Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making the Bitter Sweet

Hi there! Rebecca is right, my absence from blogging has been inexcusable (although not as inexcusable as her failure to take a picture of our lovely lime meringue pie before it was gobbled up, ahem). I had such a wonderful time with her, Adam, Simon, and Leo in Los Angeles last month, but since then it's been back to real life, and back to baking.

Right now we're in a period of the Jewish calendar known as the Nine Days. This appropriately named period is the nine days leading up to the fast day of Tisha B'Av, a very sad holiday that commemorates the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem some two millennia ago. Among other restrictions, we don't eat meat during this time, because meat is considered a luxury that brings us happiness. The only time you can eat meat is if you've had a siyyum (i.e. if someone has finished a piece of learning), or on Shabbat. I promise, this random lesson in Jewish history and tradition gets relevant. 

So I decided to take advantage of it being Shabbat and made steak for some friends who were coming over for dinner, which meant I had to find a parve dessert, which could only mean one thing - Couldn't Be Parve! I was in luck because I found not one, but two recipes! One was for rhubarb sorbet; the other, for sugar cookies that Shoshana suggests you serve with it. The sugar cookies were good - they mostly tasted like sugar cookies, which is all you can ask for from a parve cookie. What I liked about them is that, unlike most butter-based sugar cookies, you don't have to chill the dough at all to get them to maintain their shape while they bake, so they're great if you're in a hurry, since the dough takes all of three minutes to throw together.

The rhubarb sorbet was fantastic. It was also very easy to make, as most sorbets are, but it was a lot creamier than I expected, almost more like ice cream. Rhubarb is one of those super-summery foods, and I've been making a lot of stuff with it this summer, I thought it was very appropriate for the occasion, because it's quite bitter, but dump a ton of sugar on it and it becomes sweet and delicious. The Nine Days are also bitter, but if you dump Shabbat on it...whatever, you know what I'm getting at. You can find the sorbet recipe here and the cookie recipe here

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