sunnudagur, nóvember 20, 2005


I have two bottles of vodka here. One is packed nearly full of cranberries. Full, that is, except for where the vodka is, and the vodka fills the rest of it. The other is not so full of cranberries. They float at the top, and in the space below hang several curling orange rinds like long fish beneath winter ice. A sprig of thyme pokes out from between the berries and extends down into the clear space beneath. It is less clear every day as the orange of the rinds colors the vodka and gives it a warm tinge.

All of this is set to steep for the week.

The steeping verb in Icelandic is trekkja. It is a drawing word, a pulling word, and just the same as Norwegian trekke it is used for drawing a card from the deck or a watch out of your pocket and for when the air is being pulled through the room in an uncomfortable fashion (these are cold countries) by a draught. It refers too, it would seem, to the drawing out of flavor, of aromatic oils, through the action of hot water or hard spirits.

All the same I have opened my most recently published edition of the Icelandic dictionary and consulted the entry for trekkja. There is no mention of tea, though I know that Icelanders use this verb if they are steeping tea and must for some reason talk about what they are doing. The entry mentions only coffee, the brewing thereof, and most especially the practice of pouring newly-brewed coffee back through the filter for a maximally strong drink koffínslega séð. Perhaps tea consumption was not deemed sufficiently Icelandic to warrant inclusion.

2 ummæli:

tristan sagði...

... and i'd been assuming that icelanders always drank mulled wine from their upturned viking helmets ...

sterna sagði...

Yeah, it's funny you don't see more of that. Myself I go for the angelica-flavored akavit. Recommendable and quite fierce.

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