Cauliflower fritters

Cauliflower fritters, with salad and black tahini sauce

I bought some spices online, and an interesting looking recipe by Susie Morrison (Gourmet Glow) was included in the box. I did not have any better ideas for dinner, so I thought: why not try this?

What a success! We’ve made several times already, and I predict there will be more repeats (if only because we’ve bought more za’atar—all these repeats depleted our stock!)

That said, the original instructions confused me a bit, and they also suggested using some ingredients I did not have at hand, so this is my own interpretation, adjusted to my own way of cooking.

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A happy accident: freadafels (falafel buns)

Freadafels (Falafel buns)

I was trying to make flatafels, but using yellow peas instead of chickpeas.

Yellow peas, we found out in another attempt to make hummus with them, are sour if you just soak them but don’t cook them. So this time I had soaked and cooked them in the pressure cooker, but it seems that I went a touch overboard with them, and they were too soft. Borderline mushy. Ew.

To make things worse I also blended them in the food processor, as I was sort of just following the normal recipe for falafel.

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Carquinyols (Vall d’Albaida style)

Carquinyols / casquinyols in a saucer

This is the type of low-key sweet that you would get on a visit to the bakery—go to buy a bread loaf, and come back with that but also half a quarter of these for your mid-morning coffee.

Unfortunately, someone in my family has developed a nut allergy so they’re not casually acquired anymore, and they’re also quite regional so I haven’t had the chance to find them in my most recent visits to Valencia. And then, there’s lockdown and no travelling, so… time to bake some, as I’ve been craving these for a while!

They’re quite easy to make, so if you are tired of baking cookies and shortbreads and feel like attempting something more exotic, try this. (I mean, at this point going to a different supermarket a few blocks away already feels super “exotic”, so imagine baking something typical from two countries away!)

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Poison pie

Poison pie close up

☠️ This is a great pie to bake for Halloween… or any time you feel witchy! 🧙🏽‍♀️ ☠️

I got Malcolm Bird‘s fabulous book “The witch’s handbook” as a Christmas present in 1989 and we enjoyed reading it and making some of the crafty activities, but we never baked much at home, and also most of the ingredients in the cooking section were a bit unusual for Spanish palates, so the cooking recipes were sort of out of reach.

I still liked the book so much that I recently bought a second hand English edition—and it came just in time for Halloween. The best!

As I browsed through the book, the Poison Pie recipe caught my eye. Why not bake it, now that I feel confident to do so?

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