A journey through the culinary world

 

miszbhaven:

#iwokeuplikethis - Fluffy Banana & Pecan Oatmeal Pancakes with a Maple Toffee Sauce

Happy Fridayy! :)

miszbhaven:

#iwokeuplikethis - Fluffy Banana & Pecan Oatmeal Pancakes with a Maple Toffee Sauce

Happy Fridayy! :)

What Your Beer Says About You

What Your Beer Says About You

The Syrup Simplicity

Excuse me while I ramble on here for a bit about simple syrups…

The beauty of a simple syrup is exactly what the name suggests, how simple it is to make. Adding equal parts sugar and water to a pot and letting it reduce couldn’t be any…easier (trying very hard not to overuse the simple here). I recently made a lemon verbena syrup that I’ve been joyfully adding to my afternoon cup of rooibos tea. For those not familiar with lemon verbena, its a small South American shrub which is now found worldwide and has small glossy leaves which exude the most amazing lemon scent when rubbed. I used this particular syrup to make a confit of clementine (more on that some other time).

Anyway, I now have this large tub of lemon scented syrup sitting in my kitchen next to my smaller tub of cinnamon & star anise syrup. Of course that’s not enough for me. So, I went out and foraged for some lavender and made a lavender syrup to add to my lil collection.

What am I going to do with all this syrup? Good question. I’m still trying to decide. There are plenty of uses for syrup, from confit to cocktails to cakes, its quite a versatile item to have in ones pantry.

So, if you feel the urge to make a simple syrup, here’s a quick recipe:

INGREDIENTS

1 part* sugar
1 part water

METHOD

1. In a small pot, combine sugar & water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has all dissolved. Allow to cool

To make a flavoured syrup, its best to add your choice of flavour halfway through the boiling process.

*This could be anything from 1 cup to 10 buckets as long as you have equal amounts of both water & sugar

When I started this blog, my intentions were to share my experiences in this crazy world of food. Inspired by a pair of beat down All Stars and Chef Anthony Bourdain’s critically acclaimed book “Kitchen Confidential”, I started this blog and shared all I could, pictures, recipes and experiences. Well, I’ve tried to…

Some time ago, I posted a picture of an African Horned Melon that has garnered some attention from fellow food bloggers but I’d never actually seen this seemingly mythical fruit. I’d seen it on an episode of ‘Chopped’ and was fascinated by the fact that this was an AFRICAN fruit and I’d NEVER so much as seen, smelt, touched, heard about or let alone even tasted it. It made no sense. Where in Africa was this fruit? In the desolate deserts of Egypt? In food deprived regions of Ethiopia? In the remote jungles of the Congo? Nope. It was right here in South Africa. Practically in my back yard.

On a journey to complete an already overdue assignment with my friend, Matthew Williams, we took a shortcut through a construction site of some kind. While walking and general shit talking, I spotted a horned melon on the dashboard of a parked truck. I immediately stopped and (politely) demanded to speak to the driver. After asking his co-workers, they directed me to him. I found him in the midst of bushes and dried out shrubs with a handful of snails that he was obviously still searching for and we (Matt & I) politely interrupted him to determine where in seven hells he’d found this fruit.

He had a look to him that made me think of a member of the Khoi San tribes and combined with the 2 snails he was clutching fiercely, I knew I’d found him. A true hunter gatherer. He gave me crude directions that I didn’t quite understand but committed to memory.

After the tedious and exhausting part of our assignment was done, Matt & I set out to find this rare fruit. We followed his directions to travel through the bushes following a small stream till we found the small bridge that he’d told us would herald the location of the Horned Melon. We walked, making jokes about our quest until we found the ‘small bridge’. We searched and searched, almost being attacked by a random dog and trudging through burnt veld until we found a “vineyard” of these fruits amongst the charred remains of the surrounding veld.

We quickly harvested/ravaged the little “vineyard” and wrapped the semi-ripe fruits in our jerseys and happily carried them home, gleefully awaiting the moment we’d taste our horned treasure.

The outside is covered with sporadically spaced thorns on a thick rind. I was not ready for the taste or texture. It tasted like a combination of kiwi and banana with the texture of a cucumber and at first taste, I struggled to find a way to use this in a dish of any kind. But after a 2nd, 3rd and 17th taste, I was hooked and now can’t wait to put it to good use.