It was, to coin a phrase, la jam de la jam.
In fact, I could get all biblical about it and accuse Nidal Rayess of having saved the best jam ’til last, but the truth is I am just thankful for what I can honestly say was a higher jam experience.
We visited Nidal’s dairy in Jdita a couple of weeks ago, as part of the Taste Lebanon tour, where, among other things, they make labneh (or strained yoghurt) and halloumi cheese from their own cow’s and goat’s milk, as well as making a range of preserves.
Nidal Rayess: one man and his cheese
For me, there is a reassurance and a comfort that comes with Christmas dinner traditions.
You know that, like them or loathe them, brussels sprouts will be served (and I, for the record, love them), while you will always clear a special spot on your plate for the yuletide favourite that are roasties.
My Da, though, couldn’t help but ask the question as he saw the spuds being peeled yesterday:
“Are ye making roast potatoes?” says he.
As if it would be Christmas dinner without.
1. From another part of the world; foreign;
2. Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange;
There will, no doubt, be much that fits those descriptions at this weekend’s Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire. A gloriously bubbling stew of music, dance, crafts and food from the far flung reaches of the globe. Even if food were your only interest – and who would I be to judge you for that – the festival’s International Food Traders would surely warrant a visit, as would the Global Village and the South Asian Mela Market.
All told, not a bad way to spend a few days. However, as luck and my projected geographical location for the weekend would have it, I will miss the entire thing. Clearly I will have to compensate by cooking something with a suitably international pedigree. Like ketchup. And if you suppose that such a ubiquitous sauce is too familiar to be exotic, you might have to revise your thinking when you meet the variety made from rhubarb.
Rhubarb ketchup - yes, such a thing exists