Here is my latest in the This Week in Palestine Kitchen column…
We organized an apple picking at a nearby orchard in the village of Surda, just outside Ramallah. Abu Osama, orchard owner, invited us to pick from his bounty. The early figs, da four, were already gone. But he still had plums and the small baladi sweet apple. While I enjoy eating fresh fruit in season, I love preserving fruit for when there is no seasonal fruit available. I would rather eat a jar of my home made apple sauce rather than buy out of season apples imported from who knows where and grown in harmful conditions.
Tonight, I decided to cook some of the apples into a sweet-sour-cinnamony apple chutney. I never measure when cooking fruit for preserving. I am a lazy cook.
a whole bunch of ripe apples, I filled my pot mid-way
sugar, I used a half cup
cinnamon, about 1 tablespoon
vinegar, I used a half cup of grape vinegar
Chop apples and leave apple cores for the compost or chickens. Mix all ingredients in a large pot. Cook over medium heat stirring periodically until liquid absorbed and apples tender. Boil a teapot full of water. Pour the boiled water in the glass jars and metal caps that will house the apple chutney. Empty the jars and fill with apple chutney and tighten lid. When cool, store apple chutney in your pantry.
What are you preserving this summer? Tell me.
It’s finally that time of year – the short two week window- where the baladi apricot has ripened for our enjoyment. We are having a good season this year. The market is full of the small baladi apricot known as mishmish mistikawi. And this Sunday, we are going apricot picking at a local farm in kufr malik, a village outside of Ramallah.
But I have already indulged in the harvest and have been eating apricot custard all week. Simply grease a baking dish, fill the baking dish half way with sliced fresh apricots, and then cover with the custard mixture. To make the custard mixture, mix six eggs and one cup of sugar in a large bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of milk, 4 tablespoons of whole wheat flour, a bit of coarse salt, and some good vanilla. Mix. Pour over apricots. Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes at 200 degrees. The custard should be firm. Cool to room temperature and eat!
This has been my breakfast (and dinner) everyday this week. A perfect start to the day.
My latest article on the Palestinian Taboun..
I’m in garden starvation mode. I have harvested my spring greens, peas, and fava beans. I just planted seeds for the summer harvest. Besides my motley of herbs, and a few loquats on my little tree, my garden is bare. I harvested the parsley last week for a nice tabouleh. The parsley needs another week or so to grow back. I picked some thyme, marjoram, and mint for a new tabouleh. But my body is craving more green. My chickens are famished; they have been poking at their eggs. My eggs! I needed to save the eggs. I have not figured out how to grow food to eliminate this starvation period.
I broke down and bought two heads of cabbage from the main market, partly to feed my chickens and save my eggs, and partly to feed me.
Cabbage slaw in creamy almond butter dressing
I didn’t measure. I don’t think exact measurements matter with this salad. Just taste the dressing and keep adjusting the ingredients until you like the flavor and the texture/thickness. Thinly slice green and purple cabbage and a bit of onion to fill a bowl. I also added sun flower seeds to this bowl. In a small bowl, mix tahini (sesame seed paste), lemon juice, almond butter, salt, and ground flax seed. You may need to add some water for a more fluid texture. Pour dressing over cabbage and mix well.
I had the almond butter in my fridge. I made it a month ago when I had the craving for a pb&j. Simply grind almonds and a bit of olive oil in a food processor until it achieves the texture of a smooth almond butter.
I gave my chickens slices of cabbage – without the dressing.
My latest article about atareen, or herbalists, in Palestine: