Tuesday, 25 May 2010
I abandoned the 2kg of rapidly softening tomatoes after an email arrived confirming that I am to be the new recipe colomist in the local paper. I was so excited about the first recipe that I dropped the jam in favour of spiced bread idea I have been considering. It was ok. Not the knock out I had been expecting. I dismissed this idea and thought I’d try out a similar based spicy cake on the Saturday Cricket crew instead.
What I tried to create was a fast batter cake based on Peshawari nan bread. Desiccated coconut, almonds, and spices mixed in. I was rushing. I am somewhat used to turning out culinary success at a wiz of the mixer, and I left the house armed with what I assumed would be a winner cake by 9am. Not this time. I arrived at the cricket club with the still hot cake. Inevitably the hungry chaps looked on in anticipation as I served..... spiced Gump. It was under cooked. I was mortified - luckily the man I was serving was charming. There is lesson here .... test before serving.
Returning it to the oven I baked it for a further 15 minutes despite knowing it was a heavy cake. Later people came along and ate the odd slice; some even said they liked it, to the point that made me wonder if I was perhaps being a little over sensitive. On the way home I called in to Cathinka’s. (Closest girlfriend.) She took one bite, and to my relief, the self doubt was confirmed. She delightfully pronounced it dull.
Sunday afternoon I was at a loss as to what would make east meet west. It had to be simple, charming, seasonal and not overly expensive. I set to on the tomato jam recipe. While the tomatoes were being peeled and the pressure of needing to use them abated, I had a eureka moment. I realised that by adding the spices into the jam the combination would serve to hit the right note. You can't really go wrong with Jam, however this mix was like when a major chord is played on the piano and it hits all the right notes simultaneously. Sweet, intense, tart, and aromatic I couldn’t wait to get it on to a mellow cheddar I had in the fridge.
Realising perhaps the best way to thank the Editor for taking a chance on me I shall send him a pot tomorrow. We’ve eaten two pots already so I think I had better get back to the kitchen and retest the recipe .. you know just in case..