October 3rd, 2021

Of Portobellos and Pesto

Dropped by the Farmers Market yesterday.

I haven’t been going to the Farmers Market this summer because when you have a garden, you don’t need vegetables.

But L had brought home this fabulous chicken pot pie baked by this guy whose pies and quiches I’d already tasted, and goddam! This guy is a phenomenal baker. I needed his chicken pot pie.

Phenomenal baker guy was out of chicken pot pies, but he had this:

And goddam! again.

This may have been one of best things I have ever eaten in my entire life.

Not just the combination of the portobello mushrooms and the heavenly creaminess of lightly nutmeg-flavored savory custard. But the crust!

Typically, I don’t eat quiche crusts. They’re always some variation on pie crust, and they always have the consistency of cardboard.

But this crust…

I don’t know how to describe it except it was more like bread than pie crust, kind of an unflavored ciabatta dough.

The baker himself was a small, nervous man with an excellent sense of humor—we bantered for five minutes or so—and I had fantasies of apprenticing myself to him, learning how to bake phenomenal chicken pot pies and portobello quiches. Learning to bake at this level would be a worthwhile expenditure of a lifetime.


It was a culinary day, I suppose.

L and a couple of neighbors were very interested in learning how to make pesto, so in the afternoon, I hosted a small cooking class.

Bla, bla, bla. Fresh basil, ratio of pine nuts to basil, 1:9. Add garlic to taste. No, I can’t tell you how much garlic to add because the size of garlic cloves varies. No real difference in the final flavor whether you use parmasan, Romano, or pecorino cheese, but you have to add the olive oil last or you’ll ruin the pesto.

Despite my fabulous instruction, two out of three pupils did manage to ruin their pesto because they could not tell the difference between one-third of a cup of pine nuts and one-half of a cup of pine nuts.

I mean, the stuff they made tasted fine.

But it fell short of perfection.


I continued in my mostly awful mood.

Hiding it from the world because the world hasn’t done anything to deserve my general crankiness.

The day was quite lovely. The pesto ladies are all very nice.

But boring.

In vain did I remonstrate with myself, They have inner lives just as interesting as your own!

There was no evidence of that, so I simply did not believe it. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.