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About The Domestic Goddess

All Original Text & Photography
Copyright 2004 by Jennifer Hamilton

31 May 2004 - A Middle East Feast

As if I can't get enough of food and cooking. I read cookbooks rather than novels. I collect kitchen gadgets like totems. I talk about cooking with friends and watch cooking shows at all hours of the day and night. My toolbar on internet explorer is completely devoted to food web sites and my favorites list is full of foodie links. Only when I was in nursing school did I devote so much time to anything. ANYTHING.

Joining in on the merriment of Is My Blog Burning? each month affords me an outlet as well as an opportunity to stretch my creative cooking legs and make something that falls within the realm of someone else's ideal ingredient or dish. I look forward to hearing what the theme will be each month and just last night I turned to S. while we watched Iron Chef America (which was not as horrible as I had thought it would be) and wondered aloud about the next IMBB? event and what it would hold for all of us.

As if that wasn't enough for me, I started a cooking group a few months ago. So far we have met twice, each time choosing a type of food and then meeting up at one member's home to share our dishes with each other. The first one was back in the beginning of April and the choice was Indian food. I didn't post my recipe here because I never had the opportunity to take a picture of it. It was quite good -- although not really authentic Indian food, per se. I made a recipe that Coca-Cola put out in the sixties in an attempt to show the versatility of their beverages...Coca-Cola Chicken. I also made a some Raita and home-made Naan. Everyone's dishes were delicious and when we were standing at the buffet-style layout, I swore it smelled like an Indian restaurant. One person also brought along some Kingfisher, an Indian beer and someone made a yogurt-pomegranate drink...we were stuffed afterwards to say the least. And there was still dessert! A carrot halvah and a yogurt dish with dried fruit, mango, honey and pistachios.

Yesterday was our second "meet" and hosted by yours truly, it was an affair to remember. Michael brought hummus(two different recipes) and homemade pita, Karen brought lamb kebabs and spiced Couscous pilaf, Mary brought bulgur-stuffed tomatoes and a spinach, tomato and feta salad, Lana brought a chicken dish with rice, S. participated (because he lives here!) with some beef kebabs and I contributed grilled eggplant with labneh and a lemon-garlic sauce as well as a Syrian nut cake for dessert. I had also hunted down a bottle of Lebanese wine at the LCBO on Saturday, which was surprisingly not a bad Chardonnay. It was truly a feast fit for kings...we were all holding our stomachs after eating, and making little happy noises about it all.

Dessert took on a whole new meaning when it turned out that Mary, who is currently taking a pastry course at George Brown (why am I NOT taking a pastry course at George Brown?!?!) had brought along her project from Saturday -- a gorgeous and absolutely delicious ganache tart. I mentioned that I had some left-over coconut cream bars in the fridge from Saturday (recipe to come soon!) and everyone cheered. So, we toted out all three desserts (including the Syrian nut cake) and tea for everyone. Our Middle East Feast was an unqualified success...everyone went home happy, full and with left-overs for lunch and dinner today. We also decided that our next theme is going to be "Afternoon Tea": cakes and tarts and pies, oh my! I can't wait.

  cake recipe - kebab & eggplant recipes