Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Kitchen tales: Cranberry orange cookies

When it comes to desserts, my husband and I are complete opposites: he likes to have fruit in his while I am of the opinion that it’s not worth the calories unless there’s chocolate in it. So when I came across a recipe for Cranberry Orange Cookies from Fake Ginger I knew I had to make them for him.
These Cranberry Orange Cookies are so easy to put together that they are perfect for making with kids or grandkids. They are a great combination of sweetness from the cranberries with a zingy undertone from the orange peel. They were a hit the first time I made them and had to make them twice after that. The great thing about them is that they keep for up to ten days (less if the weather is hot) and are perfect for Christmas (although it’s a bit too early to start thinking about that). In reality, they can be enjoyed at any time of the year. They are a softer type of cookie but since the cookie dough is rolled in a mixture of sugar and orange zest before baking, they have a slight crunch but are definitely not a hard type of cookie. I would define them as soft and crunchy.
Orange cranberry cookies

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Valletta: Five more quirky facts

As promised last month, I am back with 5 more quirky facts about Valletta. If you missed the first five, you  may find them here.
Quirky fact number 6: It has a street that used to be known as ‘The Gut’
‘The Gut’ is a nickname given by British servicemen to Strait Street (Strada Stretta). At not more than 4 metres wide, Strait Street is the narrowest street in Valletta and is said to have been built so narrow so that a part of it would be in the shade at all times. During the British era, Strait Street gained notoriety as bars, dance halls and brothels sprouted next to each other and brawls, prostitution and drunkenness were the order of the day (and night).
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Monday, 5 February 2018

Book Talk: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah’s Key recounts the story of Sarah Starzinsky, a Jewish girl living in Paris with her parents and younger brother during the war. In every other chapter in the first half of the book the story takes us to Paris in 2002, where we follow along as American journalist Julia Jarmond researches the notorious Vel d’Hiv roundups in the run-up to the 60th anniversary commemoration of the event. The Vel d’Hiv arrests had been swept under the carpet by all the French governments since the war, until Jacques Chirac publicly addressed this black mark on France’s history in 1995 (full speech here).
Eventually we find out that the link between Sarah and Julia is an apartment on rue de Saintogne, in the Marais quarter of Paris, and the horrific events that took place there in the summer of 1942.
Sarah’s Key, like most books, has its flaws but it’s not my intention to be an armchair critic as the aim of this article is not to dissect its style and content. If I have one complaint it is that I wish Sarah’s character, and the harrowing experiences she was subjected to at such a tender age, could have been developed better by providing a bit more insight into the psychological trauma that she was going through.

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