Saturday, September 02, 2006


Too long ago, I was making salsa together with one Cary Millsap and Miracle's very own Torben Holm (who has the best hair in all of Miracle), and with Mario Broodbakker and Frank Ives sitting at the oak table drinking beer.

Cary, Torben and I were also drinking beer while making salsa based on Cary's recepie and Torben's brother's homegrown chilies. Yes, we're talking chilies grown in a garden in Denmark. I know it sounds like building a snowman in your Texan garden in the middle of the Summer. Nevertheless, these chilies come out rather hot, and so we were ready for salsa.

We made several pots of the salsa, and they all turned out well - but different. So we decided to write down the strength of each batch on the lid of the small glasses we put it in.

It was Torben's idea to first sanitize the small glasses with Icelandig snaps (Brennevin) instead of some kitchen chemical, and it has worked very well.

The first one we tasted was rated at strength 42, of course, and then the others were rated relative to that.

For instance, I clearly remember the one we designated "10046 level 8".

So last night we had several teenagers for dinner: CarpenterTorben's son Nick, our new aupair from England Sarah, and Nick's friend Rikke (who happens to take care of little Viktor in our local nursery). So I served the last two batches of the salsa, and the two girls didn't really eat that much, while Nick loved it. Surprise. They were termed 35 and 8 on the lids, but I think a second digit was missing after the "8" after having tasted it carefully.

Hence this salute to Cary and Torben Holm: It was good salsa (thanks to Cary's recipie), and it lasted for a very long time (thanks to the Brennevin technique pioneered by Torben), but now it's all gone.

But back to the fateful evening when it was made in my kitchen: We had beers and tasted the various pots and had great fun. Then, around 2200 hours, Torben Holm and I decided that we should be better husbands and go and see our wives, who were chatting in the living room, seperated from us by a closed door.

We opened the door with smiles on our faces, but were immediately, and forcefully, informed from a distance of five meters, that we smelled absolutely awful and that we should stay way from them. Hmm. We tried to approach, but they insisted that we smelled worse than anything they had ever experienced, and that we should immediately close the door again - with us on the opposite side of it.

So we did, and I shall not talk much more about this, except perhaps mention the strange fact that both Torben Holm and I that night were banned from our usual beds and had to sleep in seperate rooms from our wives. In fact, Anette claimed that little Viktor's eyes actually watered because of my bad breath.

"Was it worth it?" (Copyright Pet Shop Boys).

"Yes, it's worth living for" (same).

Cary - is it time, perhaps, that you reveal the reciepie we used to the entire Wor.. Planet?

Torben Holm - how's the supply of chilies this year? Ready for another round?

Gunnar - do you have more Brennevin up there in Iceland?


Blogger Torben said...

Yes, it was an evening and salsa to remember. My wife could even smell me - or rather the salsa - the morning after. According to my sister in law, the chilli needs another month, but then it will be ready.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

Excellent. I will reserve a bed in some other room of my house for use in a month's time or so.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Gunnar said...

Finally, someone has discovered what Brennivin can be used for. Yes Mogens, I have much, much more of the Brennivin, as the Icelanders have been making it for decades, but never had a clue (until now) what it could be used for ...

5:10 AM  
Blogger cary.millsap said...

Yes, I believe, technically, it could be said that we had a recipe, but if I remember correctly, the experience was dominated by approximation and improvisation. Here's what we tried to do:

Wonder Salsa
Especially good for chips.

Prep and cook time: 20 minutes
Makes: 8 to 12 servings

28 ounces canned whole tomatoes
½ small onion
5 stalks cilantro
8 jalapeño peppers
6 serrano peppers
4 garlic cloves (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon basil

1. Chop onion into quarters. Place in blender with whole cilantro stalks.
2. Pour tomatoes and all remaining ingredients into a blender, and chop thoroughly.
3. Heat to a slow boil. Simmer covered for about 10 minutes and serve hot. Also excellent after refrigeration, where the flavor seems only to get hotter.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Borkur Steingrimsson said...

And the Brennivin? is that just consumed before, during and after making the WS (Wonder Salsa) or does any of it actaully go in the mix? :)

Real men use coriander instead of cilantro :)

12:58 AM  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

Really real men use habañeros.

Don't you guys have fresh tomatoes growing in those greenhouses on the canals?

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Harro said...

Last weekend I had to test the WWWWS (World Wide Welknown Wonder Salsa) on some friends of mine, not worried by any heat in food. They were astonished by the great taste, this recipe is a keeper Cary :) Thanks!

12:45 PM  
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