|Orangette/Nigel Slater plum cake|
I'm starting with the pretty because that seems more polite.
I read about this beautiful plum cake on Orangette and it was one of those recipes that was going to haunt me until I tried it. So I tried it. Very easy, very rewarding! It was delicious warm last night, but it was even better this morning, cold. Read Molly Wizenberg's description. You're going to want to try it, too.
Okay, now for the not pretty.
A few days ago I mixed injera batter (teff flour, water, yeast) using the recipe from Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford's Flatbreads and Flavors. I let the batter bubble and sour and separate for 48 hours and I watched a little swarm of fruit flies form over the (covered) bowl. I had hopes. This seemed like the way injera should be made.
Something went wrong, or the recipe is wrong, I don't know. Hopes were dashed. My injera cooking skills are lacking, so the pancakes broke, as you will see below. But even had I been able to make the injera look like injera, it didn't taste like injera. It was only moderately sour and lacked that wonderful spongy texture. I served this nasty pancake with a dry, bland Ethiopian ground beef dish (also from Flatbreads) and it had to be one of the most heinous dinners I've ever put on the table. Which is odd, because those Duguid-Alford books are usually excellent. What is also odd is that my family ate it without complaint. I have beaten them into complete culinary submission. Not sure how I feel about that.
I don't know what to do about my injera quest. I have a copy of Exotic Ethiopian Cooking by Daniel Jote Mesfin, but his recipe looks almost identical to the Duguid-Alford formula. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
On another subject, credit for my beautiful new blog design goes to my sister, Justine. Credit for the chicken picture -- and the impetus to upgrade -- goes to my publisher. I'm a little freaked out every time I open the page. It's like I've been living in a cozy basement with a bunch of rescue cats and posters thumbtacked to the walls and now I'm in a loft with framed Audubon prints and glass coffee tables. I love it, and I'm sure it will feel like home soon enough.