Mothers’ day gets a little easier each year, though I still don’t enjoy being reminded so overtly that I don’t have one any more. But my wife is a Mother, and her Mom has been in town visiting, and we’ve been having some high spring glory in the weather department, so today was pretty nice.
For brunch, I made crêpes: savory, then sweet as is my wont. The savory were filled with a schmear of velvety sweet potato purée left over from a roast chicken several nights ago and a big dollop of decadent duxelles. I minced shiitake and maitake pretty fine and caramelized them nicely before adding chopped ramp greens, Calvados, beef demi-glace, local goat fromage blanc, and some heavy cream and letting it all cook very gently down into a splendidly redolent loveliness. I added a dribble of truffle oil to the mixture just before serving. Once folded up, I added a spoonful of turnip home fries (little cubes, caramelized and then tossed with salt and a drop of good vanilla extract) and a just-picked baby radish on the side. I didn’t have my act together to shoot a picture of these, but they tasted extremely good. The time and steps I took to make the mushroom mixture just so really paid off.
The sweet crêpes were also pretty well received. I ran outside and cut a couple of stalks of rhubarb, and cut and cooked them down to a jam with some very un-local strawberries and maple syrup. I made a ganache with heavy cream, Calvados, dark (85%) chocolate, and more maple, and whipped some cream with a splash of the brandy and a drip of maple. I sent Milo out to pick some mint, and we plated them all up, adding blackberries as well. As good as this was (and it was) it made me impatient for our berries to come in; strawberries and currants are flowering now, and the other shrubs will be soon. I got to spend about three hours in the garden this afternoon planting, trellising, and such, and it did wonders for my mood. In the coming weeks of intense studio labor, I’m going to make a point of spending an hour outside working every day the weather permits. I can still hear my Mother saying “it’s a beautiful day, go outside.” It’s as true now as it was then.