It was hot on Saturday, making this morning's brisk upper 60's seem downright chilly. But don't fret, it'll be hot again, as befits July and August on the Eastern Shore. I know one thing, our air-conditioned kitchen at Brooks Tavern sure made last week's heat wave much more bearable for our kitchen employees.
Last night's prix-fixe diners began with this corn and mushroom cake, garnished with quick cucumber pickles. The cucumbers for the pickles came from our own plants, of which we have three, growing in one of our small beds at home. We have them training up an old porch railing that we have "planted" in a V in the center of the bed. We've only harvested 5 or 6 cukes so far, but if the number of baby ones are any indication, we'll be in the pickle making business before the month is out.
Veal sausage was the entree. This is one of my favorite sausages that Kevin makes.
We topped the menu off with blackberry mousse. This dessert idea was mine, seeing as Terry Anthony had brought us in a flat of his juicy berries late last week. I have a few recipes for fruit mousse, some which use gelatin and some which do not. Angie and Kevin got together to figure out the ratio of purée, cream, egg white and gelatin needed for a light, fluffy but sturdy mousse. Angie proceeded to put it together, under Kevin's proportions, and it wasn't until the first batch was obviously more like gumdrops than whip cream did they realize that maybe there was a little too much gelatin. Luckily we had enough purée for me to make a second, gelatin-less batch for dinner service.
The problem now is, what to do with the first one. It's a lot of cream and blackberry to throw away, but it is not very tasty - texture or flavor - in it's present form. That's my project for later today - food rescue.
In other news, here's what Kevin spent a little time doing, while we were visiting with his brothers in New Jersey. Luckily it was only me on the deck at the time...
A few other food photos from the weekend - the St. Brigid's Farm filet, wrapped in bacon and served a la surf and turf with a BT crab cake. This platter did not last long on the specials list.
And the tuna with cantaloupe salsa was pretty popular as well. Of course corn has now become ubiquitous on our dinner plates - as is to be expected, here in corn country - and so far this year it has been good. Most people are thrilled to get fresh corn already cut off the cob for them. All it takes is a little sauté, a little butter, and salt and pepper to make it sing. And all of those cobs - they become corn stock!
Not much else newsworthy to report. We had a very laid-back Fourth, eating burgers and drinking rosé with our neighbors, but that Wednesday off wrecked havoc with keeping track of the rest of the week. Thursday felt like Tuesday and Friday wanted to be Thursday. The heat that followed us into the weekend was the major topic of conversation after the storm news waned, and did nothing to interfere with business. The only thing slowing down was red wine sales, which generally take a hit as the thermometer climbs. This post-holiday week will most like follow a cooling trend however, as people take a break from entertainment, and then later in the month we have the dreaded Summer Olympics, a business killer if there ever was one, for a TV-less dining room like ours. (Run-on sentence, anyone?) Now would be a good time to come in and support one of your many local, independent businesses, which supports other local, independent businesses! Ha!