Monday, 4 August 2008

Behold the RUMTOPF!

Whoohoo! Major score in the charity shop this afternoon - a real honest-to-goodness, straight from euro-kitsch heaven itself - RUMTOPF!. I realise the element of surprise is somewhat defused by the post title, but hey.

I will explain, although you may not find that this solves any qualms you may be currently experiencing about whether I have finally slid into full-scale tweed-and bowler-hat mad-dog Englishness - no, my pretties, that will be reserved for when I join the WI or start brewing my own ale - oh wait - I already do that. Anyways, a RUMTOPF, being of course German, (I know, you know - but - emphasis, eh?) would be far from your general bowler-hatted English person's eccentricities.

CJJ Berry, in his unparalleled tome, "First Steps in Winemaking", gives a recipe for RUMTOPF, which he describes as "...a truly gorgeous idea which, once you have tried it you will never fail to repeat each year." Basically, you layer soft fruits, as they come into season, with sugar and rum, leave it for months (or, you know, as long as you can) and traditionally eat at Christmas. Online opinion seems divided over whether the fruit or the rum is the best part - I will reserve judgment but if I were betting I'd go for the rum.

Then I found out you have special jars for this stuff - and I am a sucker for any cooked-fermented-baked-canned-brewed item that requires a unique vessel. If I were to let fly this obsession, cooking in my kitchen would quickly become impossible due to the mountains of bundt pans, pudding molds, rosette fryers, etc. Luckily, I am prevented from such extravaganza by a budget more suited to a Carmelite nun.

So the rumtopf went on that special, overcrowded brainshelf labeled "if I see one in a charity shop one day" - and today, we did. WHOO HOO!!

BTW, the tacky/cool green-stemmed glass beside the rumtopf was, along with 5 siblings, also a charity shop catch. The two women at the till told us they were hock glasses. "You know, Hock Glasses". We nodded, "oh, hock glasses" we said. N looked especially impressed by this information. Once outside, I asked, "what's hock?" to which N replied that he had absolutely no idea. I looked it up when we got home - German wine. Huh? Anyways the glasses are too small for wine but perfect for the liqueurs we are busy blending and just made for RUMTOPF!


Pacian said...

It is a crime against nature.