Thursday. I can't believe it's already Thursday! This week is flying by and I don't feel like much has gotten done (though my family would probably disagree)
I know I mentioned earlier this week that we probably won't be doing tablescapes for a while due to Mr B INSISTING that most of my dishes need to be packed (he can be SO unreasonable!), but Allie and I had a little "Blog Planning" session today, so I thought I'd invite you along to see how
easy we are to distract plan out our blog posts. We're linking up to Susan's fabulous Tablescape Thursday party, so come and join us!
This morning was spent taking my 12 year old to the dentist for 6 (yes SIX!) extractions. His baby teeth just refuse to pop out on their own and today the canines had to be pulled- next up- orthodontist.
I have to tell you- he was awesome! And 15 minutes ago when the dentist called to check on "her poor boy" I informed her that he was busily polishing off a humungous plate of pasta and already had his eye on the ice cream. He claims he's not even sore!
Allie says she has to give him a few lessons on "milking it".
She's an expert
As I was sitting in the waiting room, I flipped through this month's issue of Country Living magazine. Of course I looked at the recipes first.
I found a recipe for a lovely couscous salad that is VERY similar (actually, almost identical) to a recipe I frequently made in the Fall at our home in the Hudson Valley. We lived among wineries, dairy farms and orchards and apple recipes were always a staple. My original recipe was copied from a magazine or newspaper years ago and I've made it both with couscous and orzo, depending on what I had available.
Since I had the ingredients in the house, this was lunch for me and Allie.
Now when we started planning, we talked about trying some new things next week
We're really anxious to try some of the fabulous looking recipes in a Greek community cookbook that was sent to us by a follower- turned- friend. Emilia so generously insisted on gifting us with this very special book from her church. So stay tuned for that!
We almost always have reminders of our family to inspire us...
Lunch at the island
He watches over us to keep us on track
As it happened, my Dad was home today and saw what we were doing. He appointed himself Supervisor and told me I was photographing the WRONG pages.
I was showing my kids how even in the 1940s our family tables were filled from one end to the other
One of my favorites- my Dad and Grandma Josie at her dressing table.
And to whichever family member got that vanity and lamp- I WANT IT!! P-l-e-e-e-e-a-s-e...............
And Dad with Grandpa Joe- the wine was always shared!
As we ate and planned,
I noticed something. There were pictures of my Dad, his parents, and cousins on their summer trip to Upstate NY
What are the chances??
They visited the Pine Bush, NY area for 2 weeks every summer. Fifty years later, I would (unknowingly) end up living within a half hour of the family vacation spot in the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY.
We sat at the island for several hours. I told my kids that you can never go forward without looking to your past.
Hopefully Casa Bramasole's still uncertain future will bring us to another wonderful chapter in our family's journey
Couscous and Apple Salad
adapted from Country Living and recipe from unknown magazine circa 1990s
4 tblsp. olive oil, divided
1 cup Israeli couscous (I used French couscous)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1 large Gala apple, cored, chopped, and diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
1 largish shallot, minced
a couple of handfuls of heirloom golden mini tomatoes
4 ounces crumbled Feta (I used herbed Feta)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup rough chopped mint
1/4 cup rough chopped basil
1 tblsp. chopped oregano
in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tblsp of olive oil. Add couscous and, stirring frequently, cook till toasty looking and golden. Add broth and salt to taste, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes till cooked. Drain in a wire strainer and rinse with cold water- drain well and put in a large bowl. Set aside
In another bowl, toss apples with 2 tblsp lemon juice. Mix in shallots, couscous, and tomatoes, then gently toss in most of the Feta and pine nuts (save a bit for garnish).
In a blender, pulse together herbs and remaining 2 tblsp lemon juice. With motor running, dribble in remaining 3 tblsp olive oil till emulsified. Add pepper to taste and toss with salad. Garnish with reserved Feta and pine nuts. I heaped the salad in the center of a platter and added some fruits and veggies from our Farmer's Market- roasted beets, apricots, figs, and apples.
**NOTE- This is just an opinion, but since I ALWAYS have an opinion, I thought I'd share it. I followed Country Living's proportions for the dressing tonight to try it. Honestly, I would increase this by 50 per cent or even double it next time. My original dressing has a bit more dressing and I do believe I prefer it- this was a tiny bit dry for my taste.
Join us tomorrow for Foodie Friday at Gollum's and have a WONDERFUL evening full of love and family!
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie