Saturday, December 9, 2006

In a pickle

I mentioned in another post that I have put my MA to good use (ha!) in the domestic sphere as of late. Unrelated as it is to my former studies, I’ve found this new lifestyle to be rather satisfying. I eagerly await Marty’s reaction when he tastes whatever I’ve concocted for us to eat that day, and then I sit back all smug when I get an ‘mmmm…’ of approval. (I’ve conveniently decided to forget for the time being that my dear mother trained both of us to articulate—even feign—enjoyment and appreciation for home-style cooking early on in our relationship. She taught us classic moves like the ‘slow down and savour’, the ‘sit back and nod your head encouragingly’, the ‘ask for seconds even if you are not hungry’, and the ever-popular ‘roll your eyes back in ecstasy while emitting a slightly muffled but long and deliberate moan’. She even made us both practice the moves in front of her until she was satisfied we would be able to survive any awkward family meals, regardless of the food served. And while I’ve delighted at seeing him fake enjoyment of many a fried dish over the years, I’d rather believe that he’s displaying the real deal when it comes to my own cooking… but I digress…)

Having so much time in the kitchen has provided me with the opportunity to try new things. I’ve started making soup stocks and freezing them until needed. I’ve made colourful salads and even taken the time to arrange them, as for a glossy photo shoot. I’ve made sauces and stews, grains and greens, but the thing I’m most excited about is the ginger. Yes, I’ve even gone ahead and pickled some ginger for sushi!

I’m a relative newcomer to the sushi scene, but I’m no stranger to ‘just saying no’ to things like aspartame and Red Dye #2 (Yellow Dye #5, however, is a different story…). Hence, when I discovered that most of the pickled ginger on the market had either been sweetened with aspartame, dyed pink (why?), or both, I made a vow to try to make my own. Of course, that was when I was in the midst of a nervous breakdown writing my thesis, so we managed with expensive organic store-bought stuff… until now! Little did Marty’s mom know that when she taught me how to pickle this fall, she was creating a pickled ginger monster! Mwa-ha-ha…

Anyway, we haven't tried this ginger yet (it still has to cure), but when we finally do, you can be assured that I'll tell you all about it (and if it's good, I'll probably try to make you buy some!) In the meantime, though, run (don't walk!) to your cupboard and see what kind of crap is in your sushi ginger...

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