Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Confections

Sorry, campers; I've been distracted by the latest craziness at my job--the latest question is whether we'll have a physical location after September 30 . . . or not. If not, well, we haven't packed up a single thing. If yes, it's not sure where that's going to be, because, surprise, the lease is up and we haven't arranged for anything else yet. Plus, this past weekend we went to a wedding (Friday night), had C's mother and son around (it was nice to see both of them, even though the Kid was sorely in need of a smackdown with regard to his "manners"), played miniature golf Saturday night, etc. Last evening C and I returned an unwanted wedding gift and used that and a gift card from the same department store to get . . . new underwear! Which we both sorely needed. Unfortunately, I neglected to read the packages carefully and ended up with Jockey bikinis instead of string bikinis; feh. Nevertheless, new underwear is a delightful thing.

Lunch today was a thing of goodness: nearly everything except the bread was from the farmers' market. There were greens (which I steamed in the microwave last night, just a little, because they included some mustard greens and kale and things like that), fresh mozzarella, a red tomato, corn cut off the cob (we had extra Saturday night), and little golden tomatos that were unbelievable. I brought a wheat roll from my last festival of fermented bread, and I put a little balsamic salad dressing on the whole thing, and it was wonderful. September is really the best part of the season, market-wise, it's just easy to forget because it doesn't feel like summer any more.

But you people want to know what I've been making; I know you do. We packaged chocolate on Friday, and then took big wads of it home. (We also got to use the enrobing machine, which is entertaining.) Yesterday we made marshmallows (or "guimauve"), which I'm eating as I type; caramel; and apricot-passion fruit pate de fruit (pronounced "pa-d-fwee"), all of which were wonderful. My partner promptly went home and made some honey guimauve, which I adored; she didn't like the color, because it was kind of tan-looking, but I suggested the addition of nougatine, which, of course, improves just about anything. She, being extremely talented, will likely go do just that. (I love talking to her about these things--we think similarly in terms of flavors and the like.) Today we made chocolate caramel, we put the final three coats of sugar on the almonds (basically, almonds with six layers of sugar syrup; nothing special), we made cassis-pear pate de fruit (OH yeah--also goes well with the guimauve), and we made nougat, into which we put honey (345 grams of it!), almonds, pistachios, and dried cherries. I totally love the nougat, and I'm thinking of making some of that on my own. Tomorrow we wrap stuff, so I'm hoping to be able to take some pictures for you, despite the oldness and clunkiness of the camera.

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