It’s not June 21st yet, but summer is already here. En route to Palmach Beach, out favorite hot weather destination, there are vendors selling an eclectic array of Middle Eastern street foods- cold malabi with wickedly sweet red syrup, slow baked Yemenite jachnoon and lemonade in crinkly plastic cups. These foods symbolize the hot days of summer along with the ice cream man that roams the beach with a Styrofoam cooler strapped across his chest. “Artic! Artic! Chocolate banana! Lemon! Watermelon!” he hawks as little kids scramble to get their parents’ attention.
As a toast to summer I made my first malabi of the season, this time with an apricot twist. We were left with way too many dried fruits after our Israel Trail Hike and this was a great way to use them up. The recipe was inspired by Joumana’s fabulous blog, Taste of Beirut.
Malabi with apricots
Malabi-Homestyle Milk Pudding
Milk pudding is known as malabi in Israel. In other Arab countries it is called muhallabia and is traditionally made with ground rice instead of corn starch.
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream (38% fat)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon orange blossom water (vanilla or rose water can also be used if preferred)
1 tablespoon butter
In a small pot combine all the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla, milk and cream. Cook on low while constantly stirring so lumps do not form. The mixture will combine and thicken. Continue to cook until it is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat and add the butter, mixing well. Pour into small bowls so it comes half way up, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
The apricots I used were super sweet so I didn’t add additional sugar.
250 grams dried apricots (about two cups)
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
Juice of one lemon
Rinse the dried apricots to clean them. Place them in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for three or four hours in the refrigerator. As the apricots swell more water may be needed to keep them submerged. The next day pour the contents, including the liquid in a food processor and grind the apricots into a puree. Strain through a mesh sieve to produce a smoother dessert. Add the apricot puree, cornstarch, lemon juice and orange blossom water into the pot and bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens. Depending on the consistency of the apricots, more cornstarch may be needed. Remove from heat
Carefully spoon the apricot mixture onto the chilled malabi pudding. Cover with saran wrap and let set in the refrigerator.
Serve with ground pistachios or almonds
How I got my Adsense account revoked
On a completely different subject, I managed to get my Adsense account suspended. A few days ago I received a formal email from Google and my first reaction was to snort. How ridiculous. Apparently a robot named retard suspected unusual clicking activity and shut my system down automatically (no I didn’t click on my own ads). With no warning. They also took off with all my money (they said they would give it back to the advertisers but who knows). My grandmother Toby would have called this chutzpah, more fitting for a military government with no accountability. Am I going to appeal? No way! It was nice to be able to defray the cost of my blog but Google’s management is ludicrous. Apparently, I am not the only one this has happened to.
If Google’s algorithms are not sophisticated enough to detect fake from genuine clicks it isn’t the fault of the publisher. I don’t appreciate being penalized for something I didn’t do (and if I did, tell me before slamming the door in my face). It is simple etiquette to be given notice if a problem arises and if possible, find a solution (ads not based on clicks perhaps).
What are my other options? I can try finding my own sponsors but don’t have the time. Meanwhile I will continue with Blogherads advertising, a network that has living, breathing people behind their name. Another great advantage with Blogherads is that I no longer have to worry about extremists and weirdos pinpointing my blog for their propaganda. It’s just not funny.
If you’ve had a similar incident happen to you I would be happy to hear what you did about it.