Sunday, May 22, 2011

tulips for alice!

i cannot let this day go by without acknowledging mama's birthday here. if she were alive, it would be her 101st!

so i dedicate this day and these tulips in my garden to mama. as i gardened today and planted seeds, i remembered that she loved gardening and shared this passion with me as a child. it is one of my joys, and she often said it was her "therapy", as was her art.

mama indulged me as a child by taking me to the local nursery, which is still in business on sunset boulevard in los angeles and i visited recently, aptly named sunset nursery, and allowing me to choose whatever flowers i wanted for transplanting into our garden. i still remember choosing celosia...a vibrant magenta and cockscomb, a variation of the flame-like plant that is crested like a rooster's, of course! my propensity for bold color emerging early on!

so blessed to have had such inspiring parents and grandparents, with their roots in the mountains of lebanon, their fingers familiar with its soil, and their spirits guiding me through my journey.

the photo of mama and sitto on the cover of alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking was taken when they first arrived to this country in 1926 and mama was a sweet and lovely 16!

here's an "arty" photo of steamed brussels sprouts fogging up my camera lens. and because it is spring in oregon and this is a food blog, and i've had these photos to share for awhile, this seems like a good time to show you—brussels sprouts with garlic, lemon, and olive oil.

it is the same basic-essential-all-time-and-all-vegetable dressing of garlic mashed into a paste with salt, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil.

here's the tangy vegetables in a less arty photo. the dressing is fantastic on steamed asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, chard, beets, as a dip for artichokes, and on and on! the recipe is on page 43 of alice's kitchen!

it is so easy to make a big batch to keep on hand in the fridge for last minute salads, steamed veggies, and it's heavenly on sliced avocados.

garlic-lemon dressing is also an essential complement to kafta, drizzled on just after grilling or broiling. here's a sneak preview of my next blog post featuring this lebanese grilled lamb dish—something i hadn't made or tasted for many years as a vegetarian, that has become a renewed favorite.

sahtein and happy cooking!