… where the gods of fertility and creation …

. … the name of the village derives from the names of two gods, Aon,the God of Fertility and Abel, the God of Creation, thus Aon-Abel, which by the passing of centuries and the change of languages that the region experienced was corrupted into Ain-Ebel. …. others believe that the name of Ain-Ebel derives from two words, “Ain” and “Ibl”. The…

delicious opulence and comfortable luxury

. Ma’amoul are small shortbread pastries filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts. They are popular in Levantine cuisine and in the Gulf countries. They may be in the shape of balls or of domed or flattened cookies. They can either be decorated by hand or be made in special wooden moulds. There is a more…

the more sense it makes

. “Cooking is not a particularly difficult art, and the more you cook and learn about cooking, the more sense it makes. But like any art it requires practice and experience. The most important ingredient you can bring to it is love of cooking for its own sake.” Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking ….

thou most fragrant, aromatic joy

. Ode To Coffee By William A. Pricé Oh, thou most fragrant, aromatic joy, impugned, abused, and often stormed against, And yet containing all the blissfulness that in a tiny cup could be condensed! Give thy contemners calm, imperial scorn— For thou wilt reign through ages yet unborn!   Some ancient Arab, so the legend…

moments ….

. The moments of happiness . . . We had the experience but missed the meaning And approach to the meaning restores the experience In a different form, beyond any meaning We can assign to happiness . . .  The past experience revived in the meaning Is not the experience of one life only But…

you say, “clafoutis…”

. Clafoutis by Beth Somerford I will whisk for my new love a creamy batter, sweet and rich, its almond tang an undertone that catches in my throat. Then I shall wait another night to lay the foaming blanket over reddish marbles rolling; over dark unpitted fruits. Once baked into a solid spume we’ll break its…

cherry-ripe

. CHERRY-RIPE by Robert Herrick Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry, Full and fair ones ; come and buy. If so be you ask me where They do grow, I answer : There, 
Where my Julia’s lips do smile ; There’s the land, or cherry-isle, Whose plantations fully show All the year where cherries grow. You…

…. the most famous of Vienna’s culinary specialties ….

. Well, it is still raining since my last post. And it is set to go on for another day at least. The sun may come out for a minute or two, before big heavy drops are pounding the landscape again. The sound of thunder bounces off the mountains behind us … since four days. …

who likes the rain ….

. Who Likes The Rain? 
“I,” said the duck. “I call it fun,
 For I have my red rubbers on; 
They make a little three-toed track, 
In the soft, cool mud, – quack! quack!”   
“I!” cried the dandelion. “I!
 My roots are thirsty, my buds are dry.” 
And she lifted a tousled yellow head
…

under siege

. A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for “to sit”. Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static defensive position. Consequently, an opportunity…

…. is a kind of layered cake ….

. It is highly disputed who made the first Baumkuchen and where it was first baked. One theory is that it was invented in the German town of Salzwedel, which is further popularized by the town itself. Another theory suggests it began as a Hungarian wedding cake, although given its German name this is doubtful….

A night in Beirut ….

About a week ago we had an unexpected thunderstorm. It all started with a magnificent sunset … and then it started to get dark …. …. and darker still …. and windy …. It was over rather quickly and gave us this view from our terrace …. …. of course the daily ritual involving a…