I had to photograph the result of a cooking discussion or, cooking bickering, if you must.
The great thing about being self sufficient and eating from the vegetable patch is the joy of harvesting something one grew oneself. It is organic and fresh even if, at time whatever is harvested is gnarled and puny it still tastes wonderful. The bad thing is that one is held hostage by the blackbird that eats all the seedlings the chickens overlooked when they were free ranging last time. The seasons and climate, especially here in Dunedin , dictate whether things grow or not and the person in control of the garden constantly suffers arched inquiries as to why in the world so much (or so little) of something was planted
Sometimes there is a glut of something and then the search for a great recipe, or, often many great recipes of one particular vegetable or fruit depending on the amount harvested. The frantic paging through the cookbooks begin, and since my 200 plus books are all about regional Italian cooking the search can not be narrowed down to, say, Indian or Chinese, and mutterings of ‘ it was always in this book, where has it gone’ are commonplace. A lot of time is spent getting side tracked when I see something fondly remembered or something I always wanted to try. Once the recipe is selected sudden resistance from the household to the ingredients could flare up, prompting the beginning of a new search and the hauling out of more books!
We had the marvelous mushroom as an antipasto on Saturday. The weather was perfect and we had a barbecue on our deck overlooking the mountain. We peeled the mushroom and sliced it in to ‘steaks’ about 2 cm thick. It was pure white all the way through. We fried some of it in butter and garlic and dipped the rest in egg and breadcrumbs. I added a bit of olive oil to the butter and garlic in the pan and fried the mushroom slices. The batches of mushroom disappeared as soon as it hit the table and got rave reviews from every one. Thanks to our neighbour for one of the most exiting foodie gifts of the year!
Roses are not my favorite plants (rose petals are not that nice), but my nabour’s rose bush has scored some major browny points today. As he went out to pick a rose for his dear wife, he found TWO Gaint Pufballs (Calvatia gigantea) growing under the rose bush. One of which he was kind enough to bring to me for dinner. Cutting it into strips then dipped in egg and fried with a few strips of pancetta mixed with tagliatelle makes wonderful “Tagliatelle ai Funghi” His wife unfortunately is still waiting on her roses.