Books and Bakes: Solace in Times of Corona

There is a bookshop in Jerusalem called “Sefer ve Sefel” (A Book and a Cup), a boutique store for used and new books. I haven’t been there in a while, but years ago I used to visit the place to buy books, read over a great cup of coffee and feel like I am in a world where good vanquishes evil. In these difficult times, when bad news slap us over the face on a daily basis, it is vital that we find sources of solace. When it feels like we have no control over what is going on in our world, and our mind is constantly struggling with horrific scenarios, it is critical that we practice self-care and nourish our loved ones; emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Stories, cooking and baking is the combination that works for me, for the time being. We have no way of knowing what tomorrow will bring, but I invite you to join me in sharing a few moments of comfort and a little skip to the world of stories.
And for the first chapter, I share with you a recipe for sinfully sweet Amsterdam cookies and an excerpt from Daniel Defoe’s novel, “Journal of the Year of the Plague”. If you really want to go overboard with the cookies, do what I did, and put some aside to make homemade ice cream patties that you can store in the fridge and have a bite when in need of the strong medicine of sweetness.

“It was about the beginning of September, 1664, that I, among the rest of my neighbours, heard in ordinary discourse that the plague was returned again in Holland; for it had been very violent there, and particularly at Amsterdam and Rotterdam, in the year 1663, whither, they say, it was brought, some said from Italy, others from the Levant, among some goods which were brought home by their Turkey fleet; others said it was brought from Candia; others from Cyprus. It mattered not from whence it came; but all agreed it was come into Holland again”

For the Amsterdam cookies recipe:

Defoe, Daniel. A Journal of the Plague Year, written by a citizen who continued all the while in London (p. 1). Kindle Edition.

By Hamutal Gouri

מייסדת ומנהלת consult4good, חוקרת תרבות, מרצה ומנחה ומספרת סיפורים לשינוי חברתי. Founding Director, Consult4good & Impact Storytelling. Believes that change begins when silence is broken


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