Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What I'm reading:
"The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber

I'm glad I have a plain-covered advance reading copy of this book, because I hate both the covers I found. The hardcover is above, the paperback below.

However, I am loving the book itself, which is in the attractive but hard-to-pull-off genre of "memoir with recipes."

The author's mother is American, her father Jordanian, and she grew up in upstate New York, mostly, except for some time in Jordan when she was in grade school. (And a later stint as an adult.) But she is surrounded by the culture, language and food of Jordan, and by her father's extensive family, who live nearby.

This book is a loving reflection on living between two worlds, and the important role that food plays in pulling the family together. Her stories are tightly written and the recipes are deftly woven in. It falls apart a little in the wrap-up, where she goes from the highly detailed vignettes of childhood to a quick gloss on the following 20 (30?) years, but overall I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to trying some of the recipes.

P.S. I did make a couple of the recipes, and posted about them. Click here.


  1. Hi Kitt, I enjoyed The Language of Baklava a great deal, too! I tried two of the recipes: Bedouin Mensaf Lebeneh and the Sambusik Cookies. Take a look on my blog whenever you have the time. I'll look forward to reading more about what you cooked from the book!

  2. Hi Manisha. Thanks for visiting! This is really weird. I saw your site for the first time a couple of days ago, while randomly surfing, and bookmarked it to check later. I'll definitely stop by.

  3. What is even more strange is that after I submitted my comment, I noticed you are in Denver! I am in Louisville. How's that for a really small world?! We hardly got any snow - a few showers and flurries but it barely even made it to the ground. So much for 6-12 inches! But I'm not complaining either!!

  4. No complaints here, either!

    I think I knew right away you were in Colorado -- I found your site from a local knitter's links.

    I'm going to have to pick your brain about the best Indian restaurant and best market in the area. But first I'll comb your blog.