Thursday, June 01, 2006

Mahrajan Summer Festival

Looking for a fun way to sample a taste of Lebanon? It certainly sounds tempting to me, and, if you're in the neighorhood this Sunday, make tracks for the Mahrajan, the Lebanese summer festival at St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church in Walnut Hills. Enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine and pastries, such as baked chicken with rice, green bean stew, falafel, stuffed spinach pies, shish kebab and kibbee, the national dish of Lebanon (carryout available). My good friend Nina's late father made a mean kibbee and I can attest to that because I was treated to a sample from a batch he made for this very festival, oh so long ago!

Also featured will be performances by the Alhambra Dance Troupe, along with cultural and games booths, and children's activities. Free parking is available and church grounds are wheelchair accessible.

In case you are unable attend the festival, you can still have your very own taste of Lebanese food at home by trying this easy version of aromatic Baked Kibbee made with your choice of either lean ground beef or lamb.

Sunday, June 4
The Mahrajan, Noon - 8 pm
St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church (large hall)
2530 Victory Parkway in Walnut Hills
Cincinnati, OH
Telephone: (513) 961-0120


Blogger Garrett said...

Sounds like a yummy event!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Garrett said...

No name for the cat yet. I graduated UCD, and it has the gginormous Eneology and Viticulture Dept. There is a wine cellar and wine lab under half of the main campus.
(many acres big!)

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the "Nina" mentioned in the original post, and my memories of the Mahrajan go back to my Lebanese-American father's tenuous, periodic connection to the old immigrant parish. (Let us not forget that the same insularity that creates beautiful customs, foods and cultures, can be stifling to some.........).

Anyway, the ONLY foods offered at the time of my childhood participation were kibbee and "bit-lay-wee" phonetic for the Lebanese word for baklava; I never knew how to spell it, but watched an old "aunt" who lived on Cleinview in East Walnut Hills make it on a few Sundays. Her's had 108 layers (one inch high!!!), and enough butter to clog every artery in the Western hemisphere, but also lots of honey and walnuts. I say "aunt" because the Lebanese have lots of "cousins", "aunts" and extended family that aren't really. I believe that this woman was my grandmother's sister, but I don't remember for sure.

What I really remember though, was doing a dance called the (again phonetic) "dobbke", which required a circle with hands joined and held overhead, not unlike the dance done when you see Jewish folks dancing to the Haveh Nigelah (sigh....spelling again - not sure).

I once tried to make kibbee with ground turkey instead of lamb, the strong taste of which is not one of my favorites, and it burnt too easily; so don't do it. You need meat with a lot of fat so the only substitution could be beef, really.

That's all folks!

11:19 AM  

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