I attended a French high school in Lebanon, Lycée Franco-Libanais and in France as well. Literature was an important portion of the curriculum and we studied all the French authors, from Rabelais to Molière (every single play) to Balzac and Zola and Flaubert; we did’n’t bother with Shakespeare. However, we did touch on the Russian authors.
My favorite was Dostoevsky; his characters were so emotional and crazy. Here’s a quote from one of his books.
” There are certain things in a man’s past which he does not divulge to everybody but, perhaps, only to his friends. Again, there are certain things he will not divulge, even to his friends; he will divulge them perhaps only to himself, and that, too, as a secret. But, finally, there are which he is afraid to divulge even to himself, and every decent man has quite an accumulation of such things in his mind.” (Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground)
Why this introduction? To admit one thing publicly: I do use (from time to time) cans of prepared hummus and eggplant dip!
I have used them especially when I had a few friends over and they would not detect the (gasp!) subterfuge.
Using a can is the difference between 10 minutes of work and 45 minutes of roasting an eggplant carefully over a grill until all the skin is blistered and peeling it and draining it.
A can requires: opening it, dumping it in a bowl and adding the following:
- one tablespoon of yogurt
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 Tablespoons of tahini
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt
Mix well, taste to adjust seasoning, serve.
Feel free to throw in your two-cent!
NOTE: Do you know what ” Baba Ghannouj” means in Arabic? Baba is daddy and ghannouj is an adjective that means “he is a spoiling, cuddling, daddy”