Monday, May 30, 2011

Experimental Monday

[Rewinding this one at 'And then there were four' because everything in it looks so delicious, and it's about peas, coriander and quinces, which are just a few of my most favourite things to eat.]

I hearby declare yesterday to be Experimental Monday (whether it's a stand-alone day, or a repeated one I am yet to decide).
On Sunday, on our drive out to the rose nursery, MIL, SP and I passed a number of places selling local produce. Naturally, we stopped at one and picked up a bag of cheap quinces, locally grown kiwifruit (a rarity!), some apples, and some very cheap persimmons. Oh, and a little frangipane tart, yummo!
Yesterday, D and I thought we'd try experiment #1 with the quinces. What if, we wondered, what if we cooked them in the slow cooker? We used the same recipe as last time, D washed them popped them into the slow cooker - whole! I was aghast! Until he told me that's how they did them at work and they were easy to peel afterwards, hmmm, ok, we'll see...

We covered them with the rest of the ingredients, the water, the fragrant spices, the sticky honey and sugar...

And then we went out, to our own house so D could help with the digging for the plumbing (becoming an interminable job, I'll not go on about it!) SP fell asleep in the car on the way over, so I was able to get loads of weeding done (I covered way more ground in weeding than the boys did in digging). The pea-straw peas were starting to take over and swamp everything, and there were lots of pea pods on them, so I thought it was time to pull them up. I ate a few of the peas (Experiment #2) and I thought they were OK, if a bit small. I got D to try one, and he declared it 'a bit bitter, ' but then he ate a few more and thought they were edible enough.
So we cleared all the pea-straw from the ground, stripped off the peas and then brought them home.

They were washed, and we tossed them whole into tonight's Green Curry (Experiment #3)

Along with masses of coriander straight out of MIL's garden.

And our curry was delicious (in Thai, "a raawy maa") So the verdict is in: Pea-straw peas are perfectly edible. I think the key is to pick them before they get too fat because then they're kind of hard and woody. Better to eat them whole, a bit like snow peas (this is also less work than shelling them!)
Then, back to our quince dessert, which by this point has filled the entire house with the most fabulous scent.

The skin had cracked open and begun to peel back, so once they were cool enough to touch I got going taking it off. And was it 'easy'? Erm... no. In my carefully considered opinion, peeling and coring cooked quinces is a bit of a bitch, and a messy one at that. Why I ended up doing it, instead of my chef who suggested it, is a bit of a mystery. But do they cook well in a slow cooker? They certainly do! It's a very easy way to prepare quinces, which is a bit of a time-consuming business, just peel and core them first to save sticky swear words flying all over your kitchen.
Eat, as usual, with cream and icecream.


Jamie said...

Nothing wrong with a creative, adventurous kitchen experiment every now and then, even if the results aren't perfect (but are still delicious). As soon as you said 'slow cooker' I was hooked on your idea.

It reminds me of one of my favourite song lyrics (about New Orleans):
"Drink all day, dance all night,
do it wrong till I do it right".

I feel the same way about kitchen experiments: just do it wrong till you do it right!

The Sage Butterfly said...

Your post made me very, very hungry. The photos made my mouth water.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

What a delicious experimental result!

Amanda said...

Wow, what fantastic photos - literally mouth-watering in my case!!

Popping by from the Rewind.

therhythmmethod said...

Some of the best kitchen experiments are the ones that are a little bit wrong. Like the visual of 'sticky swear words' flying around the kitchen.
Visiting from Rewind.

Seana Smith said...

Hello from the Rewind, loved your photos and the experimenting. I have never eaten these, I don't think... time for an experiment for us.

MultipleMum said...

I love the sound of that curry! I don't think you can get enough coriander. Ever. Love it! Thanks for Rewinding x

georgi hampton said...

oh look at all that coriander! and i love quinces to look at.. for some reason I think they look very humble. ! popped by from the rewind x