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Memory is the scribe of the soul - (Aristotle)
Why now for a trip down memory lane? Perhaps because Pessah's clean sweep doesn't end with house and home but continues on into the crevices of the mind, searching out the long-forgotten; or perhaps because this year's spring blows so mockingly hot and cold that one doesn't know whether one is coming or going.
Whatever the reason, I've unearthed my first recipe collection in Israel - a yellowed exercise book now 33 years old, missing the cover, blotched and splotched with age and use and falling apart so I have to keep the whole lot in a plastic bag. Turning the pages is like telling the story of my aliya, with different dishes recalling different stages.
Here's a sampling:
MUM'S CHICKEN & APPLE CASSEROLE
1 large chicken, jointed
900 gr. apples, peeled, cored and quartered
a little oil
1 Tbsp. flour
11â„2 cups dry cider
a little garlic
Saute the apple in the oil for a few minutes; add the flour and stir. Add the cider, garlic and seasoning. Arrange the chicken in a baking dish and pour the sauce over it. Cover and cook for 90 minutes in a medium oven.
Sauce: Remove the chicken, transfer the liquid to a pan and boil until it thickens.
LEEKS WITH OLIVES & TOMATOES
675 gr. leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 5-cm. strips
12 black olives, pitted and halved
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1â„4 cup olive oil
1â„4 cup lemon juice
zest of a small lemon,grated
salt and pepper to taste
Place the leeks in a large shallow pan and pour the oil over them. Sprinkle with the seasoning, cover and simmer over moderate heat for 10 minutes. Add everything else and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes more. Serve hot as a side dish, or cold as a salad.
1 medium head cauliflower, or
1 small head cauliflower and 1 small head cabbage
1 large carrot
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
21â„2 tsp. sugar
1 heaped Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. salt
21â„2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Remove the cauliflower leaves and separate the florets. Soak them in salt water for 30 minutes, then drain. Cut, grate or slice the vegetables as for coleslaw. Combine the other ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the vegetables and toss lightly.
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
250 gr. green beans, fresh or frozen
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups tomato juice
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
chili powder to taste
Saute the onion in the oil. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes. Good over rice.
SWEET 'N' SOUR NILE PERCH
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3â„4 cup vinegar
salt to taste
pickling spices wrapped in a small rag
slab of Nile perch, enough for 4-6
In a large shallow pan cook the onion and the sugar in 1 tablespoon of water for 10-15 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the vinegar, one and a quarter cups of water, salt, and bring to a boil. Add the fish and pickling spices. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the fish flakes. Serve cold. (I had this dish 15 years ago, prepared by Sam Orbaum.)
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla essence
2 small-medium zucchini, shredded
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
11â„2 tsp. cinnamon
1â„2 cup chopped nuts
Cream the oil and the sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and other ingredients. Blend well. Pour into 2 well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 180 for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
2 Tbsp. canola oil
brown sugar to taste
400 gr. oats
1â„2 to 3â„4 cup bran (subin)
1â„2 cup wheat germ (nevet hita)
2 big Tbsp. sesame seeds
shelled sunflower seeds and coconut for sprinkling
nuts & raisins
Put the oil and sugar into a baking tray and melt in a medium oven. Add the oats, bran, wheat germ and sesame seeds. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and coconut.
Put in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove when the granola begins to brown. Add nuts and raisins as you like. Cool and store in an airtight container.