I recently had the pleasure of a guest for about a week at the Sabine Farm. And when there are guests, I cook.
The Sabine Farm has been quite lovely these days, with cool morning, warm days, and – for a while yet – prolonged evenings.
Rosy-fingered dawn will typically develop in this guise:
For me, my morning fast break is generally pretty simple, some toast and espresso or very strong filtered dark roasted coffee, but – when there are guests – I will often do more. Here we have some tomatoes from the garden and a small piece of steak, grilled, and a mess of eggs scrambled with some fines herbes, whole wheat toast and various sauces, when desired to zip it up. I have a couple that are nearly worthy of the flames of eternal perdition, and which tend to evoke a very sincere act of contrition, but they weren’t set out for this crew.
For the Feast of St. Augustine I picked a passel of pacchino, very zippy small savory tomatoes, and lots of basil, along with sprigs of green fennel seeds, sauteed them over extreme heat in a cold press olive oil from California, through the Olive Press this time I think, put it over linguine into which I had cut pieces of fontina cheese, since it melts nicely. Adding just a dash of the water from the pasta, with the bit of starch and moisture created a smooth background for the tomatoes and fresh herbs.
We managed to get it down.
Then I produced the coniglio in umido. I had only kalamata olives to work with, but they were abundant. After browning the whole rabbit, cut up, with the innards of course, I added white wine and springs of rosemary, again the green fennel seeds, sage parsley and thyme. At the end I put in some few strips of bell peppers, of varied color, part green part red. About half way into the hour or so of cooking time, I added the olives. It was all done on the stove in a large cast iron skillet. In the meantime, I had soaked some peeled sliced potatoes in salt water and, then, dried off, stirred through with olive oil, salt and chopped rosemary and put them in the oven at 400F to brown. Which they did. And which we ate with the rabbit.
A meal like this needs a cigar, afterward, with the necessary port, etc. Here is a fine Macanudo with a splendid ash, which has developed nicely in the Sabine humidor. They were a gift of the inimitable Fabrizio when he came to visit in June. Penjing looks on with approval, as does Irohamomiji.
The day ends with a nice view and compline. The Sabine Chapel is nice when lit up.