Tag Archives: hummus

Revisiting Jerusalem

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We’re revisiting Jerusalem – the cookbook – today; and we’ve got a little glimpse of the city.  Andy in Andy’s Corner is revisiting Jerusalem crickets.

I’d been struggling to know what direction I wanted to go with this blog.  Should I focus on Jerusalem, the Cookbook, which I blogged about almost 2 years ago and which was the source of the recipes we all enjoyed at our last Dining In?  Or should I write about Jerusalem, the city?  I’ve never been there so I could hardly give any insight or perspective into such a complex, fascinating place.

But then I found an online site (do we love Google or not? 🙂 and the blog came together in a nano-second.  In a recent blog I wrote about friendships among women of different generations.  And Jerusalem could/should be all about friendships among people of different faiths and ethnicities.  Just a year ago around 800 people gathered at midnight in Jerusalem to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.   That occasion and Marley’s lyrics are so perfect for today’s world.

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right

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The cheat sheet for the participants in the Jerusalem song fest.

As I mentioned earlier, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, who are the authors of Jerusalem, a Cookbook, both grew up in Jerusalem, Ottolenghi in the Jewish west and Tamimi in the Muslim east.  They believe food may be the only thing that can bring the city together.  I’d suggest food – and song (and maybe divine intervention).

Here’s our menu based on Jerusalem, a Cookbook.  Why don’t you invite a diverse bunch of friends for dinner and have everyone bring a dish to share.  Then crank up the volume on your speakers, put on Marley’s “One Love.”  You could follow that up with Simon and Garfunkle’s 1964 hit “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream” and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”   Or take a different approach: for our dinner party I had a playlist of songs with familiar artists, selected because all of the songs had Jerusalem in the title.

Some of what we heard included…

(An aside:  one of the greatest things about doing this blog is that it’s forcing us to learn or re-learn “stuff.”   I just sat down and paid more attention to the lyrics of “Jerusalem” as written and sung by Steve Earle.  The song fits this blog theme and this day and time so beautifully and poignantly.  In an interview Earle stated, “I believe that our future, our existence as a species, will be determined in Jerusalem.”  Interesting to contemplate.)

Should you have a Sonos system and would like the complete Jerusalem playlist, just let me know! 🙂

Who were those diverse guests at our dinner?  Former competitive speedskaters, New Jersey to California transplants, and wildlife rescue experts.

And what did we dine on?  Here’s the menu and the recipes follow:

  • Hummus  served with pita chips and veggies
  • Zucchini and Turkey Mini Meatballs
  • Conchiglie with Yogurt and Peas and Chile
  • Beet and Carrot Slaw
  • Spiced Chickpeas and Summer Veggie Salad
  • Orange and Almond Syrup Cake

“Let’s get together and feel all right!” Continue reading

Jerusalem

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We want to start this blog on a high note.  And we have another quiz: what does “Jerusalem” have to do with the 1936 film San Francisco? If you give up, listen to this clip from the film.  Actually, we’re urging you to listen even if you got the answer.  It’s that great.  Then contrast that with the song (song?) that Andy shares with you on Andy’s Corner.

And, you politely inquire, what’s the possible connection between the film, the song about Jerusalem, and this food blog???  Well, sometimes things just gel when you’re a blogger (and have nothing else going on in your life to dwell on), so read on.

Because I do lots of internet reading about food and cooking, I see the name Yotam Ottolenghi popping up everywhere.  He’s the Jerusalem-born London chef and food and cookbook writer, famous not only for his unusual recipes but for his view that food can bring differing folks together.  With a sense of adventure, I first tried his “Cauliflower Cake” recipe after seeing rave reviews from several of my favorite bloggers.  It was indeed beautiful.  It’s questionable whether I’ll ever make it again.  Even my Bestie, Deb, who loves almost all things vegetable-y, didn’t seem enthused, nor did our cat.

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Choco Latte, the Cat Who Doesn’t Like Cauliflower Cake

I decided I needed to move beyond the vegetable recipes in Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty.  I ordered Jerusalem: a Cookbook, written by Ottolenghi and his cohort Sami Tamimi in 2012.  

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Immediately,  the song “The Holy City,” with its powerful refrain of “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” started going through my head (apparently Ronald Reagan wanted “The Holy City” sung at his funeral but called it “Jerusalem” and he got the wrong song sung).  A quick YouTube search turned up the version linked above.  It’s Jeanette MacDonald, a favorite of my dad’s, with her gorgeous soprano voice singing the refrain “Jerusalem, Jerusalem” in the 1936 film San Francisco which starred Clark Gable and was set just after the 1906 SF earthquake.

Now back to Jerusalem, the cookbook, and Ottolenghi, a most interesting chef/celeb.  I don’t think I’d want to try every recipe in a cookbook as Julie Powell did in Julie & Julia: My Life of Cooking Dangerously, where she cooked 524 recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  But devoting a dinner party to the cookbook Jerusalem was perfect.

Here’s my take – and your opportunity to get some Ottolenghi recipes that are a little more approachable – without buying his beautiful book or searching online.  I’ve slightly adapted all of the recipes.

Continue reading

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