Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Do you know this food? I can't remember when I tried it for the first time, but it has been a staple in my family ever since. I have made it from mixes and from scratch, and have had pretty good luck both ways.

Anyway, I was talking to my sister on the phone last night while I was preparing this dinner, and she didn't remember what it was (having had it served to her by me a million years ago). So she requested I take pictures, which is why I have falafel to blog about.

For the uninitiated, falafel is ground chick peas (garbanzos) with cumin and parsley and salt and garlic, which is then formed into balls and deep fried. Really, what doesn't taste good deep fried?

The box that I used last night had two separate envelopes of mix in it, each envelope making approximately 12 one-inch balls. I used my small melon baller to measure it out and only got 10 balls, but that was plenty. Usually I use my 2 tablespoon measurer and make the balls larger.

I had called Melody to remind her that her new electric skillet is also good for deep frying, as it keeps the oil at a uniform temperature. I was anticipating having an ordeal with the deep frying as my new place has an electric stove, which was not a selling point for me, but it really went better than expected. In the past, I've had to struggle to keep the oil at the right temp, and the falafel mix has often just crumbled when I tried to fry it - not wet enough, I suspect. Or maybe it was that I was buying the mixes in Singapore, where they had probably sat on the shelf for years waiting for me to come along. Sucker that I am.

So they came out beautifully, and even tho there were only 10, I made some couscous to go with and we were fully satisfied.

Here's how I served them: I put them into a smallish flour tortilla - these reminded me of the wonderful pita breads I could buy in Singapore - nice and soft and not too chewy. Then I put cucumbers, tomatoes, ranch dressing, and for a bit of unconventionality, I added some rocket leaves. Yum!

But for the whole day previously, I was doing laundry, washing dishes, and working on this:

Since my husband and I are both unemployed for the time being, we thought it would be wise to only rent a 2 bedroom apartment. Which left us wondering what we were going to do with all my studio stuff, some of which had been in storage in Arizona for 4 years and only added to the bulk. Well, selling point number two for this apartment: a huge walk-in closet! That looked like the perfect solution, until we started piling our clothes, linens, tools, and other storage into it. However, I have reserved the last 1/3 of the closet for my sewing table. And I actually did some sewing in there yesterday. It's not too bad, but I need better lighting. Anyway, it's only temporary. Lord willing, we will find jobs, we will save some money, and we will be able to afford a new home sometime in the near future.
That's the plan, anyway.

In the meantime, I'll be in my little sanctuary.


Exuberant Color said...

I'm glad to see you are back to blogging. I watch the HGTV house hunter shows and I swear some of the walk in closets are bigger than my bedrooms.

Melody Johnson said...

The falafel looks unbelievably good. I am mouth-watering.
The closet looks like a tight fit, but then, it works so who am I to quibble?

dee said...

How come your walk in closet looks just like mine and I've lived here all my life. I call mine the CLoset of Shame as I quickly slam the door singing LALALALALALALa!!!
Love falafel. They have pushcarts in Manhattan that sell freshly made falafel-it's sooo good. The pita is fresh as well.
You need to find a good Greek restaurant in your area for fresh pita. We get pita at ours. It's so vastly superior to the junk they sell in stores. Sadly, they don't make falafel. We need a good middle eastern place to open nearby.
Glad you're settling in. You'll find work soon. Meanwhile-relax and enjoy your new surroundings and proximity to the best sister EVER!

Anonymous said...

I loved your Falafal tutuaial. I C&P'd it and sent it to my husband's recipe file. When I finally reach my target weight, there are lots of recipes I want to have. We love Falafal and have never made it, We do have great Greek resturants tho.

When I was in my first appartment, it had a very large walk in closet in the hall that was almost as big as my small bedroom. Since the small closet in my bedroom was enough for me, I made it into my sewing "room." That was back when I had one sewing machine and only got a pattern and fabric and thread when I made something. My how times have changed!

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

While the weather is still good consider moving the sewing table to the balcony.
I love to do that in FL.