Mid-Winter and Lebanese Pizza



One of the things I enjoy about living in the northeast is our distinct seasons. Winter, for example, can be difficult for me at times, but it can also be a season of awe and beauty. I was in the backyard today splitting a few logs for the evening’s heat when I glanced at my grapevine. It caught me off guard…I was looking at the barren vine coming out of the snow and remembering planting it a few years ago. This past summer there were far more grapes on it than I could possibly consume, but to look at it now it looked as if it would never grow a single leaf, let alone a bushel of grapes. Then I remembered this quote about Brother Lawrence:

“The first time I saw Brother Lawrence was on the 3rd of August, 1666. He told me that God had done him a singular favor in his conversion at the age of eighteen. During that winter, upon seeing a tree stripped of its leaves and considering that, within a little time, the leaves would be renewed and, after that, the flowers and fruit appear; Brother Lawrence received a high view of the providence and power of God which has never since been effaced from his soul.”

Brother Lawrence, ironically (I suppose) was a cook in a monastery. You can read, download, and print his entire book here.

Here’s a picture of what the now-barren vine looked like last summer; it will even be more full and robust this summer…something to look forward to.

On a different note: For dinner I had a Lebanese Pizza. It’s a standard dough topped with za’atar seasoning, labna, olive oil, and onions. The za’atar and labna give it a sort of tart-and-salty flavor…it is (was) truly delicious. You can use the same method for the dough as this one (or the actual dough, if you want to make it a little more interesting). For a recipe for homemade yogurt and how to make labna (and other fermented foods), click here.


7 thoughts on “Mid-Winter and Lebanese Pizza

  1. I’m encouraged to see that your grapevine is doing well against a chain link fence! I need to move mine and have plenty of chain link around my property – are those concords? Wishing you lots of bountiful harvests in 09.

  2. Hadn’t read your blog in a month so was heppy to read your most recent ones. I love fritatta and Zatar. The first thing I ewver had at the Falafel Bar had zatar in it and I was hooked! Always enjoy your recipes, writing and pictures.Thanks,Catherine Faust

  3. Thanks for the link. We\’re working on the rest of the simple lifestyle over the next year, so I\’ll be back for ideas…

  4. I just saw your comment about Zatar and agree completely about its tasty nature. I usually make my own dough for Zatar, but I was recently in a NYC shop (Kalustyan’s) where they were taking all the day old Naan upstairs and smearing it with Zatar seasoning + olive oil. I bought a pack myself (10 Naan for $2.50) and tried the same thing at home. The results were great – perhaps not as good as homemade dough, but still delicious. I usually up the percentage of sesame seeds and add a sprinkling of sea salt. I haven’t tried onion, but I will on my next batch.

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