Confidential to Mark


A loaf of sourdough bread from one of the bakery vendor stalls at USGM

Since Mark wanted to know what this week’s menu was, here it is…

This is all subject to change, depending on the phases of the moon or personal whim.

Tuesday, 5 May (tonight): Linguine with anchovies, breadcrumbs and mint. Asparagus in the style of Parma.
Wednesday, 6 May: Roast chicken la Keller, vegetable side dish undetermined. Very likely it will be potatoes and watercress, in the style of Istria.
Thursday, 7 May: Chicken congee. Stir-fried baby bok choy and fava greens. Leftover roast chicken will be reserved for another use and the carcass turned into stock. The neat thing about congee is that you can freeze it for the future, especially on nights when you don’t feel like cooking dinner.
Friday, 8 May: Not sure yet. I have a bunch of fingerlings, Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips from a while back. I’m thinking a vegetable plate of some sort. More later.
Saturday, 9 May: Sourdough french toast and bacon for breakfast. Not sure what to do about lunch or dinner as this will depend on what’s available at the market. I picked up some fresh ricotta cheese last weekend from USGM so I’m thinking perhaps some ricotta gnocchi with spring vegetables.
Sunday, 10 May: Not sure about this one either. At some point this weekend I’m going to make ramps strata. A strata is a savory bread pudding. (The recipe I’m using will be different from the one I’ve linked to.) I already have most of the ingredients on hand — ramps (2 bunches), eggs, bacon, mushrooms, shallots, red onion and sourdough bread. There will also be dairy in the custard base and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. Originally I had wanted to make the strata last weekend but I got distracted by other possibilities.

I’m always thinking about food — what to eat a meal ahead, what other people are having, who’s blogging about what and so forth. As I’ve said elsewhere, cooking is a ceaseless education. You never stop learning. You develop an awareness and a curiosity about the world around you that results in worthwhile experiences. It serves as an endless fountain of inspiration in the years to come.

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