The menu is coming along – but slowly. During my vacation, I played with a few recipes that had been floating in my head. The results fall into three distinct categories: menu-worthy, needs tweaking, and ‘The Graveyard’. One of my first attempts was a hummus and baba ganoush baked timbale. After an evening of trial and error….and error, the timbale was the first dish to be placed in ‘The Graveyard’, hopefully never to resurface. There’s a reason no one bakes hummus. My next attempt was a lamb tagine. While not bad, I wasn’t intrigued enough with the final product to tweak it for the menu, but it could be resuscitated if needed. So, the lamb tagine ‘needs tweaking’ but it has one foot in ‘the graveyard’ – and still sits uneaten in my refrigerator. Last night, I held another tasting for friends and had a few successes. I made two different empanadas – beef filet with tomato, orange and green olive as well as Spanish chorizo and potato with Spanish smoked paprika. I served them with a roasted red pepper and yogurt dipping sauce. They were a big hit. It was split on who liked which best – a good sign. I will serve one of each. For dessert, I made a fantastic tart – Dark Peruvian chocolate with coriander and preserved lemon on an almond, pistachio and shortbread crust with crystallized ginger and whipped cream. It was naughty. The empanadas and tart have made it on the menu. Small triumphs, but I’m two steps closer.

We’re placing the weekly Sunday tastings on the side until mid-July due to traveling schedules and such. I’ve invited the family over for July fourth. I’m going to work on Moroccan dry rubbed baby back ribs with a tamarind bar-b-que glaze. I will be trying out a few other recipes as well.

Side note – is writing about food my escape from writing about what’s in my head and my true feelings? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve vented, ranted, or even just pulled some of the junk from my brain. Sometimes avoidance can be your friend.


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