All posts filed under: Global Gift Ideas

Pistachio Date Balls

As far as I’m concerned, the best – and quite possibly the only way to time travel is to cook. Reading gets us only partway there – we dream ourselves into other times, other lands. But they remain just that – dreams. Visiting ruins gets us a little closer. But, at the end of the day, ruins are simply ruins – fragments of the splendor that what once was. But, when it comes to cooking food from ancient times? Instant time travel. In my mouth. When I cook I am potentially eating exactly what someone long ago ate. I can shut my eyes and focus in on the beautiful flavors of that time and place. I might as well be there. Want to join me? Let’s do it. Introducing date balls. One of the world’s earliest treats. Fit enough for a king. The most amazing thing about Date Balls is exactly how long they’ve been around. You’ll find them in Iraq today, but you also would have found them in ancient Babylon, when they were called Mersu. …

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Homemade Curry Powder

Makes about 1/4 cup Curry powder isn’t just for India anymore. Fijians, all the way in Polynesia, also love the golden goodness. I took a look at Mark Bittman’s curry recipes (he has three different ones in The Best Recipes in the World), and made a version which combines the best of his fragrant curry and mild curry. The result? An all-purpose curry that will taste great on almost anything. Except maybe ice cream. This version ended up quite a bit different than Bittman’s, most notably because of a little extra cardamom and a bit less fennel seed. I’m just not that into fennel. If you’d like more heat, try mixing in extra cayenne until you get a blend you like. If you want bonus points, toast and grind each spice individually – you’ll be able to toast the spices more evenly and you’ll also have better control of the grind. You know… unless you have a little Miss Ava to keep up with. Ingredients: 2 tsp black peppercorns 2 tsp ground turmeric 2 tsp coriander seeds …

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Turkish Delight | Llokume

Llokume was popularized in Eastern Europe and North Africa during the Ottoman empire. This recipe makes enough Turkish Delight to share. Bring the confection to a special friend or a party, and you will learn why Albanians are just one of many cultures that find this dessert delightful. (Makes approximately 50 pieces) Ingredients: For the candy: 4 cups granulated sugar 1 Tbsp real lemon juice 1 1/2 cup water, plus an additional 2 3/4 cups 1 cup cornstarch 1 tsp cream of tartar 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp rose water 1 tsp orange extract yellow food coloring red food coloring For the coating: 2-3 lbs confectioners sugar 1- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch Method: SPECIAL NOTE: Be careful when cooking with boiling hot sugars. Only use glass or metal bowls/containers. No plastic. Day One: 1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan combine sugar, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture reaches 240F, or soft ball, on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. NOTE: …

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