I've been a little quiet recently.
Like normal, I've been buzzing around the kitchen carrying out various endeavours but I'm playing outside of my comfort zone at the moment. I didn't plan to, but I found myself doing a couple of tricky recipes that I wasn't quite comfortable with. This has resulted in some recipes that I'm not ready to blog about yet, but still want to share.
First, Seville Orange Marmalade.
Naïvely, I thought it was going to be fruit and sugar and Bob's your uncle.
But no. Marmalade is one you have to be quite patient with. Something that isn't a problem, but I have a feeling that my attention span waned and I didn't quite tame the lengthy process.
There was pith and muslin and all sorts involved. Preserving sugar, the lot. Even though it tastes heavenly on a bit of toast, I know I didn't get it quite right. I'm planning a jam master class later this year, with my Mum and Nan and once I know how to make marmalade perfectly, you will be the first to know. Until then, I only have pictures to share.
The second recipe is a Banana Tarte Tatin. Real rough puff pastry, real caramel. Foolishly, I only skimmed the recipe before starting and only realised I was making puff pastry from scratch when I found I wasn't pinching the butter together with the flour. Nonetheless, the pastry was great. And perseverance with the folding and chilling really paid off. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you properly once the rest of the recipe agrees with me.
It was the caramel I really had trouble with. Like the marmalade, I may as well have been fumbling around in the dark, looking for the right answers, because I did not know what I was hoping to happen. It's all a learning curve though, I'll get there. And in the mean time, I'll just have to eat any unsatisfactory caramel. Oh what a shame.
The finished article does look pretty good, but there was something not quite right. And I'm not one to hand you over a faulty recipe. Need to fine tune a little, and then we'll get back to it.
But all this one step forward, one step back work in the kitchen isn't getting me down. Because, my word even when you're learning (doing it all a bit wrong) you can't go wrong with the flavours of banana, caramel and Seville oranges. The oranges obviously being a flavour apart from the other two. I also feel, that this experimentation is growth. Growth in my self, my skills and my kitchen. And my desire to please and share all of this goodness with you, once I'm comfortable that I've mastered, and got the best of my recipes.
On a different note although related note, I now look really, really grown up in the kitchen. I have a beautiful wooden spice rack, full of all sorts of delights.
It was a very thoughtful, very lovely birthday gift from my Grandmother, who has reassured me (via a spice rack) that even if I can't make the perfect caramel yet, I can still throw spices around the kitchen and look like I know what I'm doing. It'll do for now, I think.