Harvesting the Sun

Aubergine Black Beauty

Aubergine Black Beauty

In the weeks before and after Autumnal equinox some lesser known Solanaceae fruits ripen. Fruits that either don’t set or die before their time under the hammer of the Summer sun, mature quickly at this time of year. With a private nod to Pliny the Elder who first used Sol (Sun) to describe this genus, I like to think that these “fruits of the Sun” are the season’s offering in compensation for the Sun’s retreat. It might be a bit of a stretch, but no-one ever accused me of having an under-active imagination 🙂

Squid Donuts

Squid Donuts

Squid Donuts

I have had some spectacular failures cooking calamari in the past .. to the point where I agreed with Grandad when he declared that he would rather eat old tyres. A couple of times a year Grandad would drop a fishing net on the other side of the reef so he could top up his store of smoked fish.

Along with the garfish, snook and tommy ruff, he’d snare gummy fish and squid .. which usually wound up cut up as fishbait. I thought squid were fascinating little critters .. even after I’d had to scour ink-dyed skin.

Bruschetta

Vegetarian Bruschetta

Vegetarian Bruschetta

I had just been presented with a plate of the world’s most decadent cheese-on-toast. Mine Host rolled his eyes derisively “Pizza? Pizza is for tourists. Have some proper food”.

One of the very best perks of this job is to listen to peoples’ stories. On this occasion the tricky task of encouraging a client to eat had evolved into sharing lunch .. which he cooked .. and getting a lesson in regional Italian cuisine in the process. Bruschetta has rapidly entrenched itself as a favourite in Casa de Chaos, adapting itself with chameleon ease to individual tastes, budget, time or dietary restrictions (except possibly severe dairy intolerance). It has had incarnations as fabulous entree, brunch, side dish fit for a king .. even to tame ravenous post-match teenagers. I hope you have as much fun playing with this dish .. and the infinite possibilities it presents .. as we do 🙂