Let’s move down the spectrum from yellow and orange to RED.
Strawberry season might be over around here, but I have another long lost jars of preserves that I had to look for and unearth from the abyss of lost jars.
I remember making this jam a couple of years ago when I got a few crates of strawberries and sat on the floor with legs crossed washing the strawberries, picking the stems off, and cutting them in half. Just like zesting the whole crate of lemons, this task is kind of relieving for me as it takes my mind off things for a while.
I asked mom for the recipe she used to use when she made jams. Usually one would use the same weight of fruits in sugar, but it differs depending on the sweetness or tartness of the fruits. I don’t thing there is a problem in adding more sugar, except maybe getting an overly sweet jam overpowering the flavor of the fruits. But adding less sugar will make the jam rot easily. Therefore, for strawberries, I used 800g per 1 kilogram, and some of them have been sitting on the shelf since I made them in 2017 – hides his face Continue reading
I told you it will get lemony here. Try not to get too sour about it.
Let’s go down this yellow brick road and I’ll show you around what I did with those lemons other than freezing the zest and juice, and making a wonderful sorbet.
With this plethora of lemons, I couldn’t help, while zesting, but pick out the best –and the most emotionally unavailable– ones to praise and cherish and photograph. Then, believing that they would rot after a while, like everything else, I decided to fight their sourness with my saltiness, and press all of it and let it wrestle trapped inside a jar, stacked in my kitchen cabinet.
Last month I had the chance to pass by Saida, in South Lebanon, throughout our Clown Me In tour, and see the stalls of the last few citrus varieties before the season is over.
I bought a 20kg crate of beautiful yellow lemons and another of Valencia oranges and got them home. I swear I spent a whole afternoon with a big bowl of water to wash them and the zester to zest most of those lemons and orange and freeze them for later use. I’m grateful for sitcoms and comedy shows that kept me company all day.
But I can’t complain.
It felt good. Relaxed and unwound with the zesty citrus aromas.
And I have zest for the whole year! Continue reading
I remember one time walking out of Hamra street, a once vibrant street in Beirut, during the last days of winter and seeing a vendor with styrofoam boxes overflowing with lump-like things held together with clear tape.
The first time I saw these sandy-stone-like produce I thought they were the world prized truffles with the amazing flavor and the unique aroma. I made risotto and shaved* some of those on top. I even buried one in a jar of short grain rice to fragrance it for risotto.
*shaved, more like crumbled it on the box grater’s slicer side only to get grains of sand later with every bite because I didn’t clean them well
Only later did I learn that these truffles are not the same thing.
These beautiful spores are called Desert Truffles. They are harvested not using dogs or pigs like western truffles but by roaming the desert landscapes (not desert dunes, but bare lands with rare vegetation) looking for bumps and cracks in the land. They dig their hands down and pull out the sand hoping there’s a something worthy in there.
It’s seasonal produce at its BEST!
A couple of weekends ago, I had the chance to hide among the tall fava bean plants and dive deep to collect the long green pods.
I also kneeled down the search for the fresh pea pods hiding underneath barricades of pea vines. I stepped on numerous ones, despite being careful, attempting to reach a handful of pods sunbathing together in the open.