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Archive for February, 2013

I took a rare day off this week, left my husband with our kids (and our daughter was sick 😦 ) and went with my dad to the Negev to look at the anemones (kalaniyot in Hebrew) bloom.

Anemones

Anemones

It was breathtaking, especially with the still naked winter trees in the background.

More Anemones

More Anemones

Anemones in Israel have a rich history. For starters, they have a limited season (early spring). When they bloom, they practically make a red carpet. When the Great singer Shoshana Damari sang the song Kalaniyot (Words: Natan Alterman, music: Moshe Vilensky) in 1948, she burst into public fame and created one of the best known and best loved songs in Israeli music history. This also caused many people to pick anemones and bring them home or sell them, causing a sharp drop in their number.

This brought what is still considered one of the most successful publicity campaigns in the history of Israel: The campaign to stop the picking of wildflowers in 1956. Spearheaded by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel  using wide education campaigns and laws, it stopped the picking of wildflowers almost completely. Within a short time the wildflowers carpeted Israel again. Proof of the success of the campaign remains still today, as generation of Israelis have taught their children not to pick wildflowers. Therefore, you can see the carpets of wildflowers blooming in the spring.

Even more anemones

Even more anemones

Unfortunately, there is still garbage and plastic bags, but at least the flowers don’t get picked 😕

Not anemones (mostly). Got you there!

Not anemones (mostly). Got you there!

 

Happy blooming!

 

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I had persimmons that needed using up, so I thought of making persimmon muffins (because frankly the time I tried to make persimmon cake it wasn’t very popular). My middle son, on the other hand, insisted on chocolate chip muffins, without persimmons. So I decided to do half and half: The same muffins, but in half with persimmon purée and the other half with yoghurt. Instead of looking for yoghurt muffins (of which I actually have some good recipes) or persimmon recipes (which I don’t) I took the recipe of the apple bites I made before, which were excellent, and put yoghurt or persimmon purée instead of the applesauce. Of course, I also added chocolate chips for my son 😉

The results were awesome!

As persimmon purée is very sweet, I put a little less sugar in the persimmon muffins; and the chocolate chips there were rather pointless (but don’t tell him that!). The yoghurt muffins were also excellent and there the chocolate chips really hit the spot.

In short – perfection in both halves 🙂

Here are both halves of the recipe, 8 muffins each (2 tbsp per muffin):

Yoghurt chocolate chip

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup canola oil
2/3 cups white unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips to taste

Persimmon 

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup canola oil
2/3 cups puréed persimmon
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch tsp ground nutmeg

In both cases, mix wet ingredients together, then mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix both until just combined. Spoon into muffin pan until 2/3 height. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

The dividing line

The dividing line – left are slightly more orange than right

Bon Apetit!

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