Hi! Kifak? Ça va?
I am Joumana. I grew up in Beirut back when Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East. My fascination with cooking developed when I was about 9 and was watching my grandmother Teta create food in our little kitchen. She lived with us, and since I was not allowed to do any work in the kitchen, I would stand by her side and watch her. She had small hands but her nimble fingers “magic fingers” and could shape sambusek, kibbeh balls, tiny shish barak, anything, with extraordinary precision. I have never met since a more skilled kitchen artist. She was also amazing at crochet, knitting and quilt-making and produced entire closets of embroidered linens for my mother and my aunts.
From Beirut, like many of my contemporaries, I moved to France as the civil war in Lebanon was raging. I graduated from high school in Paris then moved to California, then Texas where I finally settled and had my two children (now grown and professionals).
I started this blog because even though I have been an American for over 30 years, my passion for my country of origin is unabated. Love its nature, its people, its cuisine. Proud of the Lebanese people, their achievements and their courage. Interested in their complex and rich history.
Studied Pastry arts in Dallas, worked in the field for a while.
I want to dig into traditional Lebanese cuisine, especially rural recipes that are being rediscovered. I also like to cook American, French, Italian dishes but with a little Lebanese flair.
I also want to dedicate my blog to my téta (grandmother), Sitt Nabiha Aftimos Zabbat; she tirelessly made kibbeh, sambusek, fatayer, muhallabieh and uwaymate, as well as negotiated the price of eggplants or tomatoes with the street cart vendors four floors below.
I currently divide my time between Dallas, Texas and Beirut, Lebanon.
I can be reached either through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you enjoy your visit here!
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