I may never eat again.
What a divine confluence of elements at Wallace House tonight — a fine seminar by history professor and Middle East expert Juan Cole, two presentations by Fellows with Mideast roots, followed by a dinner to end all dinners, presented by our Turkish Fellow and his wife, and our Palestinian Fellow.
Since I’m prohibited by the rules from discussing the lectures — if you hit Prof. Cole’s site, you can get the gist of this hugely well-informed and widely read source — let’s just cut straight to the menu, shall we?
Eggplant salad, jajik (a runny yogurt-cucumber thing), hummus, potato salad, green salad, Turkish boerek (a phyllo-cheese thing), stewed lamb, rice with the pine nut thing going on, and your Turkish grandma’s rice pudding for dessert. Lots of wine.
I’m here to tell you, it was an iftar (the fast-breaking meal of Ramadan) worthy of a sultan. We should all sit down at the table of brotherhood more often, I tell you.
Melissa said on October 29, 2003 at 1:31 am
Sounds like a perfectly wonderful dinner, and thanks for letting us share vicariously. Which reminds me, it’s time to make my famous Ramadan Salad with the pomegranate seeds, cucumbers and chick peas!
Bob said on October 29, 2003 at 8:28 am
I agree about the value of sharing meals. Americans’ indulgence in fast food eaten solo is unhealthy in more respects than the calorie and fat content. On business trips, I often got paired with overachievers who wanted to buy take-out at a drive-up window and eat on the way to/from the office. I always protested and almost always got away it; I insisted we go inside and sit at a table, and once there, I tried to steer conversation away from shop talk. I never felt any professional repercussions from my civilized-eating activism, and often got some enjoyable personal interaction out of it.
When I was studying Russian at Indiana University under the auspices of the USAF, there were some students who were stranded on campus over Christmas. Three of the older Russian women who taught our classes invited a half-dozen young American airmen to one of their homes and prepared a traditional Russian holiday feast. It was an all-afternoon event, and after I heard about it from one of the guys who was there, I no longer considered myself fortunate to have gone home for the holidays.