Self isolation, week 7: Persian-fusion, and Devvers is on a ROLL

One of my favourite things from this week is, without a doubt, Devvers’ fabulous inventiveness with all these random groceries that have been delivered to us in “Surprise boxes”. We’ve been eating delicious dishes that I would not have thought of eating with those ingredients, it’s great!

We’ve also been channeling our inner Persian, which is fabulous as well, and makes us think of our Iranian friends and the magnificent feasts they host at their house. We miss them đŸ€—

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Mona de Pascua

Mona de Pascua
Mona de Pascua
Mona de Pascua

This is a sweet cake that is produced around Easter time in the Valencian region, and it’s also one of my favourites!

In fact, I like it so much that I learned to make it, because it’s impossible to source it in London, and I was missing it lots each time I spent Easter in the UK.

One of the defining features of this bun is that it uses eggs both in the dough and in the decoration, which has many variations: you can brush the top with beaten egg, or whisk the egg white with sugar until it stiffens and use it to decorate the top the bun, or you can even place an egg on the bun before baking, which makes it look like an egg nesting on the bun (this is most typical of the smaller, individual pieces). Often, the eggshells are dyed with food colouring, so this makes for very colourful pieces that you’re sorry to eat.

A Mona with egg on it – taken from the Wikipedia page

Tradition has it that you should take a mona with you on a country side walk on Easter Monday, to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Then, when you find a nice and calm spot, you sit down and eat your mona outdoors, while enjoying the early warm weather and the sight and scent of flowers (hopefully without too many insects!).

And if your mona includes eggs, it’s quite traditional to ‘crack’ them on the forehead of your family members or friends… preferably by surprise! đŸ€Ș

Not my forehead or the forehead of anyone I know! Source: Alicante Vivo
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Bollos de Sant Blai (Saint Blaise’s buns)

Bollos de Sant Blai

These sweet crumbly buns are typically made in Benidorm (Alicante) around the 3rd of February, which is Sant Blai’s patron day (Saint Blaise).

I had an older recipe which didn’t work out well. This time I more or less followed another blogger’s recipe (in Spanish). Thanks, Carmen! ??

A word of caution: these buns are pretty calorific, which might explain why they’re only made once a year. But on the other hand, they are gluten free, so if you want to make a sweet treat for someone who can’t eat wheat, this could be it.

Bollos de Sant Blai
Bollos de Sant Blai
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Foraging, I: the Christmas tree branch

Foraged tree branch

I was walking on the street on the 21st of December (and yes, I do write way after the fact), reflecting on the fact that the idea of winter solstice was fabulous: after that night, the days would be getting longer, the nights shorter, and eventually the weather would get warmer… and then my eyes noticed a branch on the floor.

I was standing outside a garden/flower shop, so I figured it must have been trimmed off a Christmas tree. And then I remembered what my grandfather used to say:

Lo que a mi casa viene, es porque me conviene.

(“Whatever comes to my house does so because it’s convenient for me”)
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