Friday, January 04, 2008

new title

I have changed to title of the blog to perhaps marry it with the intent of this space. The old title I Wonder no longer seemed appropriate as I have made the focus here to be more about food.

I have been thinking a little further about what I hope to accomplish here, and a title having to do with food would not be entirely fitting. Therefore I have chosen The Groaning Board to perhaps give a broader focus than simply food; although a groaning board has almost everything to do with food, and abundance, and plenty.

Simply put, a groaning board refers to how the cupboards on which the food was served in colonial times groaned under the weight of so much delicious food. It is a bountiful spread of delicious and nutricious food.

I'm not one to go around quoting bible verses, but something that comes to mind when I think of the word groaning, is a verse in Romans where the author says that when there is something in us that needs to get out, but we are unable to form the words, the spirit says them for us with groans that words cannot express. That is a lovely picture of what I hope the groaning board will do.

As I thought of this description, I immediately felt that it would be an appropriate name for the collective. It would not only be a fitting description of what I hope the restaurant will become, but leaves room for the much broader intent of the collective; which is to provide opportunities for an abundance of food, music, art, culture, discussion, understanding, and personal growth. To provide a place where people will share their lives in ways beyond simple language. To express their life passions with language that crosses many boundries.

So, here's another step towards the goal. Remember, though, I have 14 years to get this all together. Who knows what it will become. And you're not allowed to hold me to anything.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Mushroom Bisque

I didn't think that I would quickly find a soup that I liked better than carrot, but it has happened; and on p. 21, seven pages before carrot in the Moosewood cookbook. Here it is:

  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 fist-sized potatoes
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1.5 cups stock or water
  • approx. 2 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 lbs. fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 3 cups milk, scalded
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 Tbsp dry sherry (I used 3)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Tamari (which is a deluxe soy sauce; I used reg. soy)
  • fresh black pepper
  • freshly-chopped chives or scallions

Slice potatoes thinly. Chop celery and mushrooms coarsely. Begin cooking the onion in butter, adding 1 tsp. salt. When the onion becomes translucent add the potatoes and the celery. Continue to cook over fairly low heat, mixing well, so the butter coats everything. After several minutes add the mushrooms, water, and remaining salt. Cover and cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Puree the entire mushroom mixture in a blender until absolutely smooth. Return it to a soup kattle (if possible, use a double boiler or a "waffle" heat-absorbing pad) and heat very slowly, with utmost care, as you whisk in the scalded milk, cream, sherry, and tamari. Heat only until hot enough to serve! If cooked or boiled, this soup will easily curdle and loose its texture.

Serve immediately, topped with freshly-chopped chives and freshly-grated black pepper. This soup goes well with garlic croutons.