November 16, 2009

Posting without light...


It appears that time has got away from us somewhat, so my apologies for any feelings of neglect. I can assure you we have not been idle, just a little preoccupied with other matters in life. So I’m afraid all eye-candy-gastronomique will be lacking this week; instead just the briefest of notes to update on our exploits and hopefully to convey that we have not forgotten you.
After the whirlwind visitation of Family Yow and all manner of class-mastery with the divine Mother we were left wanting, and so mango puddings were recapitulated, poste-haste. With their sublime air, simplicity and deliciousness, I can certainly see them becoming a significant presence over the coming summer months…
Next, a quick-fire Sunday session was hastily planned to test-run a few ideas and indulge certain desires, which we shared with good friends on a particularly warm and stifling spring evening. For dinner, fresh cod was served with the Ottolenghi-inspired, Pomonal-grown mangetouts with hazelnut and orange, and our ever-favourite broad beans with bacon. Dessert took the form of coconut jellies, made with our very own coconut milk. Every good cook needs a hammer in their armamentarium, and I can certainly vouch that watching the petite Miss Rose lay into a couple of stubborn coconuts is a sight worth seeing (and a good demonstration of why one should never incur her wrath!). There is surely some quip in there to be made about large hairy balls, which I am trying to resist, but being nigh-on impossible I will instead just infer it (and with the faintest of smirks also leave the children among you ponder the milk joke currently in favour). Depending on your facilities, milk production may take some time, but fresh coconut milk is something else, and thoroughly worth the effort. And if you go the extra step and make these luscious jellies, with some fresh mango and strawberries, I guarantee you will spend any warm summer night in a happy stupor (pleasant company willing). I also managed to try out an idea that the glorious Ottolenghi meringues would work a treat flecked with vanilla seeds and topped with powdered sugared violets. And? They most certainly did. Elegant bordering on ridiculously girly, they were lovely and would suit any high tea snobbery indulged by wanting lovely ladies and charming chaps.
Our second quasi-Sunday session was a simple (if somewhat overindulgent) barbeque and salad affair trialling a number of new recipes that have been waiting in the wings for some time. Ok, so maybe not all new – it is very difficult to go past our beloved roasted pumpkin with chilli lime vinaigrette. But the French bean salad was crisp and refreshing, the Catalan chickpeas with tomatoes and almonds a nice variation on a theme, and the punchy eggplant stewed with honey and spices sufficiently killer to even get a reserved nod of approval from one not fond of aubergine.
And that, I believe, is about where we stand. In other news I have recently completed a screen printing course – so watch out for the Team Pretty Bake designer autumn collection (ha!) – and I indulged in the delightful company of the de-lovely Miss Rose and Herr Will who joined me on a barista course with the wonderful gents at The Brunswick East Project. That I need a little practice is an understatement most spectacular, but it was a fabulously fun evening and something I should like to do again. And again…
So again my apologies for such a text-heavy post; I was in need of a rest, and also apparently have no concept of keeping things brief. I only hope by now you appreciate that we don’t do things by halves, and will thus respectfully indulge my ramblings. I cannot guarantee that any forthcoming items will be better structured as we are hurtling towards the end of the year with astonishing speed, and you all know what that means…
…Christmas baking…

3 comments:

Chris said...

Awesome. Can you tell me how to make coconut milk? Thai food just isn't the same with the tinned stuff!

Chris.

pinknantucket said...

Christmas baking?! Be still my beating heart...

Miss Emily said...

Most certainly Sir - remove husk, peel and grate the desired number of coconuts. Add 1 cup hot water per coconut, food process or knead by hand, then strain through muslin and vois la!

...Alternatively, find a friend with a masticating juicer (don't ask, just accept that they're awesome) and get them to do it for you.


The milk will only keep for a day or so, so best to use it straight away or freeze it down in batches.