Holidays are quiet in here. Except for her funny little rush, her excitement and little laughters while she tries to wear her new fluffy, pink tutu skirt and golden sparkling shoes. She smiles broadly in front of the mirror and bats her eyelashes. We try to hide our smiles behind our teacups.
Her excitement grows as she kisses the hand of each member of the family (as is our custom in religious holidays) and in return her purse is filled with pocket money. She was dreaming of buying My Little Pony toys with it for quite sometime now.
Her dream comes true. And she literally flutters towards the toy store to buy whatever she likes. Of course Princess Cadence loses her unicorn within the same day. Rainbow Dash gets her first swim at the bottom of the pool the next day. Yesterday, poor pony also got her first haircut. I roll my eyes or cringe or complain a little but Bade is still very happy with all her little operations and experiments.
She dances and swirls and jumps as I watch quietly and my husband and I exchange secret smiles. I simply let her be, and enjoy her beauty, happiness and freedom. She blooms like a pretty, colorful flower and fills the room with her unique scent.
Ramadan Holiday has also emptied the city, sending almost everyone on vacation. And it has also emptied our lungs, as I breathed in new, fresh oxygen and had a good long rest.
Meanwhile, having a rest means emptying the mind and while I empty mine, I also fill it up with loads of new stuff. New recipe ideas come and go and some stay longer than others and actually make it to the end. Like this one.
I came up with this recipe yesterday, and made it only a few hours ago. It amazed me how the taste is just like regular old mastic custard!
Are you familiar with mastic gum ? If you are, you probably know that unique taste similar to pine tree resin but with a hint of something sweet and savoury. I have always loved its taste and could never get enough of it.
If you are not familiar, now please let me tell you all about it.
Mastic gum comes from Mastic trees, which are evergreen small trees grown mainly in the Greek island of Chios. Its aromatic resin which is ivory coloured is originally a liquid, but it hardens and turns into hard, translucent droplets, also called tears of Chios.
Mastic has many mentions in history, the first mention was by Hippocrates. Who used it for the prevention of digestive problems, colds and as a breath freshener. Romans used mastic along with honey, pepper, and egg in making a special spiced wine .
In the Ottoman Empire, the finest mastic was sent to the Sultan’s harem. It is said that mastic was so popular in the Ottoman Palace that 1 kg of mastic was worth 1 kg of gold.
Mastic is also very popular in modern Turkish cuisine. Especially in desserts and beverages. I, for example, prefer my Turkish coffee mastic flovered. Cookies and puddings are often flavored with it. It’s simple a taste that one can never, ever forget. Now, also grain free.
Grain free Mastic Gum Custard
Prep Time: 15 min
Serves: 2 servings
100 gr (1 cup) raw cashew nuts
150 ml (3/4 cup) hazelnut, almond or cashew milk (regular milk is also fine)
2 or 3 tbspns honey
¼ tspn vanilla extract
2-3 small mastic gum granules
1-Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes. Drain.
2-Mash mastic gum granules into powder.
3-Pulse cashews, nut milk, honey, vanilla and mastic gum powder until smooth and creamy.
4-Split to cups, refrigerate. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve.