there goes the sun

Sitting in my study, well, my husband’s study, where I sit in the morning because I love the Eastern morning sun, I hear the plinky plunky plinky of fat raindrops against the window.  I alone beweep the loss of my friend.  We’ll miss you, Mr. Sun.  For the fall rains have come, and with them falling leaves, smoky air, and all the delights of the winter kitchen.

I’m going to brave the mud and collect my unripe plum and cherry tomatoes this weekend to make green tomato relish, which beats the pants off commercial cucumber pickle relishes.  My tomatillo plant fruited late, so I might peek under their papery skirts to see if the tomatillos I have are big enough for pickling, too.

What else is planned for fall here at Culinaria Eugenius?  Once I get over this pesky, chronic condition I call academic workitis, I am going to start experimenting with winter squash, apples, and cranberries.  The cider we bought last week was so incredibly delicious, tart and alive as it always is with excellent early-season apples, that I think I’m going to try to turn it into no-sugar added cider jelly.  Stews and moist-heat cooking and roasting — these are a few of my favorite things, and I’d like to share some recipes with you.  Let’s see…I also have to sow my fava bean cover crop and close down the summer garden.  And it will be time to once again turn to Ethiopian food, my greatest nemesis, because I found a fantastic new injera recipe.  Will the fifth time be the charm?  Stay tuned, and stay dry in the mean time!

8 thoughts on “there goes the sun

  1. TheBon 4 October 2008 / 9:39 am

    This is my favorite time of year. I love the return of the rain and good apple cider.

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  2. Ceri 6 October 2008 / 5:16 pm

    My injera recipe usually works well.

    3c warm water
    2c teff flour
    1 tsp yeast.

    Mix ingredients together let sit in warm place for 3 days stirring daily.

    Cook on either a stainless frying pan with no oil (me) or a well seasoned cast iron frying pan (hubby).

    The batter seems to change as it incubates and become cohesive. If it has been too cold then sometimes I add a 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum as a binder.

    You can use the leftover batter as a starter and then it only needs to sit a day or two before cooking. (depends on temperature)

    What dishes will you be making to go with the injera?

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  3. Ceri 6 October 2008 / 8:32 pm

    Oops forgot to add that I cook injera with a lid on so the top sort of steams. The whole bread changes color as it cooks so when the color has changed I remove the lid and let it dry a little. Mine are not quite authentic since the bottom forms a light crust and gets a little brown. I just stack them as I cook them and they soften right up. Needless to say the injera I make are much smaller than the size that are served at restaurants.

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  4. Eugenia 6 October 2008 / 10:53 pm

    Ceri — I am amazed your full teff recipe works for you! First, do you live in Oregon? I’m going to share my failures when i have a bit more time, but I’d love to hear more about your successes. Most importantly: did your fermented injera smell like, um, something really foul? I’m wondering if we have an inhospitable climate here.

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  5. PrimitiveCinema 7 October 2008 / 3:01 pm

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I’ve really enjoyed your blog these last couple months. We just rented an apple press over the weekend and have a lot of cider, do you have a recipe for the jelly?
    I make a lot of jams and chutneys but have yet to venture into the jelly side of the jar…

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  6. Ceri 7 October 2008 / 5:16 pm

    Yep another Eugenian. The batter should smell very sour either like sourdough or really over-risen bread. The first day the batter forms a what I think of as a classic sponge. As the batter incubates it should separate with a light tan liquid rising to the top. I always see bubbles when I open the lid to stir.
    Many recipes from Ethiopia/Etria don’t call for yeast since they seem to have a naturally occurring yeast on the Teff. I don’t trust the flour I have to have enough naturally occurring yeast so I add the yeast. I always incubate covered. These should help your batter from going “off”

    My room temperature tends to be on the low side so I turn the oven to the lowest temperature and as soon as it starts heating turn it off and stick the bowl to incubate during the day or overnight. I usually stir morning and evening. I haven’t made this during the summer so I can’t say if it would work well in warmer weather.

    The first injera I cook always turns out horrible.

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  7. Eugenia 8 October 2008 / 7:53 am

    Ceri, would you be willing to write up your comments as one document for a guest post here? I’ve been researching Ethiopian food for years, and I don’t have time at the moment to tell my sad tale of injera, but I’d like to let more people see a successful, authentic, 100% teff recipe, especially one that works in Oregon! I’ll make your recipe when things slow down, and make the other one I’m planning to make, and add my thoughts. But I’d be really grateful if you’d start the ball rolling, since so many people in Eugene are interested in Ethiopian food. My email address is listed at the bottom of my “About” page if you’d like to contact me.

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  8. Eugenia 8 October 2008 / 9:18 am

    PrimitiveCinema, I believe we’ve met! :) Hope those brakes are working out. I’ll be posting my cider experiments in the next couple of days, if all goes well.

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