Oleander, Eucalyptus and Z'atar Pies
As the days go by, the situation in Syria just keeps getting worse and worse. Visiting my family back home is totally out of the question at this point. Although my hometown is fairly calm, the bloodshed is at our doorsteps. The government continues to kill, and the opposition…….well who knows who the opposition is anymore!? I won’t talk a lot of politics, but I bring this up because I do reminisce about the summers there. They were beautiful and I looked forward to them every year. I would spend the summer in Teta's and Nana's kitchens, with Jido where I would hear the most fascinating stories about the Ottomans and the French, with my mom where we would drink Yerba Mate all day long, with my uncle Yasser driving up to the farm house every other day, with my friends eating Shawarma late at night, and alone on the rooftop gazing into the night sky. My favorite part of the day was around noon, when I would literally pick cherries and apricots and eat them while walking from Teta’s house to Nana’s.
It was a 10-minute walk, mostly uphill, but I did it every morning. I would be around half way to Nana’s when I would see the pink Oleander flower shrubs. Nana had planted four of them in front of her house. I remember her telling me that “not only is Oleander a beautiful shrub that grows big, but the goats don’t like to eat it!” Nana and the goats, that would herd in the morning, were not the best of friends. They used to eat her beautiful flowers all the time; well, until she planted the Oleander.
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sumac
1/2 cup water
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small onion
1/2 cup Z'atar mix
- To make the dough, mix the yeast, sugar, salt, water, 1/4 cup olive oil with the flour and allow to sit for an hour.
- Prepare the mixture by grating the small onion and mixing with the Z'atar and 1/4 cup olive oil.
- Add the sumac to the mixture.
- Flatten the dough and smear the mixture over it.
- Place the pie on a flat skillet or pan on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.