Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Dance with Dragon(fruit)s

Dear Mouse,

I ... am flummoxed.

                                                                        New friends.

Ok, we've been doing this a while now. We've experienced and blogged about some certainly out-of-the-ordinary (at least for me/us) food experiences. We've traveled to strange places, eaten exotic foods, had to think fast and be creative, and certainly have logged many bold new steps within these pages (screens?oh, pages I guess). And while I'd never say we've Seen It All (and I hope we never do!), I had, I confess, come to think that we'd ... Seen It Most. I mean, for two non-pro, busy-with-other-things, squeamish-about-animal-insides, had-the-same-sandwich-every-day-for-thirteen-years type gals. (Ok maybe one.)

Well, it's great to keep being surprised by Life, is what I guess I'll write if I can't think of a less maudlin sentence. This has been a week of Firsts. For one thing, I found out I have to play piano for an audition, something I haven't done in, I'm gonna say as many years as I ate that sandwich. And I have now learned an entire Tori Amos song on the piano, from sheet music I had lying around. Skills I thought long-dead: revived. Sleepy little neural networks in dusty corners of my brain... still kickin'. That is really exciting ...

... But maybe not as exciting as what I'm here to post. Mouse, you know me. I may be prone to exaggeration, embellishment, confabulation. I sometimes remember things a little too vividly, or conflate two anecdotes into one, or tell people autobiographical stories that actually happened to Frodo Baggins. But in what I am about to tell you, I am deadly serious. I am adding nothing to this tale, nor leaving anything out. It is as additive-free as a rice cake.

                                                                  Real. And Edible.

Right now, there is a fragrant, fantastical, heavily spiced bubbling pot of mystery on my stove top, filling my house with odors of ginger and uncharted terrain. There is a hot-pink, scaly, discarded, well, skin in my garbage can. There are cubes of white, ink-spotted sweet vegetation piled in a bowl on my kitchen table. There are seductive, translucent little globes the texture of oh why not say it eyeballs in a watery perfumed pile on the cutting board. "Oh", you might say here, "The Boo is trying a new recipe. Well why didn't she just say so? I wonder where she got it from."

Well you might ask!! Where, indeed? And this is the crux of the story, Mouse,  and proof that maybe there are more than just piano chords being kicked up in the coils of my brain. Because I've gotten recipe ideas from many places - cookbooks, blogs, friends, The Mother, you - but this one

                                                       CAME TO ME IN A DREAM. 


I'll wrap this up so I can get back to the eyeballs... But, yep. It was sort of a garden-variety Actor's Nightmare, which is to be expected with this audition coming up. Except ... there was no Acting in it at all. Instead, I was a guest (or so I thought) at a lavish banquet. Menus were passed around. I opened mine in anticipation, only to realize that I was supposed to have prepared one of the dishes being served. What was I to do? I'd have to come up with something. As a guideline, I saw only one word in the printed program - er, Menu: "Ginger". I turned to the person next to me and casually answered their query about what I'd be serving:

                                   "Oh, poached dragonfruits and lychees in ginger syrup."

And then I woke up.

And then I went to the store and bought a dragon fruit (which cost me NINE DOLLARS, so thats how much I love this blog, nine dollars' much). And a small box of lychees.

And then I googled dragonfruits, and, yep, the first recipe I saw was "dragon fruit in ginger syrup", and I sort of followed that recipe, and my apartment smells awesome, and I just ate a small bowl of poached CRAZY and enjoyed it, though it needs tweaks. Dragon fruit tastes like a more grown-up kiwi. And lychees are just the sexiest fruit ever, eyeball-ness or no. They are like what you wished fancy perfume would taste like as a kid, but it didnt. If you're put off by the texture, at least drop them in a martini or let them flavor your prosecco.

To sum up... I have psychic powers. Also, I think two things: 1) that agave syrup DOES NOT WORK as a substitute for sugar when making, um, SYRUP, so don't do that. And 2) I think the fruits would have been better either raw (or just barely poached) then drizzled with syrup, rather than the boiling-fruits-in-reducing-syrup route that the online recipe suggested. Adventurous Midsummer Nights Dreamers - experiment, and then tell us about it.

May you find ripe lychees and affordable dragons.


The Boo

The Boo's Actual Midsummer Night's Dream Fruit Cocktail

1 dragonfruit
1 small container lychees (like, 6?7?)
1 piece peeled fresh ginger cut into 3 or 4 slices
2 cinnamon sticks
a few cloves if you like
1/4 -1/2 C brown sugar (not agave syrup, what are you thinking you hippie)
3 C water

Cut dragon fruit in half. Run a knife around the inside of the skin on each half to dislodge the fruit (you can't eat the skin). Cut up flesh into chunks. 
Peel lychees, slice in half and remove pits. 

In a good size pot on the stove, boil water, sugar, spices and ginger pieces til  reduced to syrupy goodness. Pour over dream fruits. 

 (or, halfway through, as I did, remove spices and add fruits and continue boiling til reduced again by half. But I kind of wished I hadn't.)


Marisa said...

I just got the chills..... :-)

Robert Mathiesen said...

Yep, I always knew you had powers . . . This just proves it one more time. I, who no longer cook much at all, may actually try this recipe.

Anonymous said...

hey! what happened to my comment

I read this and then read the Professor's and thought, yeah, this is a magical fruit for a magical lady and said so and kaboom...nada...my whole day like that yesterday -
here's to better once today

Anonymous said...

Pretty damn spooky......that's all I can say!