Saturday, November 13, 2010

Georgia on my Mind


Ninety years ago today, Lenin sent the following telegram to Stalin.

To Stalin: How is the struggle against the bands progressing? Is it true that they have over 20,000 rifles and sabres? Are the reinforcements designated for the Caucasus front sufficient? Do you consider a peaceful settlement of relations with Georgia and Armenia possible, and on what basis? Then, is the work on the fortification of the approaches to Baku being conducted in real earnest? I also ask for information on Turkey and Persia, briefly by telegram, and in detail by letter. Lenin

I'm planning a trip to Georgia (the republic, not the state) next spring. The Georgian Embassy in Washington provides the following reassurance for travelers to the country: Georgian is pronounced just as it is written. ამერიკის შეერთებული შტატები ღრმად შეშფოთებულია ინფორმაციით ზედა კოდორის ხეობაში თავდასხმების შესახებ და გმობს ძალადობის ყოველგვარ მსგავ აქტს. ჩვენთვის ცნობილი გახდა, რომ –მა ზედა კოდორის ხეობაში გააგზავნა ფაქტების შემსწავლელი ჯგუფი, რომელიც.

The following recipe for native Georgian son, Stalin’s beloved Turkey Satsivi, (turkey in a creamy garlic walnut sauce) is from The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein. Georgian Thanksgiving anyone?

Turkey Satsivi

1 young 6-7 lb. turkey
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs parsley
6 c. water

4 T. butter
3 onions, peeled and chopped
6 chopped garlic cloves
2 heaping cups of shelled walnuts
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 t. ground coriander seed
1 1/2 t. ground marigold
1 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. cayenne
3/4 t. salt
1/4 c. red wine vinegar

Place the turkey in a stockpot and add the bay leaves, parsley, and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the turkey to the roasting pan, reserving the stock. Roast for 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until golden. Cut into small pieces and place them in a serving dish.

While the turkey is roasting, measure the reserved stock. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat to reduce to 4 cups. Set aside. Next, prepare the sauce. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Saute until transparent. Grind the walnuts together with the garlic, then add to the onions, stirring well. Return this mixture to the food processor or meat grinder and grind again to make a paste. Place the paste in the skillet and stir in the remaining ingredients except for the vinegar. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring, for a few minutes. Gradually pour in the 4 cups reserved stock. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, then stir in the wine vinegar. (The sauce will not be very thick.)

Pour the sauce over the turkey and allow the satsivi to cool. Serve at room temperature.

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