Recently, after some Lebonese dinner across town, my wife said, “There’s an ice cream place only two blocks away. Let’s go!”
I was already full. Case in point: She was toting a box of leftovers but I was not. Mine had been crammed down my gullet. This scenario would soon allow me to put my advanced decision-making skills on display.
We walked into the shop and it was what I like to describe as “Portland cute.” The place was constructed to look post-industrial. This means concrete walls, vaulted ceilings with lots of duct work, lighting fixtures that hang all the way down from the ceiling and, of course, the pièce de résistance of the Portland eatery scene: the fake garage door. Those things are ubiquitous around here, perhaps even on par with the fedora and other trendy chapeaux.
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Today we feature a traditional dessert from the Abyss Recipe Cookbook that you’re bound to enjoy time and time again unless you try it on yourself.
The valaska is a long thin light axe used in past centuries by shepherds in the Carpathian Mountains, especially in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The features of a valaska combine a tool with a walking stick, that could be used as a light weapon. It has symbolic historical and cultural connotations and is still used as a prop in many traditional dances, for example the odzemok.
Note: For this recipe a valaska with an ovenproof handle is a must.
You can find valaska in any quality Czech hardware/weapons store. If not available in your area, a hatchet may be used instead. The results will be similar.
Akutaq (aka Eskimo Ice Cream) is traditionally made with animal fat but you can make your own using Crisco as a modern substitute. Reindeer tallow, if you can get it, is highly recommended.
- 1 valaska (see note), traditionally a little over 1 metre in length
- 4.2 pounds of akutaq (may be substituted with gelato, frozen yogurt, or ice cream)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. This temperature is necessary for a cooking process known as searing.
Place the valaska in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until an angry crimson glow can been seen. If the valaska won’t fit, it is permissible to place the valaska with the head-piece inside and the handle sticking out. Adjust cooking time as necessary.
While baking, prep the akutaq by placing it in a large metal bowl.
When the valaska is ready, carefully remove from oven (it will be hot). Dip the head-piece into the bowl of akutaq ensuring a full equal coating. The combination of heat and cold will sear the akutaq creating a fond.
Garnish with fresh slices of human head.
- Add eight (8) pieces of crisped bacon, crumbled, during akutaq prep
- Aim for the kneecaps
- Vegetarians: Replace akutaq with a pine nut pesto
From Grandma’s Kitchen: “Baked Valaska doesn’t kill people. People do! En garde!“
Vacation – Guru On Ice
I’m not going to lie to you. Vacation* was awesome. Here is the Reader’s Digest version of tidbits.
Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Abyss. I keep telling her she needs her own name. She shouldn’t be Mrs. to anything. It’s like, “Please allow me to introduce Mrs. Tom B. Taker.” Yeah, right. The ultimate in humiliation! Let us pray for her own name.