Day 18: Creative Challenge
The concept of decadence has taken on a whole new meaning now that I've seen what Trish Urquhart, who runs Allaboutwriting, works as a documentary producer for Left-Eye Productions, and tries very hard to live up to the title cook extraordinaire, had for breakfast this morning. To be totally honest, my eyes usually glaze over when people talk about their breakfast, but this, let me tell you, is no ordinary breakfast.
Trish found herself with some black pepper ice cream left over from her three potions dinner party the other night (don't you hate it when that happens?). The rest of the meal, by the way, consisted of roast beetroot, goat's cheese and fresh tarragon salad dressed with tarragon oil and black pepper syrup, and Yottam Ottolenghi's black pepper tofu served with a green salad from her garden along with an olive oil and lavender syrup dressing. To finish, she served her black pepper ice cream with fresh strawberries and black pepper syrup. What a menu!
In any case, it's caused her no end of trouble. I mean, what does one do with left over black pepper ice cream? It's a real dilemma. Trish's solution? Eat it for breakfast with the remaining black pepper syrup and a tropical mix of papaya and passionfruit. Now why didn't I think of that?
Being the generous soul that she is, Trish has included her black pepper ice cream recipe for our enjoyment - posted at the bottom of this blog. For more amazing recipes and food tips, do visit Trish's food blog.
Opera singer and strange bedfellow, Kanen Breen, got himself another pair of glasses from good old Specsavers to tone down his face following his glitter escapades of recent times (see day 9 of our creative challenge). Yes. He has actually been wearing those glasses. Anyway, he survived the plainness of his new specs for all of thirty minutes before his urges got the better of him. He hurtled into Priceline in search of the spangliest nail polish he could find. The result? A fine pair of granny glasses that kept the double-takes coming thick and fast in the rehearsal studio this afternoon. This man is a one-man entertainment solution. There's a rumour going around that he may also have been a bit high on his nail polish fumes...
Stephen Bennett has had a frantically busy week, but he's found some time tonight to fit in a spot of composition. I put in a request for a melodic piano piece and he only had an hour to work on it, but this is what he came up with. I really love it. It's got a haunting, lonely quality about it. He chose a photo from his landscape collection to suit the mood. An awesome mixed media contribution.
I've been playing with my pastels again (I know, this is really becoming a habit). Since the only subjects I aspire to be able to draw are horses, the focus of today's picture shouldn't come as an overwhelming surprise. I tried something quite different today, taking a more abstract, naive approach. It's a primitive rendition - horse as totem, if you like. Steve says he can imagine a picture like this on a cave wall. I'm chuffed. It's not the Louvre, but caves count.
Trish's Black Pepper Ice Cream (a modification of the recipe published in the August 1993 edition of US Gourmet).
Whisk together 4 large egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick and pale.
Combine 1.5 cups of heavy cream, 3/4 cup of coconut milk, 12 allspice berries and 1/4 cup sugar in a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to the boil and then gradually add to the egg mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture back into the pot, stir in a tablespoon of crushed green peppercorns and cook, stirring constantly, over a medium low heat until the mixture thickens and reaches 76 degrees Celsius.
Remove from the heat, allow to cool and then strain and refrigerate until chilled. Stir in a tablespoon of crushed black peppercorns and a tablespoon of thick balsamic vinegar. Freeze and serve with berries or tropical fruits.