A blast from the past … if ever there was one.

 

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It has been ages since I made a dish like this.  In fact, I am pretty confident it has been, at least, 30 years.

That means these avocado bowls have been sitting in my cupboard, unused, for 30 years.  I can hardly believe it.  They were a Christmas gift from my sister, Juanita, when avocado entrées were all the rage.  They were used regularly, at the time, but had long since been forgotten. Continue reading

The day I made Jane Grigson’s Broccoli and Chicken Gratin

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This month, the Cookbook Guru’s feature cookbook is Vegetable Book, by Jane Grigson.  As I didn’t have it, I ordered it from Book Depository.  That was after two weeks or so of wresting with myself.  I know very well I don’t need another cookbook but I decided, ‘Ahh! What the hell?  It’s only $20’.

jane-GrigsonThe Vegetable Book arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It is a classic, if ever there was one.  I was quite looking forward to its arrival.  I have Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book and love it.

The first thing I did was open up the cucumber chapter. Nothing really appealed so I went to the bean chapter.  Again, nothing appealed so I moved on to the avocado chapter and then, in desperation, the broccoli chapter.  I stopped there.  I was happy to buy the book but I wasn’t going to go out and buy vegetables when our house is overflowing with them. Continue reading

Cheesy pull-apart bread

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This is another post from The Cookbook Guru’s  feature cookbook for this month, Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf.  Before this month, I had made several recipes from Saha and have now tried seven more.  I love trying recipes from my cookbooks and I love the fact that The Cookbook Guru  encourages me to do so.

One recipe from Saha I haven’t had time to make this month but is one of my favourites is Hummus with spiced marinated lamb and pine nuts.  It is to die for.  If you have Saha, I highly recommend that recipe to you. Continue reading

Chicken cooked on coals Aleppo-style, with crushed walnuts, lemon zest and mint

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This is another post from The Cookbook Guru’s  feature cookbook for this month, Saha, by Greg and Lucy Malouf.

As the name of this recipe indicates, it should be cooked on coals, ie, a solid fuel barbecue or an open fire.  Greg and Lucy suggest a Weber would be ideal.  They also suggest a ridged griddle pan would work (or the grill on a gas barbeque), but who would want to clean the marinade off a griddle pan after a nice dinner? Continue reading

Once is enough …

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This month, The Cookbook Guru is featuring Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf.  One great thing about trying out recipes for the Cookbook Guru is you get to do a post even when the recipe is a dud. Normally, if a recipe is a dud, I write next to it, “Once is enough” and move on.  But the Cookbook Guru wants us to critique recipes in the featured cookbook.

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Ma’ahani (Spicy Lebanese sausages with pine nuts)

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This month, The Cook Book Guru is featuring Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf.  Saha was published in 2005.  It was my first truly magnificent cookbook.  It is a travelogue- cum-cookbook of Lebanon and Syria, with wonderful glossy photos.  I remember receiving it as a gift and just loving it.  I treated it with great reverence for a long time, gently turning over the pages so as not to mar it.  Since my trip to Lebanon, I have revisited the book many times, marvelling at the fact that I have been to a number of the places mentioned. Continue reading

Chicken with dried apricots and pinenuts

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Alas, I forgot the pine nuts! Oh! Well, I will remember them tonight when we have the leftovers.

This month, the Cookbook Guru has asked members to pitch for a book or books to be featured.  I have decided to pitch for The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert (a winner of the James Beard Award – the “Oscars” of the cookbook world). Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

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Who can resist instructions like these in a cook book?

Slice a pompion, and boil it in fair water, till the water grows clammy, or somewhat thick; then strain it through a fine cloth, or sieve, and with this make your Bread, well kneading the dough; and it will not only increase the quantity of it, but make it keep moist and sweet a month longer than Bread wetted with fair water only.

The instructions were featured in The Family Magazine, London, 1741 and reproduced by Elizabeth David in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, this month’s feature cookbook from The Cook Book Guru . Continue reading

Dampfnudeln

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Today’s recipe is another from this month’s feature cookbook by The Cookbook Guru, The Book of Household Management, by Mrs Isabella Beeton.  I think I deserve a medal for attempting this recipe.  Mrs Beeton is not particularly forthcoming with quantities and instructions and I had never made a rich, sweet bread before so I really didn’t know how the dough should look.  All this made the task challenging, to say the least.  All worked out well and we ended up with ten perfect dampfnudeln.  Kids (and men) would love these. I can imagine feeding a room full of teenagers and it wouldn’t cost much more than the price of a dozen eggs. Continue reading