Saturday, June 20, 2009

Soup, Fans and Museums,

For some reason, I have never made Tim Barrie's Mom's asparagus soup before. I have now, its absolutely delicious. Thanks Mrs. Barrie. I didn't have any chives handy so I used a Basil leaf for a garnish just for the picture. I later rinsed it and used it with more leaves to flavour the tomato soup I made as well. We ended up having some of the asparagus soup for supper, but, as I doubled up on the recipe, I have two more meals in the freezer. Matt bought us a new ceiling fan for the bedroom yesterday, our original had got wet (leak through the ceiling) a year or two back and was quite noisy - used to be the noise would lessen if you ran the fan all day, but not this year. However, he spent hours messing around with the new fan which turned out not to have a ground wire unless you used the extension piece. It was extremely difficult to attach to the ceiling. Once done, he then assembled the paddle blades and discovered the part of the housing where they should attach was bent out of shape. He was not a happy camper. A friend referred me to a BBC article about the new Acropolis Museum in Athens which is due to be opened soon. From the series of pictures, it looks to be well worth a visit. If, like me, you can only visit on line, here is the link. This picture shows the outside during the day, if you follow the link there is a better picture at night. I would love to go back to Greece, I thoroughly enjoyed my visits there, a fascinating place. I was lucky, travelling on my father's boat, to see quite a bit of the country and its famous ruins. My all time favourite was the ruins of Delphi as well as its museum which contained the famous statue of the Charioteer which was believed to originally have been part of a group with the Sun God Apollo in his chariot. At the Acropolis itself, my main memory is stumbling across the stones which were many, tumbled from the ruins. I believe I was wearing flip flops at the time and it wasn't easy walking at all. It somewhat detracted from the visit. People didn't wear running shoes as much as we do today, much more suitable footwear. I do remember the fantastic view though - I just remembered we sat on a wall by a small olive tree and smoked - God that was a long time ago, thank goodness I gave up that habit. Browsing through Food and Drink from the LCBO, I saw another appetizer I liked the look of. Don't forget Bruschetta is pronounced as if there were a k in the middle. White Bean and Tomato Bruschetta Creamy white beans enhanced with the sweet addition of toasted pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes sit atop golden garlic croûtes. This spread is the perfect backdrop for the peppery bite of watercress and juicy grape tomatoes. 1 baguette, thinly sliced 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, halved 1 can white kidney beans, 540 mL, drained and rinsed 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 4 tsp sherry vinegar 1 Tbs chopped fresh sage leaves 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained 3 Tbs toasted pine nuts Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Topping 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes 1/2 cup watercress leaves, or chopped baby arugula leaves 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool slighly. Rub each slice with the garlic halves and set aside. Discard garlic half. Purée kidney beans in food processor until almost smooth. Scrape down sides and add oil, vinegar, sage and garlic and purée until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For the topping, toss tomatoes and watercress with oil and season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside Spread bean mixture onto toasted baguette slices and top with tomato and watercress mixture. Place on serving platter. Makes about 40 pieces. Have a great weekend.