Kabocha Apple Soup ~ Chef Jeremy Pacheco

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If velvet could actually be licked and swallowed, this is the soup that would fit the bill!! Good friend and great Chef, Jeremy Pacheco, gave us this recipe. It’s quite simple to make and simply delicious!

Kabocha Apple soup
Yield: 1 quart – 5 portions

INGREDIENTS
Kabocha squash, seeded 1 lb
Apple, skin on, no core 8 oz
Shallots, julienne 3 oz
Chicken stock 3 cups
Meyer lemon oil 1/2 cup

Season the squash and apple with salt, black white pepper and olive oil and roast at 325 for 25 minutes. Sauté the shallots in olive oil. Add the roasted squash and apple. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Blend in the vitamix adding the meyer lemon oil. Rectify seasoning if necessary.

Garnish:

Guancialle – small dice 1 oz. (otherwise known as face bacon. if you can’t find this, use pancetta)
Pumpkin seed – roasted 5 pieces

NOTES:
For each serving: Render diced guanciale, place guanciale and roasted pumpkin seed in bottom of bowl. Pour soup over the top.

…….and Razzleberry Dressing!

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“….and razzleberry dressing.”

The razzleberry, fruit or fiction? I’ve oft pondered this question since I first heard the “Razzleberry Dressing” song written by Mr. MaGoo and sung by Tiny Tim in the 1962 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

I went a’googling and found several interesting excerpts from pundit play lands, such as Wikipedia and dictionary.com. Thus: “A Razzleberry is a small seeded berry of the genus Razellus, predominantly found in New Guinea.” There is also a flowering plant of the same name which has no culinary applications. I also read that a razzleberry is not a berry in and of itself, but is merely a combination of blackberries and raspberries, generally baked in a pie.

Not content with these explanations, I dug out my careworn copy of A Christmas Carol and scoured the text for any mention of said berry. Sadly, none was found. However, Dickens does offer up glorious descriptions of Victorian Era foodstuffs when old Ebenezer spends some quality time with The Ghost of Christmas Present.

In fact, this lovable and laudable spirit is surrounded by all manner of food and drink when Scrooge first sets eyes on him in the anteroom of his bed chamber. As The Ghost of Christmas Present leads Scrooge through London in the mid-1800’s, Dickens writes of the Spanish Onion’s resemblance to fat Spanish Friars and observes fresh pears and apples; and, the juicy compactness of lemons to slice and stir into your gin. The poulterers’ (Dickens word, not mine) wares of squab, turkey, goose and all manner of beef, fish, lamb and pork are all available. Did you know that 19th century Englanders were connoisseurs of raw oysters? Wonders never cease.

The spice trade had been well established by this time and we read of sage and cinnamon, minced pies filled with sweet and savory goodies. I love the fact that upon the visit to Bob Cratchit’s house, Mrs. Cratchit is as nervous about the doneness of her pudding as we are today about a dry turkey.

It’s funny where one question can take you, isn’t it? I was simply curious about the existence of a razzleberry which prompted me to read, yet again, the tale of the reinvention of a single man and how that one man’s transformation affected so many.

We all have the power to confront our demons, recall our blessings and share what we have with those we love and those who are less fortunate. Charles Dickens was a victim of society’s indifference to the plight of children. His ability to look at the world from the point of view of both little people and big is one of the reasons his works are loved by so many.

Speaking of children, it’s the time of year to connect with the one that lives in you. The one who is first out the door to play in the new fallen snow; the one who has just learned the joys of giving; the one who sings Christmas carols in the shower and watches the night sky for a glimpse of a magical sleigh. In the words of Tiny Tim and Charles Dickens, “God Bless us, Every One!”

Merry Christmas!!!

Beef Stew

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Heidi’s Beef Stew

Preheat Oven to 275.

5 lb Chuck Roast ~ Cut into Bite Sized Pieces
3 T. Unsalted Butter
3 T. Olive Oil
2 T. Tomato Paste
2 Cups Onion, Small Dice
1 1/2 Cups Carrot, Small Dice
1 Cup Celery, Small Dice
2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms
1 cup Red Wine
4 Cups Beef Stock plus 2 cups hot water
2 Cups Diced Red Potato
1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary, Minced
Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a large Dutch Oven, heat 1/2 butter & olive oil on high. Salt and pepper the meat and add to pot a little at a time. Don’t crowd the pan. Saute on high, don’t crowd the pan. Remove meat and set aside.

Add tomato paste, stir LOTS and let get a little brown. Add more of the oil and butter and add the onion, carrot, celery, mushroom and rosemary. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add meat back to pot and heat up for about 4 minutes. Turn heat to high and add the wine. Cook until you can no longer smell the wine. Add beef stock and water and bring to a medium simmer.

Cover and put in oven until beef is tender, about 2 hours or so. 45 minutes before serving, add spuds and finish cooking. That’s it, kiddos. Enjoy!!!

Welcome to Wallace!

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Have you ever dreamed of living in a Main Street Community in the mountains of Northern Idaho? How about owning a building erected in the late-1800’s which houses an historic saloon & grill? Wait, wait, there’s more…. this dream comes with the option to reside in a totally kick butt loft. Yea, never in my wildest dreams; but it happened, and here’s how.

In the summer of 2016 I road tripped up to Sandpoint, ID to visit one of my best friends and the ‘magic’ of Northern Idaho hit me like a Mack Truck; less serious injury or nasty scars, of course.

Two months later, Keith and I came up together and that Mack Truck hit him harder than it did me. Our original plan was to purchase a 5 to 10-acre piece of land, build a cabin, start raising livestock and live the dream. Long story short, 10 months later we stumbled upon Wallace and a little bird told us that 1313 Club was for sale. We came, we gasped and we signed on! This idyllic town has captured our hearts and is now the place we call home.

We’d like to extend a gynormous THANK YOU to the community of Wallace and The Silver Valley for such a warm welcome and generous support. Kudos to real estate agents, Ryan Schuster, and Jim Hendrixson for their guidance. Finally, many warm wishes to Dean and Jill Cooper for making sure we were comfortable and ready to make a go of this on our own. Our deep appreciation for your gracious time, energy and the desire for us to succeed is beyond words.

You never know where life may take you. After many years of contemplation, planning and wonder, in the end, we decided to let it take us where it may and we landed in a dream. We feel so Welcome in Wallace!

Peace Out,

Heidi and Keith