A Nothing Day

November 8, 2011

My Dad had a saying when he wanted to have a relaxing day, he called it a “nothing day” because all he wanted to do was nothing. Yesterday was just that type of day for us. Our days off are Sunday & Monday, and if all goes well, we are at our home on Vashon Island. It was a gray day, perfect for reading by the fire, napping and making simple meals.

20111108-055724.jpg The above photo is my idea of a perfect nothing day. A few books and a few magazines and I am good to go. Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, Veranda and House Beautiful–all provide much enjoyment and much inspiration. The new Deborah Needleman book, The Imperfectly Perfect Home is destined to become a classic. I kept going back to it yesterday and reading bits and pieces. The Rosamond Bernier memoir is fascinating. She has lived such an incredible life filled with art and creative people, she makes you feel like you are right next to her and she is telling you a colorful story.

20111108-060713.jpg Making food is all about ease on a nothing day, but we still want to eat well. I have been wanting to make more things with puff pastry so I thought I would whip us up a simple lunch using a sheet. The puff pastry I am using is the kind you find in the freezer section at the grocery store. Typically, there are 2 sheets to a package. This uses one of those sheets.

Take sheet of puff pastry out of the freezer and leave on the counter for 45 minutes to thaw. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Once ready unroll the sheet and cut in half, creating equal parts, as one will be the top of the sandwich and the other the bottom. I find it best to work directly on a parchment lined baking sheet, so it can go right in the oven when you are finished assembling. For the bottom layer, spread a healthy dollop of Dijon mustard over the entire surface, leaving a half inch border on all 4 sides. Next put turkey breast meat on top of the Dijon, still staying within the border. Next add a favorite cheese. Yesterday it was a yummy Comte from France. You then want to take an egg and crack it into a bowl and add a splash of water and whisk it, to create an egg wash. With a brush or your fingers if you don’t have a brush, put the egg wash around the entire half inch border, creating a glue for the top half of the puff pastry to stick to. Once you have put the top on, take a fork and crimp around the 4 sides, locking the 2 pieces of pastry together, also making a stylish enclosure. We do eat with our eyes first, as they say on the cooking shows. You will also want to egg wash the top too, as that will help it get nice and browned. Now take a sharp knife and create 3 slits in the top of the pastry to allow air flow. Bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and brown. I served it with half an avocado drizzled with shallot vinaigrette I had made the night before and a few heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt. The puff pastry creation is just warm, comforting and tasty–perfect for a nothing day by the fire.