Sometimes a plan comes together. And sometimes it doesn’t.
I liked doing the Daily Dinner posts, but you might have noticed they weren’t exactly daily. In the first two weeks of writing, I took that as a sign that the series wasn’t meant to be.
(That’s the sound of a plan going out the window.)
Not to worry, though. New plans have been made. In fact, a completely new notebook has been bought to record the plans so I can share their progress more easily with you. It is a beauty, with a bright pink, plastic cover (good for repelling stains). Its insides are separated into four sections, three of which are for notes on new plans. (The fourth is for general notes on the blog- aren’t I organized?) Oooooh! I know, I can hardly contain my excitement either.
Behind the first, red divider, there are notes on “Projects”. These are cooking challenges that I’ve wanted to tackle for a while now, but always put off for some reason or another. Some are too dangerous for my waistline (learning how to make peanut butter cups, finding the perfect panna cotta recipe), some require very specific equipment (baking Madeleines, creating a truly great pizza at home) and others are just plain scary (canning home-made jam, with hot water baths and seals and sterilized jars). But no longer. One by one, they will face me and my notebook. *moowhahahaha* First up, the scariest: preserving home-made apple jelly. The project has started. My kitchen floor is sticky. I will report soon.
The second, blue divider houses my adventures in baking. I want to make more, and better, cakes, cookies and breads, and the blue section is where I will keep my notes on the road to perfection. Obviously, if I find something good, you will be the first to know about it.
Finally, there is a purple divider for dinner notes. Not just any dinner gets thrown in here. To get there, it has to be a little special. Teach me a technique I haven’t used before, show me an intriguing combination of ingredients, or just be exceptionally tasty. You will be happy to hear that a number of dinners has already made it into the purple section, and I cannot wait to share them with you.
In fact, I’ll tell you about one right now. It came about when I had planned to make a big radicchio salad for dinner, but had to throw out most of the head because it had wilted. There wasn’t really enough left to feed one, leave alone one plus a hungry man. I whined for a bit, got a grip and saw it as an opportunity to use the two zucchini that were languishing in my vegetable bowl. But what to do with two rather large zucchini? Braise them with onions, garlic, mint and lemon, that’s what.
When I first read the recipe for braised zucchini over at WednesdayChef, I wasn’t convinced. Soggy zucchini is unappealing. At the same time, I really wanted to use some of the mint that has been growing so bravely on my rainsoaked balcony, I happened to have a lemon and no other ideas, so I went with it. V. glad I did.
Braising does not soggy zucchini make. Yes, the sticks become soft and almost translucent, but they retain some bite. Moreover, having a rather long and, I imagine, luxurious soak in a lemony, minty, oniony, garlicky bath gives them lots of flavour. A little sweet, a little tangy and a lot more-ish. The man and I finished the entire batch, and that’s after we had the radicchio salad and alongside a bunch of sausages.
Deserves a mention in the purple file, I say.