[Sca-cooks] groundnuts (N o - pls), continued - horchata (Lilinah)

Susan Fox selene at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 13 20:24:56 PDT 2007

I have a few thoughts on this recipe as well. 

Identifying the "silk almond" seems to be an issue.  Could this be the 
almond while still young green, which are available for a very few weeks 
in springtime?  The seed in the middle is soft and gel-like, could that 
be called soft as silk?

An examination of the area map might be in order.  Perhaps there are 
mountains to the east and the water from the rivers in that direction 
are pure cool snow-melt;  or the wellspring to the east which feeds the 
rivers is particularly pure or otherwise healthful.

I'm not buying the "mulberry" theory.  The seeds of the mulberry are 
many and small and not flavorful, like other similar berries of multiple 
drupes.  But I have had my differences of opinion with Charles Perry 

> Here's the recipe "broken out".
> Words in [square brackets] are my own comments and musings.
> Syrup of Almonds of Silk
> 4 ratl Almonds of Silk
> Water
> 3 ratl Honey
> The bag:
> 1/2 uqiya Cinnamon
> 1/2 uqiya Cloves
> 1 uqiya Cubebs
> 1 uqiya Long Pepper
> 1 uqiya Galangal
> DIRECTIONS [somewhat simplified]
> 1. Take silk almonds and extract the small seeds from them after 
> removing their hearts and clean well in water.
> [since chufa are little tubers, then i guess they doesn't have seeds 
> in them, so my initial musing is wrong]
> 2. Then take water out of a river oriented Eastward; heat polished 
> steel and cool it in this water until the water is reduced by half 
> and changes color.
> [i wonder about this - does this add some medicinal property? Or is 
> this just a way of purifying the water?]
> 3. Cook the silk almonds in this water until its substance comes out; press it.
> 4. Add honey to the silk almond water
> 5. In a bag of fine cloth put the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cubebs, 
> long pepper and galangal. Then pound roots and put them in a bag, 
> which is then tied with a strong thread.
> [many recipes in this book call for putting spices into a bag rather 
> than directly into the syrup to keep it clearer]
> [galangal is a rhizome, as is ginger - are these the roots to be pounded?]
> 6. Put the bag in the honey-silk almond water
> 7. Put it on the fire and cook it until a syrup is made.
> 8. Drink two uqiyas of this with three of hot water.
> Clearly the recipe depends on the unknown primary ingredient, silk almonds...

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