I had a bit of a brainstorm over breakfast this morning. Made myself eggy crumpets, which is a breakfast staple in this house, I'm not sure what thought process it triggered but something made me think of the pickled damsons I made back in August last year.
I first discussed pickled fruit here, I made some pickled quince and blackberries back in 2008 but wasn't impressed with them until about a year later when they had matured into a smooth, complex, almost boozy, deliciousness. I'm pleased to say the damsons from 2009 seem to have gone the same way so it seems a lengthy maturation period is the key. They're not sweet enough to have a desert with ice cream or anything but they have a delicious, tangy, sweet and sour flavour, akin to a good chutney.
Teamed with the eggy crumpets they made an amazing breakfast and I'm sure they must be good with the ubiquitous chutney partners of cold meats and cheese too.
The other foodie experiment of the day was quickie ice cream using the zip lock method. I'm sure that parents of small children everywhere know this 'ideal for the holidays' trick but I'll re-hash it anyway. You take one small zip lock bag, fill it with a cup of milk, a tablespoon of sugar and some vanilla essence (or flavouring of your choice, or you could even use flavoured milkshake) zip it closed and place it in a larger zip lock bag along with 2 or 3 handfuls of ice cubes and 2 tablespoons of salt. Shake it all about for 5 minutes or so and Ta Daaaa - ice cream!
The children were sold on the idea but soon moaned about cold hands (hence Willow's expression in the photo) we used semi skimmed milk which was ok but full cream would've been nicer, still, at least we know for next time.