July 02, 2009

Annual Trek to the Motherland

Wara Ainab (Grape Leaves with rice and meat in the middle)

It’s so hot, that even the beach doesn’t bring relief. We hang around the house, trying to find the coolest spot. There’s a little breeze coming in from the east. That’s a good thing, because apart from some air movement, wind from the east is dry wind, as opposed to the humid western wind. The side effect of dry winds is of course forest fires, which have begun in the mountains.
Abou Youssef & Aunt
Rolling up the grape leaves
Cooking for an army, although we're a small family

What about those brand new fire-fighting helicopters we just bought at $8 million a piece? Ah, well, the crew hasn’t finished training yet. You’d think you buy these things when it is cold and wet, and train the crew, so that they’re operational when the forest fire season starts. Not. Well, that ministry is not run by women, so it’s not a surprise.
It is raining in Holland, I see (from my sidebar). I'm looking foreward to some rain.
In the pan

I’m packing my bags, and eat my last meal tonight, as I am off on the annual trek to the motherland. We’re eating Wara Ainab tonight (stuffed grape leaves). You think I am cooking? My cooking skills are so notoriously bad, that hubbie employed the services of Abou Youssef some years ago, enabling the family to survive on other things than take-out. Abou Youssef works in a hotel kitchen, and is an excellent cook. But ever since the old aunt moved in, Abou Youssef has been reduced to peeling potatoes, cutting cucumbers and rolling up grape leaves. She is an infinitely better cook than Abu Youssef, but I think he’s taken a liking to the aunt, and so he does it with pleasure. He thinks in hotel quantities though, and in general cooks for 10 rather than our small family.
Hungry? How to make Wara Ainab? I don't know. But here might be some help.

Thank you everyone for all your kind comments: I will be back end of August. I hope you all will have a peaceful summer.


angienader said...

enjoy your trip!

Becky Gregory said...

Have a safe and happy summer.
Becky Gregory
(Barbara's sister in the US)

Anonymous said...

Have a gooood time in "ons kikkerlandje".
Mieke & Dimphy

Darine said...

Hope you have a nice trip :) though I'll really miss your posts:)

Isn't warraa 3aneb the greatest farewell / welcome back meal ?

Theo said...

Fijne vakantie Siets! Waar voert je hippiebak je dit jaar heen? Jij ging toch naar die camping met bitterballen enzo in Frankrijk met nog enkele andere Nederlands/Libanese dames met in hun gevolg enkele maids om de campingtoiletten schoon te maken? Als het er erg leuk is, even laten weten, dan kom ik onmiddelijk!

Marillionlb said...

Wishing you a great summer

lefobserver said...

Have a ...delicious and really safely summer!

Anonymous said...

Yumm... Invite me over next time, I love wara' 3inab.
Have a safe flight. Enjoy your travels.

Leila Abu-Saba said...

I've been reading your blog for so long that I remember (vaguely) your other summer vacations! I guess I started reading you in the 06 war? Or before that maybe.

So very glad everyone is having a peaceful summer. Many, many of my cousins' teenaged children are back in my village outside of Sidon, Facebooking away. I get the complete update. Well, maybe not COMPLETE. But I'm getting a lot of teen greetings, photos, and news from the village dance in the church square. Thank God. Some of those kids were evacuated under fire in '06.

Patrick said...

Heb je blog net ontdekt via de prachtige foto's van het oude treinstation. Je kijk op Beirut is boeiend en tegelijk herkenbaar :) Mijn vrouw is net met de kids vertrokken naar Beirut om daar haar vakantie door te brengen in de "koffieshop" van haar ouders. (Ashrafié distrikt). In augustus keert ze weer naar het Antwerpse, het is een beetje de omgekeerde wereld hier.

Groeten en een verkeersluwe vakantie gewenst !