Meet Beluga

Last summer Stephen & I interned on an organic produce farm called Jade Family Farm in Central Pennsylvania. But more on that later.

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

In May, during my first month on the farm, Lucy (the most beautiful black farm cat) had a 3 kitten litter. All of the kittens were ladies and we named them Totoro, Thomas, and Beluga. The first one we found ¬†in Lucy’s kitten hiding spot (a large pile of scrap wood) was a tiny little gray ball of fluff. I immediately fell in love with her. After about 4 weeks of thought and consideration, we decided to adopt her. Eventually, she moved inside with us, met her first vet, and started sleeping between our heads.

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

She goes by several nicknames: Belu, Begu, Bear, Little Bear, Pigeon, Plum, Monkey, Tiny, or whatever else I feel like calling her. I’m a copious nickname giver. Just ask Stephen. I mean Rabbit ūüėČ

Beluga Kitten | Pumpkin Honey

My Grandmother’s Ma’amoul

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My grandmother passed away on March 1st last year.

She was a beautiful and brilliant woman who made our family what it is.

She was also a fantastic cook who made especially delicious traditional Maryland/Southern dishes. And traditional Syrian & Lebanese dishes from my grandfather’s family.

We make a huge batch every year for Easter.

These cookies were made last year for Easter after her passing. It’s taken me that long to get around to posting them! But, hey, it was just Easter this past Sunday so at least they’re timely in that regard. And they’re delicious any time of year. So have at it.

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My Grandmother’s Ma’amoul

makes A LOT of cookies

5 Cups Cream of Wheat (Farina)

5 Cups of Flour

3 Cups Butter, Melted

1 1/2 Packages Dry Yeast

2 Teaspoons Mahlab, ground

4 lb. Dates

Preheat the oven to 350¬ļF.

Grind the dates in a food processor until a very thick paste forms. I like to add a bit of ground mahlab to the date filling as well.

“Mix cream of wheat and flour, mahlab and melted butter and let stand overnight.

In morning dissolve yeast in warm water (or warm milk). Add to dry ingredients with enough warm water (or warm milk, about 1 3/4 cups) to make dough.”

Spoon a walnut sized ball of dough into your hand. Using your thumb create a hole in the center and fill with a teaspoon of date filling. Close carefully, forming a sphere. They can also be made in a cigar shape by forming a flattened rectangle of dough, filling it with a thin, rolled out piece of date and then closing the dough around the date filling (Next time I’ll add photos).

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 Р25 minutes or until just starting to change in color. The bottoms will be light brown.

Let cool before sticking in your mouth.

Syrian Date Cookies

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These cookies are great with milk and coffee but especially great with hot tea.

CherryBlossoms1948

In loving memory of Miss Jean.

Liege Waffles

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Okay, so it’s been over a year since my last post on Pumpkin Honey. And a lot has happened. Not really, but a few things I suppose.

Stephen & I interned on a small, family-owned, organic farm in Central Pennsylvania called Jade Family Farm.

We also adopted a tiny little gray kitten, baby to the resident farm cat Lucy, named Beluga.

We’ve been living in Baltimore for the last year. And we’re about to move out.

I’m expecting to receive my MA in May.

My mom is taking me to Paris 2 days later (best mom ever).

And Stephen’s birthday was on the 4th.

Thus the Liege Waffles.

These waffles are not only beautiful. They are everything a waffle should be. Especially if you’ve ever been to Belgium, had a street waffle, and thus know exactly what a waffle should be. They’re dense and chewy but crispy and caramelized.

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Then they were topped off with cinnamon whipped coconut cream & blueberry maple syrup.
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ERMAHGERD. Incredible.
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MAKE THESE WAFFLES.

Liege Waffles

1/3 Cup Warmed Almond Milk (whole milk or water)

1/2 Tablespoon Yeast

1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

9 Tablespoons Melted & Cooled, Salted Butter

2 Teaspoons Vanilla

2 Cups Flour (I used 1 Bread, 1 All Purpose)

2/3 Cup Pearl Sugar (I use Swedish)

Preheat waffle iron. Other recipes I’ve seen insist that a typical waffle iron is too hot for your classic Liege Waffle so I unplug it periodically while making them. Just keep an eye on the browning.

Dissolve brown sugar & yeast in lukewarm milk. Let stand 10 minutes. Vigorously beat two large eggs and vanilla into mixture. Add butter little by little, beating as you go. Gently beat in flour. Let rise for for about an hour or until doubled in size. Then mix in pearl sugar.

Form dough balls slightly smaller than a tennis ball and place on segment of the waffle iron. Mine makes two-segment waffles so I made two balls at a time. I know some make 4 and so forth. I don’t grease the pan – mine is non-stick and there’s TONS of butter in this dough so they shouldn’t stick. Unplug as needed to keep the waffle iron from overheating. Periodically check the waffles, cooking until deep golden brown.

The waffles are even crispier and caramelizedier if the dough is chilled first.

Coconut Whipped Cream

1 Can Full-Fat Coconut Milk – chilled, separated cream only

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Whip cold, scraped off cream of the can of coconut cream until thick and fluffy. Fold in powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Blueberry Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Blueberries – frozen or fresh

1/3 Cup Maple Syrup

In a small saucepan heat the blueberries over medium-low heat. Smash with a fork or potato masher until pulpy and juicy. Heat until hot and just about simmering. Add maple syrup.

Pour blueberry maple syrup atop waffles, add a giant dollop of cinnamon whipped coconut cream and NOSH.

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