"I've gotta go grocery shopping," my friend kvetches. "I need inspiration. What should I cook?"
"Read the food blogs!" I say. The best bloggers are often good at creating seasonal ingredient-based meals. But these day it seems like some of the best bloggers are too busy editing cookbooks to post what they're making. In that case, let's turn to the chefs.
When I am really stuck for ideas I look to what Alice Waters is offering at Chez Panisse. The daily menu at the café reads like found poetry.
My current Vancouver chef crush is Quang Dang. His menu at West makes me pine for a lottery win soon, like tomorrow. I so want to go to the Hendrick's Gin Dinner! Don't you? Well then, you know who to take with you!
The Dine Out Vancouver Menu that appeals to me the most right now is the one at L'Abbatoire. Some of the menu choices would be very difficult to make. It all sounds so good.
It's a shame that Sooke Harbor House and The Willows Inn on Lummi Island don't publish their daily menus to feed the voyeuristic souls that peruse their web pages. Sigh. A woman can dream.
The reality is that right now I am very excited about making apple sauce with lots of cardamom for my morning yogurt. Simples! Who inspired me? Nigel Slater. Making apple sauce in the winter out of apples that are starting to go soft is a grounding ritual. It's great for a Sunday morning when you have that extra bit of time before choir practice. I'm going to find some ricotta and pears now to riff on Nigel's recipe.
Oh, and I just found this lovely little winter salad at Oh Joy! that is inspired and inspiring.