Natural Remedies for Late Pregnancy

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 […]


RECIPE: Soothing, Sensual Rosewater

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 […]


Sourdough Part IV: The Sourdough Schedule

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, […]


Baking Sourdough Bread, Part III (The Recipe)

Finally, the recipe for sourdough bread! We’ve broken it up in parts, because it’s complicated, but today we’ll put it all together so it’ll makes sense if you’ve been following the parts. Last week we started with making a sourdough starter, and dedicated a whole post on how to care for and feed your sourdough […]


Honey Is Bittersweet In The Middle East

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 […]


Sourdough Part II: Care and Feeding Of The Starter

Baking sourdough bread can be a pleasure, but a bit like owning a pet. Miriam continues the series on baking great sourdough bread and how to maintain your starter. Earlier in the week, we covered how to make the starter for your sourdough recipe. But your starter needs to be fed. Yeasts need to be […]


Sourdough Bread Recipe: Part I – Make the Starter

You can bake a sourdough corn bread like this, too. our 4-part series on baking with sourdough starts here. People have relied on wild yeasts to ferment their bread doughs, beer, and wine for thousands of years. By contrast, commercial yeast has only been around for about 100 years. It only became possible to culture […]


Shakshuka, Tunisian Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce, eggs, and  a little chili heat. What’s not to love? Shakshuka came to Israel by way of immigrants from Tunisia. Its rustic North African origin is betrayed by the chili bite and how it makes the most of local ingredients: ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggs. Sustainable, flavorful, folkloric and quick. Can’t get […]


Gat, The Middle-East’s Bad Habit

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 […]


Bake Your Own Za’atar-Topped Pita Recipe

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 […]


RECIPE: Apricot Chutney

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 […]


SHAVUOT RECIPE: New York Cheesecake

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 […]


Natural, Organic Cough Medicine

Caught yourself a summer cold? Make this organic tea to control the cough. The Middle East is experiencing a strange transition from winter to summer. One day it’s hot, with a dry chamsin wind that sweeps in with a cloud of fine red dust. Bad news for asthmatics. The next day is cool, with a […]


RECIPE: Moroccan Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

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 […]


How Green Is Your Garlic?

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 […]


RECIPE: Butternut Squash Stuffed With Quinoa

Hungry? Run on down to your local shuk and get yourself a butternut squash. Butternut squash is still in season. Try stuffing it with quinoa, the seed that the pre-Columbian Native Americans called “mother of the grains.” With its nutty taste and high nutritional protein levels (not to mention amino acids and minerals), quinoa’s a […]