Friday, August 21, 2009

Bake, bake, bake in the baking weather

I don't know if it's being pregnant, the hot weather outdoors or just following Junior's natural curiosity, but we seem to be experiencing a baking frenzy this summer.

On the practical side it is something I can do with the Little Person which can be done (mostly) while sitting down in the airconditioning (albeit with the oven on, so maybe it doesn't really help with the issue of being pregnant in August).

What with being due, please God, just before Rosh Hashanah and expecting assorted family over the holidays, I'm trying to stock my freezer so we'll be ready with homecooked stuff we like when I'm God Willing busy with a newborn.

On the fun side, Junior has picked out a slew of recipes she wants to try, and this is a great opportunity.

On the unexpected side, Junior has developed an interest in maths, in particular fractions, measuring and counting, so doing recipes together is a great hands on way for her to learn to put into practice what she has read in Jerry Pallotta's wonderful "Apple Fractions" book.

All in all a good plan for a very pregnant mother of a very curious and active 4 year-old.

To date we have made rhubarb loaf, plum honey cake, assorted wholewheat muffins with various fruits, saffron chestnut lamb stew, saffron rhubarb beef stew, courgette soup, a ton of hallot, turkey soup, tomato coriander soup, carrot kugel and these oatmeal fig biscuits.

So far so good.

I adapted this from a recipe a friend gave me, we are a fresh fig loving family!

Oatmeal Fig and Almond Biscuits


1 cup finely chopped fresh figs(if you don't have any, you can try dried figs that have soaked for a bit in warm water so that they plump up, the taste will be different though)
2 cups wholewheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (mace)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup olive or canola oil (or a blend)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
8 tablespoons water
2 cups quick cooking oats, preferably whole oats
1/2 cup flaked almond

1) Preheat oven to 200 C (I think this is 400 F for Americans and imperial Brits?)
2) Sift flour with baking powder, salt and spices
3) Add oats, figs and almonds
4) In a separate bowl, cream together oil with sugar.
5) Beat the eggs well, then add to sugar/oil mixture and cream together.
6) Add alternately sall amounts of the dry mixture and water to the oil/sugar mixture to make a dough.
7) Drop teaspoons of dough on to a greased biscuit sheet and bake at 200 C for 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A pickling caper

This is what happens when the Junior Gourmand asks a question.

The Little Person is a caper addict.

I always knew that capers grew wild in Israel (very pretty flowers).

I always knew that they could be pickled.

All said and done I've always loved eating capers. (yeah, I know, the kid has picked up some of my stranger tastes in food, like blue cheese ravioli and pink grapefruit juice)

Having never had my own garden though and being reluctant to pick wild plants, I never quite tried my hand at making my own pickled capers.

Well, guess who wants to try? So I did some research:

Anyone have some caper bushes in their yard that we could pick?