Some Healthy Food Fun:    Dinner and a Movie
Lawrence of Arabia

On the Menu Middle Eastern Inspired Cuisine
Video Scenes from the movie, "Lawrence of Arabia"

"Nothing Is Written"
    --Peter O'Toole


Of all of the panoramic, wide screen, "far and away", Cinnema-scope movies that had me spellbound as a kid, only 2 can hold my attention today.

The first is Dr. Zhivago ("Dinner and a Movie" whenever I get to it), and the other, Lawrence of Arabia. Hmmmmm, just hit me the coincidence that both of them starred
Alec Guinness and Omar Sharif.

I have to remind people that Lawrence of Arabia is over 50 years old, and it has that syndrome that I actually don't like myself, you know, the "European Guy" being the center of attention of a backdrop of third world peoples, as well as many of the main Arab actors, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, are not even Arab (though Omar Sharif is Egyptian).

But, as a quick historical bla-bla-bla, Lawrence was nonetheless the central figure in the British Army's fight against Turkey (The Turks were Allied with the Germans in World War I), as Turkey's Ottoman Empire controlled much of the Middle East and its Arab populations up until about 1918.


Middle Eastern Inspired Cuisine

....I'm not trying to be authentic to anything, except my own taste buds, I'm just putting together a "little flavor and spice" of the middle East for my personal online cookbook.


Musakhan (Palestinian Sumac Chicken) popular in Palestine during olive oil                                             Gazan Dagga (a.k.a. Gazan Salad, Salata Ghazaweh)                 
pressing season, family gatherings, and parties. Quality olive oil, tangy Sumac spice, and                                  
Every culture in the world has a version of a salsa, the Gaza version features fresh chilies and dill,
caramelized onions make this an interestingly vibrant dish (click photo for recipe)                                               along with lemon and salt.  (click photo below for recipe)


Lahmacun (Turkish Lamb Flatbread Pizza) is a traditional snack with varieties all over Turkey &                  Middle Eastern Spiced Rice with Toasted Almonds                    
Middle East. In Turkey, ground meat,  salca, tomatoes, onions, paprikas, and olive oil are standard, other                
A simple side of rice is enlivened with an aromatic mix of warm spices and garnished with fried almonds.
toppings varying from region to region. (I'm technically Gluten Free, but wanna try) (click photo for recipe)           This recipe first appeared in Saveur's Heart of Palestine article (click photo below for recipe)


Kefta bil Sayniyeh (Spiced Lamb Patties with Tomato and Onion)                                                                                                                                         Tomato and Labneh Salad                
Lebanese seven-spice powder—a mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, and nutmeg known as baharat and                                  
Labneh, a strained yogurt, is popular all over Arabia, dish features                 flavors the lamb, tomatoes, and quality olive oil in this dish (click photo below for recipe)                                                                                                                      za'atar, a delicious Spice Mix and pomegranate   (click photo for  recipe)


Sumac-marinated baby chickens stuffed with bulgar (or rice) & lamb   A variation on a Palestinian dish that normally used a regular chicken and the stuffing was made with rice, not bulgar. Still, the idea is the same: a sweet, spiced minced lamb stuffing flavored by the bird's juices as it cooks. . This goes well with sprouts, root vegetables and slaw. Serves four.  (click photo below for  recipe)


I suppose I carry more metaphors, analogies, and quotes with me from this movie more than all others. Of course there is "Nothing is Written", and "I am a river onto my people". And there's the infamous "Sun's Anvil", the Nefud Desert (I've passed through that desert, financially, romantically, and a half dozen other ways)

The one that has the most value is the "big guns" analogy in that attack on Aqaba, guns so big, they couldn't be turned around. I'm always unimpressed with people's "big guns" (metaphorically speaking). Just like Lawrence, I often just have to come at them from other angles, often very easily. This movie gets deeper every time I watch it, it's about the same age as me, and we have aged together quite nicely.......

~stay healthy~

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