i tossed out a broken coffee table and an old microwave. i actually tested the microwave to see if it still worked; i managed to turn the darn thing on while the door was still open! that must've been why i replaced it.
in the early evening i began my attempt at making turkish delight. i checked out a bunch of recipes online and decided to go with a simple one. the only ingredient i didn't have was lemon juice, but i had some old limes in the fridge which i used as a substitute (the amount was very minute, just 2 teaspoons, basically the juice of one lime).
turkish delight involves the combination of 2 elements: a liquid syrup mixed with a corn starch paste. rose water is just for flavoring, food coloring just for looks, and powdered sugar makes the final pieces from sticking together. i decided to make the syrup and the starch paste simultaneously to save time. the syrup: 4 cups of sugar, 1.5 cups of water, 2 tsp lime juice; the paste: 1 cup corn starch, 1 tsp cream of tartar (i still don't know what this is for, but seemed essential), and 3 cups of water. what i didn't realize was my candy thermometer was busted, with the temperature stuck at 160°F.
meanwhile, the paste turned out lumpy because the corn starch congealed into pellets when i poured it into the water. i kept stirring the paste until it resembled paper mache pulp. the paste was all done but i was still waiting on the syrup. by then i realized the thermometer was broken so i switched to a digital backup. the temperature hovered at around 230°F, but the recipe said it needed to be at 240°F. growing impatient, i figured a few degrees wouldn't matter and poured the syrup into the boiling paste.
i'd read the mixture might need to be stirred for as long as an hour, which wasn't that big a deal since i'm already used to long stirring sessions from making my quince jellies. over time the starch pellets did break down, but there still seemed to be a lot remaining. the mixture slowly got more yellow as well.
at almost the one hour mark, the mixture looked thick enough so i began adding the colors. i've never worked with food colors before, so it was pretty exciting. a color chart on the back gave formulas for specific colors. to get pink, it's one drop of blue for every 3 drops of red. i began with the blue, which immediately turned the mixture to green since it was already yellow. 3 drops of red brought it to more of a reddish pink color (kind of amber, reminded me of the quince jelly). next came the flavoring. normally the recipe calls for rose water, but i used rose essence instead, which is the same but stronger. i used a teaspoon amount. once that was all set, i turned off the burner and poured everything into a 9x9" pan. originally i was going to use a 9x13" pan, but realized that would be too large. i greased the pan itself with some peanut oil, covered it with a large piece of plastic wrap, then greased the plastic wrap, before pouring in the turkish delight mixture.
while cleaning the pots, i tasted some of the jelly. very sweet, but with a nice rose flavor. the pot i used to cook the mixture in was particularly hard to clean. the corn starch had formed a hard layer on the bottom impervious to a soft scouring pad. i ended up boiling some water in the pot and scraping at the layer with a ceramic spoon, before washing it in the sink again (that seemed to do the trick).
i had some leftover lasagna for lunch, washed down with a mango lassi. for dinner, more of the same, with a complementary can of black cherry seltzer. periodically i'd go in the kitchen and inspect the turkish delight. even hours later, it still hasn't solidified. i poked at it with a spoon: it has the consistency of honey, but a bit stickier. i'll leave it outside overnight and see what happens tomorrow morning. a few things that could've gone wrong: i should've waited for the syrup to reach 240°F, maybe there's still too much water left (although boiling it for another hour in the combined mixture should've solved that problem); i overcooked the starch paste, should've combined it with the syrup the moment it started to become paste-like; i didn't do a good job combining the corn starch with water that's why there's so many starch pellets.