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This Easter we're having eggs...

Spacer issue three, volume eight  

Easter Basket

Pity Eggs. I always had a wonderful Easter, as each year my parents put on an early morning hunt for myself and my sisters to Easter Rabbitshunt for our individual baskets. These were beautiful, old-fashioned wicker baskets overflowing with the chocolates we loved and cleverly hidden by my parents to make them all the more sweet when we finally found them. Examples of hiding places: trash cans, under a pile of bricks, behind the Christmas decorations in the basement, etc. Baby DuckAll right, but where in this Rockwellian picture come the Pity Eggs. Well you need to understand Anderson Time, my parents were never less than 30 minutes late to anything in their lives; hence Anderson Time. After our hunt at home we would join our relatives for our local club's egg hunt and then brunch. If you've ever been to a large Easter egg hunt you know they last exactly five minutes! Well year after year I hit the grass 25 minutes late to find empty tin foil. Don't worry, I would eventually get mine at brunch, invariably theLaughing Rabbits person in the rabbit suit (isn't there always a person in a rabbit suit?) would notice my empty basket and deliver eggs and other treats to fill my quota; Pity Eggs. Now you have to remember that whatever I received at the club, I already had a beautiful basket at home brimming with Easter chocolates. No real harm done. At Woodhouse you know we can help you "fill that basket", in fact we can send that basket. As you Nest & Chickcan see we have an assortment that ranges from 10" rabbits to solid classic rabbits to bunnies that just can't seem to stop laughing. Add in ducks and chicks, an assortment of filled eggs, as well as vegetables and you have the makings of a fabulous Easter celebration. No need for Pity Eggs here! Happy Easter everyone!

John and Tracy Wood Anderson

Belle Glos Logo

Belle Glos may not be an instantly familiar name, but its heritage is Napa Valley gold. Founded by winemaker Joseph Wagner and named in honor of his grandmother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, Belle Glos makes some of the best American Pinot Noirs I have ever tasted. But wait, Wagner, Wagner, Wagner, oh yeah, a little winery named Caymus has a bunch of Wagners. Yes, that's his family winery where his father and grandparents were founders and what they have done for cabernet, Joe is doing for Pinot Noir. He produces three Pinots, one each from coastal Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara County vineyards. We tasted the 2009 Belle Glos, Clark & Telephone Vineyard from Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County ($44). We discovered aromas of cherry, currants, black cherry and smoke while the palate rewarded us with vanilla, cassis, cherry and dark chocolate. An extremely well balanced wine with a long finish. I have tried all three of the wines multiple times and they are among the very best, but Pinot with chocolate?
Yes, indeed! Beautiful with the Champagne Truffle (brings out the vanilla), Sur del Lago (compliments the fruitiness and chocolate in the wine), Thai Ginger, Honey, Praline Noisette, Quatre Epices and Wild Cherry.
Belle Glos is not the easiest wine to find, but it is well worth the effort and when you do find it put some away, it's even better with a little age.




Serves 12-24 as hors d'oeuvres

Here is a little springtime canape for your Easter-time entertaining. Just about everybody was served peas and carrots as a child with mixed reviews I'm sure. Well, here is a slightly more sophisticated version that makes a light, refreshing one bite morsel that may help balance out all that ham and bacon one usually enjoys this time of year. Of course, there is just a little chocolate in there for your heart.

Peas & Carrots

For the Peas:
2 Tablespoons finely minced shallot
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream
12 ozs. frozen petite peas
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, then the shallots and saute until soft, but not brown. Add the cream and reduce by half. (Watch it, the cream tends to bubble up and over - you may have to reduce the heat to low.) Add the peas, and heat through. Cover and cook until tender (a few minutes is all it takes). Add the salt. In a food processor, puree the peas until smooth. Press the peas through a strainer and chill.

For the Chocolate Mint Goat Cheese:
4 ozs. fresh goat cheese, at room temp.
4 ozs. cream cheese, at room temp.
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 oz. 64% dark chocolate, grated on a cheese grater) or finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Ta Da.

To Assemble:
6 big fat carrots
blanched peas for garnish

Peel the carrots and from the fat end, cut into 1/4 inch coins. You want them to be big enough to make a good bite. so you will not use the entire carrot for this dish. (For extra fun garnish, use a vegetable peeler to cut ribbons of carrot then cut the ribbons into little squares. I don't think twice about doing fussy little stuff like this, but my sister might call me crazy. It wouldn't be the first time.) Spread a little of the chocolate mint goat cheese on each carrot coin (about 1/4 teaspoon). If you are adept with a piping bag, by all means use it to pipe on the pea puree, if not, just spoon a dollop of pea puree on each carrot. Garnish with extra peas and carrot squares - oh and maybe some mint leaves if you have any extra. Think of how virtuous you can feel for eating your peas and carrots!


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