Thursday, August 25, 2011

the king of hummus?

on my mother's side, my bloodline is lebanese. it involves a fascinating collection of characteristics, and i have quite a bit of pride because of that lineage. food, and feeding others, is a very important part of the middle eastern culture. growing up with a connection to syrian food has forever linked me to this association, and i am grateful that i am able to carry on the tradition that is so many generations old. my grandfather opened a restaurant 73 years ago, and my mom has been running it for the last 17 or so. it is not middle eastern fare, it is a "steak and spaghetti" diner style eatery. it is famous in some circles; JFK ate there. the spaghetti sauce is the big seller, and people buy quarts/pints either hot or frozen and take it home to share. anyways, the syrian food that my "sittee" (lebanese for grandmother) has made for us has surely prejudiced my palate in regards to middle eastern food. i have had my share of sub-par yubruk (grape leaves wrapped around rice with lamb and seasoning,) kibbee (ground lamb, pine nut, bulgar wheat patties,) and other syrian staples, and it should be expected. i compare other's to my grandmother's and that is maybe not fair, but it is still true. so, evidently, this gentleman here is known as "Chef Rakka," and he is rumored to have the best hummus around. he owns a restaurant north of nashville, and i will have to get there soon to see what he is serving, and how it "compares." he and his friend were extremely friendly on this particular night, even though i may have uttered something boastful about my hummus.

Friday, August 19, 2011

and you thought this blog was dead

so, for those of you old enough to remember, i have this blog that i blog about the "portrait a day" project that i took on last year and completed in may. well, i completed the photographing part of it. to complete the entire project, i need to blog about every person that i photographed, and then i need to somehow put them artistically together in a book, with the stories, and print at least three copies. after a month of not blogging at all, i realize that i must do one to move on to the next and then to the next, etc. sometimes, it seems like an impossibility to muster all that is needed to write a simple blog post and add a couple of photos; how absurd. but, as i am in the throes of more than one project, and i am delightfully involved in a family, this blog often goes abandoned for days, weeks, a month. regardless, like a loyal blog, it is here for me when i am ready, and this morning, i am ready. so, with this subject, i will time travel and take us back to the middle of november when the air was wonderfully crisp, and the salvation army bell ringers were seeking donations for the holidays. she is another of the "parking lot heroes" that saved me late at night simply by being visible, available, and willing. my first semester in college, a couple of friends and i volunteered to ring the bell. it was likely twenty degrees for the three hours that we collected monies, and it was during this that i vowed to always put some money in the little red bucket... anyways, i am looking forward to seeing those volunteers again, and feeling the cooler air of those sort of days. in other news, i hope to finish this blog by next may, and that will make it two years from the time that i began, and that seems like the "right" amount of time. thanks for stopping by.