Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christening the kitchen

A friend dropped in a bag of home grown vegetables today, and – as a result – tonight’s dinner was made much more interesting.

In the bag were: cherry tomatoes, beetroot, turnips, leeks, one yellow chili (banana-chili?), silverbeet and kale.
We gave the beetroot a good wash – trying to rescue all the beetles we inherited along with the beetroot, which by now were rushing to the surface of the water in search of oxygen, and then dispatching them  elsewhere – and put them on the stove to simmer away while I attended to dinner.
It's a tad challenging, cooking in the new (very old) house. We are not really unpacked/organised yet, and space is limited. I tend to spend most of my energy flogging from the stove to two different countertops, two fridges, to sink, to walk-in-pantry (ancient). Cooking can be quite exhausting, but is always rewarding.
I’d planned my favourite, tried and true, stir-fry recipe for tea, and decided to substitute fresh leeks for onion. I trawled the Internet for tips on how to cook kale and discovered some simple cooking instructions here and jazzed them up with some garlic, throwing it all into the frypan as the stir fry was reaching completion. Well … what a triumph! Dinner was delicious. The leek added a different flavour to an old favourite for sure, but topped with the kale (and stirred in after serving) we had a whole new dimension added to our dinner.

While we were appreciating the stir-fry, the beetroot was cooling in its cooking water.

After dinner, I discovered that my bloke had never had the pleasure of peeling freshly cooked beetroot. He was the only boy in the house, almost the youngest and – with three sisters and an old fashioned mother – missed out on a lot in the learning to cook department. (He’s caught up, though, he’s in charge of cooking steak and fish in our house.)

Whilst initiating the bloke into the purple-hand society, I shared with him my memories of my own mother cooking and pickling beetroot. How I loved the moment when freshly cooked beetroot had cooled down enough to pick up and peel. Encouraging the beetroots’ rough skin away from their smooth, bulbous fruit was bare-handed treasure hunting.
Now I am off to trawl for a recipe for beetroot pickling emulsion. All I can remember is deep-red vinegar suffused with aromatic spices warming on the stove. Then again … maybe I should just ring my mother?

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see you are settling in. I'm not domestic but I do love my home space. And much prefer growing the vegies than cooking them.