Production line

Today we have been spending some time doing prep work for making doubangjiang, or chilli bean paste. My partner does the fun work and I get to help with peeling the skin from dried broadbeans and here, scraping the membrane and seeds out of the chillies.

After de-seeding, the chillies are left to soak in a salty water brine for several days before the prepared broadbeans are added.

Having made this style of chilli bean paste in previous years, my partner is going ‘off piste’ this year with his own version of the recipe.

If you would like to try it yourself, here is a recipe. The pictures will guide you through the process.

Plummy accents

I wrote earlier this year about using up some plums my friend had given me. I never did get around to showing you the ice cream I made, mainly because I made the spicy plum ‘swirl’ mix and then froze it until I got around to making the ice cream several weeks later. Now I will warn you that the photo looks somewhat alarming. I made a custard as the basis for the ice cream, but my hen Letty lays eggs with such dark yellow coloured yolks that they made the ice cream very yellow.

Yellow ice cream courtesy of Letty's eggs
Yellow ice cream courtesy of Letty’s eggs

 I don’t think it looks so good with the plum mix – at least it tastes great.

Plum swirl ice cream, lurid but tasty!
Plum swirl ice cream, lurid but tasty!

Our other plum taste this month is the Sparkling Plum wine that TB made from plums we were given in early 2014. The colour may be pale and interesting but the alcohol level turns out to give quite a kick.

Sparkling Plum wine, taste with a kick
Sparkling Plum wine, taste with a kick

Now we just need to put the rest of the vintage aside for special occasions.