"It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating," said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?"
"Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty," said Edmund.
The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle onto the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
~C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
I've never been good at telling jokes, and when jokes are told around me, I am often the last person to get it. Always. I do, however, have a good sense of humor with myself. For example, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world to edit in a clip from "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction when I was choosing the music for my senior class film for a close-up shot of my friend who was involved in an attempted robbery of...library books...from the Kent State Library our senior year of high school, right around senior paper time in AP English. I am certain that no one got this, with the possible exception of my friend, who did not find it particularly humorous at the time. If you're going to steal library books, though, you have to be prepared for a little ribbing from your equally nerdy friend. In college, one of my favorite memories was when I helped my friend Micah get dressed up as Waldo on Halloween—then Matt and I and a few others went uptown and shouted "Where's Waldo?" for an hour as he walked 50 yards ahead of us. (He was an amazingly good look-alike for Waldo, poor guy.) To me=funniest thing in the world. To everyone else=eh. Not so much the funniest thing in the world, though worthy of a little smile sometimes.
So tonight, I am hosting book club. We are discussing the classic Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I thought it would be funny to serve Turkish Delight. So I looked it up online, found a do-able recipe, and made it. To me=funniest thing in the world. To everyone else=well, based on my track record with humor, maybe not so much. We'll see.
Turkish Delight is really, really yummy. Here is the recipe. This is the unenchanted version.
rind of 1 medium lemon
rind of 1 medium orange
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cups caster sugar (superfine)*
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp gelatin
1 cup water, extra
2/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 drops orange or rose flower water**
red food coloring
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Line base and sides of a 6 3/4 inch square cake tin with foil (I used a 7 inch-ish pan, which is fine), leaving edges overhanging. Brush foil with oil or melted butter.
Remove pith from rinds.
Combine rinds, juices, sugar, and water (here is where I made a guess--I put a cup in, which turned out OK, but the water directions were a little vague in this recipe, I thought. Hmph.) in a large heavy-based pan. Stir over medium heat without boiling until sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to boil, reduce heat slightly, and boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Temperature should reach 221ºF. (Use a candy thermometer).
Combine gelatin with 1/2 cup water in bowl. Stir over hot water until dissolved. In separate bowl, combine cornstarch with remaining water, mix until smooth.
Add gelatin and cornstarch mixtures to sugar syrup. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils and clears. (At 6000+ feet altitude, this took about 15 minutes or so.) Stir in flower water and a few drops red food coloring. Strain mixture into cake tin, refrigerate overnight. When set peel off foil and cut into squares. Roll in powdered sugar.
[The recipe didn't say this, but I've been keeping my finished batch in the fridge. It tastes better cold. Oink oink.]
*at my grocery store, the sugar goes straight from granulated to ULTRA fine. No SUPER fine. My Turkish Delight is ULTRA good now, instead of just SUPER good.
**there is no orange water or rose flower water in my Turkish Delight. Mostly, because I do not know what this is, and the only person working the floor at King Sooper's on Tuesday night was a very deferential Asian man who did not appear to speak much English. (He did not appear to be Turkish, so I decided not to try and puzzle out with him about where to find this oddball ingredient.) The Turkish Delight did not seem to suffer because of it. Oink oink.