Saturday, 24 September 2011

A taste of Jerusalem

Its been many years since I left Jerusalem to discover the great wide world and all the delicacies it has to offer.
I left the harsh reality, the cold winters, the unbearable gravity of life, politics and religion. They all proved a little too much and I never looked back.
In fact, the further away life took me, the more I was deterred by the city and all it had to offer. Until now.
A recent project has brought me back to the city and I have come full circle, like a perfectly shaped Pita bread.
Food showed me the way back to the city but this time from a slightly different point of view, revealing, along the way, a delicious and distinctly unique foodscape, making Jerusalem easier to digest and easier to love.
East Jerusalem and West, Israeli and Palestinian, Jews, Muslims, Christians and Armenians, Ashkanazi and Sephardic, Secular and Religious, Kosher and Halal, old and new.
Past, present and future.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Nutmeg nutters muffins

Summer is officially over, August 2011 is now a thing of the past. The still, humid evening air has been blown away by a cool evening breeze. I spent the majority of last month glued to my computer, mostly breathing conditioned air and avoiding daylight as much as possible. I may live in the Mediterranean but my East European heritage is impossible to avoid or deny. I like it better when its not hot and humid like the inside of a hamam.

That's right. I’m looking forward to winter, but I should also mention that winter in Tel Aviv is almost perfect. The city shines under shades of grey, as temperatures drop to a comfortable low of 13 degrees Celsius around January and the days are dotted with sporadic rainy days here and there alongside the occasional dramatic thunder storm, for extra effect.

I have decided to welcome fall and bake it into muffin form. Nutmeg and muffins make for a special treat for any nutmeg nutters out there as these aren’t what one might call MILD; we’re talking sharp and pungent treats with one whole grated nutmeg and definitely the next step up from a cinnamon addiction- one that I hold dearly to my heart.

These are best served warm a dollop of sour cream or a thick fruit compote and every bite is reassurance that autumn one step closer.


Nutmeg muffins

(12 muffins)

The recipe is slightly adapted from Marion Cunningham’s The Breakfast Book I discovered through Orangette.


1½ cups all- purpose flour

½ cup rye flour

½ cup sugar

1 tbs baking powder

1 ½ whole nutmeg, freshly grated

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 egg

¾ cup sour cream

¾ cup milk

40 gram butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and butter or oil the muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon and salt to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the egg the add in the sour cream, milk and melted butter and stir to combine.
  4. Add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir only until there are no streaks of flour. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the muffins from the tins and serve warm with butter, sour cream or by itself. Alternatively, cool on a rack and freeze for later use.