KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Food Memoirs & Contest
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Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Food Memoirs & Contest

Memoirs with recipes must be my favorite book genre. It all started just a few years back when I fell in love with a long ago time and place in Egypt. I was captivated by Colette Rossant's Apricots on the Nile (in the US it was called Memories of a Lost Egypt). Rossant writes about growing up in a boisterous Sephardic household in Egypt. Everything is described so vividly--her extended family, her school experiences, the trouble she gets into, and especially the food she eats.

The book is filled with wonderful memories and equally wonderful recipes. Rossant spends time with her French relatives in France and includes the recipes from there as well. Somehow reading the recipes makes the rest of the book all the more real. Recipes aside, how can you not love a book with a chapter called "Student Life, Saucisson Sec, and Swimming Pools"?

More recently I've been enjoying Diana Abu-Jaber's memoir The Language of Baklava. Abu-Jaber's book also includes an extended Middle Eastern family, this time Jordanian, but living in the US. Like Rossant, she grows up in two cultures and her memories are also tied to food. But with trips back and forth to Jordan you get a taste of both places. And of course, recipes. Much of the food has magical powers or so it seems, which will make you even more eager to try the recipes.

And now...a contest! Thanks to publisher Pantheon we have a copy of The Language of Baklava to give away to the first three people who correctly answer the trivia question below. Choose the correct answer and post it in the comment section (note: you must register your email address when you respond so we can contact you, your mailing address must be in the US)

In Egypt, which of the following typical dishes do you serve if you really want to show someone you love them?

a) Mahshi bel Loz (stuffed pigeon)

b) Konafa (Egyptian baklava)

c) Ful (Brown Fava beans)

d) Mehlokheya (peasant soup)
 
 

9 Comments:

Blogger merideth said...

I think it's D. Molokheya...I know there's some mention of it's being and aphrodesiac, so i would guess it would be the dish you would serve to someone to say "i love you"...that's my best guess

6/15/2005 11:10 AM

 
Anonymous teri said...

I choose C - ful. Perhaps because I love fava beans!

6/15/2005 11:26 AM

 
Blogger Falcon257 said...

Konafa

6/15/2005 11:47 AM

 
Anonymous chelsea said...

I vote for pigeon (a), although it's not how I might express love...

6/15/2005 12:16 PM

 
Blogger Zenzi said...

I think it is (a), the stuffed pigeon.

6/15/2005 1:03 PM

 
Anonymous sprite said...

I'm going to guess the pigeon as well.

6/15/2005 1:23 PM

 
Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Zenzi & Sprite PLEASE register your emails or I cannot contact you about your winning copies...you can unregister them in a day or so if you like.

Congrats to Chelsea who guessed correctly and guessed first! The answer was indeed stuffed pigeon, which is considered a delicacy in Egypt.

6/15/2005 3:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banyan Productions, (the producers of Trading Spaces, Epicurious, Birth Day, and Ambush Makeover), just released a new video that has a ton of great recipes that you can get to the table in 15 minutes or less. They’ve got some of them running on Comcast’s On Demand service (which is how I found out about it) and have a 2 DVD set that you can buy. Here’s a link to their website with more info www.15andDone.com

6/16/2005 9:17 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

linda sawaya's cookbook, alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking, has wonderful lebanese recipes seasoned with a generous amount of memoir. was out of print but she's just published a new edition. see www.lindasawaya.com.

10/29/2005 9:57 AM

 

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