Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Head-to-Toe Vegetables

(Home is where the hearth is.)

A friend recently asked me where I get the inspiration for my posts and it's often the pictures I've collected (and failed to properly organize) on my computer. Sometimes they're recent, sometimes they're old. In fact, I'm planning to download all the images off my old computer and will be able to cull from that cache as well next month. I have a particular penchant for photographing other people's homes over the years, and I have amassed a healthy supply of narrative photographs.

(Tilapia with Green Onion Sauce and Basil Mint Pesto Penne Rigate)

This week, though, Chris suggested that I post images from our meals together. I had thought about doing this before, but it seems like a lot of people do it and I wanted to focus on the oft overlooked parts of the home, i.e. the bedroom, closets, gardens, etc. But after dinner tonight, when Chris bit into the tilapia we made together, I knew I had to document what has proven to be the "something" that keeps us in tandem with one another. I won't be able to document everything, but here is a start.

(Pickled Green Onions)

Inspired by the summer surplus of vegetables and fruits that turn before I have a chance to enjoy them, I've gotten into pickling again (remember the lemons.) Pickling adds another dimension to whatever fruit or vegetable you use, and in return, you get a couple of more weeks out of them (assuming you can resist using them before the week is over.) Following a simple recipe for ramps, I pickled the white parts of scallions. Most people throw the white part out and use the green, but with an Asian-style pickle, you can top rice or grilled meat to add a sweet and tangy finish.

(Balsamic Peaches)

The other condiment I made today was balsamic peaches. I simmered three whole peaches until I could slip them out of their skins, then halved them and returned to the pot with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 water, and 1/4 cup sugar, a cinnamon stick, and 1 T black peppercorns. I turned the peaches over once and waited until the liquid reduced by half. They're best consumed within a few days, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of crushed amaretti cookies.

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