Recipe: Seasoned Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

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Summer time is tomato time, and not just for salads. Slow-roast some to taste the depth and sweetness of all their flavors. In Middle East open-air markets, we now see piles of ripe tomatoes. And since they’re seasonal and cheap, we enjoy them raw and sliced into all kinds of salads, sometimes cooking them when we […]

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Natural Remedies for Late Pregnancy

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Miriam recommends natural teas and a tincture for third-trimester ladies – and their husbands. Having actively worked as a doulah for many years, I’ve always used herbalist’s wisdom to support women in pregnancy. Here are some herbs to ease the wait of the lady in waiting: The third trimester can be trying. Exhaustion, possibly return of […]

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RECIPE: Soothing, Sensual Rosewater

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The fragrance of roses is a Middle Eastern favorite for pastries and delights. This old-fashioned recipe shows how to make it yourself. Photo by Marlis1 via Flickr. In the Middle East, rose water scents pastries like Ma’amoul cookies, puddings, and clothes. It comes in tiny glass bottles if it’s concentrated, and in larger plastic bottles […]

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Sourdough Part IV: The Sourdough Schedule

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It’s Slow Food defined, but worth it. Miriam winds down the sourdough series with a plan. It’s true, sourdough takes time. So do all good things. But once you’ve established your starter, a world of delicious home-made breads opens up to you. And the good news is that sourdough also makes quicker breads like muffins, […]

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Honey Is Bittersweet In The Middle East

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The Honey Council, Hive Thievery and Bee Ecology education in Arabic:  In Israel and Lebanon, honey is both a problem and a solution. Image via orinrobertjohn Archeologists have uncovered beehives in northern Israel that date back 3 000 years.  A courtyard in the  ancient city of Rehov was home to bees producing honey in at least […]

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Gat, The Middle-East’s Bad Habit

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Miriam interviews store owners who sell legally addictive substances: soft drinks, cigarettes, junk snacks  – and Gat. Some folks chew gum. A lot of Israelis chew seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, watermelon seeds. Some people put a plug of tobacco into their cheek and chew away, only pausing to spit once in a while. But for maximum chewing […]

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Bake Your Own Za’atar-Topped Pita Recipe

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The Middle East’s daily bread, easily made at home. In the Middle East, here is always pita. Pita sops up humus and sauces; opens up to enfold falafel or shwarma; serves as a base for all kinds of spreads (like muhamarra). We take this homely bread for granted, but if it were taken away, we’d […]

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RECIPE: Apricot Chutney

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Golden-pink apricots are in season now in the Middle East. Preserve some as chutney for year-round enjoyment. Do you like chutney? Cooking your own seasonal (and preferably organic) fruit, you can enjoy locavore preserves that you won’t find in any supermarket. And you choose the sweetness and chili heat of your chutney according to your […]

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SHAVUOT RECIPE: New York Cheesecake

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This light, creamy cheesecake fits into your green Shavuot, especially if you make it with organic cheese and eggs. It’s also light on sugar. The ancient Romans left a simple cheesecake recipe: ricotta cheese, honey, and eggs.  Pour into a clay saucer. Bake over coals. That still works, but for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, we […]

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RECIPE: Mulberry Chutney

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Mulberries make delightful jams and chutneys. Miriam shows you how. Wherever you see  several old mulberry trees standing together in the Middle East, you can be sure that they are descendants of trees once cultivated to provide fodder for silkworms. And although the leaves have medicinal properties that humans can also enjoy, we two-legged folks […]

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RECIPE: Moroccan Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

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Do you love artichokes? We do. Here’s a healthy recipe perfect for the Middle East. It’s springtime, and the markets of the Middle East display piles of these artichoke thistles with the succulent hearts. The hot climates of North Africa and the Middle East produce a fantastic variety of vegetables that are easy to stuff […]

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How Green Is Your Garlic?

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Imported garlic looks beautiful, but locally grown is  healthier. Contaminated garlic from China  was a scandal in the late 1990s and up till 2009. Fueled by anger over tainted pet food, toothpaste, and medicines from China, health-conscious consumers were outraged at the huge quantities of cheap Chinese garlic that were being “dumped” – sold for […]

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