Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fiddling with a Riddle

You poke me in the eye
And my jaws open wide
Paper, Linen or Cloth ….
I Lustily …..

This sing song excited voice jarred me into consciousness early Sunday morning. I took a moment to get my bearings straight when that excited voice, full of charged vigor screamed saying “quick, quick, what is it?” I had no answer and I unconsciously asked for the lines to be repeated again. Meanwhile, my senses had still not kicked in to match the adrenaline charged voice on the other end of my phone and it was rendered futile as I heard another voice pipe up from behind somewhere, this time shouting out “Dustbin”. I chose to shut off my phone and catch up on the leftover forty winks.

I woke up in a few hours with the words still ringing in my head and realized it was for a “Treasure Hunt”, a pre-wedding celebration, organized by a lovely to-be couple who were due to get married in a week’s time. Good friends of my brother and young as young can be. Their revelry and pre-wedding celebrations were justified as they stretched endlessly from one occasion to another, as they could afford to make all this happen all with being a fun bunch who have no rules and are probably what the next generation is made up of, no wonder I saw my sibling shuffling around at 7am on a Sunday morning getting ready to go off on this expedition around town.  

For some odd reason, all I could think of was strawberries, as the words were still fresh in my mind (best way to rote stuff, jar it into your head early morning) because the words eye and lust for some reason registered and connote with strawberries (I have no clue how the rest fits in) excusable considering no one throws a riddle at you on a Sunday morning. It might have popped into my head as it being the season and also my mind not thinking beyond food when in “decipher” mode. I usually get into this mode when I am taking apart dishes and trying to figure out the ingredients, quite complex.

I love seasonal fruits, strawberries being a favorite and considered a fruit associated with passion. The fragrance, the color, the taste, all in all sums up to a delicious experience and if you know how to use it well, it can be quite a versatile ingredient in many dishes. My love for strawberries goes beyond slicing them up on breakfast dishes or adding dollops of cream. I have experimented with it in drinks, in salads and of course, various desserts.

A favorite drink made during the season, as I prefer using fresh strawberries rather than crushes, squashes or jams when making cocktails – is a Daiquiri. Fresh, inhibited & raw flavor of fruit intermingled with a sweet alcohol base, a joy to devour.

This daiquiri is infused with a little basil to bring out the freshness and fruitiness of the strawberry even more. A tad bit of guava is incorporated to make an ultimate and exotic feel to the cocktail. Go ahead and shake this up while the season is on.

(For one cocktail)

1 shot White Rum
4 fresh strawberries hulled and halved
3 tablsp Guava pulp
1 leaf Basil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tablsp Powdered Sugar
A dash of Cointreau (optional)
Cracked Ice

Chill a margarita glass in the freezer before preparing the cocktail.

Pour the Cointreau in the Guava juice and stir. Pour this mix in the margarita glass till it fills the bulb at the bottom.

In a shaker combine, strawberries, cracked ice (large pieces), sugar, lemon Juice, rum and basil leaf. Give it a good shake and peep in to check if the strawberries are crushed with the ice. If you feel this is a tough nut to crack (or pulp) run a metal pound onto the strawberries and pound for a few minutes. Give it a good shake and pour into a vessel. Remove the basil leaf and blend with a hand blender or mixer till you get a smooth frozen pulp.

(The shaker serves the purpose of infusing the basil flavor into the drink and to not overwhelm the flavor we remove the leaf and then blend the fruit and alcohol together, this step is essential in keeping the base flavors intact)

Pour the pulp onto the guava juice in the margarita glass and serve chilled with a garnish of basil leaf and half a strawberry.

Meanwhile, congratulations to the to-be married couple – hope their commitment is treasured as much as their treasure hunt today!


1 comment:

Jinal said...

Nikhil can relate food to anything and everything and his descriptions and of course the concoctions are just so beautiful, that a lazy bum like me, would also want to try my hands at it. Simply superb>> your book is highly awaited !!