Part two of my visit to Roger and Russell’s place is going to be mostly photographs. Since I was there around sunset, the contrasts of light and shadow were stronger. I don’t pretend these couldn’t have been better, but you can understand what caught my attention.
Roger and Russell live out in the country and have a pond in their backyard. I really enjoy seeing what they have propped in the windows of the studio and I like looking through the window to the pond.
Outside on the porch there are lots of planters and bird feeders nearby.
Here’s a view of the front yard at sunset.
The Writing Spider. I had to look it up! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_%28spider%29
Russell grilled some steaks that night, and Roger tried out a great new recipe for apple tart. Also, he had cooked up a bunch of lentils for me and Elaine. Roger’s lentils are the only way I’ve ever enjoyed eating lentils. If you think you don’t care for lentils, maybe you just need a new recipe! They’re so good for you, it’s a shame to ignore them. Here’s the one Roger uses and his comments about how he really does it:
Whole Green Lentils with Spinach and Ginger
by Madhur Jaffrey from her 2002 book Indian Cooking.
7 oz whole green lentils, picked over, washed, and drained
1 1/4 pints water
6 Tbsp oil
1-2 fresh, hot green chilies, finely sliced
1 tsp peeled, very finely grated fresh ginger
8 well-packed Tbsp chopped fresh green coriander
1 1/4 lb fresh spinach, trimmed, washed, and chopped
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Put the lentils and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
Put the oil in a pot large enough to hold the spinach and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the green chilies and the ginger. Stir and fry for 10 seconds. Add the fresh coriander and spinach. Stir and cook until the spinach has wilted. Now put in the cooked lentils and the salt. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook very gently for 25 minutes. Add the black pepper and lemon juice, stir to mix, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Check seasonings.
How I do it:
I make a double batch in a Dutch oven. Precook the lentils in a separate pot. I used 1 to 1 1/2 Serrano chilies, depending on size. I admit being liberal with the ginger. I do not wash and trim the cilantro or the spinach. Just chop it rather half-assed, stems and all, and throw it in the pot. A standard bunch of cilantro is about right for the double batch. And it just neatly turns out that the big bag of fresh spinach at Costco is 2 1/2 pounds. Bottled lemon juice tastes fine in it if you don’t want to bother with fresh. I usually end up putting extra lemon juice. It needs enough tart to balance out the other tastes. Not to forget the coup de grace: top each serving with grated fresh ginger.
I took my share home and divided it up into smaller containers and froze them. It works fine to do that. Yum, yum. I can see making this and freezing it for quick dinners all winter.