Ever since we moved house about five years ago, I've completely curbed my spending habits. I used to buy everything on the spur of the moment and clothing and shoes often in many colours. Shelves full of books were moved into an inordinate number of boxes. After the trauma of moving and as if my PTSD was fresh and fulgent in my mind, I now think twice and think "Oh that's just another time to move eventually."
Photo by Faith Gorsky
However last week, when I read all about my friend Faith's new e-book "10 Mid-East Inspired Sweet Treats: Contemporary Twists on Classic Treats", I bought it straight away without a second thought. Her book of 10 Middle Eastern inspired recipes was inspired by the kindness of strangers and how it can make one appreciate the good in people and hope for the best. Faith is American and her husband Mike is half Syrian and half Palestinian and they have lived in Syria on and off several times since they were married. It is a place where they walked the streets at night without fear and the last time they created these memories was in March 2011.
Since then Syria has been torn apart by civil war. Mike's parents were lucky enough to escape to Jordan just before their home of 20 years was blown up. They are the lucky ones. So many aren't so fortunate and this is Faith's way of helping. Just because she feels that if you can help someone, you should.
Apricot Crumble Bar Cookies, photo by Faith Gorsky
Every single cent profit of this $4USD e-book for the first year goes to Unicef to help the children of Syria get essential supplies, medicine, and clean water. I'm not just touting this book because Faith is a friend, but also because she writes the best recipes. She also makes Middle Eastern food so accessible to those for whom it is a new cuisine but these ten desserts are beautifully photographed and mouth watering. The ones that I have earmarked are the Apricot Crumble Bar Cookies, Medloua (Layered Pudding Pastry Cake) and Cardamom-Spiced Mocha Truffles (inspired by Turkish coffee with cardamom).
Medloua (Layered Pudding Pastry Cake), photo by Faith Gorsky
But as it was a hot day my hands were drawn to her Creamy Rose and Orange Blossom Pudding Pops recipe. It's a milky ice block flavoured with pistachio with a touch of rosewater and orange blossom water. It was almost too easy to make these and I started these in the early morning and by the time the sun reached its full peak in the middle of the day they were ready. There is no need to buy ice blocks or popsicles when they are this easy to make. You know exactly what goes in these and it is a delicious, exotic refreshing dessert or pick me up for a tiring day. And you know what? It's an ebook so it doesn't take up much space.
So tell me Dear Reader, what sort of spender are you? Careful or carefree? And have you bought many e-cookbooks?
Rose & Orange Blossom Pistachio Popsicles
Adapted from Faith Gorksy's ebook "10 Middle Eastern Inspired Sweets"
Makes about 550ml/19 fl oz of mix
- 2 cups milk (low fat is fine)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3-4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon rosewater (or to taste)
- 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
Step 1 - Mix the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of the milk from the 2 cups total and set aside the slurry. Heat the remaining milk and sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in the cornstarch slurry (be sure to stir it again as it can settle) and stir constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and add orange blossom water, rosewater and pistachios.
Step 2 - Place a sheet of clingfilm directly on top and allow to cool completely. Once cold, pour into pop molds, they are generally around 1/2 cup capacity each depending on the size and shape of course. Freeze for half an hour until the top starts to firm up. Insert paddle pop sticks and allow to freeze completely.