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    Entries in zombie apocalypse (7)

    Wednesday
    Jul312013

    On Sabbatical

    It's barely August and already my brain has shifted back into calculus and lab report mode.

    Fortunately, I've only got 3 semesters of this shit left. Until then, I plan to (quietly lose my mind and) keep all the cookies to myself. Well, maybe not all to myself. I'll stop by every once in a while if I come up with something particularly interesting. Likely at a time when I've decided that the 3% impact that week's lab report is going to have on my final grade just isn't worth the impact on my mental health. Deciding to not do work offers a wonderfully freeing feeling.

    But don't worry! Taneasha is more than happy to feed you all in my absence. Hell, the woman even invites door to door religion salesmen in for dinner.

    Starting next week, Taneasha takes Tuesday for tips, tricks, and treats! Brought to you by the letter Tau and the number 2.71828.

     

    Tuesday
    Jan222013

    Cactus Sorbet

    Prickly pear fruit is amazingly magenta.

     

    The entire plant is edible, actually. Well, not the prickly parts, but the paddles are; they're called nopales. Those are more of a dinner thing though, and this is dessert.

    (and yes, I know this post is a little late, but my lab report was not)

    Prickly Pear and Coconut Sorbet

    • 4 prickly pear fruits (aka tunas)
    • 1 tin coconut milk or cream
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 c sugar

     

    Yup, that's it. I know, I know ths sugar is missing. Five ingredients and I still couldn't get them all in the shot.

    First thing you have to do is wash the tunas. Wear gloves. Seriously.

    The spines have been removed, but there are tiny, hair-like fibres on them still, and those things are practically invisible and are an annoying pain in the thumb if you get one stuck in you.

    Keep the gloves on as you cut away the skin.

    You're left with red, juicy, flesh that tastes mildly berry-like. Sweeter though. There's none of the berry tartness to these.

    Chop them and toss them in the food processor to mash them.

    Next we have to get rid of all the seeds. I suppose you could cut the fruit and pick them out one by one, but they're small, round, slippery, and throughout the entire fruit.

    Better to sieve them out.

    A coarse sieve will work okay. A finer sieve will work better, but takes longer. If you've got the patience (I had all day, but ran out of patience) go for it.

    Combine the berry mash in a pot with the vanilla, lime juice, and sugar.

    Bring it to a boil then turn the heat down to medium and let it go until you get this sort of pink foam on top:

    Combine the sweetened, reduced berry mash into a bowl with the coconut milk.

    Now is when you should use the ice cream maker, if you have one. If you don't, and I don't, you can still do this, you'll just need to pay attention to it for a few minutes at a time for the next little while.

    Pour it into a pan and put it in the freezer. After about 45 minutes, take it out and give it a stir, then put it back in the freezer.

    After about 40 minutes, do it again. Then 35... then 30...

    What you're doing in the stir part is breaking up the ice crystals that are forming. That's what the paddles in ice cream makers do. At first, it takes a while to get the water in the sorbet to freeze (hence 45 mins) but once the crystals are there, they propagate quite nicely (hence the reduction in freezer duration each time).

    So, yes, it will take a bit of time, but if you've got a Sunday afternoon for puttering about the house, it's an easy thing to add to the putter.

    And you get a beautiful coco-berry sorbet out of the deal.

    And you can tell the kids they're eating tuna ice cream!

    Even better with chocolate sprinkles.

    What's your favourite pink food?