Day Three Detox and a Two Pear Dressing
Okay, it's been three days without chocolate and I haven't smashed anything. I have cheated (a little) but it's been low-fat icecream, a mouthful of soft drink, that kind of thing. But apart from this, I feel somewhat brighter and fresher, or is this just the Smug Delusion of a Dieting Dilettante?
And you know, entertaining still has to go on. Today there was an evening picnic and I had been asked to bring a salad. November's Gourmet Traveller featured a recipe in the request section "Fare Exchange" that I had been wanting to try and this seemed the perfect opportunity.
I have made heaps of pear and rocket salads, but this one featured an unusual pear dressing, which involved peeling and chopping four pears and simmering them with 200g of caster sugar and 250 ml of white wine vinegar. Oh and a star anise and cinnamon quill. It was supposed to also contain a cardamon pod but as you know, I Do Not Like Cardamon. Oh, and some ginger peeled and grated. This simmers along and makes the house reek, like vinegar boiled vinegar I suppose, until it settles down to a glaze-like consistency.
At this point, the liquid is drained off and the pear chunks and aromatics dumped separately for later use (with more sugar to caramelize, this would be fantastic with ice cream or custard). The rest of the salad is a standard construction - rocket, olive oil, parmesan, pepper, sliced pear and so on. It is a very subtle yet sweet salad and I'd like to work it up a bit - something with crunch (pinenuts) or something with bite (just a tiny hint of chilli) would be great.
But there you go. And I didn't even eat any of the birthday cake. Which I had to go out and buy. And was made of chocolate. Enough said.