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Independence Day

Today was Lebanon’s Independence Day and to avoid any more tragedies or tempt any terrorist-related attacks, the official celebrations were cancelled. I met a cousin for coffee in the AM downtown and then went on a street fair in a trendy location; a few blocks had been converted to a pedestrian zone and instead of a bumper to bumper traffic...
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Turkey with rice stuffing

Thanksgiving turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I am going to be posting pictures every day of recipes I have published in my cookbook. This one is a classic roasted turkey stuffed with spiced rice, garnished with lots and lots of fried nuts and even some roasted chestnuts. I hope the internet cooperates. The snail I see on the broccoli leaves (half eaten...
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Myrtle berries (Hemblass)

These wild bushes get loaded with berries this time of year. Their history goes back thousands of years in the area, and the berries have a reputation for lowering cholesterol and easing digestive issues (among other uses) and are used in herbal medicine in the rural areas, as well as a snack to munch on. My farmer friend, Um Elias,...
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Kanoon (Stove)

I recently had the opportunity to take part in an informal class on how to make a kanoon, which is a primitive-type of stove or burner. Our ancestors used them in the rural areas to heat their foods or drinks. I was thrilled to learn that a lady in a Shouf village was still making them and was willing to...
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shawarma sandwich

Shawarma sandwich

I was just alerted to the fact that today is National Sandwich Day. I should keep-up with these…celebrations? announcements? gimmicks? I will add that to my list of 2016 resolutions. What does one look for in a sandwich? Lately, I have decided that a sandwich should have the equivalent of a complete meal, except in sandwich form. The Lebanese shawarma...
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It is quince season. I’d be totally disingenuous if I typed that I loved quinces. Even though I am fond of all my memories associated with my grandmother, her yearly ritual of making quince jam was not that special to me. It seemed like a lot of trouble for a paltry result. Nevertheless, the sight of the trees in the...
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