Saturday, February 16, 2013

Using up the blackberry products

I don't often pull out all the stops for dinner, weekday dinners usually being rather stressful.  There is something about trying to pull together dinner when children are demanding attention, you have to persuade them to eat (because they are tired) and you get comments like 'that's not my favourite' or 'yuck.'

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I enjoy cooking (for adults).  I figured that it was the end of a long week and we deserved a yummy meal.  It makes a nice replacement for going out on Valentine's Day.

All the work I've done in the garden this summer is starting to pay off.  This meal really demonstrates it - lots of herbs, garlic herb butter (home-made butter from teaching the children about food science and garlic from one of my two successful bulbs), blackberry vinegar, cherry tomato sauce and blackberry cordial.  I've been so happy with the amount of food we have preserved this year - either in jars, as products like vinegar or cordial or just frozen waiting to be used.

The cherry tomato sauce is a funny story.  I accidentally 'invented' tomato sauce (ketchup)!  While it is not an original invention, I did wonder if this is how tomato sauce was originally invented. It doesn't seem to be, but I did learn that the phrase 'tomato sauce' is limited to Commonwealth countries - in other parts of the world tomato sauce is what we tend to call pasta sauce .  I'd hoped to lightly cook the cherry tomatoes with some blackberry vinegar to have as a side dish.  It was initially too tart, so I added a little sugar and cooked at a high heat.  Unsurprisingly tomato, vinegar, sugar and seasoning is tomato sauce! Delicious!

Yummy meal.  The beer bread with garlic butter was delicious.

Horribly out of focus picture, but I really wanted to show the colour of the dressing.
This photo looked better on my phone!  I mixed blackberry vinegar, olive oil, poppy seeds and seasoning to make a nice dressing for these baby cucumbers.

The cherry tomato side dish that turned into tomato sauce!  Since the tomatoes were very ripe and full of pectin the addition of heat and sugar made them kind of 'jammy' - delicious.

Valentine's mocktail: blackberry cordial mixed with sparkling grape juice

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