Our guest house breakfast in the little Lebanese village of Hasroun would doubtless cause any DIY food-swapper to salivate slack jaw at the sight of the decadent, traditional spread.
After a night’s sleep recovering from blazing sunshine and our Qadisha Valley hike, we awoke to birdsong and our hostess’s incredible homemade offerings: bowl after bowl of preserved and pickled pears, quince, apples, figs, and cherries; apricot butter, walnut and fig spread, cheese, olives, brown farm eggs, zaatar, labneh, and a steaming pot of strong, strong tea.
Hasroun is a beautiful red-roofed village in Northern Lebanon’s Bsharri District, a few hours drive from Beirut, and centrally located for our weekend adventure. Our hosts Jimmy and Madeleine had visited many times before and made the guest house recommendation.
The previous night, we four sat on the porch after sunset, eating a perfect dinner of green plums, cherries, haloumi cheese, tomatoes and cucumber, and rocket salad with garlic, discussing life and the world as we know it. Jimmy is Lebanese; Madeleine American. Ted and I are Oregonian-American (can that be a new term, please?). Where and how we receive our news, which ideas take root and grow, where we seek education and enlightenment, and how we watch our countries shaped by leaders at levels large and local: these topics and more propelled us into the wee hours, yielding more than enough food for thought for weeks to come…
Dreams and slumber passed, breakfast arrived, and we began our celebration of flavor and color, grateful for the hands that transformed the fruit of the land into this kind of feast.
The solo outside contribution to breakfast: Cafe Younes coffee beans (+ Nescafe mug. Sigh.).
Walnut & fig spread.
This is breakfast. No hipster flair. No trendy grocery store. No out-the-door line. Just real food made with wholesome ingredients grown and raised nearby.
Made with care. Served with pleasure. Shared with friends.
The very best.
With such a feast, we were fueled and ready to explore Hasroun side streets and drive the hills to the Tannourine Cedar Reserve. Stay tuned for photos and stories, and in the meantime (for the hint of a taste of our delicious Lebanese breakfast), check out Bethany Kehdy’s recipes:
Labneh – Three Different Flavors & Village Memories
Jams of All Sorts
This post dedicated to so many of my lovely friends who share the Food Swap DNA:
My Sustainable Food for Thought partner in kitchen crime: Emily.
Rebecca of Cooking Up a Story who landed the PDX Food Swap in the Huffington Post.
Kate, Emily, Meg, and Kim from the Food Swap Network.
Linsday aka Rosemarried who’s graciously running the PDX Food Swap while I’m out gallivanting.
And all of the guys and gals who get together each quarter to share and celebrate handcrafted goodness in Portland, Oregon. (If you’re in town and you love making and sharing homemade breads and pickles, brews and liqueurs, spices and mixes, preserves and pretties, basics and brand-news, consider participating in the autumn PDX Food Swap on September 23rd.)
Can’t wait to swap again, this time with a few new flavors up my sleeve!