Monday, May 4, 2009

eggplant pickle

The power is still on at 6am, so I sneak in the opportunity to make a breakfast smoothie. Eggplant pickle is on my agenda this morning. Tom heads off for a surf, less than thrilled with the idea of returning hungry to a feed of pickles.

basic eggplant pickle
1. peel and grate eggplant, cover with water and soak for 2-3 hours.
Asian eggplants are not as bitter as Mediterranean varieties, so do not require salting.
2. drain and squeeze out excess water
3. add enough apple cider vinegar to cover eggplant
4. add crushed garlic and finely chopped shallots or onion
5. marinate for at least 2 hours
6. will keep in the fridge for up to a week
, and continue to develop flavour

I combine the eggplant pickle with shredded cabbage, carrots and five dates from our precious stash. We have agreed to hold off from the “imported” ingredients until later in the season when we the cravings are busting down the door. The salad is tasty, but the quantity isn’t enough to refuel Tom after a four hour surf session. Our fresh supplies are reduced to garlic and ginger and neither of us is adept at climbing the coconut trees. Hunger drives Tom to raid the “poisonous box” coming out with couscous and tomato paste that he mixes with garlic, olive oil and mustard. His cooked food reflection is that couscous is bland and swells up in your stomach to twice the size.

Dinner time and Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is bare. In August last year the first warong (restaurant) opened in the village, and there are now four to choose from if you want a night out on the town. The menu is whatever they can scrape together, and there is no guarantee they have any food at all to offer. The best bet is “Johnny Generator’s”, run by the local generator repair man and his wife. We try and order something like a salad, but this falls on deaf ears. The local belief is that a meal without rice isn’t a real meal, and that one couldn’t possible be satisfied without a pile of gluey starch on the side. Our nasi goreng arrives, and even the cucumber is cooked.

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