Egypt: Read, Eat and Do
Recently, we had “Egypt week” in our house.
It all started when our book club selected the book Nefertiti by Michelle Moran.
Every year our book club does a historical fiction novel and my husband, who is a history professor, joins us and explains the real history that happened around the period of the novel. In this case, he gave us a mini lecture on Nefertiti and her husband Akhenaten who reigned from 1370 BC to 1330 BC.
To read my review of the book look for Nefertiti here.
To go along with the theme, I contacted my Egyptian friend, Mariam, to get a recipe for a dessert to serve at book club. She sent me this one for a traditional cake called Basboosa.
BASBOOSA – A Semolina cake with honey and lemon
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 whole lemon
3 teaspoons honey
3 cups semolina
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
1. To make the syrup: Peel the lemon with a potato peeler to get flat strips of peel.
2. Juice the lemon.
3. Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil.
4. Throw in the rind of the lemon.
5. Boil until the lemon rind is hard or the mixture is a runny syrup consistency.
6. Add the honey.
7. Set aside while you make the basboosa.
8. Mix the semolina, flour, sugar, and baking powder.
9. Add the oil and mix until all the batter is well blended.
10. Grease a large cookie sheet tray (10 x 16 inches).
11. Add the milk just before you are about to bake.
12. Dot the mixture into the greased pan by spoonfuls.
13. Level the mixture with your hand (dipped in milk).
14. Shake the tray to level.
15. Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.
16. Cut into squares and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.
17. Pour the syrup over the basboosa immediately after you remove it from the oven the last time.
Nice also if you embed almonds on the top. Can cut it into squares.
I found the semolina in Bulk Barn with the flours. When you bake with it, use it as is (no need to pre cook it).
The cake was a big hit, and closely resembled corn bread.
Next, I made another Egyptian meal called Kofta (although my husband called it Scotch eggs). I remember Mariam making this for us when we were teenagers.
Salt & pepper
1 hard boiled egg per person
Knead all well in a bowl and flatten on a chopping board/flat surface.
Place a boiled egg in the centre and wrap meat tightly around each egg.
Place in an oven tray & bake at 350 C for about 30 mins or until cooked.
The kids loved this recipe and the surprise of finding an egg inside of their supper.
To continue our “Egyptian Week” I did a few activities with the kids.
First, we found Egypt on the map.
Then we talked about Egyptian hieroglyphics and the boys tried spelling their names using the symbols. I found a great chart on Pinterest!
I also printed off some mazes I found on Pinterest that had Egyptian images. However, these were a bit too hard for my 6 year old maze fiend!
Having a week all about Egypt has encouraged us to learn about other countries! Where will we go next?