breakfast?

Just back from a trip to San Francisco and a visit with family...who happen to have a Meyer lemon tree in their backyard. I stuffed my suitcase with lemons and made lemon curd when I got home. And of course, I picked up a loaf (or three) of San Francisco's famous sourdough bread. YUM.  (Truth be told, I also had several pomegranates, a bunch of purple Gilroy garlic and a bag of almonds in my suitcase --kind of looked --and felt--and smelled-- like the produce section of a grocery. Did I mention the carton of fresh frozen guacamole? No, I did not raid the cousin's refrigerator--we stopped at the Moss Landing market coming back from Carmel.)

Homemade Meyer lemon curd (from an old Martha Stewart recipe which she has since revised) but I prefer this version. The extra steps for straining make it one of the silkiest lemon curds ever.

6 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (strained)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (COLD and cut into small pieces)
1 Tbsp. fresh Meyer lemon rind

Beat egg yolks until well blended and lemon yellow. Strain into a heavy saucepan.

Add lemon juice and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 10-12 minutes until it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Strain into a 4-cup container (or other bowl) and stir in the in the cold butter until it melts, then add and stir in the lemon rind.  Slather on bread. Eat. Give thanks for family who have a Meyer lemon tree in their backyard and are generous with their harvest.

Keeps refrigerated for 2 weeks.

06 February 2014

Quebec City: One Sweet Winter Festival

Quebec City's annual winter carnival (this year: January 31 to February 16, 2014) is all about embracing winter--complete with plenty of food, fun and activities for everyone--even those not so crazy about cold weather.
Bonhomme is the rockstar ambassador who makes appearances everywhere during the festival (don't be surprised if he should show up at a restaurant where you're having dinner!)
Everyone thought I was crazy to go further north during this brutally cold winter (even I questioned my sanity), but once there, it's difficult not to join the joyous camaraderie. Tip: drinking the traditional "caribou" concoction helps. (See my new Woman Vs. Drink website for the recipe.)

The entire carnival is a great celebration--and I am looking forward to attending again! Next year I want to see the ice canoe races, maybe try snow rafting....and of course, sample more sugar pie (Quebec's City's famous and delicious dessert; recipe to follow.)