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by Naomi Newton
I chose this recipe for a few reasons. Number one, I love Turkish delight; number two, I've never made it before and thought now is time and number three, the recipe seemed very straight forward and easy …
Well, all I can say is that this recipe needs to come with some warnings! First, I would seriously caution against children making the recipe unsupervised, and second, be very careful when boiling the mixture. It is certainly the biggest and stickiest mess I have had to clean up to date … of which my slippers did not survive.
The steam express to Turkey
I happily followed the recipe as stated and everything seemed to be going to plan.
While waiting for the mixture to come to boil, (which took some time), I stirred occasionally and listened to the fascinating rumbling sound that was beginning to emanate from the pot. It sounded like a steam train off in the distance, yet approaching. Except that it was more like an erupting volcano without any prior notice – up and out of the pot!
Thankfully, I was right there and could grab my long-handled pot just in time. Over to the sink we went with the mixture overflowing along the way – stovetop, bench, cupboard doors and floor!
I probably lost about 15-20 per cent of the mix, but I was definitely more concerned with staying safe. Once the mix settled down I returned it to the stovetop (the particular element I was using had not been affected) and continued. The mix didn’t react the same way again, it just boiled along nicely for 10 minutes, the way a good steam train should.
The result however was very yummy and I would consider making it again. Suggestion: make sure your pot has a long handle, just in case, and remove it from the stovetop if it looks even the slightest bit jumpy.
Turkish delight recipe
Ingredients: Soak 2 oz isinglass or gelatine for 20 minutes in 1 cup of cold water. Pour 1½ cups boiling water over it. Add 2lb. sugar, and boil with a few drops of essence of lemon for 10 minutes. Pour into dish about 1 inch thick. When quite cold (4 hours) cut into squares and roll in sugar.
Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p. 146.
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Glorious Days: Australia 1913 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.