Thursday, February 27, 2014
I visited the old Brooklyn hood recently, in order to drop off the spice blend at Los Paisanos on Smith Street, for our custom-boerewors. First, I popped in at Stinky's to buy a bottle of malt vinegar, also for the sausage, and of course I had to bring home a wild boar saucisson (sliced, above, in the tiny dish). It was small and dry and wonderful, and we ate it all, with martinis, which are now called Tupolevs. Well, the perfect martini is a Tupolev. Not every one qualifies. That has a long backstory and perhaps only the cat is qualified to tell it.
And at Sahadi's I bought a ton of spices. Their last two boxes of barberries, green and white and black peppercorns, carayway, fenugreek, paprika, star anise, nigella, and lavender (I'm going to cure a duck breast or two with that - I have always wanted to hang things from this high ceiling), and lots of mustard seeds, so that I can pickle some more (p. 203 of A Delicious Life). It seems to be the best condiment anyone has ever eaten, and disappears in a flash, with a kind of whoofing sound...
Sherry and cider vinegar have become staples and I can't find them in the Harlem hood. Nor, interestingly, in practical quantities at Wholefoods.
In the meantime, the polar vortex has returned, the oldest patches of iced snow are still greying in shady heaps on sidewalks, and I look at the David Austin rose catalogue every few hours, to try and decide what to put where. Can one have too many Abraham Darby's?