Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Meal In Galilee

According to Bible Lands and Cities, a typical meal in Galilee would consist of lentil soup and flatbread (usually barley bread). With this they might have had fresh fruits in season (grapes, melon, cantaloupe, figs, apricots, pomegranates, and olives) or dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, and pomegranates). They also might have cheese made from goats milk, and curdled milk (similar to yogurt) sweetened with honey. Meat was rarely eaten except on special occasions. The most common meat was probably dried fish. Other meats eaten included goat, lamb, chicken, geese, duck, pigeon, and quail. Beef was only eaten by the elite.

Here are some recipes you can use when recreating a Galilean meal:

Lentil Soup with Flatbread
(You will need to multiply this for a large group)

7 ounces red lentils

15g (1 tablespoon) rice

1 flat bread

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, sliced


Rinse the lentils and rice and put them in a saucepan. Cover lentils with water. Add salt and cumin. Bring to a boil and cook 1 hour.

Fry or grill the sliced onions until blackened. Scatter the onions on the soup and serve immediately.

Flatbread can be used with the soup in two ways:
1. Serve with soup for dipping, either toaster or untoasted.
2. Cut into bite sized pieces and toast, then sprinkle on soup right before serving.

From a recipe found here.

Rice was first introduced in Isreal by the Persions, and by the Roman period was a common food and major export.  

Barley Flatbread
This recipe makes 8 loaves. If participants are helping you make this bread, you can also get some barley seed or wheat kernels and have them grind it into flour between two rocks (or a flat rock and a stone rolling pin, which was somewhat like women in Galilee did). I suggest having them grind a small amount and add that to pre-ground store bought barley and wheat flour, since grinding enough to make an entire loaf could be time consuming.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup barley flour
1 cup wholewheat flour (or other whole grain)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Stir the yogurt until it is smooth, then stir in baking soda. The yogurt will froth. Combine salt, barly flour, and wholewheat flour (or alternative) in a large mixing bowl. Stir in yogurt yeast/water mixture. Knead for 10 minutes by hand.

Cover the bowl with saran wrap or wet towel and let rise for 1 to 1.5 hours in a warm place. It should doubled in size. Remove the dough from bowl and kneed on a breadboard. Divide into into 8 small balls. Flatten each ball into a 6″ circle. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

Have cloth ready for pressing the dough and wrapping the finsihed loaves (something you won’t mind getting oil on). Coat a frypan with oil or cooking spray (olive oil would have been used in Galilee, but other oils work just as well). Place dough in the pan (how ever many will fit without touching…and a little room between). Press each circle of dough with the folded cloth to squeeze out air bubbles and prevent air pockets from forming. Cook 1.5 minutes, flip, and cook another minute more. When the bread is cooked the edges of the bread will look moist. Remove from pan and wrap in cloth to keep warm.

From a recipe found here. (Recipe modified to add 1st century details). You can find more recipes for flatbread here.

PRINTABLE:This coloring page from Bible Printables features women making flatbread.

In rural villages like Nazareth, women would often wake up 3 hours before dawn to grind grain.

Historical source for Rice Fact: Wikipedia:  ancient Israelite Cuisine.  Other sources sited in text.

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