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Grape leaves growing
on backyard fence
My two brothers and one nephew were here for 23 hours, 8:30pm Saturday till 7:30 pm Sunday night. It was a good opportunity to visit, watch the Olympics, go to liturgy together, my brothers and nephew to visit the Wisconsin State fair and, of course, enjoy a stuffed grape leaves dinner. Grape leaves wrapped in rice, meat, spices are a traditional dinner of our Lebanese heritage passed from our grandfather to our mother and now to us. Grape leaves grow all over the world and is a common vine that seems to flourish everywhere. Our backyard fence is covered with grape leaf vines which is the major source of the stuffed grape leaves.
We went to the Middle East store today to get a few items, like fresh pita bread, for the meal. This store is run by three Palestinian brothers. They make their own bread, have a butcher shop in the store and sell authentic Middle Easter products, many from Palestine.
Talking with one of the brothers my wife and this brother were swamping ways to make eggplant. We had some nice eggplants from our garden which my wife has made into some wonderful dishes, Italian and Middle Eastern. My African niece made an eggplant dish of her native Sierra Leone. Eggplants like grape leaves are easily grown around the world and without a strong taste of their own with the addition of other foods and spices are delicious many ways.
We celebrate with stuffed grape leaves whenever there is a family get together like today. The Palestinian brothers are Muslims and in a few days will celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting. Next week their store will be busy with persons purchasing foods to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, the feast day at the end of Ramadan.
My two brothers and I are Christians, Roman Catholics to be more specific, and celebrate with family the traditional Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Feast days and holidays are a good opportunity for family and friends to enjoy traditional dinners, like we Americans eating turkey at Thanksgiving.
Food is an essential way to celebrate with ever one, children and adults, getting into the act.
To eat, not overeat, to eat healthy and ethnic, to eat slowly with others not fast food quickly is a way to enjoy keeping a health weight and remember who we are and where we came from.