A white (faranje) adoptive mother to two Ethiopian (habesha) girls wends her way through
Exotic Ethiopian Cooking by D. J. Mesfin

Friday, February 12, 2010

Yebunna T'ej (Coffee-Flavored Honey Wine), part III

This week's recipe, Samma We't ("Spinach Like Plant Sauce 'Nettle'" -- that subtitle needed to be placed in quotes, as that is exactly what it says in the cookbook) will need to wait.  The good news is that, believe it or not, I found a source for fresh stinging nettle leaves.  It's even sold in 2-lb portions, which is exactly how much I need for the we't.  The bad news is that it's only available during April.  I haven't ruled out my local Asian market, yet, but suspect this may be a highly seasonal item.  So, be assured it's coming, but I'm issuing a rain check for the time being.  

Meanwhile, today was time for another yebunna t'ej intervention.  This step was supposed to be performed on Wednesday; however, I was in Rochester for work.  I was originally scheduled to fly out of Rochester on Wednesday night, but that was before my flight was canceled in preparation for Winter Storm Barbara (we name our winter storms here in CT), who dumped all of 1/2 of an inch of snow on us.  I didn't get home until after 6 Thursday night, so I'm just getting around to the t'ej today.  

There really wasn't all that much that to this step.  All that needed to be done was to strain the hops from the brew, which was looking like this:

after another week of sitting

We stocked up on cheesecloth at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, after being directed to the dishcloths by a member of the Target sales staff.  I folded the cheesecloth into about four plies, then laid it into the smallest-holed colander I have; this set-up was then placed on top of a stock pot:

After two passes through the cheesecloth, I still wasn't all that impressed with the results:

still looking a little murky

So I decided to try putting it through a coffee filter, first through the rigged-up Mr. Coffee (my poor appliances):

Then through a colander lined with coffee filters:

Though there was a fair bit of silt left over in the coffee filters (and I even replaced them all once during the process because they clogged up):

I'm not sure the t'ej is any clearer:

Side by side (or top/bottom) comparison:

That gesho kitel is quite difficult to filter out.  Perhaps it clears a bit later in the process.  For now, it sits for 24 hours and tomorrow, I move onto the penultimate step, part of which also involves the recipe I was supposed to have covered for the 5th!

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