Sunday, March 16, 2008

Today was excellent. I enjoyed a spontaneous day trip to Durbuy, which is in the south of Belgium and has some of the most amazing rock formations, and loads of tiny town qualities that one begins to forget when living in a big capital city. The houses were so quaint that it was silly. I felt as if I were constantly looking at a post card. The river was a rush with spring rain fall (not that it needs to be spring to be raining in Belgium).

I started my Sunday in a slow cooking kind of way with a hearty oatmeal that looks an awful lot like the breakfast Jennifer was enjoying in Columbia.

This oatmeal recipe comes not out of a book, but out of years of repeating the same simple steps - and always with the same delicious and satisfying results.

-4 apples - cored and chopped
-1 stick of Cinnamon
-1 wee bit of soy milk
-1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup
-powdered ginger as you like
-dried fruit (dates and raisins) as you like

This oatmeal is also amazing with rhubarb - but there is none to be had in Brussels at the moment. C├ęst la vie.
I ate my lunch in the car on the way down to Durbuy (K had croquettes and a really dressing-saturated salad in a Brasserie upon our arrival). My salad was a quickly thrown together collection of diced veg and a bit of baguette that we bought at the market this morning. As you can see - K brought with him the cookies from the other day....but they didn't all end up in his belly. I had a nice dose of Arcade Fire for the drive down and Great Lake Swimmers most recent album was our (my) choice for the ride home.

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a walk through the seafood department on Friday night. I don't usually find myself passing through aisles of mussels and cod, but, it was this unusual detour that resulted in K's discovery of a veg that I would have never noticed. Samphire isn't a usual accoutrement to the fruit and vegetable departments I have frequented (and with my obsessive food shopping there have been many walks through grocery shops). Upon plunking it into my basket I recalled seeing this fingered, green and bizarre looking marsh growing vegetable in the interesting bio/cook book Garlic, Gooseberries and Me.

After our rocking road trip I turned the samphire into a kicking salad that we had with our Polenta and Sage Crusted Tofu Steaks. YUMMY.

Fire Starting Samphire Salad
-samphire: soak in cold water for 20 minutes and cook in boiling water for 60 seconds
-Boston lettuce
-2 pears (I used red organic pears)
-crushed walnuts
-balsamic vinegar and olive oil

What do you do when you break your fiancee's favourite trapist beer glass? You make him his favourite desert. This apple crisp was BY FAR the best apple crisp I have ever made. I don't know. Perhaps it was the extra love I have been giving to my oven every night before bed. Maybe it is the sweet nothings I have been whispering in its ear every time I pass by. Doesn't matter, all I am certain of is the sumptuous finale to tonight's dinner. It turned out so wonderfully.

Make Up for It Apple Crisp
-8 apples - cored and cut into bits
-brown sugar
-maple syrup
-apple sauce
-olive oil
-flax powder
-whole wheat flour

I made a 'crust' by crushing half of the walnuts I had on hand and adding flax powder, oats, maple syrup, a bit of oil and pressed it into the bottom of the pan. I added the diced apples, which I coated in maple syrup and a tiny bit of brown sugar. To the top of the cut up apples I spread some apple sauce. In a separate bowl I mixed together whole wheat flour, oats, maple syrup, powdered ginger, cinnamon, and a small bit of water. This makes a crumble and will easily cover the apple mix. I put it in the oven at 360 for about 50 minutes. I served it with a little bit of soy milk. And - I was forgiven for cracking the glass. :)

I read some amazing blogs today. Veg*an Cooking and Other Ramblings has a great recent entry, and Authentic Deliciousness was just amazing. The writing quality in the vegan blog world is high quality! Billy's Vegan Talk is an excellent example of some great food/ethics journalism and Chocolate Covered Vegan writes like a great magazine reporter. Excellent stuff out there.


Anonymous said...

ooo i adore your blog! and your apple crisps... mmm! i must make some!

Theresa said...

What a great trip! I love small towns, especially when they are so cute it's overwhelming. And it looks like you ate quite well! Hoorah for lazy sundays!

missblueberry said...

Hey Stonielove - thanks for the compliment. It means loads coming from a blogging extrodanaire such as yourself! Let me know how the apple crisp turns out on your end of the world - K had last night's treat for breakfast this morning.

Theresa - Dubury is unreal. It actually reminded me, oddly enough, of some small villages in China. Weird, but true. I think it was the massive rock formations and the 'nestle'ness of the town. And yes!! !HOORAY for lazy sundays!!!

Happy Herbivore! said...

jennifer always has great food and great ramblings~ mmm... I love oatmeal. I've had it the last 4 days for breakfast trying out everyone's suggestions!! i should be taking photos..

Urban Vegan said...

Very nice stuff!

vegetalion said...

samphire looks so cool - what does it taste like? Is it a seaweed?