Tuesday, August 15, 2006

11 pm update

The Tiki Bar is in full effect. Picked up all my spices at Kōkua and Down to Earth, where I ran into the owner of the new Lebanese Cafe downtown. He was picking up farina for some dessert on Thursday. Last time he made it his family ate it all before he could sell any, so tonight he's making double. I can't wait to see what it is. I'll be in line Thursday.

The Middle Eastern vibe is in full effect in my kitchen - it's full of the smells of almond, orange water, lime and pomegranate. Funny how many "Tiki" flavorings come from that part of the world. Even the cloves and allspice have an exotic air.

And I've already got early ideas for Christmas. No more cookies. If these syrups work then everyone is getting a Tiki Kit: homemade orgeat, falernum, grenadine, and pimento dram. 'Cause so far it's all looking good. The grenadine is done, the orgeat will be done soon, the falernum will take 24 hours, and the pimento dram another 4 weeks.

The only disaster was an experiment with guar gum for gomme syrup. I couldn't find gum arabica [a.k.a. gum acacia: sap from Acacia senegal], a sacchiride and glycoprotein cold water thickening agent. I did find guar gum [from India: an extract from the guar bean Cyamopsis tetragonoloba], which is a polysaccharide and cold water thickening agent. It worked, but all too well - it turned everything it touched into a super gooey gel. When I was washing the dishes some of the residue turned the wash basin into instant jello. There is some molecular mixology potential here, but for now I'm sticking with tradition.

The lady working the counter at Fukioka's told me she just hired a Samoan guy to build her a Tiki Bar in her house. I offered to bring the drinks if she hosted the party. She laughed. I'm not down yet. We'll see.

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