When I was in kindergarten, my mother married George Mitchell David. My first memory of him was of a very tall, dark-haired man wearing a trench coat with pockets full of Juicy Fruit gum and Mary Jane candies which he happily doled out to this wee holder of boring suspicious eyes. He was a wonderful man who not only stepped into the very difficult position of stepfather to two young children but also folded us into his very large, very close Lebanese family.
I forgot how much I love this cheesecake. I’ve made it on and off – obviously mostly off recently – for the better part of my baking life. The first time I made it was for a boss’s birthday many moons ago and then for quite a while it was my go-to party dessert. Somewhere along the way, much like mood rings and shoulder pads in ladies suits, it fell out of favor or I got bored with it … In either case, my loss. But no more!
I love beans. Love, love, love! I could eat beans at every meal (which ironically is suggested in the paean to legumes that every kid knows and which some in my house sing to me frequently). So, I’m sort of jaded when it comes to this recipe when I say that you will love it! Nobody has not liked it (yep, that double-negative was intentional).
Years ago, in one of my former lives filled with escapade and mayhem, I would wander the saloons of the West seeking adventure and a quick bit of coin playing Texas Hold ‘Em with anybody who had the cash and gumption to make it interesting. I’d made my way through all of the cities that sounded up to the challenge – Deadwood, Wichita, Tombstone – when I decided to get off the beaten path. My reputation was preceding me and finding a high-stakes table was getting harder and harder.
There are very few foods that are so universally loved and so easy to make. So why, oh why, do we buy the flash-steamed-oil-sprayed french fries in the freezer department. They are just not good. Not good at all. Why not just grab some potatoes, oil and salt and have at it. That is all you need. For about the price of one bag of Gon-Ho (does anyone get that? I worked on it for a bit), you can buy a bag of potatoes and a bottle of oil to fry enough for a small army. Continue Reading
Sixty picture later, I’ve just given up. It’s simply not a pretty dish. You’ll need to take my word that it’s delicious. Earthy lentils, bitter (in a good way) onions, and lots of black pepper combine to make one of my all-time favorite bean dishes. It’s hearty and filling. It’s even vegan if that’s your thing. It’s a comfort dish that transports me to Aunt Myra’s kitchen and some warm happy memories. She is a terrific cook and introduced my childhood to mint in green salads (that one took me a while to get used to), Syrian meatloaf, and this wonderful lentil dish. Later in life she introduced me to jug wine but that’s a story for another time.
I didn’t start out as a fan of granola. There’s something about the flavor of the sort you get in the box that never sat well with me, and after that wayward Summer we spent with the cousins when the aunt decided that orange juice was a suitable wetting agent for cereal, namely granola, the fate of the oated pariah was sealed for me.