Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pan-Mediterranean Summer Dinner

It was only the heat and coincidence that created this chilled dinner as we sit in 33C/90F weather, but it's heartening to me to eat it after reading the New York Times, Ha'aretz and La Repubblica papers today, not to mention this Anthony Bourdain article about Beirut (read it to the end or you'll think Bourdain's an ass, he's not). I'm feeling down and rather pessimistic about the Middle East and about humankind, in general. Some of the people who have written about this make me feel hope for the future, though.

This dinner was not intended to mean anything. But as I look at the Baba Ganoush (at 12:00), my Middle Eastern flatbread, the Greek Melitsanosalata and the Italian Caprese salad, I want to see harmony here. I almost feel naive as I say that out loud since I can think of 100 reasons why there isn't peace. Music to feel powerless by: Elvis Costello's "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?" from the album Armed Forces.
There's a silly (but I loved it) novel by Tom Robbins called "Skinny Legs and All" about a Jew and a Muslim who open up a Mediterranean diner together. There are some people who I read today who embody this fraternal feeling, a respect for each other and a recognition of their side's part in the destruction. I hope they prevail.


Anonymous Tanna said...

You would think that Respect for each other would go a really long way wouldn't you.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Yeah, and after reading a Ha'aretz article by Gilead Levy and almost all the comments, I see that there are still a lot of people in Israel and in various Arab countries who show this respect. Granted, they are among a lot of hate-mongers (also from both sides) but they give me hope.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

yum! that looks incredible, especially the salad. We just don't find the right tasting cheese here.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Paz said...

The situation is disheartening but as you've noted, there are some good people who know how to live together in peace. I hope and pray for the best. Lovely meal you have there. Susan, when you get a chance, could you e-mail me. No rush, though. Thanks!


8:50 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

i have always wanted to read tom robbins, but with my penchant for thrift shop books and others' penchant to hoard tom robbins, i have never encountered one. perhaps i'll have to-- GASP!-- pay full price for a book as an introduction to the author.

i'm with you on feeling down about the world situation. i keep wondering why not every stranger is as nice as those i meet in the blogosphere. really.

2:38 AM  
Blogger Man On The Street said...

Still Life with a Woodpecker changed my life...

Oh, and that photo is food porn.... Yum...

2:37 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Expat, Thanks a lot!
Hi Paz, I've just e-mailed you. See ya later.
Hi Melissa, Oh, you're talking to the biggest 2nd hand queen! I comb used record stores, book stores, clothing stores, etc, etc. It's a game to get coveted old releases and books cheaply second hand. Are you like that too? Some 2nd hand stores allow you to keep wish lists with them so as soon as a Tom Robbins book comes in, for example, you get a call and first dibs.

Hi m.o.t.s. (can I call you m.o.t.s.?) Was Woodpecker the one with the moving spoon and the Indian woman who took Pennyroyal for centuries? (Or am I crazy?) (ok, I realize that "all of the above" is possible.)

3:52 PM  
Anonymous nicole said...

That food looks great and I also loved "Skinny Legs and All."

10:31 PM  
Blogger a.c.t said...

Hey Susan! That looks delicious. I really like Bourdain, I've got both of his books 'Kitchen Confidential' and 'A Cook's Tour'.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Stelle In Italia said...

nice post! the meal looks really tasty, and the idea behind it is even better.

11:14 PM  

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