Yesterday I went on a vintage shopping hunt on the flea market. I am currently very smitten with the idea of a vintage home bar - ideally neatly exposed on a vintage bar cart. Of course I need the suitable bar paraphernalia for that - and I start at zero (don't even have proper tumblers).
I love (mostly useless but whimsy) old gadgets and tools! I'm a firm believer that most things looked better in the good old times (yeah, call me gran...). But take for example a simple cocktail shaker; those old, silver ones that tell stories of the golden twenties' dimly lit, swinging parties and cocktail hours... well those sure are the objects i prefer to any ultra modern, simplistic tools that just about fulfill their task but don't have any patina and are to smooth to love.
So anyway, I went on a hunt for vintage bar tools. Actually, I had something quite particular in mind: a silver pineapple shaped ice cubes cooler bucket. Quite specific. But you know what? I actually found one! On the flea market in Zurich! How big is the chance of that, eh? I couldn't stop laughing when I laid my eyes on it and touched it. The seller must have thought I'm
a bit a lot nuts. And probably thought about not selling the object of desire to me... Ehem.
But why am I telling you all this. Firstly: because I'm obviously a very lucky person! Luck strikes me, just like that, sometimes. And I appreciate it a lot. Thank you, luck (or fate, or universe, or whatever thing or person is responsible for that). Secondly: it's the hunt that is so endearing! In times of the online shopping a good physical, exhausting shopping hunt becomes redundant. You can google anything, track things down (even vintage finds) and buy it online within minutes, and it will be delivered conveniently to your doorstep, in no time. But is it fulfilling?
To me it felt like a lesson: things that take effort to track down, chase, find and keep... Well, those are the things we appreciate the most. It's what gives us a feeling of success in life. I herewith not only mean pineapple shaped ice cube cooler bucket, obviously. But also (smile). I mean life in general. To work hard for the things we want. It's fulfilling.
HERBED GREEN GNOCCHI W/ SPINACH
adapted from Donna Hay
- 2 cups ricotta
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed (you can also used thawed spinach)
- 1 cup parsley leaves, cleaned, minced
- 1 handful mint leaves, cleaned, minced
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup semolina
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- Pinch of musk
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 5 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 10 g dried porcini, minced
- Pinch of musk
- Fleur de sel
- Note: you can also use thawed spinach but then you won't have to make this step. In a large saucepan, heat a bit of olive oil. Sweat the minced garlic for a few seconds, before adding the (whole) spinach leaves. Heat through until leaves are shrunk together. Remove from heat, let cool. Then pat dry with some kitchen paper and mince.
- In a large bowl combine the ricotta, eggs, parmesan flour and semolina (be careful with the semolina, only use it to add firmness to the mix). Add the minced steamed spinach and the minced herbs. Combine well. Season with flour and salt and a pinch of musk.
- Heat a large saucepan with salted water. Preheat the oven to low. Dust a work space with flour. Take 1/4 of the pastry and roll it into about 2cm thick ropes. Cut into thumb wide pieces. Cook the gnocchi in batches for 2 to 3 minutes, until they appear on the surface. Put in a oven proof pan, drizzle with olive oil and place in the warm oven. Proceed with the other batches.
- When gnocchi are finished cooking, place all of them together in the oven for a few minutes to heat through (and also to dry out a bit; you will find they're much better like that).
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan, slowly, on low heat, to make beurre noisette out of it. Add the porcini crumbs, sage, a pinch of fleur de sel, black pepper and musk, each. Serve.
For the blueberry tartelettes go here, please.