Simon’s Snack

Photo prompt: © Ronda Del Boccio

 

“Peach jelly and olives?! Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack.”

Jack shuddered. This may well be the end result.

Jill’s pasta sauce concoction reminded him of “after-school snack” on days his mother had to work late and the school-bus would drop him off at his uncle’s house. Uncle Simon would have a tall glass of bluish milk waiting, alongside a dish of crackers topped with lemon-lime marmalade and loaded with sardines.

The mere thought of Jill’s recipe gave him the runs.

Good. Saved by the throne.

“Sorry, Hon. I must’ve caught something at work. I better have plain toast.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Note: Dedicated to my cousin Noam, who reportedly loved sardines-and-jelly sandwiches. I remember being horrified by the very idea and saddened that he would never enjoy them again. Four years my senior, he died at war, just weeks past his nineteenth birthday. We miss you, Noam (sandwiches and all)!

 

Shakshuka

shakshuka InbarAsif

Photo: Inbar Asif

It is breakfast, it is brunch,
It is dinner, it is lunch …

Shakshuka makes a lovely dish any time of day (or night). The dish originated in North Africa and has become a staple food in Israel, where the one-skillet dish is served in endless variations, along with fresh crusty bread or pita for soaking up the delicious sauce. At its base, Shakshuka is a recipe of eggs cooked or baked in tomato and red pepper sauce, spiced with cumin, paprika and cayenne. Some add spinach, some add peppers, some add cheese. Once you get the hang of it you’ll see how easy it is to do as you please …

The sauce can be made quickly on the stove, then eggs are gently cracked into the pan to nestle in the sauce. The pan can be covered and let to simmer on the stove till the eggs are cooked, or better yet, moved into the oven to finish.

Here’s one variation for the Shakshuka inclined (~3 servings, depending on appetite):

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne (or adjust to taste)
1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with juices (if whole, then coarsely chop)
¾ teaspoon salt (or adjust to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper (add more if you like)
4-5 ounces crumbled feta cheese(about 1 1/4 cups) and/or chunks of goat cheese
6 large eggs
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Hot sauce, for serving
Thinly sliced red chili peppers, for serving

Preparation
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft (10-15 minutes). Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes until tender (take care not to burn garlic or it will be bitter). Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lower heat and simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over mixture.
3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set (7 to 10 minutes. If you don’t have an oven ready, you can cover the skillet and simmer on low heat till eggs are set.
4. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with optional hot sauce and chili pepper slices.
5. Serve with fresh bread, pita, or toasted baguette.

Have a little yum in your life!

For The Daily Post

Elixir of Hope: The Recipe

elixir

In one heart, mix equal parts:

Pearls of connection, words of caring, acts of kindness, steps of courage, hugs of comfort, breaths of peace, paths of truth, smiles of joy, touches of compassion.

Brew with gentleness till ample Hope forms.

 

For The Daily Post

Bees’ Needs

bees1

Little guy, age four, talking about flowers.
He asks: “Why do bees like flowers?”
I say: “Why do you think?”
He answers, curling intonation into a question mark: “Because they give them honey?”
I turn my own reply into a query in return: “Well, the bees make the honey, but they need something from the flowers to make it. What do you think they need from the flowers?”
Him: “The recipe?”

bees for beginners