Saturday, July 19, 2008


My friend Thaer, who just married my dear college friend Sheila, prepared some wonderful Ful for us this weekend while we were all getting some lakeside R&R before a busy end-of-July. I think I'm going to have to do a more in-depth exploration of Palestinian cuisine! (There are versions of the dish in many Arabic-speaking cultures, as well as Turkey, I think - sample recipes here and here.)


  • Sauté 3 minced garlic cloves in a couple of tablespoons of oil. Do not allow garlic to brown.
  • Add 1 can fava beans plus 1/2 of the liquid from the can.
  • Stir well and season with salt to taste.
  • Cover and simmer 5-10 min.
  • Chop 1/2 of a medium onion and 1/2 of a medium tomato.
    Remove beans from heat (you can mash them up a little first) and place in a bowl.
  • Add onions and tomato and 2-4 Tb extra virgin olive oil.
  • Optional: add a couple of tablespoons of tahini sauce pre-mixed with a little hot water, and a few squirts of lime juice
  • Eat with flatbread, crackers, rice, regular bread, or other accompaniment of choice.

The more I get to know Thaer, the more I admire him. He has a kind smile and a ready laugh. He has a playful sense of humor. He is gentle and affectionate with his wife and sweet with our kids. He's an incredibly talented artist. He has dance moves I've never seen before, and a wonderful sense of rhythm. All that and he cooks, cleans, and does dishes and laundry! But what I find truly inspiring about him is that despite his past sufferings, he isn't cynical, bitter, resentful, or wallowing in the victim role. In fact, I know few people with a greater capacity for joy and gratitude. I've seen people who have had WAY more comfortable lives complain MUCH more about their lot - me right up there with them, I'm sorry to say. What's up with that?

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