Thirsty Thursday: Champagne, Croutons, and The Walrus

11 Mar

French Champagne that isn’t French?
 
I know what you’re thinking – Champagne is only Champagne when it comes from the Champagne region of France…
 
Well that’s true, but when considering this sparkling wine, it’s fun to pretend.
 
 
This sparkling wine comes from Karma Canyon Vinyards on the shores of Lake Chelan (up the street from my parents house, too!) The unique way they make the sparkling wine is facinating. They ferment it in the bottles on these racks, seen in the image above. This is a classic French tecnique, or so they tell me…
 
 
The winemaker is also trained in France, making it even better! And more French-ish. It was sweet, light, and super bubbly! So bubbly in fact, that I could only fill the glass halfway before it ‘boiled’ over.
 
 
I had this with my homemade croutons last night, so good! (recipe below)
 

Home-made Herb Croutons!

So I’ve had this loaf of bread kickin’ around my kitchen for a while now… Stale, old, perfect.

My husband and I enjoy going to this local pub where they make the most amazing and simple salad of cucumber, croutons, marinated onions and ranch dressing. I wanted to recreate that at home (especially since that simple salad cost a not so simple $6)

It’s really easy to do, and you can make a whole pile for the week!

INGREDIENTS
 
One Loaf Italian, Peasant, or Ciabatta Bread

 
Four to Five Tablespoons Olive Oil

 
1tsp. Italian Seasoning

 
1tsp. Dried Basil Seasoning

 
1/2tsp. Garlic Powder

 
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cube the bread into one inch chunks and put in a large bowl. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil and toss. Drizzle the rest and toss again. sprinkle with sesonings and toss a third time until all the bread looks evently coated with seasoning and oil. Pour bread onto a baking sheet and season with a little salt and pepper. Place in a 400 degree oven. Toast for 6 minutes then remove and toss bread. Toast for another 6-8 minutes depending on the crunch you want. I like a medium chewy crunch so I do 6.

Add to your favorite salad or eat right off the pan! Either way, it’s perfect!

looking for some mome-made Marinated Onions? That’s easy as well.

Slice one red onion and put in a ziplock bag. cover with a cup and a half of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper, and seal bag. Let sit for at least 30 minutes but it’s best if left overnight… YUM!!!

 
 
The Walrus and The Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
  
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
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