What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Hard Boiled Eggs! We’ve all heard the expression, “It’s as easy as boiling water.” So why is it we continue to be puzzled by the mystery of the hard-boiled egg? Are the eggs too fresh? (Actually, if they are super-fresh, they tend to adhere to the shell a little tighter.) Should the water be hot or cold? (When the water heats up gradually, it prevents the white of the egg from becoming rubbery.) Afterwards is the egg bath truly necessary? (Yes. If you skip the step of quickly plunging the egg into cold water, the egg will continue to cook. This results in a greenish-gray yolk.) Too complicated? If all else fails, go buy an egg timer.
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover eggs with cold water, making sure the eggs are submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat. As the water boils, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain immediately; run the eggs under cold water. Refrigerate until ready to eat. For easier peeling, remove the shell under cold running water. Cooling allows the egg to contract inside the shell. Simple.
“Rocks and waters, etc., are
words of God, and so are men.
We all flow from one fountain Soul.
All are expressions of one Love.”
~ John Muir
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Quenching Celery Bites! Okay, how many of you get your daily allowance of water? I know, right! Well, I’m here to share with you some very good news. By eating certain fruits and vegetables, which carry a high water content, you can cut down the number of glasses you drink throughout the day. Take a tomato, for example. It’s 94% water. Strawberries are 92%. Celery contains 95% water. Are you getting the gist? And the best part is these foods are guilt-free. Plus, the added fiber fills your stomach so those midafternoon cravings don’t send you on a stomach-growling quest for junk food.
QUENCHING CELERY BITES
One stalk of Celery
“Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb: the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours. Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients-up to 99%, in fact!”*
*Taken from Care2 article entitled, “11 Super Health Benefits in Just One Celery Stalk”.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Color of Food: Unleavened Bread! Nothing is more appetizing than the aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven, in my opinion. Unleavened Bread is a quick and easy flatbread made with flour, salt, olive oil, and water. No yeast needed. Choose between a crispy texture, like I have here for that luscious golden color, or shorten the baking time for softer, more chewy results. Eat it plain, slather it with French butter, or turn it into a personal-size pizza flatbread. You can thank me later.
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
Dill weed for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Set aside. Combine flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Gradually drizzle in the oil on Low speed. Dough will resemble crumbs. Continuing on Low speed, gradually add water until dough forms a ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until dough is elastic and smooth, but not sticky. Divide into 6 equal balls. Pat each ball into a circle, using a rolling pin or your hands. Transfer flattened dough onto prepared baking sheet. Do not crowd. Bake in two steps, if necessary. Use a fork to lightly prick the dough. Brush each flatbread round with olive oil and sprinkle with dill weed. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
“I pass my time in the open air
on the beach when it is really
heavy weather or when the
boats go out fishing.”
~ Claude Monet
“I was a mermaid in my past life.
I feel it when I go into the sea.
I feel a connection there between me,
and the water, and the fish;
they speak to me…
and the shells, they ring out to me.”
~ Ella Henderson
In the quaint harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts, is a little fishing shack with a huge history. So much so, it has been deemed the “most often-painted building in America”. Initially home to a colony of artists and avid fishermen, the shack was built, at the end of a granite wharf, in the 1840s as a symbol of maritime life. Artists favored it for the simple composition and ideal lighting, making it appealing on canvas. Locals readily offer tidbits of Hollywood films shot at this location: “Finding Nemo” and especially Sandra Bullock’s 2009 blockbuster entitled, “The Proposal”. Now that you see the charming little shack with its weathered red paint, perhaps you’ll flock to Rockport for a closeup of Motif Number One.*
*”Motif” is a French term for a distinctive and recurring subject in a work of art.
Dining Outside the Home: Blue Lobster Grille in Rockport, Massachusetts! Some days it pays off to forego classic menu items and roll with the specialty of the gourmet chef, especially when it comes to seafood. Today’s feature: Stuffed Haddock in a creamy butter sauce. Agnoldo Oliveira takes his reputation seriously. Never mind that the Blue Lobster Grille affords the perfect vantage point of Rockport’s iconic Motif No. 1 as well as daily activity around Dock Square. You’ll find yourself trying not to stare at the heaping plates of those customers around you. It’s that good!
People are drawn to the water, that’s for sure. It’s no different today than it was a century ago. If buildings could talk and wharfs could whisper, you’d come to know the bragging rights of sailors who boast over the fish that got away. The next time you’re in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, gather down around Martingale Wharf where together the Old Ferry Landing sets the stage for open-deck relaxation, warm-hearted conversation, waterfront dining, and an unbelievable view of bobbing tugboats on the Piscataqua River. Listen carefully. You never know the stories you’ll hear.