Pink Pickled Turnips

If I’m honest, I probably wouldn’t make these myself at home if I lived somewhere I could easily get them.  However, in the English home counties if you want to eat pink pickled turnips, then you have to make them yourself.  I love mine in falafel sandwiches or next to my foul and fried halloumi over brunch or even chopped into fattoush salad.  However, my mother eats them every day with most meals and throughout the day as snack.  So eat and enjoy.

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Maha’s Fattet Beitinjan

I was tired from a day visiting farmers, but as I listened to my friend Samer enthusiastically talking about our work, I was slowly perking up.  I was sat in Samer’s lovely house in Nablus eating the plentiful delicious dishes his wife had cooked for us with the soft chatter and banging from his three children in the next room.  Samer’s passion for story-telling and the charming way he giggles as he talks was raising a smile on my face.  ‘Seriously, Phoebe, you don’t understand.  We literally saved the Palestinian Almond.  You and me.  We had a vision and we did it- hundreds of farmers thank us for that’ Samer is referring to programme we implemented with his extraordinary research to stop a  pest from taking over and completely destroying all of Palestine’s almonds.  The situation was so bad that almond farmers where ripping up their trees or abandoning them all together.  I don’t know if he is right about our impact or my role in it, but I hope he is.

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Fattet Hummus

My mother has always told me about how the doctor who attended my birth said he had never seen a family so happy to have a baby girl- after all, in Palestine boys are highly prized and all respectable families have at least a few!  Rumour has it that my father jumped so high that his head touched the ceiling, and I like to think that is true.   ‘I really didn’t think I could have girls you see’, my mother confided in me as we tucked into this dish one lunch time as my new born son slept next to us in the mosses basket.  After her two boys and a few miscarriages, my mother felt like she was simply a mother of boys.  Strangely, I have secretly felt the same in the last two months since Rupert was born.  Even though I had always had my heart set on having two boys, I do wonder if the baby I lost last year was a girl and I do hope that I will one day have one.  Just like my Mama and maybe Christopher will jump high enough to touch the ceiling too.

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Fattoush

Fattoush is a salad.   And this salad tastes like home.  As a child I would finish the dinner on my plate and then finish the rest of this salad straight out of the serving bowl.   I still serve it in the same old cracked bowl my Mama used to, which she handed down to me when my husband and I bought our first home.

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