After yakking about the recipes I made from the DIY Cookbook, here’s a tip of the hat to some of the ones I didn’t make.
Almost: Sugar Cones. I really wanted to do this one, and I had the ingredients ready to go before my folks arrived in July. The cones were to contain the homemade ice cream (from a Waitrose recipe) using fresh peach and the candied ginger referenced above. In the end, it was one homemade thing too many amidst a new baby and getting ready for visitors. And I had doubts about my ability to execute it technically with our limited resources. Another time, another time.
Tempting…: Duck Prosciutto. Because Duck Prosciutto. I don’t know what my Italian neighbours around the corner would think, but if I am able to make some in 2014, perhaps they could try some and I could find out. Seriously, though, this one – like many of the preserved meats – seems to require more than our dinky flat strewn with baby things and kid things in a moist Scottish climate can offer in terms of infrastructure. I think duck prosciutto will be one of those hobbies I take up once the kids have moved away. Perhaps it will coax them back home once in a while.
Whut?: Cold-Brewed Coffee. Yes, we make coffee. I failed to see the sense in this one. It allegedly tastes better, but you would have to drink it cold. Plus it takes longer to brew. This eradicates two good virtues of the coffee we already make.
Nose-Wrinkle: Seville Orange Marmalade. I’ve been marmalading for several years, and I think I make it well. It’s a bit runnier than my Scottish mother-in-law’s, but I like that about it. I like its colour, its flavour, and its jellied texture. I’ve tried it with pink grapefruit (thank you Avoca Cookbook) and with whisky added in. The instructions in the DIY Cookbook seem arcane and unnecessarily different, boiling the whole fruit for a while, then resting overnight, then coming back to it. First, I tend to make marmalade in the evening after the kids have gone to bed, so we’re letting 24 hours elapse. And the big virtue of following their method seems to be that it makes the chopping easier. But you still have to chop, and finely, too, so by this time, I think you’re not saving much effort. An assiduous, rigorous reviewer would make it their way anyway to try it out, but the annual window on Sevilles is brief (i.e. right now and not for much longer!) and this stuff is to last me till the next batch. Why chance something I’ve already got good?