Would 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!
My 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.
And at the bottom left you see a little box of home-made 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!