Saturday, December 10, 2005

Super Size, Super Size, Super Size Me

I have discovered that with this project, often the difficulty lies not in the cooking, but in the eating. It's not just the logistics of getting everyone together to eat, (challenging though that is), but also physically eating all the food I've been making. We all know about Nigella's more-than-generous portioning - which can, sometimes, give a wonderful feeling of celebratory feasting. In my everyday life, however, I just end up feeling like I'm the bloody Super-Size Me guy. (You know that guy who ate nothing but crazy quantities of MacDonalds for 30 days?) Admittedly, I'm eating food of infinitely better quality, and much greater variety, but still, a vague feeling of resentment (towards myself and my inability to portion control), always threatens to settle each evening as I carefully gladwrap yet another serving of food which, trust me, will die a slow and mouldy death in my fridge. More than halfway through my project, I'm JUST about starting to learn how to adjust the recipe quantities to suit my own appetites and budget.

Case in point - the roast pork. After Thursday's pork fest, I have two big bowls of cold roast pork sitting in the fridge, and I have a sneaking suspicion that most of it will not get eaten. Ever. Mum and I did have a good go yesterday, though, for our lunch.

I made sandwiches on sourdough bread, with roast pork, the rhubarb-horseradish sauce, some lettuce and onion mush, and served them with packet chips. (It's an English thing, I'm told).

Sandwich and crisps - very nice.

I made a pudding 2 days earlier, for the simple reason that I was home alone, I was free, and I needed to get through some recipes. Furthermore, I knew that this particular pudding wouldn't need to be eaten immediately. Rather, we could just take a more drawn-out approach of picking at it whenever we felt the urge.

194. Baked Aromatic Spiced Plums (Cooking in Advance)
195. Barbados Cream (Cooking in Advance)

These plums are a favourite pudding in Nigella's household, she writes. And, as a bonus, they can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days, or frozen "with impunity". To make them, you cut some plums in half, removing the stone, and layer them cut-side down in a dish. Then, pour over a syrup made of red wine, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and honey, and bake, covered, for an hour. After they're cool, you can just leave them in the fridge until you want them.


The Barbados cream, Nigella's suggested accompaniment, is equal quantities of double cream and Greek yogurt, mixed together and thickly sprinkled with brown sugar. She says to use 300ml of each, but I cleverly only used 200ml of each. How's that for portion control?!

After the stipulated 48 hours in the fridge, the sugar on top melts into a thin brown layer of sweetness.

Barbados Cream

So Mum and I ate this for dessert on Friday lunch. It was.... ok. The cooked plums were very sour (easily rectified), but they also had this kind of weird taste to them. (After having eaten them again today, I realised that it was the bay leaves... yurgh!). The cream, however, was good, and the bland fatness of it was the perfect foil for the sharp plums.


As I said, I did have these plums again today, and they definitely improve with more time and sugar. I don't want to freeze them, because impunity or not, they will be forgotten about. I'm just going to have them for breakfast with yogurt and other fruit.


domesticgoddess said...

this is the point where i wish i lived in melbourne...!

Adri said...

"Do you require assistance in the kitchen..."