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Hassouni

eG Foodblog: Hassouni (2012) - Beirut and beyond

134 posts in this topic

i never actually saw any dishes with the courgette flowers (thats not to say there arent any though) however courgettes nearly always seemed to have them still attached. The ones i saw were always very small though so i didnt buy any (despite LOVING stuffed courgette flowers)


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Late lunch today was kind of not what I wanted (I'm going to get my saaj come hell or high water!). Was in Ashrafiye with the parents, and stopped at a coffee shop for lunch. My general rule here for eats here are "if it's not Lebanese, prepare to pay for quality." What we had wasn't bad but I would've definitely preferred something local. We were at the Colombiano Coffee House on Sassine Square - probably the most Western part of Beirut. The coffee was actually seriously good - especially the filter coffee (rare here).

I had a chicken salad, which was fine, but nothing spectacular:

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The chicken was actually the best part.

My mom's omelette was quite nice though - I should've got one too:

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On the way home stopped at a local greengrocer (in Saqiet al-Janzir, Beirut peeps) to get some fruit and veg for the house. This is a pretty typical sight over Lebanon, nothing fancy, just a huge variety, great quality, and very reasonably priced.

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Lemons the size of baseballs:

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Loubya aka green beans - the flat kind. Delicious in loubya bi zeit (featuring in tonight's upcoming dinner at home).

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Cucumbers!!

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Green, fresh almonds:

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Quinces:

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Sweet lemons - Numi Hilou in Iraqi Arabic...no idea in Lebanese Arabic

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These are really great - they're like a very thin, tight skinned orange, with flesh sort of like a pomelo but sweeter and slightly more tart, with a really amazing floral taste riding along too. If anyone has a Super H Mart back in the States near them, lately they've been selling them.

Tangerines/mandarins:

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Oranges from trees no more than 50 miles away, probably a lot less:

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Zucchini with flowers:

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Purslane - I think this is called Ba'leh locally:

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Beautiful looking artichokes:

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Went across the street to Fakhani, a small chain of tiny grocery/convenience stores for milk, yogurt, and labne.

Their olive and pickle selection:

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The whole shop. Along the back wall is a huge shelf of American cereals, which I can't imagine anyone eats what with the native breakfast being so freakin' awesome.

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Back at home, the produce was whisked away immediately by the housekeeper, so no shots of that, but here's a somewhat shoddy tutorial for making Turkish coffee! There are several ways but here's how I do it. Add an extremely heaped teaspoon or a tablespoon of coffee per serving - this is a 4 serving pot, so I added 4 tablespoons. Added to that 2 tablespoons of sugar, which in retrospect was rather too much - I typically add 1/4 - 1/3 sugar: coffee. Place on stove on medium-low and do not stir!

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The sugar will absorb the water and cause everything to sink. I stir when it's all sunk.

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Eventually it'll start foaming:

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Let it foam until it's about to break, take off the heat for a few seconds, and put it back on, and repeat so that it foams up 3 times. By the 3rd it's done. Take it off the heat, let it settle for a bit, and pour. There's a bit of an art to getting the entire top of the cup covered in foam, and if you're serving more than one cup, proper procedure is to pour little by little alternating between cups to distribute the foam equally.

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Decent, if not perfect! :rolleyes:

PS, a close up of a box of Minn al-Sima from the same maker I mentioned. Unopened. Hopefully it'll be breached tonight?

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PS, that's mostly Kurdish, not Arabic, on the box.

:shock: The blossoms still on the squash!!! WOW! I want, I want, I want! That only happens around here if you pick from your own garden.

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Breakfast - hotel Lebanese breakfast, foul, labne, and a mini croissant. Lunch - Into the mountains today for an attempt to see the more southerly Cedars of Lebanon at the Barouk nature reserve - after driving an hour and a half, and walking a kilometer in the snow, found the entrance to the reserve completely closed and snowed in by about 2 feet of snow. But! We found a little hut selling all kinds of local produced food items - jams, honeys, homemade pomegranate syrup, homemade orange flower water...

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After sampling it, we bought a kilo of cedar honey! It was the most delicious honey I've ever tasted. Here it is at the restaurant at the end of the plowing, where I of course had a...Turkish coffee.

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View from the table

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Full bar in the mountains

Outside:

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Got my saaj on down the mountain in Beiteddine at:

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Complete with sweeping views of Beiteddine Palace (built by Amir Bashir, one of the more powerful local rulers in Ottoman times):

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..and a sweet wood fire:

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The proprietress making our mana'ish:

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I had a nice just-squeezed orange juice:

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Et voila les saajes.

House special homemade cheese - possibly goat? Apparently it's a secret

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My dad's sujuq and cheese:

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Still on a kishk kick (say that 5 times fast) I had kishk w awarma. This was the greasiest thing I've had on the trip, in a yummy way. Lamb grease. mmmm

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FYI, THIS is a saj (device):

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Across the valley, stopped in the historic town of Deir al-Qamar to wander, and spotted some local produce...

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Backyard lemon tree

And olives just sitting on a stone fence. No idea what they were doing there!

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Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Back in Beirut...

Went for coffee at Bread Republic, where I did NOT have a Turkish coffee!! I had a "ginger and honey" - plentiful slices of ginger in boiling water with honey added. Quite lovely:

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Apologies for the crappy pic...

Bread republic storefront:

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And a couple of their menus:

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Also got a loaf of "champagne bread" (no pic), which is a very nice white crusty loaf with very chewy, airy crumb.

Went downtown to meet a friend for an argile, had an Almaza with requisite munchies:

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Yes, this was one of the smart downtown cafes that Sheepish recalls.

Then went back to Kaakaya, where I had a mint lemonade:

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Back at the apartment, I was told that the cedar honey was great, but we already have a vat of comb honey direct from Iraq:

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The container it's in is only a bit smaller than a filing cabinet drawer...

Then, the main attraction - Dinner!

Went with my parents to Basma in Ashrafiye, which features some modern riffing on Lebanese classics while remaining grounded in tradition.

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Took a pic of most of the pages of their menu:

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VERY reasonably priced prix fixe- 35,000 LL, or about $23

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Mains

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Hot mezze

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Cold mezze

If anyone's French or Arabic ain't so hot, feel free to ask for a translation.

Here's fattoush, shanklish, and a mix dip of labne and muhammara:

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Bread: marqouq, pronounced mar'oo', or paper-thin bread. This is also traditionally made on a saaj, and is a more rural type of bread, whereas khubz 'arabi is more urban, I guess. Nowadays both are found everywhere, but mar'oo' is sort of more "homey." It has a tangy taste, and a bit of a bite, but is very chewy when fresh. It goes hard VERY quickly... This was nice.

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Popcorn. Don't ask why - it wasn't ordered.

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Fattoush on my plate:

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Arak, of course:

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Shanklish and labne/muhammara. It tasted much better than it looks here!

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"Roulade de poulet" or - dijaj sakhen bi 'aj'ouj. Almost like pastilla - shredded chicken laced with lots of allspice rolled in mar'ou' and crisped up (possibly baked? it didn't seem fried). This is fantastic and I've never seen it anywhere else.

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Main dish: Sayyadiyye - or "fisherman's dish" - a modern interpretation of a classic - seared fish filet on rice, served with pine nuts, fried onions, and what appears to be a yogurt sauce. The fish was excellent, the sauce very nice. The rice fine but not spectacular - but then, and I swear this is not my chauvinism coming out, Iraqis do rice the best among all the Arab people!

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Evidence of other main dish - house kabab, which was actually excellent, despite me not holding Lebanese kabab in high regard. Well-spiced, done medium, with nice grilled garnishes (chile, tomato, miniature oniony thing), and an interesting, almost chutney-like sauce on the side:

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Turkish coffee, obviously. Asked for it with sugar, they said it's nicer with sugar on the side, I said oh no it isn't, please add it to the pot. It came unsweetened. But it was good and the presentation was pretty:

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Oof! Long day!


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Guess I'm the heretic who said I could bake my own pita bread-have a bread machine recipe, pop on the pizza stone,3-5 breads for a day or two, works for me...now if I just had some convenient olive trees, I'd be set...I'd much rather have other folks cooking for me, those kishk & shanklish look wonderful...

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Oh my, much as I'm enjoying the tour of Beirut, your "unsuccessful" trip to the Barouk nature reserve was really remarkable. That shop selling honey and the "full bar in the mountains" look like worthy destinations in their own right. Thanks for a blog full of unexpected and delicious food delights.



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Absolutely marvelous blog. As a product of a very white-bread, middle America upbringing, it had never occurred to me to consider Lebanon a tourism or culinary destination. You have changed that. Thanks for broadening my horizons.

Edited to fix iPad's auto correction!


Edited by kayb (log)

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Another foodblog from Lebanon! Be still my heart! One day I shall eat there. Y'all make it so tempting!

What is zouhourat tea (seen on one of the menus)? And when ordering "mint" tea in Lebanon, is it always that ubiquitous green tea with lots of mint found all over the Middle East?

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Tickets booked for mid may :-) loving the blog hassouni, had forgotten how much I liked basma!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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This is all lovely. I can't decide which I like best: the scenery, the food, the restaurants, the menus. The mountain scenery is particularly beautiful. And that gigantic honeycomb! Wow!

I do love freshly cooked fish, and the sultan looks wonderful. What kind of seasonings were used with the fish you showed us?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Another foodblog from Lebanon! Be still my heart! One day I shall eat there. Y'all make it so tempting!

What is zouhourat tea (seen on one of the menus)? And when ordering "mint" tea in Lebanon, is it always that ubiquitous green tea with lots of mint found all over the Middle East?

Zouhourat I guess means "flowers," - I think it's chamomile or another herbal tea. Tea culture here breaks my heart and crushes my soul. Actual tea here is almost always Lipton tea bags. Mint tea is either that plus a spring of fresh mint, or just an infusion of fresh mint. Green tea with mint is more of a North African thing.

Tickets booked for mid may :-) loving the blog hassouni, had forgotten how much I liked basma!

Ahlein! Yeah, it's really good :smile:

This is all lovely. I can't decide which I like best: the scenery, the food, the restaurants, the menus. The mountain scenery is particularly beautiful. And that gigantic honeycomb! Wow!

I do love freshly cooked fish, and the sultan looks wonderful. What kind of seasonings were used with the fish you showed us?

Nothing at all. Scaled, gutted, and fried/grilled. Superb.

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Thank you! Thank you, for a lovely visit to a lovely country and wonderful food.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Outstanding blog, Hassouni!

The snowy mountains look great. Fried fish just how I like 'em. The green market resplendent with tip top produce. Restaurants and cafes look homey and fun. And my favorite word for "eat"...

The lahme b'ajine as snarfed down in the car

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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In the first of the menu pictures from Basma, there are hot mezze (choose 5) listed. How are potatoes provincale prepared? What is the difference between the two hummus offerings? On another menu page it simply lists fattat - can you explain that one a bit more, please?

Finally, you noted that the saaj-made bread is more tangy than the khoubz arabi, which is the more urban take. Any ideas about the difference in the dough for those two?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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In the first of the menu pictures from Basma, there are hot mezze (choose 5) listed. How are potatoes provincale prepared? What is the difference between the two hummus offerings? On another menu page it simply lists fattat - can you explain that one a bit more, please?

Finally, you noted that the saaj-made bread is more tangy than the khoubz arabi, which is the more urban take. Any ideas about the difference in the dough for those two?

Potatoes provençale, according to the Arabic, appears to be potatoes with coriander (as in, the leaves) and garlic - there's an Arabic word there that I don't know (harqousa, lebanese readers), but it seems to be a riff on the classic hot mezza that's similar to patatas bravas and has been pictured before.

There are three hummus offerings I saw - plain, self explanatory; spiced - which should mostly be hot spices; and with meat and pine nuts - the meat will typically either be awarma AKA lamb confit, or otherwise cooked small cubes/strips of lamb.

Fattat is plural of fatteh - you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatteh but basically it's meat or vegetables swimming in spiced yogurt and olive oil sauce with crisped bread pieces and chickpeas.

As for the bread - I suspect khubuz 'arabi is made with yeast and rises quickly, while the khubuz mar'oo' is a) probably a sourdough and b) made with whole wheat. It certainly does not have yeast, that's for sure. Perhaps it's not even a sourdough, since it never really rises. It must be a difference in the wheat - khubuz 'arabi is white, and mar'ou' is brown...so....your guess is as good as mine?

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Last day in Beirut, and what a day of contrasts.

Breakfast at the hotel - A slice of the really good Bread Republic champagne bread, some pain au chocolate and half a cheese croissant, with a few scoops of arabic bread and labne, with cucumbers and olives.

Went to visit a Lebanese friend who I used to work with who now is back here, working in Dora, one of the endless coastal suburbs of Beirut, just beyond the far more interesting Armenian neighborhood of Burj Hammoud. Surprise: the traffic was soul-crushing!

He just moved back here from six months in Texas, and he is the most gung ho American-culture-lover I've seen. He took me to a great institution of Lebanon - Roadster Diner, which is exactly what it sounds like. A retro themed diner chain. It is incredibly popular here - I guess people get tired of labne, hummus, and mana'ish every day. Here's what the endless suburbs look like right by the entrance:

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And inside:

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I got a draft Almaza and the requisite free munchies, only this time instead of nuts, it was Chex Mix:

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We decided to go all out and got the starter sampler:

Buffalo chicken strips, onion rings, fries, and cheese sticks. The rings and chicken were quite good.

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I got a "Philly cheesesteak:"

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Which was good, although the steak was in chunks and not slices. Strange. Only had the half. My friend got the chicken version, which was apparently spicy and garlicky.

Back in Beirut, went for a walk with my parents along the corniche, and saw some familiar signs in Raouché:

The ka'ak vendor, who sells the Beiruti version of a soft pretzel or a bagel, except thinner, crisper, hollow, and shaped like a handbag:

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The vicious rip off vendor of Arabic coffee ($2 a pop! The guy further down was 67 cents):

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NOT Turkish coffee, nor proper peninsula/Gulf Arabic coffee, but the Levantine version, coarse ground coffee, brewed for hours and served out of the distinctive pots shown, mostly sold on the street. The pots have a little chimney in which the vendors occasionally add bits of charcoal, presumably to fuel a fire to keep the coffee hot, almost like a traditional Samovar.

Obligatory shot of the Pigeon Rocks...I didn't go in them this time, but Bay Rock and Dbaibo are the two cafes at Raouché with the best view of them

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Then tonight - to celebrate my friend's upcoming birthday and as a farewell dinner for me, my friends and I had dinner at Al Balad, probably the best place to get dinner downtown. The food is great, cheap, comes out quickly, and is, to use a phrase, "hella legit:"

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We ordered an absurd quantity of food:

The biggest dish of olives I've seen:

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Quarter bottle of Arak mixed in a pitcher, as is the right way:

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Fattoush and hummus. Not pictured - tabboule:

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Shanklish and waraq 'enab, in this case, as sometimes happens, called waraq 'areesh:

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R'aa'aat (rkakat) jibne w sujuq - cheese and spicy sausage rolls

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Deep fried halloum. Dear God.

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Potatoes with coriander and garlic (provençale? maybe)

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Some sort of cheese man'ooshi thing:

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A much better baked good - lahme b'ajin bi dibis rumman - flat pastry with ground lamb and pomegranate syrup

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Yet another man'ooshi thing - feta ("bulghari" in Arabic) with rocket and tomatoes:

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Birthday cake for my friend as brought in by his sister:

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Finally, after passing by Ka3kaya (again...yeah..), and the rather disappointing new waterfront development of Zaytounay Bay, the aforementioned sister and I went to Falamanki for some tea and argile. I had tea with anise (yansoon):

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I prefer this to tea with mint, if it has to be a Lipton teabag.

And now I'm finished packing as I write this. Maybe there'll be something tasty at the airport?


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Deep fried halloum. Dear God.

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My thoughts exactly.



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Thanks hassouni! Lovely trip down memory lane and some new sights too - have loved reading this blog :-) sadly Beirut airport lacks anywhere great to eat - hope you picked up a last almaza though! Safe journey home!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Thanks for sharing your week with us. Maybe we can work it out so a bunch of us can be there at once some day:)

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Thanks for this most interesting week of food and travel.. and more food.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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Oh, alf shokr!

Thanks for a wonderful tour, with evocative writing and tantalizing photos...and thanks for answering our questions and comments.

In these days of reading about the Arab Spring (in whichever country) your foodblog is especially encouraging. This has been a great pleasure, and has given me fresh inspiration to break out my Lebanese and Egyptian cookbooks.

Safe travels, and thanks for sharing with us


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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