This is one of my favourite summer lunches. Delicious, fresh, quick to make, and actually reasonably good for you - and even if it's really warm and sunny out (which it isn't today, sadly), these wraps won't make you all hot and bothered in the way that certain heavier dishes will.
We've covered curiosity, now it's time for nostalgia. Growing up in Finland, I celebrated Easter, not Passover. When I say celebrate, please don't think that I mean that in any religious sense - ours was not a religious household. For me, as for countless other children in Finland, Easter was all about the witches.
Witches, you ask? What do witches have to do with Easter? Well, I will forgive your ignorance, but in Finland everyone knows that all the witches fly to Blue Hill on Easter Eve to stay up dancing all night long. However, if you're lucky, they'll stop by your kitchen in the middle of the night and leave your thick, woolly winter socks stuffed with Easter eggs. Yes, I know, to some of you this will seem like a bizarre combination of two separate holidays - but there's more. There's fancy dress, too.
First, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. For Jewish people, Pesach is the most significant holiday of the year. The seder, the Passover meal, is perhaps best compared to Christmas or Thanksgiving - if you're not there, you just know your mother will never forgive you. Ever.
However, the seder is much more than a meal. It's a ritual, complete with its own book, its own, bizarre little dishes, and its own songs and prayers. It's also worth keeping in mind that although some of the elements are always the same, no two families have the identical seder. Secular and extremely disinterested Jews might make do with a takeaway and a piece of matzah, whereas those more religiously inclined quite easily stay up til three in the morning, making sure that every word is read, every parsley stalk eaten, and every song sung.
For my first attempt at Weekend Herb Blogging, I suppose I ought to have followed my self-proclaimed theme and chosen something Finnish or Jewish. However, given that Finland still hasn't thawed out, and all the Jews are busy preparing for Passover (there's a proper post on bitter herbs coming up in due course), I decided to go for something entirely different.
Rosemary is quite an underrated herb, in my opinion. Most people agree that it smells good, but find that it is too overpowering to cook with. If it's used, it's usually in small quantities that only leaves you with the merest hint of its woody, pine-scented notes. This is a shame, as a more generous amount can create a very memorable meal indeed - especially if combined with garlic.
This was a very good decision. I ordered some sea bass from Waitrose, determined to cook myself some lovely fish even though I hadn't chosen a recipe and wasn't sure whether I had any suitable ingredients at home. I just knew I liked sea bass, and thought I'd work something out when I was hungry enough.
There were some surprises along the way. The first one was the price - £5.99 seemed like a lot for two measly fillets of fish. The second one was the fact that it was imported from Greece. Why would you need to fly fish around the world when you live on an island? Nevertheless, I was prepared to forgive my finned friend everything when I opened the packet and discovered that it was neither smelly nor slimy. A first! A fish that looked as though it might have actually been sweeping through clear Cycladic waters as late as, ahem, yesterday morning. Okay, probably not, but I was impressed.
Yes, I know, it's been too long - but I've been busy! Besides, it's spring and I keep finding myself in the garden in the evening, weeding and planting and tidying up and just enjoying the last few hours of sunlight.
But I found this article and I knew I had to share it with you. Remember my hamantaschen post, where I said that the poppy seeds probably had more to do with opium than Esther's fast? Well, I was only being silly - but maybe I was right! It turns out that as little as a poppy seed bagel can be enough to produce a positive drug test.
Yes, it's true. Opiates can be detected in urine for as long as 48 hours after eating poppy seeds. If you do decide to make the hamantaschen (and you should!), it might be worth keeping that in mind.