Spellcheck does not like the word ‘beetroot’. Every time I write it, be it in Word, on Twitter or in this blog, those annoying little red dots appear beneath it, signaling that I’ve made a terrible error. I start to doubt myself, check the dictionary, and find I was right…again!
I have made this dip a number of times, it is great served with meat, fish, in chunky ham sandwiches, in wraps, burgers…the list is endless! So I had no problem in making it again for this challenge. What always amazes me is the colour. You mix the tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, water, salt and garlic in one bowl, and mash the beetroot in another (I like to leave some chunks in there rather than purée it). Once you combine the contents of both bowls, the colour that’s created is amazing, just don’t get it on your clothes whatever you do!
In the past, I’ve always made my own tahini by blending sesame seeds into a paste with a little oil. This time, I bought some tahini in a jar. To be perfectly honest, I prefer it when I make my own. The tahini I used this time was much too overpowering. I’m not suggesting that you should all start making your own tahini, but I would advise you to add less than the recipe suggests until you get the strength of flavour you desire.
If you’re like me, you accumulate cookery books. Your library multiplies on a year by year basis with the help of Christmas and birthday presents, impulse buys, borrowing (otherwise known as stealing as I rarely get round to returning any), inheritance or all of the aforementioned. My mam and I, regardless of how much we enjoy cooking and eating, often lament the fact that we will never get round to creating every single recipe in our collections.
I’m sure we aren’t alone. You will embark on a baking frenzy one weekend then won’t pick up a whisk for another six months; you have a pile of cookery books on your bedside table and you enjoy nothing more than pouring through the unspattered pages, drooling over the glossy images and walking through the method (in your head) of creating each recipe in turn; you have dreams of owning a bakery, a cafe or a small boutique restaurant and you believe these books will come in handy one day; you plan elaborate parties/soirees/gatherings/dinner parties which never materialise; you even write shopping list after shopping list in order to breathe life into these limp paper recipes but you either end up abandoning your plans or despairing as your local supermarket doesn’t stock the exact ingredients (rosewater, split pigeon pea lentils, tahini, vanilla bean dusting…) you require.
This is where it ends, or in fact begins. I’m writing this having just married and arrived home from honeymoon, and with all the planning (and occasional stressing) over, I realise I surely must have some free time on my hands. I also recently watched the film Julie & Julia and I must acknowledge this true story as I would hate anyone to think that I was stealing a previously explored idea. I have merely been inspired by it.
As of Saturday, 5th May 2012 I will begin to work my way through the collection of 34 cookery books I possess so that one day, I will be able to tell my mam that I have indeed created each and every recipe I own.
On that note I will leave you but will return with the method and rules which I will follow in order to climb this delicious mountain of books. I may be writing to myself here for a few months (if not a few years) but if you do happen upon this blog, please feel free to post your own comments about the recipes I attempt – you may have your own insight as to Nigella’s whisking method, Antonio’s raviolli or Gordon’s basting…