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I’m at 30 hours and counting for total time spent in the kitchen on this one. After a bit of sleep last night I woke up this morning in a better mood and ready to hit it hard. I had a pretty productive day too!

–I remade the lavender pudding, using 10g of lavender rather than 100g. I gave Sarah a blind taste test of the two batches, and she preferred the second one by far. The first has collapsed into straight bitterness. I think I’d prefer this second batch to be a bit punchier still, but it definitely tastes much better, and I also finally nailed the silky texture it’s supposed to be (no graininess). So yay for that!

–I remade the lavender poaching liquid as well, again substituting 10g of lavender for 100, and letting it steep a bit longer to try to balance it better. Again, it’s not what I’d call perfect, but it’s better than the first batch. So I forged ahead with

–the lavender poached rhubarb encased in goat’s milk lavender custard. This was pretty straightforward, and the end result is beautiful and tastes nice and breezy. There’s some delicacy to it that I really like.

–I remade my oatmeal streusel, though admittedly I was shooting in the dark a bit on fixing this. The recipe actually uses about 1/4 of what it instructs me to make, so for economy I halved the recipe when I remade it, and quartered the amount of butter to try to fix my oil problem. The end result was much, much different, and though it blended in the blender much more easily, it didn’t set properly in the freezer, so I think it’s still not right. I got my first batch sort of ‘close enough’, and it tastes ok, so I’m forging ahead with that. I think anyone else who would taste it would find it fine, but I know it’s not exactly perfect, so it itches me a little.

–I made a batch of Dried Rhubarb, which actually turned out to be quite time-consuming, mostly because I have to seal a bag of rhubarb with some steeping liquid, which, for my crappy foodsaver, means I needed to freeze the liquid so I could seal it, before cooking it sous-vide, which takes twice as long because the goods are coming up from a frozen temperature. I’m going to make another batch tomorrow, hopefully it will be slightly better. This batch I think got overdehydrated; the strips of rhubarb were brittle and wouldn’t ‘roll’ the way they’re supposed to. But they taste fun, like a rhubarb potato chip.

–I made beet spheres. I figured something out about them too: in the past, when I’ve made these, I used SPHERICAL molds. Spherical molds are filled through a hole in the top of the mold, and as a result have a ‘divot’ at the top when frozen. When you spherify these, this divot causes an imperfection in the surface of the sphere, which in turn causes the gel-like membrane to be thicker there. They still technically ‘work’, but they’re just not perfect. This time, though, I tried making HEMISPHERICAL molds. This worked way better. Dropping a half-sphere in an alginate bath doesn’t result in these odd divots in the membrane, and the result is prettier. I still have this odd problem where a sphere will spring a small leak in the alginate bath, and a ‘tendril’ grows out of it. Snipping the tendril off causes the hole to repoen, and usually I end up having to throw that sphere away. This happened with about half of my spheres, so I remade some beet juice and am freezing a new batch to try again tomorrow.

So, tomorrow, what I have left:
–green tea nage
–gin-compressed rhubarb
–rhubarb sponge
–plate and photograph everything
–drink a beer
–wait for friends to come over and plate 10 more servings.

At least, that’s the plan.