EBBP#6 – Europe just got a little smaller

by Jeanne on October 10, 2006

in EuroBlogging by Post

20061009_ebbpbox_1Would you believe… it’s been a whole two months since I hosted the last (very successful, even if I say so myself!) Euro Blogging by Post, brainchild of our very own Andrew.  And when Johanna announced that she was hosting this edition, she didn’t even have to ask twice – of course I’d be participating!  As usual there was a bit of a mad panic to get my goodies bought and my parcel wrapped up and dispatched, but then all I had to do was sit back and wait for a parcel to come my way – which it did yesterday!  Yaaaay!

I was intrigued by the box which announced itself to be from Israel.  Firstly, I was not aware that Israel was in Europe as such (!), and secondly, I had not yet come across an Israeli food blogger.  So I was burning with curiosity to open the parcel all day, but managed to wait till I got home so that I could open it away from the prying eyes of colleagues.  Snip, rip, tear… and there was my little box of foodie joy!

20061009_ebbpparcelcontentsbMy parcel came from Gitit, who blogs at Star Apple Cooking.  Although she hasn’t been blogging for long, her enthusiasm for food and cooking shines through quite clearly and with a Lebanese grandmother she has a wealth of culinary history to draw upon.  Gitit also sent me one of the longest and loveliest letters I have ever received in a EBBP event, not only explaining everything that she sent me, but also telling me a little about herself – and including a recipe for awame (syrup-soaked deep-fried doughballs) which are similar in concept to my beloved koeksusters!  She also lovingly labelled each item by hand explaingin what it was and why she sent it – really thoughtful :-)

Starting from the bottom left, we have a jar of the home-made quince preserve that her grandma makes every year.  According to Gitit, this is so delicious that she can eat it straight out of the jar as a sweet snack!  Alternatively, she recommends it on vanilla ice cream – or more traditionally, on toast ;-)  Above that, there are two beeswax candles (and a bee that looks as though he may be made of chocolate!).  Gitit included these because honey is symbolic of Jewish New Year, where honey is given as a gift to wish friends and family a sweet year – what a great tradition!  Next to that you will see a little bag of candied ginger which Gitit included to help me ward off any colds that I might catch as the seasons change – but I love candied ginger purely for its taste!  So definitely a good choice for me.

20061009_ebbpparcelcookies1bAnd at the bottom left you see a little box of home-made 20061009_ebbpparcelcookies2b cookies - the cinnamon-spicy smell that greeted me when I opened the box was VERY promising!  In the foreground are little domes of shortbread-like cookies, studded with slivered almonds, and the stack behind them are little cinnamon-spicy disks flecked with my favourite pistachios.  Both are crumbly and buttery and delicious, but I think the pistachio cookies win the day for me.  Nick, on the other hand preferred the cookies pictured on the right – ma’amoul cookies that Gitit snuck out of her Lebanese grandma’s kitchen.  These are traditional Lebanese cookies made with semolina and rosewater pastry and filled with dates (or pistachios, or a combination of the two).  These were also crumbly but more substantial that the other two, and dates always make a great cookie filling in my book.

Thank you so much for sharing a little of your culinary history with me Gitit, and thank you for your lovely parcel! 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

johanna October 10, 2006 at 7:50 pm

i just knew you would appreciate something more exotic… and yes, we’re re-writing geography here, but if the song contest can include morocco, so can we include israel!

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Gitit October 10, 2006 at 8:42 pm

I am very happy the parcel reached you safely – I was a bit worried about it.
About Israel not being in the EU… well you know, we are wanna be’s so why ruin our illusion :)… And we do participate in the Eurovision song contest for many years now, and many of us have European background soooo… I am kidding, am so happy I could participate in this EBBP… I have so many ideas for the next parcel. In any case if there is something you fancy, I would like to send it over with no relation to EBBP. I did not realize how fun it is. I didn’t receive my parcel yet but was so excited to find out you did. Love your blog, you write beautifully!!! Ciao Gitit

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simonetta October 10, 2006 at 11:12 pm

Congrats to Gitit for the beautiful parcel and to Jeanne for the beautiful description.
Gitit, please blog the recipes of the cinnamon cookies with pistachos. I would really like to give them a go!
And Jeanne, on a total separate note, I thought you would notice the background of my picture in my blog… ;-); or maybe not?

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Gitit October 10, 2006 at 11:48 pm

Please enter my blog http://star-apple-cooking.blogspot.com/ for the cinnamon cookies (which are actually cardemon cookies, but you can play with the spices…) just added the recipe to my blog… and thanks for your kind words :)

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Gitit October 11, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Hi There…
I am so happy you are enjoying my parcel, when I saw other people’s parcels I started to feel a bit “insecure” about mine. But I am gald you liked it and seriously love to send you other stuff from Israel regardless of EBBP.
my e-mail is gatwainer at yahoo dot com it should work… let me know again if it doesn’t.
Thanks again for your lovely post

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Marie-Laure October 11, 2006 at 4:18 pm

Thank you for your parcel. I love all the things !

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Andrew October 12, 2006 at 1:37 am

now that is a good parcel! I dont have a problem with Isreal being included at all, especially if they send out such wonderful pakages. How about the next round being in January/Fenruary to lighten the dull days of winter?

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Lil October 17, 2006 at 7:45 pm

hmm… sounds so yummy, and i love middle eastern food… and jeanne, yes, last EBBP was very successful and so is this edition! well done all!

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