From the Kitchen and From the Bar – experimenting with roots, a pie and a bottle of mead

boniatoThe local large grocery store has a small section of unusual fruits and vegetables, at least unusual to me, she who grew up in very white, very Protestant rural Pennsylvania and who hadn’t a chance to talk to someone who had skin any darker than her pale pink until she went to college. I decided to start an adventure where I try out the starchy tubers and roots that the rest of the world eats.

The first up is what the store called a “batata” (it seems boniato is a more common term), a purple skinned white fleshed type of sweet potato. It’s the first on the list here. We first found out that you don’t leave them in the usual plastic produce bag for any longer than it takes to get them home. They do sweat and I suspect will rot very quickly.

We baked our singular batata at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and 15 minutes. The skin became stiff but you could flex it to tell when the flesh had become soft. The flesh is about as white as a classic white potato and was about the same texture, much less wet than a standard orange/yellow sweet potato that one sees in the US for the winter holidays. It was still very sweet, and my husband compared it to the sweetness of beets or sweet corn. He had butter and salt on his; I found a recipe for putting butter, a squirt of lime juice, ground cumin and salt on the batata and did so. I found that very good, the lime giving a bit of brightness to cut the starchy sweetness.

blueberryMy husband also asked me to make a blueberry pie this weekend. I made the usual pie crust I use, and poured in a can of blueberry pie filling. I also added about a cup and a half of frozen wild blueberries from Maine mixed with a tablespoon of Instant Clear Jel from King Arthur Flour Company (leftover from my venture into gluten-free baking). It made the filling just perfect, with just a small amount of flow out of the crust. The blueberries were great, and the rest will find their way into buckwheat blueberry pancakes later this week. The pie was baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. I did try to make a lattice pie and it’s pretty much that, though I needed to pay a bit more attention  🙂

Finally, I decided to get something new at the wine and liquor store. I found a bubbly mead made from macadamia nut tree honey and had to get it since we make our own mead and I like bubblies. The meadery is Heidrun Meadery in California.

I will have to say that I was disappointed in this mead. It tasted like a demi-sec champagne, and it is made with the same method as champagne. There was honey in the nose, but the taste was champagne, which isn’t a bad thing but not what was expected. As usual, we prefer our own still, sweet mead.

In finding this meadery, I found out something that I didn’t known about Norse mythology. Somehow I managed to miss that all of the mead for Valhalla was from the teats of a magical goat named Heidrun. Always cool stuff to still learn.  🙂

Eat and drink well!

(for any new readers, if you wish to avoid posts on religion, politics, and most things controversial, don’t read those posts under the category “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation”.)

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