Friday, March 31, 2006

Cesar Chavez Day: Now with Recipes!

I asked Professor Google, still I'm unclear on how one celebrates Cesar Chavez day. Perhaps we should hide heads of lettuce around the yard and send the children off to find them? (Levity aside, this is meant to be a day of "service and/or learning". Aren't they all?)

Here is what we did. Started the day off slowly. Went to lunch at Los Bagels, to the Coop for groceries and a scrumptious chai. Put Jonah down for a nap, Hannah down for her rest. Did 3 loads of laundry. Turned local, organic leeks and potatoes into leek and potato soup. Cleaned up the house. Put together an apple crisp. Turned a loaf of Brio sweet French bread, olive oil, garlic and spices into croutons. Had a delightful evening of good, simple food and conversation with dear friends and their children. I can think of few better ways to spend a rainy day in early spring.

Leek and potato soup is one of my favorites. It is quick and easy to make. The kids love it. It tastes so much more elaborate than it is. I use about a pound each of leeks and potatoes. I slice the leeks and let them sweat in a tiny bit of olive oil in my soup pot while I peel and cut the potatoes. Today I used yellow finn potatoes and a Yukon gold that I had on hand. Any kind of potato will do. I pour in enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables and turn the heat to high. Once the soup is boiling, I turn the heat down and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. That's pretty much it right there.
I like this soup nice and smooth, so I use the immersion blender on it. Usually, I'll make it earlier in the day and heat it back up over low heat. Right before serving, I stir in a quarter cup or so of heavy cream. Sometimes I add some sliced, cooked chicken apple sausage with the cream.
I serve the soup with grated gruyere cheese and homemade croutons.

I am so buying myself a Le Creuset dutch oven for Mother's Day.

The apple crisp is simple too. Next time I make it, I'll take notes on measurements.
I typically peel and slice about a pound and a half of apples. Whatever's on hand or looked good at the store (or the farmer's market). I like to mix varieties. I toss the apples with a tiny bit of flour, some cinnamon and about a tablespoon of butter chopped into tiny pieces. Sometimes I add some berries or pears to the apples. I bought a Le Creuset ceramic baking dish a few months ago (cheap! at the outlet!); that's what I bake this in.
I like lots of topping on my crisps. I cut about a quarter cup of flour, half a cup of brown sugar and some cinnamon into a stick of butter. Then I mix in a cup and a half of oats. Some slivered almonds if I have any on hand. Sprinkle that over the apples and bake for about 40 minutes at 350. Enjoy with icecream or freshly whipped cream.

Next time: precise measurements and pictures.

1 comment:

DT said...

Ohhh... So Hungry.