Anyway: I made pickles! I pickled pears, and I pickled eggplant.
The pears were courtesy of a friend who managed to salvage 2kg of them from a tree before the rosellas ate them all. I had had pickled pears at Kate’s house, with cheese and then in a chicken salad, and NOM. These were different from the ones she had: I used white vinegar and cinnamon and cloves; I used a recipe that was meant to be for pickled peaches (whichL whoa. If ever I get cheap peaches…). Kate used cider vinegar and rosemary and pepper corns; that will be my next trick, if I get more pears.
The eggplant were from my garden, because BY GOLLY I’m getting a lot. Trying to figure out when the darned things are ripe has been a hassle, since the first info I looked at was all about what the fruit look like on the INSIDE… which is less than useful. Finally I found someone who said eh, if the skins are shiny they’re probably fine. Which meant I got to go and harvest a lot. So I made pickles! They don’t look very appetising, hence no photo, but they have turmeric and cumin and lots of ginger (side note: I discovered that peeling ginger with a spoon is EXACTLY as awesome as all those people have ever said).
I am now about to make moussaka with more of the eggplant, so hopefully that goes well…
I don’t have the opportunity to cook epic desserts all that often, so I quite like grabbing them when they pop up. A crowd of thirteen is exactly that, so I went to The Feast Goes On (two of the editors of which I got to talk to a few months back) because I knew there were some desserts in there that I’d tagged as Must Try. And because I have a pile of oranges from my veg box, I went with the Orange Bread and Butter Pudding. (If I’d had more energy and thought about it ahead of time, I would have made the cake featured on the cover because WOAH.)
This bread and butter pudding is to your classic version as chocolate mud cake is to your average cocoa-only cake. For a start, it uses brioche. Yes. And then you segment three oranges (having zested two of them). Then you pour over warm marmalade – I used Kate’s De Milo marmalade which has oranges and blood plums and bits of crystallised ginger (and you can hear my interview with her here). Then it’s all about the cream and the eggs and not drooling over it.
It was magnificent. And dead easy, for something that looks and tastes so very epic. I’ll be making this again… when I need to make something to impress folks…