Aquavit-Day 2

Aquavit_Day 2

Yesterday, I infused potato vodka two different ways in order to make aquavit.
On the left we have a Blueberry Aquavit.  It will be mixed with a a bit of simple
syrup after 6 to 8 weeks of infusion time.  On the right, we have a lemon, pepper, and
dill aquavit which is the more traditionally Scandinavian of the two.
In late August or early September, I will strain out the solids and then pour the
remaining liquid back into the original bottles.  Aquavit should be served ice-cold and
preferably in shot glasses.

Strawberry Sake


Over the weekend, my husband and I infused sake with two pints of fresh strawberries. Two days ago, I did the first straining to remove the strawberries.  Today, the sake went through a second filtering to remove any bits of strawberries that remained after the initial straining.    We are going to pour our first glass tonight!

Do you want to try making this kind of infused sake at home?
Here is the recipe!
Recipe: Strawberry-infused sake

霜ばしら/Frost Pillars


Frost Pillar_Final

My husband and I received these delicate, delicious candies as a gift this past weekend.

Made from starch syrup, sugar, glutinous rice, and starch, Shimobashira (霜ばしら) are a traditional Japanese candy which are only sold between October and April in Miyagi Prefecture’s Sendai City.

Shimobashira means “frost pillar” and the candies are meant to resemble the  small pillars of frost that form near the foot of Mount Zao during the winter season. In English, frost pillars are often called Needle Ice.  They are formed when soil temperature is above freezing (0°C/32°F) and air’s surface temperature is below freezing.

The fragile candies are packed in rakugan flour—a mixture of sugar and rice flour—in order to keep them moist and to prevent breakage.  The flour can be lightly heated (the rakugan should not be melted), added to a few pinches of salt, and then used as a topping for the candy, however, Shimobashira can also be enjoyed without the rakugan flour.

Here is an example of real “needle ice”.  I found this image at the following website.