Fresh, home cooked meals prepared with love; a Lebanese tradition transferred from mother to daughter. Linda Sawaya shares her love of food, and the generations of culinary knowledge passed down through oral tradition.
This was a story which found me. Linda is a neighbor of Ed, the The Art of Food Photography story, and introduced herself.
A cookbook author, gardener, and artist? Hmmm, I wanted to know more. We began to talk on the phone and I liked the idea of doing a story on someone with such a rich family history in which food played such a major role. Not just the making of a dish, but also in the growing of the ingredients (when possible), and the presentation of it; based on her Lebanese cooking traditions. It was so much fun to hang out with Linda! I was treated to my first cup of Arabic coffee (which definitely gave me an extra boost of energy!), got a tour of the biggest kitchen garden I’ve ever seen (which included tasting freshly plucked figs!), and I got to watch a new way to prepare Summer Squash Stuffed with Rice.
While the food was cooking, Linda took us into her Studio. She showed us the original cookbook draft, which had led to an article in the Saudi Aramco World magazine. Her illustrations were wonderful and oh-so-colorful.
I came away feeling richer, fuller. Not only did I get to meet Linda, but through her, her mom, Alice. I am so glad Linda endeavored over the years to write down recipes that were typically handed down through only oral traditions. And to also share family stories with these recipes. In a sense, by reading the cookbook, her family becomes a part of your family. That’s a nice gift.