EBBP#6 – Europe just got a little smaller


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 ūüėČ  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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  1. says

    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!

  2. says

    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

  3. says

    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?

  4. says

    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

  5. says

    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?

  6. says

    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!