Monday, May 26, 2008

Going to church: the Patron Saint strikes again

Zola: Man, Steve Miller was right. Time really does keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. Sorry about the blog lapse, folks. But surely you must know times are tough. Look at me--I'm quoting Steve Miller for Christ's sake. Last weekend, Guy & I just needed to get away and our Patron Saint, Sharon, came through for us again. She and Pat hosted us for a lovely weekend in Bellingham. We went for a walk on the pier, ate great food, drank a lot of wine, and spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon playing bocce ball under the lilac trees and drinking (more) red wine.

The other great thing about going to Sharon & Pat's is that they live in a church, which falls squarely into the freaking awesome category of livin'. I've posted some of our pictures here but you should check out Pat's website to see more.

Sharon and I had talked about having a little Spanish-y, tapas-y meal when we got up there, so before heading North, Guy & I stopped into Big John's PFI (Pacific Foods Importer). I'd read about PFI (check out this article in the Stranger), but had never been able to find it until my friend Lilly brought me there. Lilly's family is Serbian and when her family first moved to Seattle, PFI was the only place they could find feta cheese and other Euro imports. We got some great treats: olives, cheese, and white anchovies. There was some concern that our hosts might not like the anchovies but we decided to give it a shot--we could always take them home if they didn't like them. We needn't have worried. When we arrived, I discovered that Sharon had her own white anchovy plan. If you've never tried them, this is a great way to discover how delicious they are. Here's her white anchovy tapas:

1 slice rustic baguette bread
spread of mayo
slice of avocado
white anchovy fillet
sprinkle of paprika

I really recommend making your own mayo--it's not hard. In fact, I find it oddly satisfying. Julia Child's recipe is a great one (quelle suprise):
2 yolks
1 1 1/2 c. oil (something pretty light in flavor--I find olive oil too rich)
2-3 Tb lemon juice
pinch salt

leave your eggs out so they come to room temperature. Beat them for a couple of minutes until they get a little "thick". Then start adding your oil--just a tiny bit at a time. Once you see your mayo thickening, you can start to add more at one time. Add your lemon juice and salt to taste at the end. And for this tapas dish, I would go so far as to grate some lemon zest into the mayo to give it a nice, bright balance.


Sharon said...

Thanks for coming up and playing with us. We had such a relaxing time--something I know we all needed.

I agree about the mayo: when I make it again I will use a blend of olive oil and something less intense, such as plain ole canola, so as to let the egg and lemon flavor get through as well. But I also wonder how long fresh mayo keeps? The recipe makes a lot, and it's not like we use it every day.

Guy & Zola said...

Oh, that's a great question. I've found that fresh mayo keeps for approx. 2 weeks. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't get a funky skin.