For the first time in months, this weekend my husband and I have nothing that we have to be doing. This morning we did our usual weekend recce over breakfast, discussing what must be done over the next two days and both felt as if we’re somehow forgetting something vital. We’re not. Our time is our own. In my head the tumbleweed is rolling across the open prairies and you know what? It’s a nice feeling.
I have this theory that constantly being idle is actually bad for the spirit. On the other hand I can confirm that constantly having something to do is equally bad. I’m glad that we can get back to the happy medium. Today will be the normality of a trip to the pet supply shop for cat bics and blob, followed by, who knows? Maybe a trip to the beach for a ‘Mr Whippy’ from the ice cream van. Ah…normality. I like normality.
Getting the right balance of flavours in food can sometimes be tricky. If you’re reducing any liquid on the hob, bear in mind that flavours will be intensified so be careful about how much salt you add to begin with. To state the obvious : It’s easier to add more after reduction than it is to take away!
Be careful particularly when making gravy The juices left at the bottom of your roasting pan often have intense flavour, including saltiness, so extra seasoning is rarely necessary. You may be tempted to reach for the wine (for the pan – not you!) in order to balance things out. Don’t. Wine tends to further emphasise saltiness. In the case of over-salted gravy, add more stock or water and some parsley to absorb the salt. If you find your gravy then lacks flavour add one of the following: a little redcurrant jelly, butter, a tablespoon of medium or sweet sherry or even a small piece of stock cube (because commercially made stock cubes are, in themselves, salty)!
All may not be lost and depending on what you’re preparing, you have a few options:
For soups and stews add a raw potato and continue to cook for about 15 minutes. As the potato cooks it will absorb some of the salt and you can remove it at the end.
White bread-crumbs, cream and parsley will all help mask too much salt.
For French dressing or any sauce that you think could take a hint of sweetness, adding a little sugar will balance out the flavours.
Conversely, if you have made a food too sweet and you think it can take it, add a pinch of salt or a dash of vinegar.
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