Monday, May 3, 2010

Fill her up

Words will never do yesterday's massive family lunch justice, so here's
some deliciousness to savour:

Starting with the mezza. Salud!

Vegetables feature very prominently in mezza dishes.

Raw livers with garlic and mint.

Ftiele (in the foreground) and kibbe naye (to the right of it). They're both raw meat that's been very, very finely minced, with fats and sinews removed. The kibbe is mixed with bulgar wheat, parsley and mint; the ftiele isn't. They're both eaten with flat Lebanese bread and mint. The kibbe goes well with onion; the ftiele is great with garlic paste.

When the first half of the mezza has been eaten, the second half arrives. There's usually no more place on the table, so dishes just start resting on one another!

Hollow, baked kibbe balls that are great when dipped in labneh, cheese sticks and meat pies. Note how smoking is still so allowed everywhere in Lebanon. So much so, that it's not abnormal to rest your ashtray on the food dishes!

PS. I forgot to photograph the meat dishes that came next. They're pieces of chicken, beef and kafta meat presented on plates under a piece of bread to retain the heat. I think I was too busy eating to photograph that part!

While everyone enjoys their meal, a guy walks around lighting arguiles (hubbly bubbly) for those who want, and continues to change their coals every now and then.

And then comes the dessert. A magnificent display of seasonal fruit. Guess who tucked into her first cherries, strawberries and pineapple of the season (not like I just left them at the opposite side of the world!). I love having summer immediately after summer! The castor-sugar-coated goodies are local Turkish Delights stuffed with pistachios.

The meal ends with an offering of ahwe. Note how the arguile guy just turned his waistcoat around and became the ahwe guy!

And just like that, I was able to put on a few kgs. Fill me up!

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