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Recipe of the Week: Still Figuring That Out!

May 7, 2010

Yes, I know it’s almost Friday and I have yet to post a new recipe for the week.  These last couple of weeks here at Zayt and Zaatar have really highlighted the emotionality involved in cooking for your loved ones. Last Sunday I cooked for my dad’s birthday and this week I am attempting to pay my respects to the woman who fuels the fire under this little project – my mama.

I’m overwhelmed with emotion as I struggle to remember the past – the food she made, the food she loved to eat, her memory. I’m overwhelmed because I don’t remember as much as I want to remember. I find myself struggling to hold on to things I’ve probably long since forgotten. I’ve been hounding my dad and brother for their memories, but personal histories are so subjective and nothing is helping me feel closer to the memories I wish I had.

I keep flipping through her cookbook, hoping the recipe I want will jump out and hug me. I get frustrated that I can’t read Arabic better than I do and I just feel kind of helpless. I feel like there is something screaming at me from those pages of her cookbook and I am totally missing the boat.

I have a few ideas meandering around my mind. I will be making this dessert she used to make for us that I loved. It’s not an Arabic dessert, but one I always craved and haven’t had since she died. I don’t have the recipe, I’m just going off of memory. It’s a pistachio and chocolate pudding cake of sorts. You crumble these biscuit cookies on the bottom of a glass dish and just alternate layers of pudding and cookie till you reach the top of the dish.  I just hope Jell-O still makes pistachio pudding!

I hope that whatever I do end up cooking will help bring me closer to her memory on a holiday that often serves as a glaring reminder of her absence.

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