Monday, June 22, 2009

Crumb bum...

Today was one of those crappy days where nothing seemed to go right. About the only thing that turned out was the new batch of cheese. First, I pulled out the kitchen thermometer to check the temp on the milk, and discovered that it was broken, which meant that I'd either get glass in the milk--and the cheese, obviously. I would also have needed it for the gooseberry curd if that had turned out, but it didn't.
A few days ago, I went out into the garden and picked the gooseberries which are, thus far, the about the only thing the stupid deer have left alone this year. Since mom's trying to grow things without using pesticide or other chemicals, that means the deer, the beetles, the worms, and other creepy-crawly things are having a nice time at the salad bar. The gooseberries have big, sharp thorns, however, making them less likely to be eaten by deer... but those thorns don't do much to deter bugs. I washed the berries, cooked them until they were mushy, and then started hunting for the food mill. Which I couldn't find. That left the food processor, which ended up creating a mix of seedy gooseberry pulp and shredded berry skins. I realized after I put the pulp through the strainer that--gak...--there were these horrible little white worms in the pot with the sugar, pulp, and butter. Thank goodness I had yet to add the eggs, otherwise I probably would have screamed. It was disgusting... O.o I abhor waste, but the worms gave me a reason to throw out the beginnings of what I'd hoped would be a lovely gooseberry jammy thing to have on scones or fresh bread. Ick.
So, after throwing out the gooseberry/worm mess, I decided to try making lemon curd. Well, about half the bottle of juice went into the gooseberry glop and, subsequently, into the trash, which left me with about 2/3 of a cup of lemon juice. Mom handed me three limes in the hope that I'd be able to make up the rest of the juice that way. Nope.
I get crabby when I'm tired. I get crabby and I drop things, which meant that after spending the whole day working on--and ruining--gooseberry curd, cheese, cleaning, and trying to figure out how stitches that slipped off the needles and the bloody lifeline were going to get back to where they were supposed to be, I dropped the bowl with the lime juice in it. And lost about half of said juice all over the marble slab. This caused me to deliver several loud expletives before I went looking for more citrus something. The citrus something ended up being frozen pineapple juice. I was not pleased, even though it wasn't wormy--I'm still upset about those stupid little worms...
By the time the lemon-lime-pineapple curd was ready to go into jars, I was further annoyed by the appearance of little tiny globules of egg white at the bottom of the saucepan. And this is after I was really careful and tempered the eggs!
And, on top of all of this, while I was putting away towels in the upstairs bathroom, a bottle of shampoo fell on my head and made me howl like a banshee. I swear.. I'm trying to keep my sense of humor. Really.

Lemon-Lime-Pineapple Curd:
2/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c lime juice
1/2 c pineapple juice (or a total of about 1 1/2 cups of straight citrus juice)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1/2 c sugar
1 thermometer
1 saucepan
a clean jar big enough to hold the curd

Mix juice, butter, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat and let cool to about body temperature. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and yolk; gradually add about half the citrus juice and whisk to temper the eggs. Add egg/citrus mix back to original pot and keep whisking while you warm the mixture back to 170 degrees to kill any potential bacteria. Cook over low-medium heat until thickened, then pour through a seive to make sure there aren't any lumps or other intrusive detritis. Pour into jar and let stand until it's cool enough to refrigerate.

Have I said how much I hate tempering eggs? Bleh.


the Lady said...

Oh my god. It was not your day.

Rachael said...

The curd sounds delicious, but oh my goodness, what a day! Imps must have been afoot...

That's too bad about worms in the gooseberries. I wonder what could be done about that... hmm...

Also, pesky deer! Hrumph!

word: "ameratio"... surely, that means something...