Sunday, June 14, 2009


One of life's "givens" is that whatever you decide you can get rid of, either by throwing or giving it away, once you do you will for sure need it again.

I can hear all of you agreeing and saying with me, "It never fails!"

When we downsized into our first apartment, I had 25 years of collecting cookbooks to face. I decided at that point to give away to The Salvation Army all the cookbooks I had that I had never tried a recipe from. It was really hard to do, because I loved those cookbooks and loved to look through them and drool. I swear I could even gain a few pounds just looking at all the desserts! But I was ruthless in doing what I had to do.

Later, when we moved from Loma Linda to Mira Loma and had even less room for books, I had more decisions to make. Both my Julia Child's and my James Beard's cookbooks went that time, as did my Middle Eastern cookbook, my Dutch cookbook and a few others. What stayed? My plain old Betty Crocker book, Irene Kuo's The Key to Chinese Cooking, and my very favorite book, "Main Course Soups and Stews." I distinctly remember copying a few recipes out of some of the books I gave away and putting them on the computer in my recipe file. But beyond that, almost everything is gone. Periodically I want one of those books and I stand in front of the bookshelf just shaking me head: "I can't believe I gave it away!"

Today I'm going to share one of those recipes I copied into my e-file. When we were in Israel in 1980 I found a good cookbook printed in English. It was small and spiral bound. But the two recipes I kept from it when I made my final "cut" was the one for the best hummus I've ever eaten, and the one I'm going to share with you today. It is very simple.


8 carrots, freshly grated
1 cup dark or light raisins
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Mix together and let sit for one hour. Place on plate and enjoy. Serves four.

That's it. But I should give you a couple of hints. In the middle east many things are served at room temperature. Keeping this salad at room temp means that the carrots will more quickly soak up some of the orange juice, which adds a great deal of flavor to them. And the second tip is that you need to grate the carrots and squeeze the oranges yourself, not buy already prepared ingredients. If you aren't a raisin person, you can omit them, but when plumped up with orange juice they will be super-delicious.

Happy eating to you all.

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