Friday, August 3, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up: What I Tagged This Week

I haven't been sold on the idea of tagging yet. I know people swear by it, but after being an early adopter in my teens and twenties, I'm starting to find myself tired by all the next big things. But, several months ago, at the tail end of the tagging revolution (does anyone know if it has jumped the shark yet?), I dutifully signed up for and started tagging.

Here's the thing, I don't like that my Ice Cream tag is Icecream and that there is no real taxonomy built in (though those in the know have explained that taxonomy and tagging are enemies in a steel cage matchup reminiscent of Spartacus vs. Mothra), but it lets me look back on the things I want to make and the wines I want to try, and for that I'm grateful (though I will be more grateful when next generation tagging emerges with greater functionality).

So here is the week that was:

Guacamole Deviled Eggs: My mouth is having a little difficulty imagining this, but it does like eggs and it does like guacamole. Now I just need an excuse to feed these to others as I'm not quite sure I'd like them halfway through my day on the beach.

Walnut Cakes: I find that my food processor, wonderful though it is, is not quite up to the task of thoroughly pulverizing nuts. This gives my macarons a bit of a speckly look and mouthfeel and I'm going to have to throw in the towel and buy things like pistachio flour and simply look away as the bill is calculated. This recipe seems not to mind the coarse nature of my chopping abilities. I'm thinking it would be lovely to serve it with the Walnut Ice Cream and perhaps a sour cherry compote.

Pear and Hazelnut Bread Pudding: I like pears as much as the next person, perhaps even more, but I am saddened by their recent appearance in recipes. My cup runneth over with every kind of fleeting summer fruit imaginable, and I just can't bring myself to think about apples and pears and the autumn they bring - an autumn bereft of peaches and plums and berries. Still, this looked really good so I'll spirit it away until October beckons.

Homemade Vanilla Extract
: Since Clothilde mentioned the vanilla beans available directly from Mayotte, I must confess I've been using very little vanilla extract and instead heaping vanilla beans into my confections - they're too cheap not to use. Still, I have tons of empty pods in ziploc bags. Yes, I've already chopped many up and infused granulated, superfine, and confectioner's sugar with them, as well as some sea salt, but there are so many more pods to dispose of. I'm thinking that if I use a ton of pods in this preparation, it won't matter if the beans themselves have already found their way, by myriad paths, to my belly.

Homemade Flavored Salts
: Did I just mention the vanilla sea salt? It must have been on my mind when I perused this. I'm trying to decide what flavor I'd like to make first. I'm thinking cardamom or star anise.

Duck Egg al Tegamino: I almost never go to the Union Square market on Saturdays. It is a madhouse. It is also a time when tons more meat purveyors set up shop and when one can get fun eggs (which someone left out at room temperature a little too long and found herself with something very nearing a true abomination). So another Saturday trip is in order.

Chocolate and Cinnamon Ice Cream: I have made chocolate ice cream a hundred different ways, and am sure I could merely add cinnamon to one of my favorites, but I think ice cream benefits from as many different preparations as possible - this one uses many fewer eggs than I would ordinarily - so I'll give it a whirl this weekend (oh crap, and the apricot ice cream, and the blueberry, and the nectarine sorbet - crap crap crap).

Truffle Sandwich Cookies: I won't be using white chocolate ganache because, well, there are things I love more. I'm thinking a dark chocolate and fig ganache, mostly because when I just went outside I saw the street fruit hawkers had figs, and now I'm looking for places to get good ones.

Tomato Confiture: This site is in French, but considering I am 230 pages through Les Bienveillantes and have been working my way through ph10, I'm less intimidated by it than I might have been a year ago. I know tomato season, though just truly getting underway, will end, but before it does, I will swipe bags of the juicy things and preserve them as many ways as I can imagine.

Apricot Granita: Someone else has my problem: "Food waste is inevitable in my fridge. My seasonal affairs with cherries, peaches, tomatoes, anything juicy and ripe, begins with lustful savoring. Best when they're naked and ungussied. Then, it ends with forgetfulness and the shame of neglect until they rot and get chucked into the garbage can when the next weekly, more appealing batch arrives." Ugh - I know exactly what you mean. I have Nicole's strawberries from this week and last week and Red Jacket apricots from this week and last week - I smell clafoutis, ice cream, and free form tart (or juice - sweet, freezable juice).

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