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Posts Tagged ‘honey’

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted! The summer ran away from me. We were on vacation in Cyprus for two weeks, which was where I concocted this recipe (which is good for dessert but also makes a really decadent breakfast!)

It’s based on this verse of the Book of Joel:

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah shall flow with waters; and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 4:18)

It’s an interesting chapter of Joel, because one sentence,  a little earlier on, caused me to do a double take: “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears; let the weak say: ‘I am strong.’ ” (Joel, 4:10) – We are so used to the other verse from Isaiah that states: “And He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4) – but here in Joel, the prophet and God are calling people to take up arms! To fight! And that certainly resonates in a personal way with me – this past month has been a very difficult one for the People of Israel and the Land of Israel – a lesson that there are times for peace and times for war.

Being in Cyprus reminded me so much of Israel – Halloumi cheese originates there – which is such a popular dish here, and Greek yogurt is in abundance, along with fresh mountain honey, rich cold-pressed olive oil and wineries on every hilltop. And it made me think that there is so much that everyone in this region shares – milk and honey, wine and olive oil – foremost among the ingredients common to all of this region – Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. My only wish is that all the people of the region could see it that way.

This mousse is an explosion of flavor in your mouth – creamy and seductive, yet slightly spicy and richly decadent by virtue of the Port Reduction, and the grapes add a fantastic crunch.

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Honey Cardamom Mousse with Port-Silan Reduction and Fresh Grapes

Honey Cardamom Mousse:
1 tsp plain unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp water
1 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup whipping cream

Port-Silan Reduction:
1/2 cup port
1/4 cup Silan (date honey)
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon

Fresh seedless red grapes

Let gelatin dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm water. Mix together yogurt, honey, vanilla and cardamom. Add gelatin, whisking as you mix it in. Whip the whipping cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the yogurt mixture into the whipping cream until combined, then portion out into individual serving dishes and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight. Mix port, silan, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes until thick. Top mousse with seedless red grapes and port-silan reduction. Serve.

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“If that’s the way it must be, do this: take products that the land is famous for in your baggage, a little balsam, a little honey, some gum and resin, pistachios and almonds.” (Genesis 43:11)

Questions: Why do you think that Jacob felt a need to send gifts with Benjamin at all? Why did they choose such an unusual assortment of goods? Why did the Bible feel it important to tell us exactly the gifts that they brought?

Ideas: Serve pistachios or almonds, almond or honey cookies, marzipan, make or buy a honey cake, serve honey with tea, offer gum instead of an after-dinner mint, or bring a gift of sugared almonds, roasted pistachio nuts and honey.

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“And God brought us to this place, and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:9)

Questions: Why is it that the land of Israel is repeatedly referred to as the land of milk and honey? Why not cattle and sheep, fruits, grain and wine – all of which are mentioned in connection with the land of Israel as well?

Ideas: Serve hot steamed milk and flavor it with honey. Put honey on top of ice cream, or make honey ice cream! Add honey to your yogurt or even add it to your coffee with the milk!

ice cream

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“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: The Lord’s appointed holy days that you shall designate as holy occasions – these are My appointed holy days. Six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. These are the Lord’s appointed holy occasions, which you shall designate in their appointed time.” (Leviticus 23:2–4)

Questions: Though this chapter of the Bible starts out telling us about the holidays, the verses then go on to discuss the Sabbath – why would this be? What makes a holiday a special time? What makes the weekend or Sabbath a special time? What sanctifies a day and makes it holy?

Ideas:Serve items associated with each of the holidays mentioned above, apples dipped in honey, dairy products, an empty plate perhaps to symbolize the day of atonement, matzah for Passover, and a harvest food for the Tabernacle Festival. Alternatively you can serve food items that represent the weekend or the Sabbath to you – your favorite foods.

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“The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, it was white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey.” (Exodus 16:31)

Questions: What was manna? Why was it called by that name? What types of food do we eat the resemble or remind you of manna? If you could eat something that tasted every day like something else what would it be? What texture would it have? How do you eat differently on the weekends? What is your double portion?

Ideas: Use coriander to spice up your food in any recipe, add cilantro (the leaves of the coriander plant) to your salad, serve tofu or any other bland white food that resembles manna, you can serve honey-glazed doughnuts for dessert!

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