Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Checking on Spring

I keep checking the calendar to make sure I have read it correctly. The first day of Spring is scheduled for March 20.   The aftermath of a recent snowstorm has left us with lots of snow, icy roads and many rejoicing children and teachers.  A snow day was declared and here that is a rarity!
It is just that kind of day to enjoy a cup of coffee and get lost in a good book.   
Since the name Lincoln seems to be everywhere these days with the award shows, this title caught my interest. The reviews were quite favorable and if you enjoy period pieces then you'd like this novel. Elizabeth Keckley was a dressmaker and a freed slave. The astonishing account of her endurance and tenacity to earn over a $1, 000 to buy freedom for herself and her son and send him to college was remarkable. Elizabeth was a gifted seamstress who found work in Washington among the upper social circle of people. She eventually got a job as Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker. Elizabeth formed a close bond with Mary Lincoln whose behavior often drove many away. She remained close to her in the aftermath of Lincoln's assassination, but when Keckley published her memoir Mary Lincoln turned away forever in 1860. Keckley's book Behind the Scenes of Thirty Years as a Slave and Four Years in the White House is still in print.

Marian Fontana's A Widow's Walk is a memoir of 9/11. While many books have been written over the years by surviving family members and friends of the events of 9/11, this one stands above many of the stories told and published. Fontana is a gifted writer who draws you into the soul of that fateful day and her survival of the aftermath. Her husband was a firefighter from Brooklyn. I found her story moving, emotional but not a sad book which surprised me. It was inspirational because in one day she went from being a wife to a widow and to being a single mother. And then along the way some unexpected things happen and she became a political activist.
Spring Salmon Pasta
Cook's notes: When spring does arrive March 20 you will be ready with a new recipe to try. It has been adapted from Cuisine at home April 2013.
The basic Alfredo sauce can be made by adding salmon to the dish 
or adding pieces of ham
  • 8 oz. fresh salmon
  • 8-10 oz. dry fettuccine noodles (cooked al dente)
  • 3 TB. butter
  • 3 TB. minced shallots (green onions)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or peccorino
  • 1-1/2 cup peas (cooked according to manufacturer's directions- I microwaved them)
  • 1 TB. lemon juice
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 2 TB. white wine
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 2 tsp. dried chives

  • Roast salmon on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet with two lemon slices, sprinkle of dill and 1 TB. butter @ 400 for 15-20 minutes-cool
  • Microwave peas
  • Cook noodles al dente  and reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water
  • In a large sauce pan melt butter, add shallots and cook 1 minute, add cream and reserved  pasta water
  • Bring mixture slowly to an almost boiling point reduce heat and cook 4 minutes till thickened
  • Add in lemon juice, cooked fettuccine, wine, chives, dill, peas and cheese 
  • Use tongs to toss and coat
  • Remove from heat and add in salmon chunks or ham and serve immediately 

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