saturday night, we were invited to dinner at darry's coworkers house. there is a group of people that he works with that meet once a month at some ones house or a restaurant. everyone brings a dish or beverage and we were bringing a salad and dessert. perfect timing for me since i knew i needed to make a pie, a "vacation" pie (based on a vacation you took or would like to take) and i immediately knew what vacation i wanted to base it on. next year we will celebrate anniversary #25 and i was hoping to take the trip of a lifetime to mark the occasion. for me that trip is to go on a culinary tour of china. i know, it sounds like overkill, two chefs on a culinary tour to china. even so, if i had my pick of anywhere in the world, that is where i would go.
when you eat out in chinese restaurants, desserts are not as huge as they are in other ethnic restaurants. to really see chinese desserts, you need to visit chinese bakeries and that is one thing that nashville sorely lacks-a real chinatown area with an authentic chinese bakery. for these moments, i really long for san francisco and new york city-two places i have lived and visited chinatown frequently enough to know what i am missing here! so for this, i turned to books and the internet and i came up with egg custard tarts. as interesting as they seemed, they also seemed a little boring. in my last post, i made plum-strawberry jam and decided that it was just what the little tarts needed! by replacing the water in the recipe with jam, i ended up with lovely little spiced plum custard tarts. they were devoured at the party so i didn't have to wonder if they were any good!
the bread baking babes baked black bread-okay, say that 3 times fast!!! and this was a first for me. it was also a test of my organic grape starter made from grapes in the demo garden where i volunteer on sundays. the starter definitely is alive and it added a hint of sour flavor to the bread. it was tough to wait for it to cool down, warm bread is impossible to not cut into!!!
all i can say, wow!!! thanks to jenn of piccante dolce for the vacation pie challenge and to gorel of grain doe for the black bread challenge. now, if it's all right with everyone, i am going to go to work now so i can get some rest...