So many times something is mentioned in a book that ends up on my menu. Does that happen to you? I have always written down inspiring menus from books I'm reading.
Salmon has been a favorite for RH to put on his smoker for decades but we had never soaked it in rum first before I read that mentioned in Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club.
He smokes it himself in one of those old smoking sheds. He soaks it in rum and then puts it over oak chips. It's the rum that gives it that wonderful flavor.
I recently soaked some wild sockeye salmon in dark aged rum for two hours then dried it well, smeared on a little brown sugar, salt and pepper. RH had the smoker going with oak chips and the air in the garden smelled wonderful as the two sides of salmon smoked.
We had some of it on a big salad that night and I flaked the remainder, put half in the freezer, and used the other half the next day to make Smoked Salmon Spread from this Ina Garten recipe.
I halved Ina's recipe and added a little chopped celery, scallion, and jalapeño, plus a little cayenne and paprika.
I rarely make appetizers anymore for just the two of us so this called for a pretty old green glass container and a linen towel with fish embroidered on it and one of my mystery Italian plates.
I have a treasured stack of them and they never go in the dishwasher. I haven't been able to identify them online. I've searched for "sea creature plates marked Italy" to no avail. Every time I've posted a picture of these plates on my blogs I've asked for help in identifying these so if anyone knows what kind of a sea creature this could be, please let me know.
I can't even remember where I got them but they're perfect for summer days. And ever since I read Frances Parkinson Keyes's New England-set novel Also the Hills many years ago, salmon has always been on the Fourth of July menu for me, along with the barbecued ribs for RH that we both grew up eating on Independence Day. Keyes's novels were full of good menus, whether in her New England-set novels or her Louisiana ones or her ones set in France or South America.
As were Laurie Colwin's novels. The best books have good food in them! Are there any fiction authors you find yourself jotting down recipe ideas while reading?
And yes, both my blogs are working again! I have no idea how. For days they weren't despite everything I tried and then all of a sudden presto, there they were and I was no longer "anonymous"!
Thank you so much, Google, if it was you that fixed it!
My best to everyone reading here,