Hello, all my dear THIH readers! How are you this week? As for the title of this post … you know I’d never insult you. All will become clear!
First, to clear up a common misconception from my last post: despite the fact that I look about twelve years old in the second photo, I am actually seventeen and in my first year of college. Peter and I met during our first few weeks at Amherst College while we were living in the same dorm (the substance-free dorm, if you must know). We first encountered each other doing laundry in the dorm basement. I was still attempting to be above-and-beyond friendly, because I had read somewhere that the first few weeks in college were the most important for making friends.
If you can picture the scene: imagine Jessie crouched beside the washing machine, stuffing underwear into the opening as fast as possible while attempting to make conversation with a tall guy across the way (who was actually doing laundry!), with the scent of thousands of Amherst students’ laundry in the air and the steady drum of old dryers knocking against the floor. Romantic. I remember Peter telling me about his first year seminar professor, and me automatically saying “Oh, I hear he’s really good!” (Yeah, I had no idea.) Later, I found out that Peter definitely did NOT like this professor. Score -1 for Jessie!
Lucky for me, Peter was persistent … and now here we are!
Lesson here? Well … there really is no lesson. How about: be yourself? That’s always a good one. Yes.
On to the main part of today’s post! While I was visiting my family in Colorado, my sister Courtney made us her version of a traditional English Sunday roast, based on this recipe from the BBC. This nut loaf was so delicious and satisfying, I ended up making it for Peter’s family a week later. The recipe is below, interspersed with pictures from BOTH nut loaves.
Luxury Nut ‘n’ Seed Loaf (tastes like beef, but better!)
Adapted from the BBC’s Food Recipes
225g/8oz bulgar wheat
330ml/11fl oz boiling water
3 tbsp soya sauce (key!)
175g/6oz pistachio nuts
225g/8oz blanched almonds
175g/6oz cashew nuts
110g/4oz hazel nuts
110g/4oz sunflower seeds
250g/9oz onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp fresh and finely chopped parsley (I didn’t have parsley for either loaf, but I left it in the list because it would be TASTY)
1 tbsp dried thyme
5 or 6 large eggs, lightly whisked
4 tbsp olive oil
Obviously, a good scale is invaluable in this recipe, or you can do what I did and weigh out the nuts and seeds in the bulk section of Whole Foods or a similar store.
First, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the bulgar wheat in a mixing bowl and pour on the boiling water and soy sauce. Cover and let swell for 25 minutes. In the meantime, grind nuts and seeds in a food processor until medium-fine. You may want to grind in small batches to keep the pieces around the same size.
Mix nut and seed mixture with the softened wheat, parsley, thyme, onions, eggs, and oil. Let stand. (A note about the eggs: the first loaf contained four eggs and fell apart after baking. When I made this loaf for Peter’s family, I used five eggs and the loaf held together better (but it was not perfect!). I bet that six eggs would be perfect. If you make this loaf, let me know if six eggs really ARE better than five! 😉 )
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or spray well with cooking spray. Pack the nut ‘n’ seed mixture into the pan (the mixture will look like too much for the pan, but trust me, it WILL fit!). Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Bake for 40 minutes, remove foil, and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then invert onto a cutting board.
Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting slices.
Courtney served our nut loaf with roasted root veggies (potato, parsnip, carrot) and a brown sauce made from veggie broth and cornstarch (at Peter’s house, I made the sauce from beef broth, cornstarch, and a splash of soy sauce). I made Yorkshire pudding muffins to go along with the English roast theme.
Pour the brown sauce over all and enjoy your nontraditional English Sunday roast!
… So, of what tour am I speaking in the title of this post? Recall that Peter and I moved about 1.5 months ago. The first few days, the new townhouse looked something like this:
But, now, after many days of hard work, the townhouse looks like this:
Let’s take a little tour, shall we?
The most important room: the kitchen. Not looking its best at the moment. Notice the hanging pots at the top, the spice rack on the wall, and the sage and rosemary plants near the window. Also, note the snow outside.
Light and airy downstairs bathroom:
Staircase to the top floor:
Who’s that distinguished gentlebear in the slick driving cap?
Why, it’s Badeline, the bear version of Madeline!
Here is my work station, in its usual state of disorder:
Note the red velvet cushion in the corner of the desk and the conveniently arranged desk side chair to give Maddie access to the cushion.
The wall of paintings in our bedroom, most of them painted by Peter’s wonderfully talented aunt:
Guess who this is:
And, how about this cutie?
You got it!
Have a wonderful week, everyone!
Q: What’s your favorite traditional recipe? Feel free to provide a link!