Soup for the Soul: Radish, carrot, and pork bone soup
As winter creeps ever nearer in Newcastle, the blues - or in the case of the UK, the greys - have truly set in. Since moving here in April, I’ll not be home until Easter or summer, and the homesickness has hit me hard. I’ve gone from promises of meals and mahjong with my grandparents to waiting tables on the 27th, and all I want for Christmas is a single bowl of soup.
You never stop to think about your mother’s hard work as a child, but when I realised how much time and devotion goes into that deceptively short 5-step recipe, I just wish I spent more of those hours with her in the kitchen. It would be quite the lie to say that there were no tears during the writing of this piece, but I can say with complete honestly that despite my efforts to perfect it here and my cliche phrasing, I will only finally be content with a homemade bowl of liquid love.
A classic Roast Dinner
What home cooked meals do I miss? At this point in uni I miss the taste of any meal I haven’t cooked (and most likely ruined) for myself, microwaving pasta being a particular low point. But specifically, what flavours and ingredients of home I miss the most? Then it has to be the classic Sunday dinner; that’s what I’m really struggling without. Particularly home cooked potatoes. Ones that have been properly roasted, or mashed so that they don’t have lumps anymore. Oh! and the vegetables, carrots and broccoli covered in warm homemade gravy that heat you up from the inside out. Maybe it’s because it’s not as replicable here as other meals are that make me miss it, or maybe it’s because it does remind me of home. Whatever it is, I'm just excited to get a taste of it again.
Authentic Palestinian cuisine
I’d like to think that the cuisine of my country is like no other, so unique to that point that it can’t be replicated outside the country. Being Palestinian, I take pride in my Palestinianism especially when it comes to food. However to say that I miss one dish or meal I would be lying. From Maqlobeh – spiced rice cooked with aubergines and or cauliflower and then flipped, hence the name maqloobeh meaning upside down, to musakhan – the famous Palestinian dish comprised of taboon bread (a special kind of flat bread) layered with sumac flavoured onions and chicken all cooked with tons of olive oil. With all their majesty, these dishes are not what I most long for. I miss the small dishes, the dishes that could be assumed as supporters to these big dishes like the beautiful, pungent, peppery freshly pickled olives. Or the creamy and sour labaneh served with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Simply being at the olive oil press, dipping my freshly baked pita into the freshly squeezed extra virgin olive oil coming straight out of the press, hot, tangy, spicy and wholesome paired with a nice cup of tea brewed with sweet and delicate sage is what I miss most.