Smoke and Ginger

Smoke and Ginger would be a great name for a Rock Band,or a cocktail….. it’s also the taste of the change of season.

The Days are still somewhat Summerish, but some of the Nights are downright Autumnal…..it’s interesting that as the traditional burning of leaves has been curtailed as environmentally unfriendly, the number of fire pits that people gather around has grown – is there less smoke now or is woodsmoke better then leaf smoke? There’s government money to spent on that study somewhere.

Anyhow, the taste of smoke to me always speaks more to the cooling weather then the heat of summer. It makes no logical sense; many more summer meals cooked over fire, but was that really fire taste or lighter fluid/charcoal briquette taste?
Could it be that I started at the Plant in September and wood smoke became the flavor of the season?
Could it be the many years of Charcoal Burn at work that has shaped my perception that smoke is autumnal?

Making charcoal - you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal

Making charcoal – you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal Photo by Sally Rothemich

 

Jack and Ginger, jack-whiskey-ginger-alenot to be confused with Fred and Ginger,

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Flying Down To Rio

 Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire Flying Down To Rio

….in terms of zingy names a Gin and Ginger would be a natural, which is also evidently called a Ginger Rogers, not the dancer sort, just to make he whole thing a little confusing
Liquid smoke is made from actual smoke….I just try to work this factoid into all sorts of conversations
But, here in real time, Norah brought in pears, pears from her Sainted Smudder’s pear tree. A 5 gallon pail of pears, with a note to take them. So I ate one. It was small, so I ate another. I put a few aside for lunch, but I’m not a greedy gobble guts. I ate one at lunch with my salad and other with some blue cheese. There were still some that need a home, so I took a few home to make Pear and Ginger Soup … but the next thing I knew there weren’t any left…they just disappeared like magic . They were fragrant and soft and juicy…all the good pear things.
If any had survived I would have made the soup. The beauty of this soup is that it is a great improver of pears. Now if you have a Farm Stand or a Farmer’s Market or a Tree, and you have lovely pears, they really need no improvement. The real challenge is to let their simple beauty shine though. BUT if you’re buying pears through the supermarket, chances are you’re getting pears that are tough enough to stand up to some pretty rough handling. In short, pears that could use a little improvement.

Pear Ginger Soup

6 ripe pears, peeled and cored

3 ½ cups water

¼ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1 2/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger

Powdered ginger to taste

  1. Combine the water, sugar and vanilla bean, cinnamon stick. Sliced ginger and cloves in a pan. When it comes to a gentle boil, add the peeled and cored pear bits and poach them 30-40 minutes until they are soft.
  2. Drain and reserve the liquid. Remove the vanilla bean, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Puree the pears and the ginger slice in a food processor or blender. Pour back into the pan.
  4. Add 2 cups of the poaching liquid or enough to make a soup consistency.
  5. Heat over medium heat. Sprinkle with powdered ginger and serve.

Serves 4

Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1983 (1994) p. 140.

MS Quick Cook

Smoked Turkey and Stilton Sandwiches

What? You need more direction that this? Smoked Turkey. Stilton Cheese. You can buy both of these things sliced at the deli counter. Mustard is good. A little lettuce or watercress is not amiss. Sprouts – not to overwhelm but to give a little green with the rich also works. Arugula? Easier to get then watercress these days and just as good. Now you see it.

I always cut this sandwich into 4 triangles, and turn them out like butterfly wings. I don’t know why, I just do. Some sandwiches aren’t meant to be eaten in rectangular form.

 Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. p. 141.

pear, singleAlexander_Lucas_

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 1990's, Influencers, Summer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s