Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thursday Part 1 - Elena begins her cookery book!!!

Elena is determined to write her cookery book - we had arranged to meet up previously but she had the small matter of lump removal to get over first so today was the day.  As she cooks intuitively and by sight and smell and taste the idea of actually writing down the recipes so that others could reproduce her delicious food was daunting.

The subject of today's recipe was Lahme-bil-Ajeen (meat with dough) which is a firm favourite at the Lebanese nights.  It is a sort of Lebanese equivalent of a meat pizza!!!  You cannot believe how unbelievably detailed you need to be when recording a recipe to pen and paper - nothing can be left to chance.  At one point we even got a tape measure out to check just how thin the dough needed to be rolled!

Clearly cooking is a real joy for Elena - look at that smile and without her beloved lippy!!!!  At this point we had recorded the making of the dough and stuffed it into the driver's seat of the car for it to rise.  We had recorded the making of the meat topping, rolled out the dough, made individual sized baskets, filled them. cooked them and Elena was checking that there were no soggy bottoms.

This had only used about a fifth of the dough and the topping so with the remainder Elena made full sized ones using pizza pans which we were going to sample with Bassam and the kids when they came home from school.  These Lahme-bil-Ajeen are served warm with a garlic yoghurt dip on top or the garlic yoghurt dip is watered down and drunk - this, Rabia assured me, was delicious but my brain and stomach both baulked at the thought!  Bassam confirmed that the Lahme-bil-Ajeen passed his taste test so that recipe should work for anyone.  One recipe down - several more to go!!!!!

Bassam is a great cook himself but he also excels with woodwork.  He has made John and I this beautiful candlestick as a gift for our 25 wedding anniversary and I love it - it has such character cracks and all!!!  Now I just have to make sure that John doesn't launch it into the woodburner!!!

Bassam has also just about finished the mammoth project of the table he is making from a massive, and I mean massive piece of Olive which will be topped of with a piece of glass.  It is absolutely stunning and will need to be transported very very carefully to its final resting place but what a fabulous thing of beauty he has created.

Part 2 of Thursday's post will appear tomorrow - it has been a busy day!!!!

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