I have been so out of sorts. But I have been thinking about you. About us. I will do my darnedest to get back into the swing of things with blogging. What have I been doing instead? Cleaning. And watching two telenovelas, i.e. Mexican soap operas. What? I need to keep my language skills up.
One of the great things about having this blog is that when I screw up in the kitchen, I get to release it all on the page. I go through the intellectual exercise of acknowledging and atoning for my wrongs. In a way.
The Cherry Clafouti. You may recognize this country-French dessert, originally from the Limousin region. Basically, it's a fruit cake (not to be confused with a fruitcake, all one word, which is full of candied fruit and soaked with rum *shudder*), with cherry being the traditional fruit, although you will find plum, berry, pear, or whatever fruit is in season. I had never eaten, not to mention made, clafouti of any sort, and really didn't know what it was supposed to be like. I took the recipe from a book that I dislike more and more with each new recipe I try. I think you see what's coming: the dessert wasn't very good. I dutifully ate it, nonetheless.
The saddest part about the clafouti, was not the wasted time, nor spent ingredients, but rather that I made it for my son's second birthday. He took a bite ... spit it out ... and had vanilla ice cream instead. He paid for his ungratefulness with his first intense ice cream headache. Poor Sam howled and grasped at Josh screaming that it was "hot! hot!" I suppose that is how your head feels with a brain freeze, somehow.
Clafouti prep was quite fun, such that I do not regret trying it - which is how I feel normally when I screw something up. In fact, I purchased a new gadget: a pitter! I do want to make preserves and jam this year, so I do plan to use this thing more than once. I also have a few olive recipes where I could employ it, so it won't collect dust, really.
In addition to the cherry preserves, I also hope to make jams from various berries. My neighbor has huge raspberry bushes that she said I can pick from. Actually, she specifically said that I can pick "whatever hangs on your side." She has said this several times, in fact, to both me and Josh, always emphasizing the "your side." Now, I firmly believe in following instructions, so I don't even want to reach across the plane the fence creates, nor would it be following the letter of the restrictions to pull a vine over to my side so that I could pick the berries.
I do recall that last year there were scads and scads of berries on the ground such that it became breeding ground for all the fruit flies in Seattle. So, I might allow for some liberal interpretation of her offer because, hey, you can't just let food go to waste like that. I'll even give her some jam.
So I got a cherry pitter for those preserves. And if you have been reading religiously, you know of my run-ins with various purveyors of kitchen equipment and the attitude I have been getting for wanting supplies for atavistic pursuits, such as canning and preserving. So I went ahead and ordered a darn jar lifter online because, as previously noted, you cannot find one in the whole state because "no one cans anymore." God willing, you will see a post with the pitter as star again.
Pitting is nasty business ... and fun. Just like going to the firing range. What? Bear with me. (1) You load your weapon with a cherry. (2) You apply enough force to discharge the weapon and force a solid object from within a fleshy one. (3) Red juice squirts all over. It was messy and a little off-putting.
The next time I talk about my cherry pitter, it should be when I am making preserves. The cherries can't wait forever. I hope I get my lifters and pint jars soon!