Midnight at the Oasis (17 April)

It’s Friday here, the Muslim Sabbath. This is a large hotel with many restaurants – I selected a Lebanese one for my “Sunday dinner”. Of course I had the place to myself – they opened for lunch at 12:30. So the chef comes out to explain the menu in English, and I end up splurging on the set dinner. What a fabulous feast! Now, mind you, I’m sitting at a table for six. They bring out enough little dishes to cover the table – a very interesting cold spread first. There was a dish of assorted vegetable pickles (olives, peppers, eggplant, turnip), a tossed salad in vinagrette (greens, seedless cukes, tomatoes, red onion), a cold salad of fried cauliflower with fresh tomatoes and mint, a cream cheese with yogurt and herbs dip, stuffed grape leaves, a mashed potato salad, an eggplant dip, a hummous dip, and very fresh hot pitas straight from the oven. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. Then several small hot plates were brought out, and I am less successful in identifying the ingredients of these. There was a dish that looked like long olives, but was a type of meatball. There was a spiced ground meat mixture encased in batter and fried; there was a cheese mixture wrapped in phyllo as if it were an egg roll and fried; and a meat mixture encased in a yeast dough and baked. Now the platter with the main course comes out: this is grilled brochettes of chicken, of beef, and of ground lamb, served with a fluffy pile of fresh green herbs. For dessert, a fruit platter (cantaloup, watermelon, pineapple, kiwi fruit, and a fresh lychee) served with two plates I could not identify at all. One was small rollups of something like a stiff milk pudding , filled with a ricotta mix. The other was like a milk pudding or blancmange. Both were soft, light, chilled, innocuously sweet, and went very nicely with the fresh fruit. And after, mint tea, of course! Quite a feast, there was enough to have fed four I’m sure. But I got many tastes of many different things over the course of my leisurely two hours. A very nice treat for the traveler!

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3 responses to “Midnight at the Oasis (17 April)

  1. What a great travelogue to date – I’m looking forward to doing this adventure with you vicariously.
    Another very good morning with the Early Readers today finishing up “Broken Open”. No coyotes, but the bird watching group came ambling by the window so we make like birds and waved our arms at them – not sure how we were designated on their bird lists 🙂

    Blessings, FM

  2. Not sure we posted a hello in the right spot.
    Lu is visiting – and we read your foodie blog together. Considering I have been feeding her cheerios most of the week end, it sounded pretty slick!
    Saw the Audition – great fun. Our Danube boat has changed, will be able to check out cabin soon on line soon. River Aria. Cheers,Steph

  3. What a feast! Your descriptions had my mouth watering. I’m so glad that the journey out has been fairly smooth, with some pretty enjoyable moments. Can’t wait to hear your impressions of Kandahar. Stay safe and stay cool.

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