Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gift in a Jar 3: Dried Apricots in Cardamom Syrup

(The other 2 gifts in a jar are here and here.)

Not going to go into too much detail on this one, since I really didn't doctor the original recipe at all, other than double it up to fill a 3/4-liter jar. It came from The Improvisational Cookbook, my new best friend, and was a fitting gift for a particularly Middle-East-obsessed friend of mine. The method is pretty simple -- make a sugar syrup, throw some heady aromatic pods and beans in there, simmer in some dried apricots, pour into jar.

But let me just say that it did give me occasion to buy my very first vanilla bean, and my what a satisfying experience that was! The sticky shrively thing makes you marvel at humanity -- so ugly and unappealing from the outside, but take the time to open it up and there is an abundance of tiny seeds with the most delicious scent, gobs of the stuff hiding among its folds, waiting to be scraped out. I'm grateful for the person who took a chance that very first time.

I will also say that this recipe made my apartment smell like a casbah (ok i have no idea what a casbah smells like, and must sheepishly admit i have no idea what a casbah even is, but it smelled perfumey and aromatic and of all sorts of arabia goodness, and furthermore if my apartment were a casbah, whatever that is, this recipe would rock it).

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