I am from the South and I don’t use that word lightly! That being said, we are about to get dropkicked with 95 degree heat tomorrow!! It’s supposed to be 90 today. Our apartment doesn’t feel that awful which is a blessing since we don’t have AC here. Most of the places we looked at didn’t have it. Molly’s school doesn’t have it either. Hopefully it is well ventilated because that really seems to be helping out here. We bought two more fans over the weekend and have them stationed near open windows throughout. We bought a bag of ice to have on hand for cold drinks and I have been brewing the Lipton. I drink a lot of flashy tea but when it comes down to having it cold, I just want unsweetened Lipton over lots of ice. Being from the South, I don’t take my tea lightly either. Do NOT give me that bottled stuff!
Today I had some iced tea along with a delicious salad. I have a pasta salad chilled in the fridge but I decided to go for some more fresh greens from the garden. I wish I could say that the strawberries are also from the back but, alas, I think my plant is done. I suspect that some sort of critter hijacked the few that I still had coming in. Anyways, back to the salad! I topped it off with some goat cheese, toasted walnuts and some balsamic reduction. We bought a huge bottle of it and so I figured there was plenty to play around with. I’ve made three attempts now at balsamic reduction and two were successful. You really have to be patient and keep the heat down low and just let it slowly simmer. My failed batch tasted so scorched that it was impossible to enjoy it on anything so down the sink it went!
The goal is for the liquid to reduce by about 20-30%, depending on how concentrated that you want it to be. I like it to get to the point that it flows much more slowly the second it gets colder. You can see the tip of the pan. A drop of balsamic is suspended there that cooled off and got thick. I usually test with a spoon over the course of cooking it down. The inside is completely glazed over but rinses easily with hot water. The syrup itself has the consistency the of the squeezy bottle of chocolate syrup from my childhood that I used to squirt into my glass of milk until it was dark as midnight.
The end result looks very unassuming but it is powerful stuff!!! Pour into a clean jar, let it cool and then put the lid on and stick it in the fridge. It keeps for a while! This stuff is made for summer and it shines brightest on salads, cheese, pound cake, berries….. All of the major perks of the season! I can’t wait until my tomatoes come in!
Speaking of summer, I have been streaming my seasonal Grooveshark playlist like mad lately. You can too!