Slatko Kymak (Chai Tea with Plum Jam and Double Cream)

Origin: Bosnia.

The semi-wild plum tree, known in Bosnia as the Pozegaca, is grown entirely from seed. Fermented, it makes a whiskey called šljivovica. In Albania- Lepushe, bordering Serbia and Montenegro, Prunus domestica L.-Rosaceae is used to make compresses for chest colds and wounds and is poured into children’s ears for earaches.

The following directions are for a traditional Bosnian chai tea (slatko) with plum jam and double cream (kymak).

If you can, travel to the mountains of Bosnia or search for a local source for these ingredients. Hand-pick your plants and flowers for teas, working with women who know the herbs and plants. Return home and brew your cup of tea.

Some plants you might find include Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Arnica Montana (also known as leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco, and mountain arnica),Wild Thyme (Thymus serpyllum), and Peppermint (mentha piperita).

Grow your plums or go to an orchard within a local radius during mid-September. In locating the right seeds or orchard, look for the ecotype Prunusinsistitia, or pozegaca in Bosnian. Grown entirely from seed, the plum trees are semi-wild.

Pick the plums when they are fully ripe to make peeling them easier. Wash them and drop in boiling water. Remove the pit with a sewing needle. Soak the plums in lime and water. Boil with lemon slices in clear sugar syrup. Add in walnuts for aphrodisiac properties. Place in canning jars

To make kaymak, first locate a diary or organic farm and purchase organic milk. Boil milk slowly, simmering for two hours over low heat. Turn off the heat, skim off the cream, and chill for several days.

When guests arrive in your home, serve the tea, jam, and kaymak.