Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Prepare to be shocked.

All right, dearest. Sit down and hold on. I am about to tell you a shocking, yes, SHOCKING tale. You may need to have smelling salts prepared and 9-1-1 predialed on your cell phone. If you have a cell phone. You might not have a cell phone. I don't judge you. Unlike others, who judge me for not being on Facebook. We are above such things, you and I.

But, not shockingly, I digress.

Lately, I have spent time perusing the Internet [not shocking] looking at recipes [really not shocking] for Cornish Saffron Cake [maybe a little surprising] that I wish to make. I decided to try out one of the recipes for Soup Day tomorrow. The directions instruct one to soak the saffron in hot milk overnight. I assume the milk begins as hot and cools in the soaking process, but that's not stated. Neither is it relevant, but since when does that matter?

Since I want to make this tonight, probably after 2200---oh, you do, too, know what that means. It's 10:00 PM. Focus, please. Since I want to make this tonight, I went home at lunch and pulled out the saffron I bought in the market in Luxor, Egypt.

I told you I went to Egypt. No, I did, I'm sure I did. Okay, maybe I didn't. Stop yelling. I'll tell you that saga another day. Back to the saffron.

Now, despite the fact that I all but hermetically sealed the saffron in a glass jar and wrapped the jar in foil to protect the saffron from light, I was a little concerned that age of my saffron might have diminished the flavor, so I was moderately generous with my half-teaspoon measurement. I added it to the hot milk, then left it alone to begin its steeping process as I hustled around the kitchen, prepping for tonight's dinner. Evidently, Roommate doesn't enjoy eating dinner at 2100. [9:00 PM. Don't be difficult.] I thought I'd get a couple of things done beforehand and increase the odds of eating earlier.

So the steak is marinating, the garlic and potatoes are getting to know one another, the salad merely has to be tossed into a bowl, hand-wash dishes are washed, dishwasher is working on the rest of them and I turned and glanced at my steeping saffron.

It's supposed to look like this:

It doesn't. Instead of the strong, vibrant yellow, my steeped milk is...reddish. This may be hard to hear [or read] but now, I believe I was sold fake saffron. Probably chili threads.

This means that an American tourist in Egypt was completely fooled by a spice vendor.

I'll leave you alone to process that. I know. Take your time.


  1. Egyptians scamming tourists? Butbutbut-- Egypt has had tourism as a major industry for centuries, possibly millennia. (Millenniums? Seriously? Webster allows both spellings but OED goes with -ums... crap) These folks have tourist-servicing built into their genes... ohwait. Nevermind.

  2. all i can say! so what did you end up making for soup day?

  3. Heh heh heh...come in and see. Or...just read the next blog.

  4. Tcha!!! I know!!! This is why I am so shocked.