Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Visit with an Old Friend

When we started on this adventure lot of our friends gave us helpful advice, tips etc. But one in particular, even though he lives over 1,000 km away from us in Oakville, ON, was most helpful. He had been an RVer for several years and truly has done it all.  As we worked our way through our preparations he offered much helpful advice and steered us away from several bad ideas.

We haven't seen him for some time but this week he is in Dunedin, Florida devoting himself to his beloved Blue Jays as they go through pre-season training. He took one day off to come up to the RV park where we are staying in Port Richey for lunch and to check out the Adventure Bus.

I planned a simple, cold lunch so we would have lots of time to sit and chat:

Cold Grilled Flank Steak with Florentine Mayonnaise
Roasted Assorted Vegetables
Baguette (from a local bakery)
Angel Food Cake with Fruit Compote and Yogurt Cheese

Recipes are at the end of this post.

When he arrived they were having the RV parked next to us washed and waxed so we sat inside:
Denton and Arch plotting our trip north
It is hard to believe that we will be heading back to Nova Scotia in less than a month, but it is so. We are trying to figure out a way around New York City and the awful Baltimore/Washington congestion without crossing the Tappen Zee Bridge. Once was enough.

After lunch we moved outside and enjoyed a nice long visit, catching up on one another's news, checking out pictures Denton and Suzanne's new grandchildren and harassing the cleaners next door. (Denton and Arch, not me).
 It was great to see you Denton, and all the best Suzanne - sorry you could not be here as well.

The recipes:

Grilled Flank Steak

½ C. soy sauce
½ C. olive oil
4 ½ T. honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3 T. fresh rosemary
1 ½ T. coarsely ground black pepper
1 ½ t. salt
1 ½ lb. flank steak

In a dish or foil pan large enough to hold the flank steak when it is laid flat combine the first  7 ingredients and mix well.

Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (can be done the evening before and left in fridge overnight). Turn steak occasionally.

When ready to cook, preheat the grill. Remove meat from marinade and discard marinade. Grill steak to desired doneness – about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and let sit 5 minutes. Then slice thinly across the grain and serve hot or cold.

Florentine Mayonnaise

2 C. baby spinach
1 C. fresh basil
1 t. chopped garlic
¼ C. olive oil
½ C. parmesan cheese
1 C. mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground

Combine spinach, basil, garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Stir in parmesan cheese and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the cold flank steak.

I do not have a food processor in the Adventure Bus so had to use the immersion blender. Did not work too well. When we get home I plan to order this manual food processor from The Pampered Chef.

Grilled Vegetables

An assortment of fresh vegetables – peppers, zucchini, asparagus, mushrooms, sweet onions, etc.
½ C. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the vegetables in fairly large chunks or slices and place in a bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well. Pour over the vegetables and toss well to coat. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.
Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Spread on the vegetables. Roast in a preheated 350F oven 30 minutes or until tender.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Berry Compote

4 C. berries (fresh or frozen) As strawberries are in season here I used a mix of fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries.
2 T. sugar
1 t. grated lemon rind
1 t. minced ginger

Combine berries, sugar, lemon rind and ginger in a saucepan.Cook, stirring occasionally,, over medium heat, until berries have softened and become juicy. About 10 minutes.

Serve over a purchased angel food or pound cake slices.

This makes a lot of compote. I freeze the leftovers and serve over ice cream.

Yoghurt Cheese

No-fat yoghurt
Lemon juice
White sugar

Overnight, in the refrigerator, drain the liquid from the yoghurt by placing it in a cheesecloth-lined (I use paper towels)sieve, placed over a bowl and covered with plastic wrap.

The next morning, discard the liquid and put the yogurt in a bowl. Stir in lemon juice and sugar to taste. For a 500g (2 cup) container of yogurt I use the juice of ½ a lemon and about 1 T. sugar.

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