Monthly Archives: July 2010

Braiding onions

Moallem Philippe, as he is called (moallem in Arabic means “master” or “teacher”) is a Lebanese farmer who is helping us out with our orchard;  a seasoned farmer with over 50 years of expertise in mountain agriculture,  I asked him what he was up to: ” I am going to braid the onions”, was his […]

Potato salad, Southern Lebanese-style (Batata bel-Kammooneh)

Two people in the last 24 hours have had a similar answer to my question: What is the appeal of Lebanon for you? A  24-year old Dutch man  answered: “I  love the warmth of the people; and I enjoy watching the crazy driving“. A  50 year-old French man said: ” Beyond the warmth of the […]

Turkish coffee in a jiffy

Whoever thinks that money is an essential ingredient for happiness has not met Elie, the owner of REEL, internet café in Deir el-Qamar, Lebanon. I have always known Elie as a rather quiet, serious person; one night, I noticed a small  coffee machine and asked him about it; his face lit up; he got up […]

Red Pepper and cheese flatbread

For every Lebanese expat, there is always the fond recollection of buying a kaak from a cart vendor, having him fill it up with zaatar or picon cheese and savoring its crunchy, sesame-laden goodness on the go. Ever-enterprising Lebanese have now commercialized this street food and one can stop at a kaak store and order […]

Broad beans in basil dressing (Fassoulia bel-salata)

Here is the breakdown of our mountain residence household by nationality: mom and dad, Lebanese (2); cousins, Danish (6); moi, son and daughter, American (3); son’s buddy and co-worker, Dutch (1); staff, Filippino (3); gardener, Egyptian (1); brother, wife and kids, French/Lebanese (4). As a result of this convoluted set-up, tempers have flared more than […]