I hope I get to your table in time for you to make these tasty dinner rolls three ways, because they should be on your Thanksgiving menu. I’m serious! They will be a hit. If you can’t fit them into your cooking and baking schedule for the day, plan on making them the day before, freeze them in freezer bags (I vacuum pack them) and defrost outside of the bags a couple of hours before your Thanksgiving dinner. That’s exactly what I am doing.
Monjavina is a sweet of arab origin, typical of the region of Játiva and of La Vall d’Albaida, where Onteniente, my hometown, is located. You can find it by other names like almoixàvena or monxàvena, but you will very rarely find it in any other regions of Spain other than the ones I just mentioned. My mom, in fact, never made it, as she comes from Seville, and I grew up eating it at the homes of friends. You could say that every household in Onteniente makes it.
The recipe is simple, with few ingredients, and that can mislead as to its result, which is a delicious, light, sugary cake that is best eaten on the day it’s made. My favorite time to have it is mid afternoon, with a glass of horchata (*) if I am in Spain, or an espresso if I am in America. This mid-afternoon snack is usually referred to as la merienda in Spain, a meal that is meant to stave off hunger between lunch and the late Spanish dinner. La merienda is most often also referred to as this meal in the context of children: the meal they eat right after they get home from school.
I don’t know why I don’t make this soup, sopa mora con tostones, Moorish soup with tostones, more often. I grew up eating it very often, as my mom made it regularly. It’s probably the healthiest soup, or as we call it in Spanish, puré (for a soup where all the ingredients are blended). It incorporates a wide variety of vegetables, some spices, and extra virgin olive oil. What could be better?
If you read my previous post, with the recipe for Monas de Pascua, Easter Sweet Bread, you’ll remember I mentioned that the Easter sweet bread will last for a couple of days, pretty much like with any bread. And like it happens with bread that is not fresh, you’ll either have to toast it and eat it with jam and butter or your (more…)
You might be wondering why I would be posting a recipe for Mona de Pascua now. In my defense, I will say that we ate the monas (also called panquemados) on Easter Monday, as it is tradition in Spain. And also in my defense I will say that Easter started on Sunday, but it hasn’t ended yet. In fact, it will not end until Pentecost, which this year (more…)
Thanksgiving came and went, like every year —and just as fast as it does every year. Preparations for a big holiday always remind me of a climb up a mountain. You prepare, mentally and physically, you take your time, gather all you need, and start hiking. You keep looking up, the summit getting closer as you walk. The last few (more…)
White Sweet Potato Preserve Turnovers, Empanadillas de Dulce de Boniato, A Winter Delicacy on a Fall Day
I find it interesting to see how this blog thing is working out. Take this week, for instance. I had a few ideas in my head as to what to make for this week’s post. I could choose from a number of recipes that included Fall vegetables —the beautiful pumpkins, or butternut squash, sweet potatoes, delicata or acorn squash. I hadn’t made up my mind yet, waiting to see what peaked my interest. (more…)
Growing up in Spain —where it was years before I ever saw snow for the first time—, makes me ever excited to see the first winter snowflakes fall in Fort Wayne. For my children, the sight means the anticipation of a school cancellation the next day. For me, it’s a reminder that the time of year has come to live more indoors than out, that the homey cooking season has arrived, the time of stews. (more…)