Thursday, June 16, 2011

Food I want to make

I have a huge craving for sweets at the moment, which is a bit weird, I don't usually crave them so ferociously. I am also too exhausted to make anything, and the thought of getting some kind of candy bar or something is actually kind of repugnant (guess I must not be craving sweets that much).

So I was daydreaming about what I might be able to make with what I have. I think I may have some chocolate, but somehow the season doesn't say "chocolate" to me. I've got a bag of organic limes and some frozen peaches left over from last summer (I don't hit the farmers market until Saturday when I will get fruit, fruit, sweet fruit). Because, as I have said, I am too tired to stand in a kitchen and beat butter (I can't even bear the thought of standing by the stand mixer while it beats butter), I am just going to have to hold on until tomorrow, when I am going to try to invent some kind of peach upside-down cake with a lime glaze. I think it will be good. I hope it will be good. Mostly, I think it will be a lot of fun to try. I love making upside-down cakes in my cast iron skillet.

While I was moaning on Facebook about craving lime-y treats, a friend recommended the key lime pie from Joe's Stone Crab (she's a food writer, so she ought to know about all kinds of deliciousness). I looked it up; I could order a pie for nearly $70 (a teeny tiny bit out of my price range) OR I could try this recipe, which I plan to do in the near future. I really want to try inventing my cake first though.

Another food notion that popped into my head was creating the perfect tomato pie. I am not sure what my criteria for perfection are yet, which will of course have an effect on said perfect pie. Obviously, no sog factor in the crust. Ew. The addition of some herbs and cheese would likely be nice, but which ones? Some experimentation may be in order. Also, I love fresh summer tomatoes (I mean who doesn't really?), but I think I want the tomatoes to feel almost dry like a sun-dried tomato. So, once the tomatoes start to hit, I may need to test some variations.
Oh yes, another thing I want to try: Different kinds of pesto. Obviously regular basil pesto is absolutely lovely and freezes nicely, letting you keep that fresh basil flavor all winter or at least as long as the pesto lasts, which may not be that long. But I also want to try making it with cilantro and pepitas. And I have heard that arugula and walnuts can be good. I recently "discovered" arugula and would love to use it more. What else might work? If you have ideas, let me know.

Of course, pasta is something I want to take on at some point. Given how important eating local and minimally processed foods is to me, I have to say I find it a tad embarrassing to buy any food in a box. I mean, it happens, of course, I am only human and I still live in a country with grocery stores, but I do tend to experience a twinge of shame even when I get a box of organic pasta. What I really want to try is this giant noodle. Looks like so much fun! I also want to try coloring pasta with beets, carrots, spinach, and whatever else I can think of because I completely, totally, absolutely adore color.

Generally I think I am a pretty good cook, but I find myself motivated to refine my skills. To pay more attention to nuances and the effects of taste and texture that I am trying to achieve.

Tune in tomorrow (or perhaps Saturday) to find out how the lime-glazed peach upside-down cake turns out.

Oh and to add a little eye candy to this post, here's a little something I drew today. It's after a photo of juvenile red-shouldered hawk. I made some mistakes while drawing it, but it's not too bad. I am trying to work on improving my drawing and painting skills as well.

Oh, and I made mayo today, but with a twist. (We had some leftover grilled chicken and I wanted to make sandwiches.) Instead of using lemon juice in the mayo recipe I use, I substituted lime juice, which turned out really well. I also reduced the oil by a quarter cup, with no discernible ill effects. I think I am going to try to reduce it some more and see how much low I can go.

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