Skip to main content

I wrote this bit on Tue Sept. 14th.

So I haven’t touched this for nearly a month it seems. I got jammed up with a few woodworking projects I finished last week, as well as a trip to KY. So I decided this morning that this week is the week. I’M DOING THIS.

I went to Berkeley Bowl tonight to shop for most of the ingredients, petrified that rhubarb would be out of season and gone from the shelves. It wasn’t at all, though, so I came home with nearly 5 lbs of it. I’m not sure that’ll be enough or not. Stupidly, I came home to find that Kris had borrowed my juicer; I say “stupidly” because I had promised it to her not 24 hours earlier for a wedding she’s catering, and I’d totally forgotten about it immediately afterwards. So I had well over $100 worth of ingredients, the first step in dealing with most of them involving juicing them, so I kicked myself a few times and tried to come up with a plan B.

Plan B involved starting the Lavender Pudding as well as the poaching liquid for the Lavender-Poached Rhubarb, both of which involved refrigeration steps and no juicing, so I figured they were safe. I ended up buying 100g lavender rather than the 200g total that the recipe calls for. I decided to half the recipe for the Lavender Pudding to try to stretch the dried lavender (100g of which cost me $10). This complicated things; a step in the pudding recipe involves steeping the flowers in some liquid. Halving the recipe means that the 50g of lavender flowers almost completely absorbs the 250g of liquid involved. Crap. I managed to compress the flowers to squeeze back out about 50g of liquid, which was dark brown and almost ‘mint-ily’ lavendery, then diluted it to around 200g to try to get some volume back. This was a total shot in the dark; but I didn’t want to have to go back and buy another $20 worth of dried flowers tomorrow, so I was trying to make it work. The steeping step was remarkably brief, so another shortcut I took was keeping the lavender to try to reuse it for a similar steeping step in the poaching liquid recipe. Both items are chilling in the fridge right now, so I’ll have to note later how they turned out.

As a side note, I’m shooting these “in progress” photos on an iPhone. Some photographers like to remark about this in a tone that suggests “LOOK HOW AWESOME THESE PHOTOS ARE! Oh, and by the way, THEY WERE DONE ON MY PHONE!!!” I’m not going to do that, because these photos are pretty mundane. The flash on the iphone sucks, and the omission of it means some photos are blurry. Infallibly, the colors of the actual ingredients aren’t accurate either, and correcting these is hard on the phone. Because I’m trying to go fast, I’m not bothering to color correct them in Photoshop…that step comes only for the final photos, when I’ll be using my Canon 5d and some proper strobes.