Around a month ago, I was on vacation. I spent the week (from August 29 till September 3rd) up in the mountains. I needed a time away from all the technology, internet, and people. This week was all I got left from my vacation from work; well not really, I took another two days (September 1st and 2nd to join the weekend to my vacation)
The first night, Monday, I decided I want to mingle with the people from the neighboring town Za’aitreh where an unusual wrestling match was held. It is nice how a camera can help you befriend people quickly. I talked to the guys at the entrance on the ticketing, the head of municipality and some other people. I also got to talk to the mokhtar’s son who offered to give me a ride back home.
Spending the first two days alone got me into a relaxing mood. Nothing but the amazing view in front of me and some trees around me in a home built of old stones and wooden ceiling. The house was built the old fashioned way; hay and mud stacked over layers of wood logs and branches that are rolled for them to form a thick layer impenetrable by water for a whole year.
In the winter room, I laid my painting kit on the table and left it there for whenever I feel like using it.
The family joined me on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We had lots of activities from setting a trap for wasps at lunch, to playing card at night and even setting a camp fire on the last night of their stay.
We had a BBQ lunch on the first day, but the wasps didn’t leave us alone, so (I know some might want to kill me after this) we set a trap for them. That was the only way to keep them away, but they didn’t. During the days when I was alone, I kept looking at those wasps that got trapped inside the house and couldn’t get out. It is amazing how these creatures behave. I also looked at the ants and their community behavior, they are wisely designed, that’s all I can say.
The second night, I took my sisters and my cousin walking. We went to the opposite church that has an old hidden cave. We also went to pick some black figs before collecting wood for the fire. We set up the place to start the camp fire and the kids enjoyed playing with it. What good camp fire night without food?
I decided I try some summer spring rolls. I have tried them earlier and I baked them but that wasn’t a good idea. It is best served as it is (raw) or deep fried (it would be a long time before I decide to deep fry them.) So, raw spring rolls in raw spring rolls skins were the best choice. I stuffed them with noodles, green pepper stripes, shredded carrots and shrimps. I also prepared everything earlier by bringing the dipping sauces basic ingredients with me. I made Hoisin hot dip and creamy peanut butter dip. If you have never tried them, I really recommend them. They give a weird yet pleasant contrasting taste that is very interesting on the taste buds. Its sweet, its hot, its sour, and it’s delicious.
We also wrapped some washed and cleaned potatoes in foil and dumped them in the fire after it had settled. Whenever a potato is done, my sister’s job is to take it out, cut it longwise, and sprinkles some salt and spread red pepper paste and mozzarella cheese. Then she covers it again for the cheese to melt.
It would be blasphemous if you make a camp fire and you don’t try grilled marshmallows or S’mores. My little cousin is the one who started the s’mores frenzy and we all joined. After eating those heavenly treat, I couldn’t but tweet about it, even though the only internet I had was the limited WAP on my alfa line. I tried the s’mores with nutella and with 85% dark chocolate and in both versions it is amazing.
When you talk about comfort food this is the recipe for some happiness and comfort. They’re so easy, relaxing and delicious.
On Friday, the family had to go back down to Beirut. I was left alone again. You’d think that after having a full house of 9 persons, an alone time would be what you need. Well think again. After having a full house, you would feel so lonely in a big house when left alone. All I could do is open my laptop, rush to my “Will & Grace” folder and start watching episodes from the season that I managed to download (ONTORNET.) I also got a bag of mixed nuts and kernels with a bag of chips and a bottle of red wine. I drank the whole bottle, and the moment I started feeling tipsy, the electricity went off and I was forced to go to bed. To get how electricity timing is a *****, as soon as I got myself into the bed, the electricity went back on. I know, getting drunk in a lonely house is not a good option, but the voices in my head were on vacation too. Even though, I was a bit scared after being left alone. Had they got on the last 3 days I was there, spending the first 3 days would have been easier alone. But being ditched like this is not a pleasant feeling.
It has been a great week. I haven’t had such a vacation for a long long time. I didn’t have a problem readapting into Beirut life, I went directly as soon as I got home to city mall to meet my friend whome I haven’t met her since my graduation. I didn’t have a problem to get back to normal life, but I felt I don’t fit in. I loved the place there. I was there two days ago and I’ll be going more up there to check on the work progress of renovation of the house.
And of course, you all know where I got the figs from for my Fig Tart [LINK] (I know it was delicious, stop licking your lips) and where I get all the nature photos I post almost weekly. Living there is like heaven to me.
Enjoy the whole slideshow here