Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just a wee bit of shortbread and scotch

On this day in 1759, Scotland's poet, Robbie Burns was born. He is celebrated every year with a toast. You may even know one of his most widely recited poems, you may sing it on New Years Eve. Yes, its Auld Lang Syne. So to honor Robbie Burns I made shortbread cookies.
The recipe for the cookies is adapted from the Highlander's Cookbook: Recipes from Scotland by Sheila MacNiven Cameron. I used KerryGold unsalted butter and had to adjust the time a bit. The first batch was too dark and so the rest of the cookies came out just fine when I cut the time in half. I purchased it online from vintage bookseller, Omnivore Books, in San Fransisco. Even though my clan is from the Lowlands, I think that I'll keep it.
I would have toasted with haggis but unbeknownst to me haggis is illegal to import into the US. I'm sure that you are glad. It's really not bad, I've had it, twice in one week even! Maybe it should go on my  bucket list to make, or not. I'm not sure it might be hard to find sheep's stomach and other bits and pieces.

So on this day I raise a wee glass of whisky (if is true Scottish there is no e in whisky) and eat a shortbread.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Civet Cat coffee tasting!

Final product and what is looks like before roasting

Normally one would not say no to a warm cup of coffee on a cold January day but this coffee just might turn you off to drinking it all together. But I took that leap of faith and signed up for the Kopi Luwak coffee tasting at my local coffee shop.
What is that you ask? Well let me tell you it is coffee that comes out of the back end of the digestive track of the small Civet cat from the jungles of Sumatra. Now, I know what you are thinking, ewwwwww.  And trust me I thought the same thing too. I also said no way I would ever drink coffee that comes from cat poop.
I took the plunge, bit the bullet and signed up for the tasting at Zeke's. The anticipating grew as I started out on my walk to the shop. To my surprise the shop was crowed with curious coffee tasters like me. As the tasting started John, one of the owners, explained the process. And before all the PETA haters start in on me. This coffee is naturally harvested these cats are not farmed and force fed the coffee cherries. The coffee was poured and the timid tasters laughed and joked about the coffee. After letting the coffee cool down a bit, I didn't want to run the risk of burns to my tongue, I took my first sip.
Hey, to my surprise it was dark and rich, earthy and less acidic than some of the roast that I normally drink.
That was a very good cup off coffee. Would I do it again yes. Hopefully next year Zeke's will do another taste testing. But for now I am happy to cross this off my bucket list of food. What's next fugu? Puffin? Fermented shark? Horse meat perhaps? Never say never is my motto now. I'll try it once how about you?

Getting ready for the tasting

Up close and personal with the sample

Yes it THAT coffee!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What is the universe telling me?

The tree is down the ornaments are put away, so I just that's it-it's over. Since the  new year is a week old I think someone is trying  to tell me something. These are the cookbooks that made their way into my collection this year. Is the universe trying to tell me something? I guess this year is the year for macarons. Ok, I'm game! Fingers crossed. I hope they aren't a complete disaster. Well at least my neighbors will find out!