The first thing I want to do when I'm traveling is to look for where food and home goods are sold. The everyday products people buy fascinate me. They're as important as the local history. Plus, I love food and home goods!
Years ago I spent hours in a gigantic grocery store in Provence, France. I was with my sister-in-law and our kids. As I went down the aisles exploring everything, nothing was off limits; I examined the stationery, the kitchen supplies, and all the packaged goods. I lingered even longer when I got to the fresh produce, the meat, the fish, the cheese, and especially all those desserts. I was in bliss.
A few days later, when we needed a few things from the store, I asked, "Does anyone want to come with me?" Their response, "Oh no, not the grocery store, not again!" I guess I'd overdone it, but they were all so polite, who knew?
At the farmers market the other day, I picked up a head of cauliflower and a fennel bulb, not because I knew what I was going to make with them, but because they were in season and beautiful.
I went through the notebook where I write my recipes and fun ideas I want to try. I found a note that said cauliflower, fennel, and Parmesan soup-try it! So I did.
It was really good! The addition of the Parmesan made it very interesting, I would definitely make it again.
Here is the recipe:
Cauliflower Fennel Parmesan Soup
Taste the soup to see if it needs flavor. Add bouillon cubes one at a time, checking the flavor after each.
You can also add more Pecorino Romano; it's up to you-you want a nice balance of flavors.
Only add salt and white pepper at the end if it needs it.
Pour hot soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve with extra cheese you can pass around.
* Adding cottage cheese instead of cream to blended soups is my mother's trick and it's a great one. The result is a light and creamy mixture that is delicious.
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I was with my mother in her room at her new abode.
As I sat facing her, I began to read last week’s post, Cooking through a Child’s Eyes, about the time we baked a marble cake together. I wondered if she remembered the event that. . .
The first time I saw magic happen in the kitchen I was six years old and wanted to help my mother cook. I’d follow her every step and move, clinging like her shadow, struggling to see what she was doing. Inevitably, she’d turn around and trip over me. It wasn’t optimum for either of us, so when she told me we were going to bake a special cake and I could help … “there is a surprise at the end,” she promised…
I beamed with joy…
Cooking is full of mystifying moments that are…
The last time I took a train that had a dining car was right after I graduated from high school.
Walking into the dining car, I was flooded with memories of childhood trips. It looked exactly as I remembered: the tables were set with clean white tablecloths, cloth napkins, china, silverware, and gleaming glasses—just like in an old movie.
I was excited and hungry for French food. My first taste was . . .