Monday, September 11, 2006

The Russian volume

Of the Time-Life Foods of the World series, of course. I've been delving into it, for no other reason than that I haven't much before.

Two useful items have turned up. One is a Georgian (as in Republic of, not as in State of) method for frying small chickens flat under a weight. We think we'll try it sometime this week. The s.o. has decided it's time for one of the extra roosters to go. It's awfully crowded and roostery in Chicken Land.

The other is the page on infused vodkas. The flavors are all extremely intriguing: lemon peel, tea, pepper, tart cherry pit, anise seed, sweet cherry, buffalo grass. I decided I wanted to try making an infused vodka immediately. I started scrounging around in the kitchen. The tart cherries my mom and I buy every year come pre-pitted, so they were no help, but luckily tart cherry pits are sold as a spice called mahlab, which I had bought some of a while ago on a whim.

Sampled on its own, mahlab tastes stale and vaguely unpleasant. But I smashed some with a pestle, steeped it in vodka overnight, strained it out with a jelly bag, and bingo! We now have half a pint of assertively cherry-almondy vodka. I like.