pretzel bites.

pretzel bites.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

lemon rosemary olive oil cake. and a sweet new year to all!

 last week i was in synagogue and i saw a little girl wearing a striped dress i was absolutely positive was a hannah anderson dress and little folded socks with frilly ruffly things on them poking out of shiny black mary janes and i was transported to the holidays of my childhood, during which i exclusively wore hannah anderson dresses and little folded socks with frilly ruffly things on them poking out of shiny black mary janes. i suppose i rather liked (or at least didn't mind) this holiday and otherwise unspecified fancy occasion uniform, though i'm sure if i'd been in charge of my wardrobe i would have worn only the incredibly ornately puffy and beautiful easter dresses i lingered near whenever we made a trip to a department store. (tutus seem to be all the rage for little girls now and i imagine i would have been perfectly happy to wear a tutu on any given day.) but there was something so wonderfully sweet about this little girl in her stripes and socks and seeing her somehow rounded out the holidays for me.
 
there's a certain feeling i get every year around rosh hashanah. it's usually warmish out still, though the summer heaviness is always gone from the air and though i'm left mourning the passing of the deliciously long and easy summer days, when we're able to remove our air conditioners and throw our windows open to the freshness of the still gentle breeze, and when i find myself delighting in the return of my beloved honey crisp apples at farmers markets and grocery stores alike, i'm able to welcome the movement, the change, the passing. and every year it's synonymous with rosh hashanah.

so this year, when i was menu planning with my mom for the 26 people my parents hosted for the joyous new year celebration, chocolate just didn't seem appropriate. and neither did pumpkin. we're not that deep into fall yet. summer's still more than a distant memory. i wanted something bright but savory. fresh but rich. i found this rosemary olive oil cake. it was almost perfect. but it needed lemon. and pomegranate. and then it would be just right.
 
ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup good olive oil
1 tbs. honey
2  tbs. rosemary (or more if you'd like)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
pomegranate seeds

to make:
1. preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray a 10 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or spread olive oil over the pan if your mom is out of cooking spray.
2. beat the eggs and then add the sugar and beat until the mixture gets a little lighter and foamy and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil and keep beating.
3. add the rosemary, lemon zest, honey, and lemon juice and stir to combine.
4. whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl and then slowly add it to the wet mixture and beat on low.
5. pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a skewer comes out clean when you insert it into the center of the cake.
serve this cake with pomegranate seeds and rejoice in gratitude that you've lived to see the miraculous arrival of another season.
shana tova! a sweet and happy and healthy new year to all!

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