Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Zestive Occasion

I had a party at my house last night and as a result did several things for the first time.

  1. I zested lemons. That was surprisingly easy and enjoyable, because it smells so good. The lemons reminded me of shorn sheep afterwards.
  2. I used my microplane. I received this as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and hadn't used it before, because I had never tried to get lemon zest from lemons. I've always used dried lemon peel. Using the microplane makes getting zest super easy, because you don't get into the bitter tasting pith. You can also use it for woodworking or grating hard cheeses, such as parmesan. I hadn't used it for grating because I've always been happy enough with Kraft. Yes. I may be every other kind of snob, but I'm not a parmesan cheese snob and I consider it to be one of my favorite foods. It's a meal, not a condiment.
  3. I discovered that I like eating plain mangoes. Mango sorbet is way too boring to me and I thought the fruit was also kind of bland. A few months ago, I decided that they just needed to be combined with lime juice, which I'd tried at GM's. The ones I served last night, which were pre-sliced from CostCo, were just wonderful by themselves.
  4. There was a lot of debate at the party about how salsa is defined and whether what I made was salsa or chutney. Since my mom is avoiding all vegetables in the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and potatoes), I wanted to make some very mild salsa with mangoes and lime juice. I also added onions, black pepper, fresh mint, brown sugar and minced ginger. I would have used honey, but I knew one of my guests had a honey allergy. From what I have been able to determine, salsa consists primarily of uncooked fruit or veggies while chutney has usually been cooked. While it may not have been typical salsa, since it had neither tomatoes nor peppers and was barely hot at all, it was certainly salsaesque.
  5. I made lemon-cornmeal and black pepper cookies from the Luscious Lemon Desserts cookbook, by Lori Longbotham. That's why I needed zest from four gigantic lemons. It was fun, because you make logs of dough, chill them in the refrigerator and slice them. This may seem trivial for some, particularly those who are used to making cookies from canned cookie dough, but I'd never made that style of cookie before. I was really pleased with how they turned out, too.
Did I break new ground in any new non-food related ways? Well, no, but I had a really good time.


  1. You like Kraft Parmesan-like-substance? I had no idea. Though I can't agree with you on that one, it *is* cheaper that way (there's this place in Seattle that has some FANTASTIC Parmesan at $24 a pound last I checked...)

  2. I think I like any parmesan that sits still long enough for me to eat it.