I have been cooking like a maniac this past week. And the garden has been like a toddler - can't be left alone for a second. And responds well to lots of attention.
Today is a case in point. With that 40 degree forecast I got up at 6am to collect all the fallen fruit from the nectarine trees and pick whatever was ripe on the branches. Then I started a batch of jam using pie queen's method, stewed some nectarines and rode over to Shannon's to cook up some pancakes to eat them with.
Now I've got some pastry chilling in the fridge for the River Cafe's Apricot and Almond Tart, another batch of nectarines stewing and a head full of crazy. Yup.
But this post is about a similar crazy day I had last week where I decided I better finally figure out what to do with this cucumber. I've decided that bitter cucumbers are my punishment for picking up a few seedlings (starts) from Bunnings, evil corporate big-box that they are. They're too bitter to eat so I decided I'd finally try a recipe from Fuchsia Dunlop's excellent Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook that I'd been eyeing up.
It's very simple and it makes bitter cucumber taste deliciously like a mild bitter melon. All you do is cut diagonal half moons, fry in a wok covering as much of the surface as you can. Add a little soy and rice vinegar and some garlic and chilli. Remove from the heat and dress with sesame oil and shiso/perilla (or basil in my case). Yum! And good for my liver too I bet.
Meanwhile, while you're snacking on that if you're really crazy you can whip up a batch of the River Cafe's apricot jam, complete with kernels from the inside of the stones.
ps - sorry about the ugly blog design. i will fix it someday.