With special guests.
Welcome everybody, to our potluck party!
‘Way back on June 20, having noticed how many people in my blog klatsch said they like sesame halvah, I suggested a game: post a recipe hailing from one of the countries claimed, by a Wikipedia article, to specialize in halvah.
Noting that many of the halvah-favouring countries have had a lot of wartime strife, I also suggested that the common love of halvah might be a good basis for a peace organization. This morning, I found an unused acronym. Suggestions for alternatives are welcome, but here’s my idea:
CHAPLIN: Creative Halvah Appreciators’ Peace League INternational.
I don’t mind the acronym’s association with Charlie Chaplin (fondly nicknamed “Charlot” in halvah-loving Greece, Romania, and Turkey) either. Chaplin began his life in London, in abject poverty. His childhood experiences include the breakup of his parents, a mentally ill mother, and a stint in a Victorian workhouse. And yet he never lost his own gumption, and went on to conquer the world — through humour. His politics were left-leaning, his film The Great Dictator a brave swipe at fascism, and his refusal to give a hoot when “accused” of being Jewish a breath of fresh air. We could do worse for a muse.
To find the recipes for the foods listed in bold, head over to the comments section (and one recipe in the main blether) in Part II of last Friday’s post.
But for now, c’mon in, grab a plate and a glass, and help yourself! Charlie and Mohandas are over there in the corner by the sweets table, enjoying some tea.
Table 1: Beverages
– a selection of red and white Israeli wines
– Skopsko lager from Macedonia
– arak, a Lebanese anise liquor. Be sure to thin it, 1/3 arak to 2/3 water, and add some crushed ice.
– lemonade scented with orange-blossom water and mint
– ayran/tahn/doogh, many names for one beverage of yogurt thinned with water, seasoned with a little salt, and jazzed up with some minced cucumber and a few mint leaves
– Parsi Cola from Iran
– check out the sweets table for hot beverages
Table 2: Savouries
– garlicky green olives from Albania
– pickled turnip
– lavash from Armenia
– pita bread wedges from Syria
– hummus from Iraq
– kiopolu, an eggplant-based “poor man’s caviar” from Bulgaria
– koupepia, stuffed vine leaves from Cyprus
– Mediterranean potato salad (see comments below), with olive oil and sundried tomatoes
– village eggs, an eyepleasing Greek hot dish of herbed eggs on toast
– a mound of rice with nuts, almonds, and raisins
– hot potato pancakes with sour cream from Ukraine
Table 3: Sweets
– lokshen kugel, a sweet noodle pudding from Romania
– baklava, a Greek phyllo-pastry goodie
– pomegranite wedges from Palestine
– melon slices
– spicy fruit compote from Serbia
– sweet mint-infused tea
– Turkish coffee; and if you like, Madam Irem will tell your future from the residue in your cup!