tasty nom nom

Color and Texture

Hi J -

Sometimes, I am totally distracted by color and texture (and taste, of course!).

Earlier in the week, I saw ripe good looking mango for a very good price at the corner Farm stand, and remembered a blackberry mango salad in MSL August issue. (Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits. When I was little, being near the tropics, I ate them all the time. Conversely, we did not have a lot of strawberries. It is now reverse, good mangoes are difficult to find, and good strawberries are readily available. )  So I picked up some of the mangoes, added to some of the wild blackberries G picked earlier in the week, and improvised an arugula and romaine salad with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and the recipe's sweet and tart syrup (as "dressing").  The syrup calls for simmering water, sugar, honey, rice vinegar, cardamon and Lillet Blanc. Usually, when I encounter specialty ingredients that I don't have, I weight my interest in said ingredient, suitable substitute, likely reuse, etc. (Complicate over-thought much?!)  Since the Internets said there was no substitute, I was intrigue by the description, we picked up a bottle and gave it a go. It was ... an interesting taste.

Purty Colors

I was surprised N didn't mind it. Probably helped by the caramelized onions in the bacon grease. I also pulled out the watermelon rind for everyone to taste.

Almost translucent

I came across pickled watermelon rind recipes when I was researching other pickles. I have never seen them in real life. Instantly fascinated by the transformation of rind to pickle, "I want to try that." So after I scooped out the flesh for the margarita a few weeks ago, I prepped the rind and make two flavors of pickled watermelon rind the next day. Watermelon rind is a fair amount of work. I am not sure I have the right flavor yet. Like you, I also  prefer the Gingery Watermelon Pickles from Linda Ziedrich. If I make it again, I would like to find a heritage watermelon with thicker rind, which would be easier to work with, yield more, in addition to make stripes as N suggested.

Off the menu were squash blossom quesadillas. I have never made blossoms before. I found a seemingly simple non-fried recipe.  (Who wants to stand over hot oil and fry anything in 80° heat?!) It was good. I roasted a pepper over the stove for the first time and managed not to set the house on fire. Yay.

 Queso fresco weeping ... boo

Our main non-event was our standard grilled burgers. Non-eventful, standard burger. G also burnt some bacon on the griddle to go with the burgers. Mmm. After dinner, I requested we played a game that will use the card shuffler you brought us.  We can no longer complain about "Who shuffled?!" when we have a bad hand.

playing in the dark, on purpose

I can feel we are speeding towards the end of Summer, with Labor Day approaching. I am both excited, to be able to cook in the house again, and sad that outdoor grilling may soon end. Here is to dry(ish) fall!

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  1. My paternal grandmother used to make “watermelon pickles” and, send us a couple jars every year during the Winter holidays. She woul entreat my brother and I to save our watermelon rinds for her (later quietly thrown away by mom rather than shipped, of course). Sadly, he passed on without leaving the recipe. I suspect it wouldn’t be too difficult to recreate from a recipe like you found.

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