Ecuador! Brooklyn! Okra!

One of the only things I missed about America was my kitchen. Not that I didn’t cook up a storm with my comrades in Ecuador, but I hated not having all my own pots and ladles and spices. Most of all, not having an oven. I know, horrifying to even think about.

Despite all the hardships, I did manage to whip up some delicious mora jam, bake cinnamon rolls with panela, and teach my amigo mejor how to create basic rolls. My baking projects where few and far between though, and I was itching to get back and make something in the kitchen. All I needed was a little inspiration to get back into my groove, and it came on Tuesday when I worked Brooklyn Uncorked. My amazing friend Sunshine is just starting up CAKEette, a dessert service inspired by 1940s cigarette girls, and I was lucky enough to be one for the night! I’m really looking forward to watching her progress; I think it’s a genius idea.

After an amazing night of local food and wine, I was totally swept back up into the romance of creating any-and-all-things edible. Last night I had pan-fried salmon, creamy mashed potatoes, and fresh, local asparagus. It was quick and easy, but probably the best thing I’ve cooked since I got home last week. I also decided to end the night by baking my first loaf of artisan bread, which is delightful and beautiful, but basic and not really worth documenting on here. Next time.

The original point of this post, however, was to let you all know I finally tried pickling okra! After receiving a request for some (before I left the country) I had done a little online reading on the subject, but that’s about it. But after I snagged some pickled okra from Rick’s Picks on Tuesday, it was over. I had to do it. So, I did.

I’ll let you know how they turned out. I went a little crazy on the spice. I can already tell I made some other rookie mistakes, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. More detail next time, when I finally get the hang of this pickling thing. Maybe I should actually try some basic (cucumber) pickles next time.

This post was supposed to be all about the okra, but I guess the real moral is, I’m back in action, and I love food more than ever! Be prepared for an onslaught of crazy goodness in the coming weeks.