Archive for January 2007
sad skies and wacky winds kept us inside today, so the beach was put on the back-burner for another day. no matter, we had lots of things to do. a game of tennis in the morning. painting during the day and also more jam making. this time banana jam. after momo left a comment on one of my photo pages i became a curious bird about this tasty sounding concoction. i love banana on toast (especially pb + banana on toast) so i had to make a small batch for sharing and eating.
earlier in the week i saw banana for a $1.99, all pretty and green in a large bunch, so it didn’t end up being an expensive experiment. all week they were developing their leopard spots ripening away. i needed firm and ripe fruit according to this recipe. i thought to add toasted coconut or crushed peanuts to the jam, but in the middle of making it i decided to leave it as is. i would make little packs of toasted coconut and roasted peanuts to give away as toppings. toppings for toast or sundaes; whatever their preference. instead i upped the banana ratio by one and added some freshly ground nutmeg. and wow, delicious. golden and crimson. not too sweet, perfect on toasted bread and when it’s warmed i’m sure it would be lovely as a small dollop on vanilla ice cream.
in the space of a week i have made a few jars of pineapple jam and tomorrow if all goes to plan there will also be a few jars of banana jam.
unfortunately the batch of pineapple jam i made in the middle of the week turned out too sweet and even after simmering away longer that usual the sweetness remained. not a bad thing for a ham glaze as was intended if the jam had been made in time for christmas, but we are all hammed out at the moment.
one recipient of the jam didn’t mind the sweetness because she used the jam to fold into cream for a cake filling. bowb suggested glazing a chicken with it, and it sounds like a delicious idea. with the one jar remaining i might try simmering it with some lemon zest before serving it with waffles for tomorrow’s breakfast.
i’ve been spending a lot of time with my grandmother recently. yesterday she taught me how to make one of yummiest of sri lankan cakes; appropriately called ‘love cake’. it has such things as chopped cashew nuts, crystalised pumpkin, crystalised pineapple, crushed pineapple, semolina, all kinds of waters and essences and 22 eggs and lots of butter. we cut and diced everything by hand. we only used the stove to roast the semolina. and we beat the cake batter with a long wooden spoon. halfway through cutting the crystalised pineapple i came across some adventurous ants, in a state of a coma from too much sugar. and promptly my grandmother pulled out another bag from her pantry. a pantry like mary poppins’ handbag.
half way through baking we realised that the oven had blown and was reaching temperatures of 200 degrees, not 100- 150 degrees required for 2 hours baking. so i brought home with me yesterday afternoon a massive tray of cake batter to be baked in my dingy but reliable oven. since last night, the apartment has been smelling of sweetness.
since wednesday the apartment has been smelling of summer. summery pineapple. my mother and bought eight pineapples between us when we went up the road for milk. and we are both going to give jam making a shot this week. i have the pot of chopped pineapple, sugar, cloves and cinnamon sticks simmering away. the jars have also been tended to, and are ready for preserving. it tastes like summer. like sri lanka. like home.
happy new year!
our folks are coming over for a light lunch today, it being the first of the year and all. i was going to make a big pot of curry and some fragrant rice, however at the request of L’s mother it shall be a light meal of salads, ham (more!) and if i have time i’ll bus it to broadway to get some other munchies.
with the rain gently keeping with the rythm of the whisk i made a yummy (and dare i say grassy) mustard mayonnaise using one of my sister’s cookbooks. it will join some nutty kipfler potatoes, spring onions and boiled eggs. once i seasoned the mayonanaise an sms arrived; ‘happy new year from london!’
on the menu:
* ham off the bone
* warm kipfler potato salad with whole grain mustard mayonnaise and topped with boiled eggs
* garden salad with a french vinaigrette
* couscous and mint salad
* fresh corn
* linseed bread rolls
* lots of wine
* vanilla cake
* and sliced watermelon