My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, but we still love this time of year! The glistening snow, sparkling lights, crackling fireplace, and warm treats and drinks are my favorite.
Instead of a countdown to Christmas, I want to countdown to the first day of Winter, which is December 21st this year. This marks the day of the Winter Solstice, when the day is the shortest of the year. From that day forward, we get a little more sun each day.
To start off the first day of December and the countdown to Winter, I’m excited to share an image of Tahir, an Arabian tahr character I’ve created for my NEKO-NOM-ICON project. Tahir’s design was initially inspired by candy floss/cotton candy, a popular street dessert globally. However, to better convey the texture I desired, I later redesigned him to resemble another delicious dessert: knafeh. His fur mimics the golden brown of baked kadaif, and his horns are pistachio green, representing the nuts often used to decorate this dessert.
Knafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with kadaif, a spun pastry. My family’s version involves using pre-made, oven-baked kadaif, drenched in a sugary syrup, and topped with walnuts. It can be enjoyed warm or cold. I recently tried a traditional variant with saganaki cheese and pistachios, topped with a honey syrup brought by my cousin’s friend. The combination of salty cheese and sweet syrup, along with the varying textures, was divine, both warm and cooled.
I’ve bought some kadaif to make at home, and just thinking about it makes my mouth water!
This design of Tahir will soon be available as a sticker in my shop. Keep an eye out for it as we welcome the winter season together!
**The second image in the gallery is what our version of the dessert typically looks like - simple but splendid! (Location of the image https://www.flickr.com/photos/avlxyz/2895073536/) The third image is what the knafeh on cheese looked like. The recipe of that image uses ricotta cheese instead, but I believe it would taste just as good: https://www.maggwire.com/kunafa-recipe/.