The appeal of unripe fruit

The Atlantic magazine has an interesting examination of the Lebanese obsession with unripe fruit – one of the more unusual aspects of visiting the green grocer here. You can get absolutely fantastic strawberries, cherries and apricots (“mish mish” in Arabic) when they’re in season, but some of the other fruits like lowz are just plain weird…

Images of Lebanon #8

The famous Casper & Gambini’s chocolate fondue

The famous Casper & Gambini’s chocolate fondue.

Melted dark chocolate, chopped strawberries, kiwifruit, pineapple and banana, plus a few biscuit bits and marshmallows. What a great way to get your daily allowance of fruit and anti-oxidants?

Yummo, bangers and mash for dinner!

Well, we’ve dipped into our 10kg stash of sausages already.

Dinner tonight was bangers and mash, with onion gravy, dead horse (tomato sauce) and steamed veges. All we needed was some Tip Top bread to make Tasmanian sausages (in-bread sausages). Thank you Fina, that was delicious!

A beautiful day in and around Beirut

When the weather is as nice as it was today it is criminal to be stuck in the office or sitting around the house. So Alex took the day off work (with the boss’ approval of course) and we took Nanna for a drive up to the hilltop town of Harissa. There we explored the immaculate statue of the Lady of Lebanon, took in the spectacular views of Jounieh, and did some shopping for relics and icons in the gift shop (the best find being a 3d picture of the Last Supper. Classy.)

Harissa is a major tourist and pilgrimage destination and is packed at Christmas and Easter. Interestingly though, most visitors this morning were from an Iranian tour group. It was an unusual but reassuring sight to watch chador-clad ladies posing next to a giant Virgin Mary.

From Jounieh we drove back to downtown Beirut, parked ourselves at La Posta Italian restaurant on the terrace and had a damn fine meal overlooking the Roman ruins and the collection of Maronite, Catholic and Orthodox churches and the Mohammed El-Amine mosque (commonly referred to as the Hariri mosque).

Then we picked up Mitchie from daycare, bought ice creams on Bliss Street and sat on the Corniche slurping down our creamy confections watching the beautiful people parade past.

Finally at the end of the day Daddy barbequed up some marinated lamb cutlets for a tasty conclusion to our food extravanza.

The immaculate Lady of Lebanon View from Harissa Downtown Beirut Icecreams ahoy

The Greek Melkite cathedral at Harissa Hariri Mosque and Roman ruins

Na’iman (congrats on your haircut)

So we had a lovely day yesterday. After a relaxing breakfast at home we headed over to City Mall (one of the two big modern malls in Beirut). Fina came with us, and she and Mitchie had some Maccas lunch before they ventured into the wild and crazy kidszone for a couple of hours of intense childsplay in the ball pits etc.

Mummy and Daddy then had a lovely time exploring the shops and taking advantage of sales without the little man in tow. Oh it was so peaceful! We had a delicious lunch at Casper and Gambini’s, which was concluded with a chocolate fondue for two – a bowl of steaming molten dark chocolate and a separate bowl of marshmallows, strawberries, bananas and kiwifruit. Mega delicious and a great way to get our daily quota of fruit!

When we were completely full and ready to face the boy again, we picked up Mitchell and Fina and headed off to the hairdresser for Mitchell to get a long overdue cut. Of course they insisted on loading him up with product, just like Daddy!

“Na’iman!” the hairdressers cried. Only in Lebanon, the land of hairdressers and all things vain, would there be a special word in Arabic which means “congratulations on your haircut” (and I’m not taking the piss here).

After returning home Mitchie and Daddy went for a long walk around Ashrafieh and Gemmayzeh (to walk off the fondue…).

Then a barbecue dinner, some hubbly bubbly on the balcony and a DVD, then eventually off to a lovely night’s sleep!

Yay!

Pensive How long? You want me to eat this crap? I want the fondue! Sporting the new haircut I’ve just seen the haircut in the mirror… Let’s go for a walk daddy! It’s all a bit much really Back home, sitting with mummy