Pita Blog Posts
Summer is winding down. The grandchildren are over and it’s too hot to turn the oven on and bake anything. What do I do?
Maybe baking cakes is part of my redemption journey, simply giving people the opportunity, ever so briefly, to allow their faces to light up and to live for just one more nice thing, like a piece of cake!
Back in April, after our first warmup, my youngest grandchild asked my husband, “Paw Paw, is it summer enough to make your ice cream? I think I can do it all by myself this year. You know I’m 9 now!”
Do you ever have one of those memories where all your senses are captured? I have a tabouli memory like that! I was in high school spending a few days with my BFF at her grandmother’s home in a mountain village in Lebanon, as we were in the habit of doing during the summer. We were there for the National Holiday of Eid Al Saydeh, Feast of the Assumption, which also coincided with the grape harvest season.
More than any other recipe, hummus is the one for which people ask me the most. Hummus has recently become massively popular outside the Middle East, especially in the United States and Europe. I routinely see hummus packaged and ready to eat in all shapes and forms in the grocery aisles, even as little snack packs.
It has been cold, I mean really cold in Texas this month, down in the twenties, perfect weather for a cup of tea.
I’ve taught my grandchildren to bake before they could even reach the counter by them just pulling up a stool, donning an apron, and going at it! I do have a method to this madness though. First, we take out all the ingredients from the pantry, talk about the job of each component, measure carefully, and step by step follow the recipe. On this Valentine’s Day, the recipe is tea cakes, or old-fashioned sugar cookies passed down from my husband’s grandmother.
February is the month for baking extra special Valentine’s desserts. My mom used to quip that the quickest way to a person’s heart is through his/her stomach. This saying isn’t romantic or poetic, but Oh so true! My mom was exemplary in her gift of hospitality. We never knew who was going to be at our table for mealtime. Drop-ins were not unusual, but the norm. One particular dish she was known for was her apple pie; so much so that I cross stitched a pillow for her commemorating and lauding her celebrity chef status as the best apple pie baker!
When I haven’t been able to go home since I can’t ever move back to Lebanon, I’ve dug in at each location on my life’s journey and planted an herb garden, recreating the tastes and smells of home.As in the picture above, I’m sitting in front of the garden I dug up behind my apartment in college. Herbs gift me with a sense of permanence because most herbs are perennial, returning every year with self-seeding or self- rooting. I can count on my herbs’ consistent presence. An herb harvest is plentiful, yielding its bounty season after season. Herbs are easy to process whether used fresh or dried for later. And herbs grow like weeds because that’s basically what they are!
I love simple old recipes that I make so often that their edges are worn down and they taste sure of themselves! There are several such recipes handed down in my family that I make without looking at the frayed recipe card. Don’t you just love the grandma handwritten recipes on index cards or in spiral notebooks?!?!