I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that I inherited my love of food from my parents. My dad would cook sometimes (particularly breakfast on Saturdays) and my mom made at least one meal for the family a day. They lived in Boston for decades but moved out into the middle of nowhere in the high desert some years ago. They have a hard time getting a lot of the things they could get in Boston out there, of course. My mom says she can get any Mexican spice she wants, but nothing Asian for example. So when they come to visit there's a lot of stuff they want to eat. They've been visiting for the past few weeks and as usual all kinds of stuff has been made. They always stay at my brothers (since he has someplace for them to sleep), so I wasn't there for everything. But we did do some cooking together, like this, on Fathers Day. Although admittedly I didn't do much of the work, I mostly got in the way and took pictures. Heh.
One thing my parents said they can't get easily is Middle Eastern and Mediterranean stuff, hence the theme. They picked up some lahmajun (think a thin pizza with no cheese), stuffed grape leaves (not sure what they are stuffed with, I don't care for them myself), pita, some fancy pants olives, marinated feta and a couple different hummus... hummuses? Humusi? What's the plural of hummus? Doesn't matter, there were two kinds, both good. My sister in law made some spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)and falafel (deep fried ground chickpea patties). She makes the best falafel, I need to get her recipe. My brother made some tzatziki and some chicken souvlaki. The souvlaki was wicked good, but he doesn't really measure the marinade which makes it hard to get a recipe. He just tosses together some lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, black pepper... I think that's it. Marinates the chicken chunks for half an hour or so, then grills it. So very good. We also had a red blend, Cardinal's Crest, from Biltmore Estate that went well with it all. And finished it off with some homemade baklava. Which I also didn't get the recipe for. My brother makes it, it's also wicked good. He puts orange juice in it, which is awesome. There was also tabbouleh, but I didn't get a shot of by itself. It's here in the table shot though. We don't often bother with fancy china and stuff, we're simple folk. Heh. It was a great meal for a hot day (not that it was that hot here), most of the stuff was great at room temperature or cooler and there were lots of light but assertive flavors. Good times.