kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
I ran out of marmalade. It is Seville orange season. I looked at the box of Seville oranges, and noted it was rather cheaper than a single jar of my normal marmalade.

... A decided to enable me.

... well that's a thing that happened.

I've ended up with ~6 jars of tawny clementine-Seville marmalade, and ~4 jars of Seville-with-Gran-Marnier marmalade. RECIPE AND NOTES BELOW, very lightly adapted from the instructions on the box of oranges.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
A messaged me in great excitement, the other weekend, to tell me that he'd had afternoon tea somewhere that had given him basil-flavoured meringue that didn't have green bits in, and he wasn't sure how they'd done it, but it was Tasty and A Friend.

They'll have infused either the sugar or the egg white with basil, I said, and it was probably the egg white.

I am pleased to report that infusing the egg whites with basil -- separating your whites from your yolks, then leaving them in the fridge overnight with some lightly crushed basil leaves dropped in with them -- does in fact give you basil-flavoured meringue. But, er, you really don't need much basil -- two leaves would probably have been plenty sufficient for my five egg whites, and as it is they're a little assertive -- but hey, basil-meringue strawberry Eton mess. \o/

(You can of course also just chop some basil up very finely and add it to your meringue mix right before shaping the meringues and putting them in to bake, but that wasn't the spec so it isn't what I did. ;) )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
This is a pretty convincing base recipe (and if you sign up to her mailing list you get a PDF of the rest, but the link isn't uniquely generated so ask me nicely and I might accidentally paste it to you). I ended up baking them for 12 minutes at 180 and will probably give the next batch 14 (they spread out a SURPRISING amount as they're cooling once they're out of the oven); this time round I used a hard rather than a soft dark brown sugar and stirred it into fairly cool (but liquid) butter, and I think for the next batch I will in fact use soft.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
Because I had a birthday, again. P had arranged to be Elsewhere this year, so A was my only dining companion. I was a little nervous about that, partly because I am a seething mess of anxiety at the moment but partly because my understanding had been that last year he'd enjoyed it well enough but hadn't been anything like as impressed as P & I. Which, you know, fair enough -- but in fact this year his main arrived and he proceeded to sit looking stunned and rapturous for several whole minutes, which I of course found utterly charming.

For my part, this year they took me well outside my comfort zone and it almost all just worked.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Notes for next time, just so I don't have to work it out again.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Turns out [personal profile] me_and has two Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks (Plenty and Plenty More, for those of you who care), probably acquired as gifts at some point, to which he'd been sort of oblivious up until I pounced on them on Monday night while we were working out where my boxes of books should live temporarily.

(He proceeded to go to one of the Ottolenghi restaurants on Tuesday night and really liked it; we'd walked past a different branch on Sunday and I'd pointed it out, and there was one just down the road from a gig he was going to, so he decided to give it a go.)

Ergo I have established that Ottolenghi, unlike basically every other recipe I've found during this particular set of experimentation, agrees with me about actually boiling the dairy (see also). seriously nobody is as interested in this as I am )
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
1. One of the picture prompts Duolingo gives you when you're learning German and it asks you to translate "the sugar"? Is a bowl of sugar with vanilla pods in. I am charmed, and also sort of curious about whether it does that for other languages and I just... haven't noticed.

2. I am signed up to the London Business School Behavioral Research Lab, which means I sometimes get an e-mail inviting me to participate in a study in exchange for cold hard cash. This morning I got to drink a small quantity of beetroot & passionfruit juice (selected from a tray containing a variety of juices), read some feedback about it, and then give my own. It took about 15 minutes all told, I got paid a tenner for it, and I continued very gently learning to like beetroot. (It was surprisingly tasty, and paid for half my new ereader. This makes it a win all round.)

3. I've actually been managing to swap e-mails with P over the past few days! He's been responding! It's been lovely, not least because he pointed out an excellent bit of costuming that occurred in Elementary 4x17 that completely passed me by -- namely, Read more... ).

4. I think I have worked out why some of the creme brulee attempts have gone grainy! I'm pretty sure (I have not kept adequately detailed notes) that it happens when I pick up cheap extra-thick double cream and let it out with a little milk, as opposed to just using double cream. So that is a mystery solved, for all the mechanism remains somewhat opaque to me. (Ideas?)

5. ... A. just brought the last creme brulee through, with the last of the strawberries he picked up for me last week on top, and two spoons, and proceeded to lean companionably against me while telling me all about how en-GB-oed is his problematic fave. hashtag domestic bliss, etc etc etc.

6. I got to stick my name at the top of a file in the Dreamwidth codebase, today, because I'd written more than 10% of it (or 100 lines, whichever is smaller; in this instance, 10%). It's a tiny feature that like one person (possibly two people?) is going to (be able to) use, but I think that's still actually the first time I've got to do that, and I am Contented.

7. I had shakshuka and bagel for breakfast, and bagel and cheddar and cucumber and a strawberry for lunch, and textures and flavours and yes.

8. I was on time to (or early for!) all my appointments in spite of Tube Shenaniganry (the Piccadilly line just wasn't for much of this morning, okay), and the staff at my local station did a top-notch job of looking out for me, and then pleasant brief commiseration occurred on my way back in. (People who have had that much of a morning 100% get me explicitly thanking them and wishing that the rest of their day gets better.) (I gotta say, given what today's been like for them, I really hope they enjoy tomorrow's strike.) And then I made a phone call I really didn't want to, and removed another source of uncertainty; and then I dealt with some other stressors. Yes.

9. I am so endlessly, immensely grateful for having a warm and comfortable bed that makes me hurt less and that soothes me. (I have a memory foam topper from freecycle; memory foam pillows from my mother; a weighted blanket of my very own; soft duvet covers, and soft micofleece blankets, and stripy tulip pillow cases my mother thought I should have.)

10. Have a ridiculous song. (Oh right, what was actually going to go here was mild amusement at the intersection of interests of public transport, graphic design, zoological illustration and a specific animal species that means I've probably managed to luck into sorting A a Very Appropriate Present -- this is not spoilers, I've had a chat with him about how much effort I'm willing to go to in order to achieve the thing -- but I sort of wandered off into being distracted. So have two cheerful things for the price of one.)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Vanilla shortbread cake; spiced quince cake, and pear, chocolate and hazelnut cake; the Nigel Slater lentils also don't sound terrible; and of course several of the things from this week's theme of charred.

Meanwhile cake #2 is a mild horror that as far as I can tell has been designed precisely to make [personal profile] me_and think it's a good idea: it is, in essence, a purple maths-themed beetroot-dust pavlova and I'm gently horrified.

eta smitten kitchen just posted an unholy mashup of puttanesca and shakshuka. I have capers and oregano and thyme and parsley in and I am so here for this.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
I absolutely cannot remember, at this point, how I came across this or why I decided to try it, but two days ago I had a meal containing chickpeas and saved the liquid and yesterday I had a stab at vegan meringue. Herein notes thereupon.

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kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. I got to the end of this Graun article on how to make meringue before I clocked the title. (I am having an Erudite Discussion about Meringue on the book of faces, you see, or at least a discussion about whether or not they ought be chewy and how one goes about achieving effects various. It is a source of some frustration to me that Molecular Gastronomy, a copy of which [personal profile] deborah_c gave me for... a birthday Some Time Ago, mentions meringues only in the context of putting them in a bell jar you then PUMP ALL THE AIR OUT OF, because it is fascinating on a great many topics -- how to make pastry with chocolate! the physics of boiling dumplings until they rise to the surface! -- and mysteriously lacking in tedious detail on this one.)

2. I have decided that macaroni cheese is much improved by steaming a head of cauliflower over the top of the pasta water (chopped into florets & the stalk into chunks) and mixing it in. This is perhaps obvious but it had not previously occurred to me, and I am a Fan.

3. Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and linked onward to an article about the perplexing USois use of "yam" and "sweet potato". I am enlightened. (I will promptly forget it again, no doubt, and discover it once more In The Future and be delightened again, but I can't quite see this as a downside.)

4. ... and a bonus, edited in post-facto because my mum just put it on facebook: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's potato peel soup. YOU'RE WELCOME.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
I keep forgetting what recipe for choux pastry I used and then having to look it up again. This is tedious. Ergo: notes.

The profiteroles of petty revenge )


I also have a whole pile of egg whites from all the Making Custard experiments, which I've been working my way through slowly. Having established to my satisfaction that I can definitely make meringue in a variety of interesting flavours, I've now also had a go at macarons.

Macarons )
kaberett: Grinning emoticon. (:D)
By which I mean: I have now settled on a version I am unambiguously happy with, as of yesterday. I am still pretty pleased with myself.

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kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
kaberett

March 2017

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