Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dinner's On

After a not-very-productive day, I decided to make one of my favorite dinners and a blackberry pie for dessert. We have a freezer full of organic blackberries we picked at Grace and George's and they have been calling to me. I had a pie crust in the fridge just waiting to be filled. So I partially thawed the blackberries (I found a bag from a year ago that got mixed in with the ones from this season, so I decided to use it) and drained off LOTS of juice and got to work. After fitting the crust in the pie plate, I mixed the berries (about 6-7 cups) with 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, a heaping 1/4 cup of tapioca, the juice of half a lemon and lots of fresh ground nutmeg. I piled this in the crust, topped it with another crust and crimped the edges. I brushed the top with some leftover blackberry juice, sprinkled on a bit of sugar and popped it into a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes. I then lowered the temp to 400 for an additional 25 minutes. It bubbled everywhere and smelled heavenly. I let it cool on a rack while I started dinner.

One of my favorite meals in Florence was pasta with anchovies and capers. I hadn't made it in a while and since it is quick and easy, as well as wildly delicious, I made it for dinner.
Set a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. Pour about 3 tablespoons good olive oil in a small skillet and put it on medium heat. Use about 2 good sized anchovies per serving and place them in the olive oil in the skillet. Mash them up with a fork until you can't really see any pieces remaining, just mush and then press 3 large cloves of garlic into the anchovy/olive oil mix. Add about 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and let this cook for a while until the garlic turns golden. The add about 1 heaping tablespoon drained capers. Mix well and turn off heat. When the pasta is done (and I like mine a bit chewy) drain it and add the anchovy/caper sauce, stir it around and voila! Dinner! Accompanying our pasta was a zucchini/yellow squash medley topped with some Parmesan we brought home from Italy.
I asked Scott if he wanted to go back out to the shop and work a bit and then come back in for pie. He didn't hesitate to decline. He wanted pie NOW! It was still warm and a bit loose (they tend to firm up when they cool) but really good...like a piece of summer on a plate. I like my fruit pies a bit tart, not teeth achingly sweet, and this one fit the bill perfectly. While Scott washed the dishes, I took off with Sophie for an evening walk, our second of the day. It was just so cool and breezy I couldn't resist, although we both walked slower than we did this morning as we had both just finished dinner.
No rain today, but it threatened for hours and the temperature dropped mid afternoon amidst lots of thunder. I even washed sheets and hung them on the line hoping it would bring on a storm, but the wind just blew them around and they dried in less than 30 minutes. It doesn't look like a good rain is in the forecast for a week or so, some scattered showers predicted, but they usually skirt around us here on Mount Alamo. Looks like the cooler temperatures are here to stay...at least for the next 10 days or so-high 80's, maybe 90 or 91. Pretty pleasant for August.

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