donderdag 11 juli 2013

Taragon Cookies & Lunch at my Sister's

We have a massive tarragon plant in the garden here at Pale Rose. Started out as a tiny plant in a small pot. So small in fact that my sister mentioned we should get two of them. One would surely get lost in the spacious garden. Mom told me the other day she was glad not to have taken my sisters advice. The tarragon feels right at home here & grows bigger and bigger every single day...

What do you do with SO much tarragon? You could put it in vinegar or a sauce or on fake chicken. There are many culinary uses and believe me we have tried them all. Do you want to know what I did with it this week at our cottage?

I baked cookies, tarragon cookies :) On the wonderful world wide web I searched for ideas regarding the use of tarragon. We already picked some and stuck it in our old enamel water can for decoration. Made a bottle of vinegar and had some in salads and on that fake chicken. Still, you can only eat so much of the stuff.

Having it instead of cut flowers was an idea much appreciated by the lovely miss Chlöe who enjoys it's scent. See for yourself in this funny picture. Look at that facial expression, adorable no?!

She even had a little nibble on the tarragon and we let her. If humans can eat it, surely cats are ok with it too, I hope. What you see in the old "French?" enamel water pitcher is not even a tenth of the amount growing currently in the garden. The first picture does not do it justice either. It's positively wild looking.

I even asked what Mom and Dad would think of a small sign outside the cottage advertising: Homegrown tarragon for sale.

We passed on this idea, but I had to figure out a purpose for this herb. Then an Italian lady on the internet suggested putting it in cookies alongside chocolate & I was delighted to hear about this creative combination.

Mom was also intrigued and we started baking right away. We had just enough flour and all the other ingredients were in the pantry as well. It was a lot of fun to bake cookies with my mother. I have done this a thousand times as a child & now that I'm an adult I still enjoy the coziness and the thrill. What will they look like or perhaps more importantly taste like?

I must admit that they did not look too appetizing at one stage. You had to make a large roll of the dough and it was sticky and not looking too pretty. You get the picture I'm sure. After they were baked the first time, sliced up and baked again they looked much better.

Can you see the tarragon in the cookie I took a bite from? The little green bits popping out. The cookies tasted really nice. It was a weird recipe though, not too much fluid and not a lot of baking powder. They were like biscotti's and I liked them a lot.

Next time however I want to try my own recipe for chocolate cookies and then just add two tablespoons of sliced tarragon. I think that will work & I like my grandmothers chocolate cookie recipe (for sentimental reasons) even more then the biscotti one. I am grateful to the Italian lady for suggesting the flavor combination, that was excellent.

When all the cookies where eaten my sister telephoned and asked us to come to lunch at her new home. We accepted her invitation and I was looking forward to seeing her again. It had been too long for me. I picked out a dress and shoes, then on Saturday we left for a family "reunion" or something like it ;)

I was wowed when I entered her home, everything was now in place. Decorated and matching beautifully. You could totally see her personality in every aspect. She's into DIY and home decorating, so it was looking gorgeous! Some walls had been painted a soft grey, little touches of pink and yellow to soften things up.

The thing that looked almost, or perhaps even better to me was the dining table. Set with a pretty cloth, plates and cute menu. We would be having a vegetable soup and home baked rosemary bread.

It was a stunning bread to see and tasted delicious. I too have baked rosemary bread in the past, perhaps you remember mine from an earlier post? If not, it was rather flat and uneven from shape: country and rustic looking. My sister's bread however looked so pretty it could have been advertised in a cooking magazine. It was a perfect rounded bread with a sprig of rosemary on the top. Fabulous & tasting fabulous too.

I felt really welcome at her house and I enjoyed spending time together again. In fact when it was time to go home I was sad to leave. Then my sister asked us for a ride, she would be visiting her friends who live close to the village where Pale Rose stands. I asked her when & how she would go back home... By train the next day and so I seized the opportunity: I asked her to come to Pale Rose for lunch on the day of her return.

She said yes, and while she packed I immediately started to think about food. What had we in the pantry? What could I make with it... Oh dear, this was a spontaneous and fun change of plans. Shops are closed on a Sunday and I was a little unprepared & I wanted to make it special. I couldn't remember all the food in our home. So I would have to go and explore the cupboards to see and decide later. There would be still be time and now we could chat some more on the road.

It was a wonderful day & we would have another great one the next day. I'll tell you about that later.

Have you been to lunch lately? Or made lunch yourself? Baked cookies with tarragon? Or did any home decorating... Leave a comment in which you tell me all about it :)

Best wishes,
Jo's Daughter

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