Monday Meal Review: Syria

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httpv://youtu.be/1CVMInq42c4 "Want to help me make the kebabs?" I asked Ava, gesturing toward the pile of long, metal skewers, the bowl of sour cherries swimming in water, and the ground lamb meat, spiced with baharat. I tried to imagine what this spread looked like in a three year-old's mind. Dangerous, slimy, raw. I cringed a little internally, knowing she wouldn't want to help. Knowing this would push every squeamish part of her mind. But then she spoke. "Sure!" she smiled and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Baharat

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I'm craving a little excitement. A little spice. In my younger years, I might have stayed out all night clubbing, I might have found a new crush,  or I might have packed my bags and drove off into the sunset without checking a map. Even worse, I might have done all three. Today, I think, I'll settle for something simpler. Something more manageable. Baharat is a popular Middle Eastern spice blend which often makes its way into kebabs and other meat preparations. There are countless … [Read more...]

Recipe: Syrian Lentils

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There's a whole head of garlic up in these cyber pages. By now you should be able to smell it through the screen. I know. You have boys to kiss. Important business meetings and no Altoids. You don't have time to smell like garlic. But indulge me for a moment, please. We've eaten a whole head of garlic on this Adventure before, as with our Lebanese garlic sauce Toum, but this time our garlic is making friends with lentils and Swiss chard. They bubble and steam up together, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Syrian Lamb kebabs with Sour Cherries | Kebab Karaz

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I can almost hear it; the hiss and sizzle of grills waking up from their long winter naps. It's warm in Oklahoma and we're ready to move our kitchen outside, into the sparkling sun. Today's inspiration comes from Syria and the pucker of sour cherries, which will be in season sometime in the next few weeks, depending where in the world you live. Syrian Lamb Kebabs with Cherries can be made two different ways. The first is easy - you string up the meat along with the sour cherries. The … [Read more...]

Menu: Syria

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"If your friend is honey, don't lick him all." Syrian Proverb If I'm going to be honest, I'd have to say I'm not exactly sure what this proverb means (or, more to the point, I'm not sure I should be visualizing my friends as honey bears). My theory: the proverb is not literal (so few are), but it does teach that good things should not be taken advantage of. Lest we lick them all up. But what a vivid picture the Syrians paint to teach this message. The food is just as vivid. There are … [Read more...]

About the food of Syria

Lattakia Beach. Photo by Taras Kalapun.

Oh, Syria. This wedge-shaped land spreads from the west, where she dips delicately into the Mediterranean sea, back to the east, up, over the mountains, all the way to the Iraqi border. Along the way, her cliffs and canyons smooth out into hot desert and scrubby grasslands. Lost, towards the south, is the ancient city of Damascus, quite possibly the world's oldest city according to National Geographic.  While Damascus has all the allure of a teeming city and world heritage site, the fun … [Read more...]