Monthly Archives: June 2010

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Olive oil and Anise rings


One of the major challenges of blogging out of Lebanon is technical: Even though “high-speed” internet is available even in remote villages, the electricity gets cut off several times during the day; I have often been in the middle of pushing “publish” to hear the distinct “machine is dying” sound signaling a temporary loss […]

By |June 28th, 2010|Sweets|58 Comments
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Chicken balls with spaghetti al-pesto


I am in the attic of this grocery store in the village of Deir el-Qamar and using their wireless internet; I mention out loud that I am thinking of spending a week in Greece later this summer; a boy of about 10 (at the most) turns around and tells me (in English)  ”  go […]

By |June 27th, 2010|Salty|52 Comments
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Holy bread


It may seem strange to some of you not familiar with the Near East to be eating holy bread as a snack, but here  it is sold in grocery stores as well as used in religious service; I am starving, having spent all day driving around; I walked into the grocery store in town, […]

By |June 26th, 2010|Sweets|33 Comments
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Grape Molasses drink (Sharab debess el-enab)

Whenever I see my brother Jean, it is as the French say en coup de vent (like a gust of wind); he landed from Singapore and hopped on a plane bound to Cyprus; we managed to share a meal, during which he told us about a book  written by a physician who was exposing […]

By |June 25th, 2010|Sweets|38 Comments
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Apricot jam

Homemade apricot jam is traditional and in the past every household used to make it.
Lebanese society  has become Westernized and families now have two-wage earners busy with outside work; as a result, many people rely on an industrious grandmother, mother or aunt to perpetuate the tradition.
The best (and only) apricots to use for […]

By |June 24th, 2010|Others|57 Comments
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Upside-down cherry cake


A cake made with a handful of these Hammana cherries, some labneh or Greek yogurt, ground almonds,  eggs, butter, flour and flavorings; can be made in a jiffy since the cherries need not be cooked, only pitted. The crumb is tender, flavorful and on the moist side. Can be also made as a cupcake. […]

By |June 23rd, 2010|Sweets|37 Comments
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Lunch with a writer/archaelogist in Beirut


When Fadi Stephan invited me to lunch, I did not know what to expect; I had read his wonderful  bookLe Berceau du Monde (tr: cradle of the world, to be translated at UT Austin), knew that he had taught archaelogy and semitic languages, knew of his family, but that was the  extent of it.

What a […]

By |June 22nd, 2010|Travel & Tourism|42 Comments
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Yogurt and Purslane salad (Ayran w Bakleh)


This was one of the dishes on the buffet at Tawlet; it is a rural dish from the North; very nourishing, as purslane is supposed to be the most nutritious green ever (even though it is a weed); the US Department of agriculture had plans to encourage its cultivation in every empty lot in […]

By |June 21st, 2010|Salads|53 Comments
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Veggie fritters


Another creation from darling Eva; she took some cabbage, carrots, potato and zucchini and made these delicious fritters. She served them as a side dish  but they could just as easily constitute your lunch with a salad and some olives.


1 Large potato
1 chunk of green cabbage
2 Large carrots
2 Large zucchinis
1 onion
1 clove of […]

By |June 19th, 2010|Salty|60 Comments
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A day at the beach


In Lebanon these days one has a choice of beaches: you can go to a ritzy beach (if you want to parade in your latest outfit) , a free beach, a moderate beach; it all depends on what you are in the mood for. This one is  located North of Byblosand it has a […]

By |June 18th, 2010|Travel & Tourism|40 Comments