Hooray for Life. Hooray for Modern Medicine. Hooray for the Future, because life can only really get better for all of us, not worse; the world is indeed a better place, even if it is a somewhat sick one .
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This year's Clean Monday menu is a little less traditional than other years' in our house. International Cuisine Saturdays and creativity in the Cretan kitchen have become a more accepted part of the culinary regime. The menu reflects these concepts:
There will also be dessert. It isn't the first time I've used halva as my daughter's birthday cake . Halva isn't a festive sweet, but it's irresistible when it's as tasty as my one. I make it according to the good old 1-2-3-4 recipe. You really cannot go wrong.
You need 1 cup of olive oil
2 cups of semolina
3 cups of sugar
4 cups of water
some chopped almonds and/or walnuts (or some other dried fruit of your preference: this year, I used dried Canadian blueberries and craisins )
a cinnamon stick
half a lemon
some cinnamon powder
In a pot, place the water and sugar, along with the cinnamon stick, the lemon juice squeezed from the half lemon AND the peel itself, and let the syrup boil away for 15 minutes. In another large pot, place the semolina and let it heat up until it starts to give off a slightly burnt scent. Then add the oil and stir it in. Let the semolina mixture cook till it turns golden brown, stirring constantly. Add all the dried fruit at this stage and let them cook together with the semolina (or you can add them at the end of the cooking time, if you prefer).
When the semolina is ready, pour the syrup (stick and peel removed) onto the semolina. Watch out - the chemistry of these combined heated products will cause bubbling splatters which burn if you aren't careful! Continue to stir the halva, until it begins to set in the pot, after which you must quickly turn it into a mould to set (or small individual moulds, if you prefer). Dust with cinnamon (or cocoa powder - it's lenten!) and let it cool before serving.
Καλή σαρακοστή to all.
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