One Big Family March 29 2020, 0 Comments
Being from a Lebanese family, like many ex-pats in Kuwait, we were a single the parents and the kids. We didn’t have an extended family, it sounds sad, but it actually wasn’t. Thanks to my parents we had a huge family of friends. Many of their friends felt like our parents and grandparents. I felt this, particularly in Ramadan.
Our house was not a Ramadani house. No one fasted or participated in the rituals. Yet, everyone, I grew up with celebrated every part of it. My strongest memory of Ramadan was having fetour (break of fast) at Noor’s aunt's house. The adults will be always chatting, and the kids would be sitting together. Her aunt would have a lot of fun stories.
One Ramadan she had a very abundant spread of food, that felt something straight out of a cartoon. There was one Ramadan that I decided to try fasting, and I barely made it. I didn’t think I would survive. Walking into her aunts I smelt the strong waft of Bukhoor (incense) and food. She gave me fresh laban (buttermilk) and sweet dates to break my fast. The food was particularly delicious that day, specifically the rice, I can still taste it.
(Illustration by Deborah Difiore)
Mama Hajiya's Tashreeb March 27 2020, 0 Comments
Like any recipe given down from one generation to another, this one does not have exact measurements for the ingredients.
4-6 Cloves of garlic, chopped finely
500 Grams of Lamb Stew Chunks
2 Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Carrots, cubed
2 Potatoes, cubed
1 Small Pumpkin, cubed
Black Eyed Peas
1-2 Pieces of Iranian Flat Bread
How to make it:
Wash the meat, a pro tip is to wash it with vinegar. Then rub it with the machboos spices, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
In a stew pot, add the quarter onions and chopped garlic cloves. Let them brown and then add the meat and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until it is fragrant.
Create a space in the middle of the pot, and then add the tomato paste and the chopped tomato. Stir everything together then cover the meat and tomatoes with water and increase the heat to medium to high heat.
Once the water has boiled add the carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, and black-eyed peas. Lower the heat and let the stew simmer for one to two hours. Once ready, the meat will flake easily.
Remove from the heat and add pieces of bread and submerge into the stew so all the bread is coated. Let it sit for a bit and then serve. Sehtain!
(Illustration by Deborah Difiore and recipe given by Hadeel AlTamimi)
A Kid's Delight March 26 2020, 0 Comments
Growing up I had the luxury of living five minutes away from both of my grandmothers. Ramadan was special because six days of the week we would have futoor (break of fast) at my paternal grandmother’s house. On Friday’s we would go to my maternal grandmothers for futoor.
Mama Hajya’s, how we called our paternal grandma, house was exciting because we would have tashriba every day. Tashriba is a local stew with soaked bread many households have it daily during Ramadan. Our tashriba is different because it's made with Iranian bread as opposed to irqaq bread.* Most Kuwaiti households make it with irqaq which is thin, Iranian bread is thick and doughy.
I had amazing tashrib and an array of drinks such sugary Vimto and gamerdeen (apricot perserves), and tart laban (buttermilk) during Ramadan. After we had our meal the adults chatted. I would watch Japanese Anime cartoons dubbed into Arabic with my brother and cousins. Another perk of Ramadan, I could have tea. It wasn’t caffeinated tea, but chai loomi (dried lime tea). I felt like a grown-up.
I was able to do all the things that I wasn’t allowed to do on regular days. Have tea, stay up late, and socialize with my cousins every day. Ramadan was colorful and festive. Every kid’s dream, especially mine.
*Recipe to follow
(Illustrations by Deborah Difiore)
Rangena March 23 2020, 0 Comments
I don't remember exactly when was the first time I had Rangena but I do remember that when I had it, it blew my mind away. I was around 11 or 12 years old, and could not stop eating it. The next time I saw my grandmother I told her how much I loved Rangena. Proceeding to tell me "you should always surround yourself with the things that you love. I will teach you how to make Rangena".
One afternoon I went to her large open kitchen with terrazzo tiles. We started getting the ingredients for the recipe. We had flour, cardamon, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. As she was toasting the ingredients a fragrant nutty scent came out. She ordered me to get the butter from the fridge, located on its own nook (more like a throne) six steps above the kitchen. I was searching for the butter, but, for some reason, I could not find it. Embarrassed, I went back to her and told her I couldn't find the butter. She insisted that it was there, and for the second time I still couldn't find it. This leads her to come up, waddling up the stairs to the fridge. My grandmother opened the fridged stating "it's here" pointing at a huge yellow block of butter. From how huge it was, I didn't realize it was butter!
She took the whole block of butter, melting it over the flour and spices "this is how much butter you need for Rangena". As all the ingredients mixed and melted, we finally poured it over the sweetest dates. Rangena is a decadent type of shortbread best with coffee or tea. A dessert too rich for summer. As I was growing up Ramadan fell in winter, it was the perfect time to have it.
This memory with my grandmother reminds of her life lesson; "indulge in things you enjoy in your life" even if it has a huge block of butter.
(Illustrations by Deborah Defiore)
Ramadan Nostalgia May 08 2019, 0 Comments
If you grew up in Kuwait, in the 80s or 90s you must remember Kuwait TV's Girgian and Ramadan song. Whenever I listen to it, it takes me back to my grandmother's living room when we sat in the living room having tea after Futoor.
Ramadan Cravings May 06 2019, 0 Comments
Ramadan as ascended on us and it is the perfect time to spend time with family and friends. Here are a few things I think would be great to use and wear when hosting: Jungle Istikanas in their beautiful screen printed box, Tile Print Bread Bags, Palm Salad Servers and Star Bowl (coming soon), and the beautiful Blue Geometric Kaftaan form Brigitte Singh.
I'm Just Mad About Saffron March 29 2017, 0 Comments
Saffron is one of the colors of our upcoming La Lune pop-up shop. Make sure to stay tuned for the other colors we have in store...
(Images courtesy ecru, Pinterest, and Mark Rothko)
Bohemian Rhapsody July 09 2014, 0 Comments
As Ramadan has come in the midst of summer this year, it makes it easy to wear caftans on these warm nights. There's something both easy and glamorous about a caftan. Slipping on one immediately makes you feel luxurious as you channel your favorite bohemian chic muse in a second.
Images from Vogue and Harper's Bazaar in the late 1960's and early 1970's embody this mood. Beautiful models photographed in exotic locations, wearing wonderful caftans and accessorized to the max. And when I head out to my next ghabaga in my favorite caftan, I will make sure to emulate one of these fabulous ladies.
(Images courtesy of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue)
Table Setting Competition June 22 2014, 0 Comments
Email or WhatsApp us at +965 90065205 a photo of your table setting using our products.
Please include your full name and phone number with the attached photo.
Deadline for submitting the image is Saturday 28th of June 2014.
All submitted photos will be shared on Instagram @ecruonline for followers to cast their votes on their favorite setting.
Winner will be chosen on the most number of likes their image receives.
Competition is only valid in Kuwait.
The winner will be announced on Sunday 29th of June 2014.
Ramadan Kareem July 10 2013, 0 Comments