Apricot blossom and middle eastern delights

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Our apricot tree is flowering, the blossom braving the cold north wind we’ve had for the past couple of days. We stayed in the warm kitchen most of the time, Lo Jardinièr making flat breads to accompany dishes from the wonderful Jerusalem book that I’ve mentioned before:

flat breads1while I made mutabbaq for dessert. This is made with a mixture of goats’ and sheep’s cheeses in layers of filo pastry, baked till golden and then with a sugar and lemon juice syrup poured over it. Quite simple, delicious and also from the same book.

mutabbaq1I was going to photograph it on the plate, but it didn’t last long!

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Soup for a stormy night

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With our département, l’Hérault, on red alert for heavy rain, thunder and lightning and floods, it seemed a good night to stay in and make soup.  We followed a recipe for pumpkin and mussel soup that I posted on my other blog a couple of years ago, and it was perfect for a stormy night with a paillasse loaf of crusty bread.  And this kind of mussel dish goes well with the red wine from nearby Faugères, although you can drink white with it if you prefer.

Pizzas on a rainy day

I don’t know where the Mediterranean summer has gone, but it’s been cold, windy and pouring with rain here for two days now.  We need the rain – for the garden, for the vines and to stock up reserves for the long dry summer, but it’s still not a very cheerful sight.  Under dark chilly clouds it seemed a good time to make bread and pizzas, so that’s how we spent the morning – making tomato and basil pizzas for lunch and rosemary focaccia just for fun.  For more than 20 years when we lived in Wales we made all our own bread because it was difficult to buy good bread there.  Here, with an excellent boulangerie only 50 metres from our house, we make it much less often, but it’s still fun to do it occasionally.

Our basil plants are just getting to the stage where we can use leaves from them, so this is what gave us the idea for the pizzas.

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The recipes for the pizza and focaccia on the Food from the Mediterranean blog.

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