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Monday, October 15, 2007

Loubieh B- Zeit


I rarely dream, but when I do, they are of the Woody Allen movies genre, a little less boring perhaps and slightly more consequential. Invariably though, after the unwelcome apparition getting back to sleep is no easy chore. No matter how ghastly or blissful the dream was I forget all about it within minutes and feel void of any sense. More significantly, I feel hungry.


Now years ago I learned that the midnight snack is bad for me and I have almost entirely given up on this spiteful nocturnal habit. Not this time! My stomach was pleading: “Oh, master, feed me please”. “How come”, I wondered, “where in the hell did the Labneh sandwich I gobbled before hitting the sack go?


Well what’s the point; here I am at 2:00AM, sleepless in Tartous, with vague memories of a stupid dream persisting in my head. I have no other option to kill the night off except…Feed.

Lazily, I crossed the unlit corridor toward the kitchen, opened the fridge and blinked in the annoyingly abrupt light. There I stood in the cold draft, staring stupidly at full shelves and scratching myself. Loubieh B-Zeit * stared back at me even more stupidly. If it had any balls it would've probably scratched itself as well. “Why not”, I thought, as I pulled the cold leftover plate, a couple of loaves of pita bread, an open can of soda and a Jalapeneo or two. Hypnotically I walked to the couch facing the TV and zapped it to life with the remote control. Lethal Weapon 2 was playing. “Good”, I mumbled, "it goes great with the Loubieh B-Zeit". I refilled rather quickly and the heartburn shot straight and fast. “What now”, I wondered, “could I take in to ease away the pain and discomfort”. The fridge beckoned to me with open door. Miniature Mr. Goodbars, how interesting! Have some of those, take a leak, brush my teeth and I get back to bed in perfect shape to face the morrow.

With sleep creeping in hesitantly between closed-shut eyes, an image of two fried eggs (over easy) smothered with Tabasco, a piece of meat covered with apricot jam and a cup of Nescafe to wash it all down floated in my head. "Yeah", as I was giving in to slumber, "it's going to be a glorious morning indeed".

Loubieh B- Zeit is another version of Fasoulieh Khadra (Green Beans: read last post) except that it's cooked with olive oil and no meat. It's eaten with bread and an obligatory onion.

30 comments:

Karin said...

Haaaaa .. THIS time I beat the odds and am the first to answer!!!
It's 06:06 and I am almost on my way to work!
I know such kind of dreams ... had them as well already!
Loubieh B-Zeit sounds real yummy ... once NOMALITY or even a BIT of it will have returned here, I'll try it out! Things are tough right now ... but survivable!
Will SOON be in touch!!
Love you ALL!

ammoontie said...

Dear Abu Fares,
Consider it as a treat to yourself. I used to do that whenever I woke up in the odd hours of the night. But I would normally made myself a cup of hot tea with milk since that is my comfort food.

Wassim said...

Abu Fares,
Everytime I read your posts about food I get hungry...get the pots and pans ready for when I visit Tartous next summer! Yallah jayeek :P

abufares said...

Karin
I'm so happy to read your comment. I know you've been under a lot of stress lately and I hope you get out of it soon.
Nothing beats 2 friends enjoying a midnight snack together. Hopefully, one day :-)

abufares said...

Hi ammoontie
At the moment of consumation the midnight snack is as good as ...
The consequences, however, always leave me in a sorry state.
A cup of tea is no Lubieh B-Zeit believe me.
There will be other nights, I will regret them again, but the immediate hedonistic pleasure the mifnight snack generates is beyond reach.

abufares said...

Hi Wassim
My intention was to make you hungry. I hope that you wake up in the middle of the night and remember this post. More importantly, there should be something enticing in your fridge.

Anonymous said...

And I thought I am the only one who sneak to the fridge at the shank of the night?

Now that I live alone, sneaking doesn't feel like the same old challenge, and the 'hedonistic pleasure' has faded away.

However, I still find a pleasure in storming the 24/7 convenient store at 3:00 AM every now and then, and to select my prey amongst the so many synthesis variety of "stuff your bowels with the least possible effort" stacked all over...

DUBAI JAZZ said...

and by the way, the above comment is mine, but it seems that hunger has had its toll on my concentration!

abufares said...

Hi Dubai Jazz
When I lived alone I didn't adhere to the "least possible effort" at all.
As a matter of fact, I learned most of my improvised cooking after midnight.
Now since I'm really sneaking, I have to obliterate all traces of my nocturnal activities (except perhaps the missing food itself).
Again, the midnight snack is so good it ought to be bad for you:-(

The Syrian Brit said...

As a nocturnal animal myself, I often find myself tempted to raid the fridge, scouring for remnants and left-overs before I go to bed at some un-Godly hour... Whenever temptation prevails over willpower (which is getting increasingly more frequent!..), I suffer for the rest of the night... but it is worth it.. the quest for instant gratification, and the thrill of getting it are so rewarding.. and to hell with the 'consequences'!..

Wassim said...

Abu Fares,
All I have in my fridge is some Labneh and beer!

Paige said...

mmmm....food. After yet another Ramadan filled with ragweed and Benadryl, a sinus infection and a doctor who keeps telling me I shouldn't even try to fast, I am exceptionally happy to try to get back to the norm. However, my problem is that I now have no appetite. I don't want to eat! It will take a few weeks for me to become accustomed to eating again, even though it is such a challenge for me not to eat.

Abu Fares, I am tagging you and Dubai Jazz. ;0) I figured food is a benign topic, and music might also be. We talk about such scary things here...food and music. LOL My harmless topic for the week is: What's in your Ipod? I'm sure the FBI wonders what is in mine....You can all find out on my blog.

trinimom said...

My daughters Chennette and Lilandra sent me your blog site address and it was a pleasure reading all your posts and reminiscing about Tartous. The abundance of fruit and vegetables.... all kinds.
And the fish I had on Arwad island, well seasoned and deep fried mmmm. My sister's husband is from there and my father is from Tartous and my elder sister lives in Tartous.
I use to watch and help my aunt and my mother who learnt from her make the shanklish but never tried it, Now I want to try it Insha'allah.

abufares said...

Syrian Brit
It is worth it after all, you're right.
I have lost 5 kg in Ramadan, then
reached the unbreakable barrier where I can't lose anymore weight without a rigid diet and exercise plan. I just hope I can keep it this way. If I were to have any chance, I have to give up on one of my favorite hobbies though "the midnight snack".

abufares said...

Wassim
Get some eggs man and you wouldn't run out of options.
As for the beer, well that's another story.

abufares said...

Paige
I will reply to your tag provided you accept the fact that I don't even have an Ipod!
Can I instead tell you what kind of music I listen to in my car (i.e. what CDs I have)?

abufares said...

Trinimom
I'm so happy to be found by your charming daughters and you.
It gives me immense satisfaction to know that a Tartoussieh is living halfway across the world in beautiful Trinidad and Tobago and reading my blog.
Whatever food from the old country you want to know about, just let me know.
Thank you for dropping by.

Paige said...

Of course I will accept your CD list. :0) My new Ipod clone is my favorite toy at the moment. It keeps my daughter from scratching my CDs. Tell Dubai Jazz hello for me when you see him.

abufares said...

Paige
I'd hate to keep you waiting then come up with a CD list that might prove lackluster at best. So here is what is available in my car right now. BTW, some of the titles change, some will move to my new car when I buy it (I have no idea when, another couple of years down the line perhaps).

1. Om Kalthoum "Hazihi Laylati"
2. Mouin Shreif "Wadiiyat"
3. Lina Shamamian "Shamat"
4. Andrea Boccelli "Sogno"
5. a collection of French Hits from the 70's
6.Demmis Roussos
7. My own MP3 CD with over a 100 songs from LIMEWIRE.
-Deep Purple
-Moody Blues
-Santana
-Pink Floyd
-Chicago
-Cat Stevens
-Queen

So you see Paige, I'm kind of stuck in the 80's as far as my musical taste is concerned. In the modern sense, I'm musically illeterate.

abufares said...

Paige (7 cont'd)
And
-Alan Parson's Project
-Genesis
-Led Zeppelin

Paige said...

I love Santana! More music from that time I love: Kansas, Boston, Aerosmith, Rush, Scorpions, UFO, Thin Lizzy.

Limewire is too scary for me. I always feel like the music company lawyers are watching me. I don't like being watched. LOL

Your list is not lackluster. It is unique. :) It proves my point. Music is the universal language. Dubai Jazz and I have the same songs in our mp3 players even though we're thousands of miles apart.

KJ said...

Well at least your loubieh was ready for consumption, although I sympathize with you regarding the onion.

My most active night was when I woke up drowsily at 2 AM and I was hungry. Instead of eating some leftover or some sandwich I actually managed to cook pasta and red sauce (no meat), eat it, wash the dishes and go back to sleep. It took me some few days to remember I actually woke up and did all that!

abufares said...

Paige
I forgot to mention that my MP3 CD has a couple of Kansas and a Boston.

abufares said...

KJ
I wasn't that crazy. I didn't have any onions that night. JalapeƱo was my substitute.

saint said...

When I asked my wife why we don’t do Lobieh Bel Ziet, she said that farmer market and the supermarket’s Lobieh is large and stiffer than the one for Lobieh Bel Zeit. What are you doing Abu fares, are you trying to make us feel guilty for leaving the young Lobieh market? :)

Thank for the reminder anyway and we will make special request at the farmer market so we don’t miss.

abufares said...

Sorry Saint
I had no idea that I've put you in such a dilemma but you reminded me of the time I would go to buy cucumbers in the US and look for the smallest pieces. This raised eyebrows as they use to sell 3 for a $1 or whatever. I also handpicked the smallest okra and other kinds of vegetable.
The people at the supermarket thought I was crazy :-)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Shou Abu Fares?... why the silence? Lack of inspiration or what?

How about Kebbeh recipe for the uninitiated?

:-)

Layla said...

Hey nice post!

First time Ive come here in a while and I am surprised to find no entry about bad al-7ara! Are you the only Arab in the universe who is not talking about it?

Of course you are free to love it or detest it but you simply must pass SOME comment on it. Otherwise we may have to suspect your identity...

abufares said...

I'm coming back DJ.
Soon inshallah

abufares said...

Hi Layla
I commented on Rime (Mosaics) about Bab Alhara.
I didn't write about it (although I liked it) because I only saw the last 7 episodes, that is the last week.
Anyway, so glad you've dropped by, please come again.