Saturday, September 14, 2013

Funky Dust Pickle Powder

Who could have ever guessed that I would get turned on by machines? Not for their own sake of course, but to manipulate traditional foods in new ways. I had this idea the other day: what would happen if you took lacto-fermented pickles, shaved them thin and put them in a dehydrator? Then crush them up into a powder to use as seasoning. It is delicious beyond all expectations. This is two of my cucumber pickles made in late July, super sour, no garlic a little chili. They yielded about a tablespoon of this funky dust. It's intriguing, not overly salty, but sour, spicy, slightly sweet. My first instinct would be to put it on a mango, but sprinkled on a burger would be a little more conventional. There's also a batch of bright yellow fermented sweet corn dehydrated that is even more intriguing, very sweet, sour and salty. Again, I'm thinking relish, but even just a pinch on a salad, sandwich, or maybe in the batter for fried chicken. Next experiment is beets, okra, radish - just what I happen to have around. Any other ideas?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Boy Meets Atlas

I knew there would come a day when my younger son Mookie would figure out that I haven't exactly been telling him the whole truth and nothing but the truth about pasta. He got very good at rolling out dough by hand in most shapes, including a very decent lasagne. But somehow he figured out that there is a machine on the shelf. And a wooden board that slides out from under the counter, onto which a hand cranked pasta machine fits perfectly, as the Gods of dough ordained. It took him just a few minutes to figure out how to work it and he rolled out these sheets of such exquisite delicacy and grace, that when they went into a simple round cassola with fresh tomato sauce, a little ricotta and mozzarella, he even tempted his mother the raw vegan into a hefty serving. This was not my doing, but look at it. It IS in fact as good as lasagne can possibly get. I told him next time we make the cheeses too. Only way to go from there is grow the wheat and tomatoes and milk the cow. I am there. Can there be anything better than this for dinner?