Shannon here: Carole Towriss shares a recipe from her Biblical Historical Fiction title, Prize of War. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Feb 6 – 9 to enter the drawing for two copies, 1 print and 1 digital for two lucky winners. Deadline: Feb 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole:
Prize of War is the story of Acsah, daughter of Caleb, Israel’s most famous warrior and spy. For most of the book, Acsah and her new husband Othni live on the edge of the desert in iron-age Israel. Just surviving every day in this harsh environment was a challenge.
The typical Israelite home consisted of three generations living together, and most of daily life was spent in either on the roof where it was cooler, or in the common room on the ground floor. The fire pit was in this room, which opened onto the courtyard. Cooking, an all-day affair, was done inside during inclement weather or out in the open on sunny days. A woman might spend up to five hours just grinding grain to make flour for the family’s daily bread. No wonder that the females of the family would spend much of their time gathered together, chatting while they completed their daily tasks—making bread, weaving, sewing and mending clothing, caring for children.
The ancient Israelites ate only two meals, and the main meal was in the evening. For the ordinary
person, this meal was bread and lentil stew. In spring and summer, fresh fruit and goat’s milk and cheese would be added, meat was rarely eaten. Up to 75% of their calories came from grain and legumes.
Like American meatloaf, every woman had her own recipe for this stew. This a very easy recipe to personalize. The amounts of everything in it can be changed to suit your taste—the vegetables, lentils and barley, and especially the spices. I’ve seen recipes with bay leaves, basil, oregano, cayenne, parsley, dill, even mint. Onions and garlic were hugely popular in ancient Israel, along with cumin, and coriander (also known as cilantro). Mint and dill were also known to the ancient Israelites.
Here is a modernized version for you to start with.
Barley and Lentil Stew:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 – 4 garlic gloves, minced or crushed
- 6 – 8 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups lentils uncooked
- 1⁄2 cup pearl barley, uncooked
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add carrots, celery, and garlic and continue to sauté until onions begin to caramelize.
- Add lentils and barley and stir until coated with mixture.
- Add broth and bring to a boil.
- Add spices, cover, then reduce heat let simmer 1 to 1 ½ hours. Stir every 30 minutes until barley is tender and stew is thickened.
You can also cook this in a slow cooker for 8-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
About Carole: An unapologetic Californian, Carole Towriss now lives just north of Washington, DC. She loves her husband, her four children, the beach, and tacos, though not always in that order. In addition to writing, she binge-watches British crime dramas and does the dishes for the fourth time in one day. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Prize of War: Acsah is the only daughter of the mighty Caleb, Israel’s most famous spy. When Acsah can’t seem to choose a husband, Caleb feels he must step in, and she soon finds herself betrothed to a warrior. That’s the last thing she wants, however. Soldiers are never home….
Othniel has loved Acsah for as long as he can remember. When Caleb makes his unbelievable promise of picking a trusted warrior for her husband, he fights not only for Israel but for her hand in marriage.
Once safely settled in Debir, Acsah relaxes, believing Othniel can stay home and never fight again … until the giants come back and threaten nearby Anab. Can Acsah deny the people of Anab her husband’s skill and leave them to the giants … or can she trust God if her husband goes to fight once again?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! Prize of War – Amazon
Question for Readers: What is your favorite soup or stew?
Come back Feb 6th for Carole’s excerpt!