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Miriam Kresh

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    Central Israel

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  1. Israel has plants I've never foraged (even the desert has edibles in season) - but there are many I routinely forage every year. Lessee. Winter: mallows, dandelion. Dandelions grow in cold, hilly regions like Jerusalem and the Galilee. When I'm up north I collect roots and leaves for dandelion beer; the green crown for frying in batter - minus the latex-filled stems. Dandelion flowers are too scanty here to collect for wine. We have taraxum syriaco, not the lush taraxacum officinalis of the US/Europe. Citrus still on the trees, at least in Central Israel where I live. Lots of abandoned gard
  2. I wish I could have participated this time. Chanukah week, with all the visitors and our annual family party, sort of did that in. There is an issue which overshadows my shopping habits: the threat of imminent war, which is always at the back of my mind. I feel obliged to maintain a stocked pantry for emergencies, which the government has advised all Israelis to do (although many don't. The food and water has to be consumed and re-stocked in order to have a viable supply at hand always. Most of them are foods that can be eaten with minimal or no cooking: canned veg, packaged soups, instant c
  3. This sounds fabulous. Can you get the recipe for halvah from your friend? I'd love to try making it...er, after this challenge.
  4. I think a hunk of halvah, a sharp cleaver and a chopping block will do the trick...having bought the shredded stuff, I see I could do it cheaper myself, that way. Halvah cookies?! Now THAT sounds very good. I just looked into my supply of flour, and see that if I'm to bake challah next Friday, I can't spare any for cookies right now. Makes me feel sort of like a pioneer woman, visiting her cellar and inspecting the apple barrel, eking the fruit out till spring...
  5. With the time difference, I was sleeping while you folks in the US were posting. I was translating literally from the Hebrew...from the package top I see that "shredded halvah" is the proper name. I also see that there's a "d" missing in there. It's used for filling pastries. Lessee if I can remember how to post a photo here.... Maybe I'll fill my Hamentaschen with shredded halvah. Needs something else, though. Chocolate chips? Or chopped dates.
  6. At this time of year I start using up long-stored food in preparation for the Passover cleanup. But I hadn't thought of going a week without shopping, just shopping less. OK, though, I'm up for it. I'll just have to run out for milk and eggs and maybe some lettuce at some point. Tomorrow's lunch: lamb chops, pasta with oyster mushrooms & pine nuts (goniffed the excellent roasted wild mushroom recipe posted by SobaAddict), lettuce, rocket and dried-tomato salad. Now what am I going to do with that box of halvah threads? Miriam
  7. Like others on this thread, I've cooked for my elderly parents in their home. Luckily their kitchen was always well equipped and their knives kept sharp. When I cook in my daughter's house, that's another story. I look at it as a wonderful opportunity to work on the discipline of keeping the mouth closed.
  8. For me, it's preserves and liqueurs. I can't resist overbuying beautiful fruit at the height of its season. As much as my family eats fruit out of hand, eventually I'll find the latest batch of peaches or apples sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting to go bad. So I'll set up jam, chutney, or liqueur. I enjoy the work, too. It feels good to preserve seasonal produce, even if I don't have a garden. Problem is, none of us eat much sweet stuff. Thank goodness for holidays when I can give the goodies away to appreciative friends. One exception is apricot liqueur. I keep that all for selfish littl
  9. I just found this thread. As a new blogger, it's been valuable, although review and critique are not in my mind right now. Diner Girl's comments seem to have answered Chufi's question most completely. In fact, I have printed them out and kept them against the day I might need to think the issue over. Regarding Presenatrin's question on how one deals with plagiarism: I've had an online article appropriated and presented as an interview with me by an e-magazine I'd never heard of. I wouldn't have known except that once I indulged in the narcissistic pleasure of Googling my own name. I wrote and
  10. I'm currently reading MFK. Fisher's "The Gastronomical Me", and a bit bored with it. Maybe I should have started with another one of her books. But it might get better once her memoir leaves childhood and that crucial awakening of her taste buds upon swallowing her first oyster. I'm also thinking of ordering this interesting-looking book: Jewish-Iraqui Cuisine, by Rivka Goldman. In fact the whole collection of cookbooks at Hippocrene intrigues me and conspires to weigh my credit down even further. Miriam
  11. Miriam Kresh

    Rosh Hashana

    That is just awesome, Scubadoo. I sometimes wish we were Sephardim, especially now that our family is reduced to four people in Israel (everyone else in North America). I see your grandmother, a"hs, started cooking 'way in advance - I was wondering how one woman could deal with all that single-handedly. Actually this encourages me; the only way I could see cooking for 6 meals was to freeze ahead. Now I feel validated. The Baharat recipe looks very good. Here I buy Baharat in the shuk or the supermarket, and put some in meatballs. I like making my own spice mixtures; think I'll try your family'
  12. Miriam Kresh

    Rosh Hashana

    Well, I knew mulberry leaves are infused as a medicinal tea by the Chinese, but it never occurred to me to eat them. I stuff mallow leaves once or twice over the springtime, but mulberry...interesting. i guess this is the time of year to use mulberry leaves; they are big enough to stuff now, before they go yellow and fall off the trees. So what spice goes into the stuffing? Something like baharat? That is, where is your family from? And your photos are wonderful, Scubadoo. The food prep is fascinating, but I confess- I loved your mom and aunt, may they be healthy! Miriam
  13. Miriam Kresh

    Rosh Hashana

    Well, peoples, what's cooking for Rosh HaShannah? Looking back at my own contribution to this discussion, I was dismayed to realize that the menu I jotted down for this year looks very much like last year's. Why so unimaginative, Miriam? I go around saying that our family party is so small these days, nobody expects a blow-out meal anymore...but I secretly know that it doesn't need to be a blow-out or even very big, to be memorable. So far, this is the plan: go to the shuk and buy enough carp to have a kilo of ground, boneless fish for gefulte fish. I'll be visiting the shuk over and over aga
  14. It seems that vinegar is for texture rather than flavor...and perhaps as a preservative, although I promise not to reveal Badiane's source to her Mom. Thanks, folks. Miriam
  15. Well, yes. It has to do with a rigorous climate with below-freeezing temperatures for much of the year. Our Ashkenazi ancestors lived through long winters when the only vegetables available were the sturdy root veggies and cabbages stashed away in the cellar. We read of the traditional Greek and Italian springtime dishes based on dandelions and wild chicory - but I'll bet those Russian and Polish women ran out at the first sign of sorrel and chickweed greening up and harvested as much as they could too. Those who could afford it had meat or chicken; those who lived by rivers had fish too, but
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