The sun is slowly returning to Jordan.
With Spring around the corner, it’s been a perfect for my vegetables growing in the Valley garden.
It’s also getting to the point of being able to enjoy the outdoors a bit more.
We even had our first BBQ of the year this month!
Maqluba Cooking Class for Friends
Some friends of ours here in Amman asked if I would give them a cooking lesson on maqluba making.
I was delighted; I always have fun cooking with others, and it was a good excuse for us all to get together.
Five people joined us and we set about making what turned out to be a very tasty maqluba.
We had a wonderful evening, of good food, good wine and good laughs.
I can’t wait for the next time!
First Garden Harvest
I always love the time of year when I can begin to harvest what I’ve planted in my vegetable garden.
And this year due to the fact that my garden is in the Jordan Valley where warm temperatures are pretty constant, February was my first harvest month.
We got some broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, and kale.
I just think about what a miracle it is to plant a seed and then several weeks later to be eating an actual vegetable and green leafy plants.
I find that produce tastes so much sweeter when it’s something you yourself planted.
You can taste the love and care coming through the leaves.
I’m waiting for my celery, fennel, and so much more to get to the picking stage.
Fired Up My Outdoor Bread Oven
I am an absolute bread lover!
And I really love fresh bread products, mostly because they are unmatchable in flavor and texture.
One of the projects I worked on this last year was to have a custom oven built in my backyard.
It has been an exciting project and I got to help design it, which means that it meets my very own specifications.
I can make pizzas to pitas, as well as naan bread, and even tray bake things.
I got to finally fire it up this month and I was so very impressed with how well it worked.
Getting up to a temperature of 600ºF (315ºC), it made the most fantastic manakeesh, kayek and pizza.
I was thrilled, and was giddy with excitement and the prospect that I can have fresh bread whenever I please.
A hot oven makes all the difference when baking dough, once you make your own that way, you can never go back.
Quick Break to the Dead Sea
We decided to take a quick and impromptu trip to the Dead Sea for a couple of days.
Besides being the lowest point on earth, it is a lovely place to relax.
There is a Marriott resort down there that we always stay at where they have lovely pools and gardens in a fantastic setting.
We had lunch one day at the Italian restaurant on site overlooking the Dead Sea and the beautiful hills of the West Bank.
And to our surprise we discovered an authentic British pub at the Dead Sea Mall called the Rovers Return.
A reference to a long running soap opera in the UK, they served really great bar food.
They even had chips and curry sauce, not my cup of tea, but a favorite of my wife’s.
The food was great, and the setting was nice, and we felt like we were in a London pub with Jordanian staff!
We had a really good time away and enjoyed a little bit of lounging by the pool in the perfectly warm February sun.