The Virtual World Peace Potluck

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

– halvah

– sweet mint-infused tea

– Turkish coffee; and if you like, Madam Irem will tell your future from the residue in your cup!

14 Responses to The Virtual World Peace Potluck

  1. goodbear says:

    i forgot to tell you what i was bringing! sorry. puppy tripped my up a bit.
    ok, this is mediterranean potato salad. i learned how to make it at the restaurant i used to fling falafel at…

    i never measure, so…

    1 bag smallish red potato. yum
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 cup softened sun-dried tomatoes
    1/4 cup fresh parsley
    salt n pepa to taste

    boil the taters, till they’re your desired firmness. cool. cut into chunks. add remaining ingredients.

    it’s delicious, i think.
    i don’t know how “mediterranean” but the chef was actually from the middle east and everything he made was super tasty and authentic.

  2. lavenderbay says:

    Not to worry, Goodbear! I’ve added your dish to the savouries table. Thanks for coming!

  3. livingisdetail says:

    Hi, I’m over here, piling up my plate with a bit of everything. What a feast. I have put a few bottles of King Valley wine from Victoria over with the drinks…which is fun to try when patting multiple dogs at once…saying hi to everyone but I am a bit shy to say hello to Gandhi just yet. This is a great party!! I love the idea of CHAPLIN and I think Charlie would be a gentle and clever muse for peace. This is a very cool idea lavenderbay.

  4. goodbear says:

    yes, a virtual world peace potluck is a good idea. leave it to lavvy!

    i’m actually hungry though! can we have another pot luck in the future?

  5. lavenderbay says:

    Glad you could make it, Livingisdetail! The party wasn’t all my idea. It was inspired by a conversation I had with Goodbear. She’s just over there, introducing Cody and Pickles to Cai and Fergus (I think Spree and Cuca have vamoosed upstairs for a quiet game of chess) .
    Speaking of Australian wine, E.g. and I have enjoyed some Banrock Station now and then, and I’ve just learned that there’s a whole wildlife centre connected with that winery! Have you ever been?
    Oh, and Mohandas is cool; just smile and nod, he’ll understand.

    Hi, Goodbear! Set your salad on that table, and grab a plate! There’s no set order, so dig into whatever you want!
    What’s “lavvy” ?
    I can’t see why we can’t have another pot luck. Maybe at your place next time? You can call the theme.

  6. Shelley says:

    I’ll bring the liqueur for after dinner – SABRA – a chocolate orange concoction from Isreal.

  7. lavenderbay says:

    Oh, MY, that sounds good! Lessee: a human and four dogs can sleep in the spare bedroom, the pullout in the livingroom sleeps two, Jack’s Mom has a pullout if you can stagger the four blocks over there, and our two puptents can be set up in the courtyard. The rest of you will have to get taxis to the hotel.

  8. goodbear says:

    lavvy is short for lavenderbay. apparently after a couple glasses of king valley wine i start making up nicknames for people….

  9. Shelley says:

    I don’t think two pup tents will fit all our pups 😦

  10. eyegillian says:

    OK OK, so I’ll learn to like halvah. I don’t want to miss the banquet!

  11. lavenderbay says:

    Thass fine, Gooboo, as long as I know…

    They’re allowed to sleep on the floors. They’re not as damaging to trip over as humans.

    Try it, you’ll like it!

  12. Rocky says:

    E.G. you need to go to Daiter’s and get some REALLY good Halvah. The stuff in the cans is awful in comparison. You’ll never look at it the same way again.

  13. livingisdetail says:

    No, I haven’t been to Banrock Station, but it looks lovely on their website. The winery is in South Australia so it is a fair way (over 500km) from me here in Melbourne. I have had wine from their winery though and that is very nice. I like that they have restored the wetlands on a former sheep station and that they donate to world environmental programs. Nice excuse to enjoy a glass isn’t it.

  14. lavenderbay says:

    I just googled Daiter’s, Rocky. The Bathurst Street store was opened in 1937, and is still a family business, but apparently there’s another one on Eglinton (closer to us) . While trying to find a page to tell me if the second store is an offshoot of the first, I found a thread with people listing dozens of places in Toronto to buy good hummus and baba ghanouj! The Internet is amazing.

    Hmmm… Banrock Station is about as far from you, Livingisdetail, as Montreal is from us. Not quite a daytrip. But if you’re ever in that area and drop into the station, please post some pix!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: