I once had an insane amount of free time. I didn’t realize it back then. I was too busy to notice. What was I doing? The usual amalgam of activities one does when there are three children in the house. In Hebrew there is an idiom for that- “Washing and hanging” the wash of course, in cyclic replay, ad infinitum. But there was always that ephemeral lapse between when the house was guest worthy and before entropy came barging in. In that shadow of time I would do things like core zucchinis, make kibbeh, shop leisurely at outdoor markets and do a much better job at visiting relatives.
Now? Well, I’m doing more cooking than ever before. It’s no longer gingerly rolled sambusak but cafeteria sized trays of roasted chicken, pots of rice, gallons of soup and any other sustenance which can be cooked quickly and feed ravenous judo and ninjutsu warriors.
And I’m also running. It’s a hobby I’ve done since my university days in Beer Sheva. Back then, I was a bit (more) oblivious and would run right into the beleaguered areas of town without considering the dangers. Cars would slow down next to me, hovering expectantly before realizing I wasn’t a working girl- I was just crazy. I’ve taken up running again to keep in shape but also to keep sane. The elusive runner’s high has finally appeared and it’s addicting enough I’ll suffer through any number of grudging km to get there. (power song recommendations appreciated)
Other updates. After a long hiatus, I flew to Florida to visit family. My 96 year old grandfather just renewed his driver’s license to age 100 and I thought it was a great reason to celebrate. And celebrate we did. My parents drove down from New York with their trusty Volkswagon Camper and we had a family reunion with my uncles and cousins whom I haven’t seen in ages.
In the upcoming week, hopefully I’ll be able to bake a descent loaf of bread. I’m replacing my awful Sauter oven with another French brand- Rosiere (France, do not disappoint!). The dizzying number of options available is partly a farce. Bosch, Siemens and Constructa are essentially the same company and make the same products. AEG and Electralux are the same company as well. “That way the customer has more choices”, was the salesman’s response. Huh?
Lastly it’s holiday season! I hope everyone celebrating had a Happy Thanksgiving, Thanksgivukkah and Hanukah!
These fritters were adopted by a recipe from Collecting Memories who makes a beautiful rendition. The quark cheese in Israel is not as firm as other varieties (more like Greek yogurt) and the reason why I had to use much more flour to create a workable batter. I also opted to reduce the amount of sugar.
500g white cheese, 5 % fat (gvina levana, Israeli style quark cheese)
2 tablespoons (20 grams) vanilla sugar
1 ¾- 2 cups self-rising flour
Zest of one lemon
Vegetable oil for frying such as corn or sunflower
Powdered sugar for dusting
In a bowl combine the quark, eggs, vanilla sugar and lemon zest. Add 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour. The batter should be soft but not runny. Lift a spoonful of the batter and flip it upside down. If it sticks to the spoon without falling off, it’s the right consistency. If the batter is too wet, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
Heat a pot of oil deep enough to contain the fritters- a few cm thick. When the oil is hot take a heaping teaspoon of the batter and with another spoon, slip it into the oil. The fritters will be a bit lopsided, but that’s ok. Fry one side and flip over until the fritters are golden brown. Poke a fritter with a thin wooden skewer to be sure they are fully cooked. If a film of batter sticks to the skewer, reduce the heat and continue frying. Don’t be tempted to make bigger fritters since the outsides will burn before the interiors are cooked through.
With a sieve transfer the fritters to a paper towel lined plate to absorb the extra oil. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy with tea and jam.
Other interesting cheese pancakes: