I briefly thought of making cookies today and then came to my senses. The temperature is soaring, and I feel like eating something light and cool. I had been looking last night at a cookbook called “Jewish Cooking,” by Marlena Spieler, and had come across this Israeli White Cheese and Olive spread. It looked as fluffy and cool as snow, I have the fresh thyme, so all systems were go.
The recipe did call for farmer’s cheese and I wondered if I could find it. Here’s the thing: a lot of stores nowadays have two separate areas for cheese–the fancy schmancy expensive cheese area, and the regular old cheese area. The farmer’s cheese will be in the regular old cheese area, probably under the grated cheese. If you can’t find it, ricotta will serve, but is not quite the same. Otherwise, the ingredients are simple and easy to locate. We will be having this for lunch. (Update: It’s gone! Totally.)
Israeli White Cheese and Green Olives
1 cup farmer’s cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
20-30 pitted green olives, some chopped, the rest halved or quartered
2-3 garlic cloves, put through garlic press
sprigs of fresh thyme, if available
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Serve with crackers and fruit, if desired.
Notes: Don’t skimp on the olives, as the olives, fresh garlic and salty feta are in the ring duking it out with each other, and the creamy taste of fresh cheese brings it all together. I briefly thought of making fresh pita bread for this, and, again, came to my senses. These Town House Pita Crackers worked perfectly. The fluffy cheese mixture on the crackers, topped with a few thyme leaves is so pretty that a platter of them could be prepared as an appetizer.
You will have left over farmer’s cheese and feta–enough to make another batch in a few days.
Last summer, out at a local nature area, we saw our first Baltimore oriole, amazed at its neon orange breast. So we were astonished to see an oriole at our hummingbird feeder last week. Since then orioles have been showing up every day. An amazing bird.
And it’s iris season.
Since my Mom died ten days ago, I feel as though I had been riding steadily in an airplane for years, and have suddenly fallen out and am still falling. But this poem makes me think of her, how much she loved life. It’s called “I Thank you God for this Most Amazing,” by e.e. cummings.
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
Peace to you. Fran