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 once; for a bit of serenity, I head to the garden or the kitchen.
Today, I had a long conversation in the garden with Salah, who is Egyptian; he told me that he was in reality a Jew from Albanian extraction; said he looked up his family on Google; (post coming up on him!)
He also showed me plants in the garden I did not recognize, like a huge bush of lemongrass; pointing at the lemon verbena bush, he said ” this is what we call the best cure in our world!” According to him, an infusion will cure stomach ailments and restore strength.
At dinner tonight, a big bowl of these garden broad beans dressed in a basil sauce.
- 1 pound of broad beans
- 1 white onion, chopped fine
- Dressing: a handful of fresh basil leaves, a couple of cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup of olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, salt to taste.
- Boil the beans in a lot of water; add to the water a bay leaf and a sprig of lemongrass, if you wish and it is available.
- Peel the beans (optional step)
- In a blender, place the basil leaves, olive oil, mashed garlic, salt and lemon juice; process for a few seconds. Pour onto the beans and serve.