Not all meals work out the way you intend.
It's not that I didn't have some really delicious foods this week like heaping bowls of fresh yellow watermelon from the farmers' market (seen here) or yummy Texas pecans with the last of the farmers' market dates I picked up in California, but I realized I talk endlessly about all the delicious meals that I just make up as I go along, and rarely about the mishaps. Granted, I don't have a lot of mishaps, not because I'm an awesome cook (far from it, to be sure), but rather because when ingredients are this fresh, it's hard to screw it up (yep, even for me).
So what were my adventures in culinary disaster this week? Well, believe it or not, it was stir-fry. Yeah, I know. I eat various forms of stir fry just about every day, so what went wrong? The stir-fry in this photo looks very similar to the stir fries I've enjoyed all summer: squash and eggplant from the farmers' market, chard from the backyard garden, brown rice from just outside of Houston, and my home-canned farmers' market produce like local pinto beans and corn.
The stir-fry pictured here was lunch on Monday. In addition to all the goodies listed above were basil from the farmers' market, collard greens from the backyard garden, and (check this out) corn cob jelly. What?! Yeah, that was my response when my Dad gave me the jar of jelly made by a local friend of his. Corn cob jelly? Seriously?
I tried the corn cob jelly on a piece of toast (with my homemade partly-local bread) last weekend. Kinda weird. I mean, when you eat jelly, you have a fruit in mind and you can taste it, right? Corn cob jelly doesn't taste like corn, but it doesn't take like anything else either and so it ended up just being sweet. Sweet what, I have no idea. Ok. So I'll pass on the jelly and toast. How about in stir-fry like I did with the sweet onion glaze earlier in the year (that was AWESOME)?
Well, I hate to say it, but the stir fry was just off. I was thinking the collards were too long in the ground and had gone bitter, and there was something about the basil that I just didn't like in the dish, so Tuesday, I tried the same ingredients minus the collards and basil... Enh. Maybe the chard has seen it's last days too.
Finally, by Wednesday, I used only the newest chard leaves in the stir fry and again left the collards and basil completely out. What did I end up with? Corn, pinto beans, zucchini, lambs-quarter, the tenderest chard I could find, brown rice, and a heaping tablespoon of corn cob jelly (every last one of those were local). Hmm. Ok. A little better.
Obviously, I don't plan on buying stock in corn cob jelly or anything, but I am impressed that you can pretty much make jelly/jam out of anything. What are the strangest things you've used to make jam/jelly?
Just one other question: Are you willing to let me in on some of your own culinary disasters? I promise, I won't tell...