05.12.2014 39 °F
I've been pretty busy with this project and meant to publish an update before Thanksgiving. However, the holidays are always a bustling time of year and getting my taste testers and photographer together to eat the food can be a challenge. I have finished selecting and writing the recipes for the book, although one or two may still change as I keep fiddling with them. My wife is equally content with all of the food she gets when she returns home after working and aggravated that all I did was make a mess of the kitchen and sat at the computer with the cats.
The next step is to finish writing the entries; talking about the places, stories or people associated with each bite of food presented. Also a glossary is required due to wide range of ingredients used throughout the book. More importantly the alternatives to some of the more difficult to acquire ingredients. Depending on that some recipes may need to be replaced such as Ottoman ice cream which requires a special flour that cannot be easily/legally imported from Turkey. Once I can try some alternatives, such as konnyaku or guar gum, we will find out.
I'm on track with the timeline but Christmas is fast approaching. Once it hits my photographer won't be in the country and I will have to find another who wants some food in exchange for their artistic talents.
Probably my favorite of the reconstructions has been the Turkish raviolis, filled with spiced beef and covered in tangy yogurt, sour sumac, sweet mint and fiery chiles, it hits all of right notes in the mouth.
Peking style duck, followed by duck soup is the most time intensive project yet. Three days in the garage to dry and marinade, one day to roast and eat and another to make the soup. I gathered some friends that had lived in China and had them sample the mahogany fowl, complete with plum sauce and pancakes. Hoping that the last four days had not been in vain, I was almost reluctant to actually cut into the duck. Thankfully everyone enjoyed it. To much, it appeared, as I didn't have any leftover meat for the soup but the intensity of the broth was more than enough. Having done it once I will try the duck again, as I think the roasting part can be improved on. As I write this, there is another duck sitting in my freezer and we will have round two.