Monday, December 31, 2007

The Pita Experiment

Feeling homesick for some authentic Middle East Cuisine, Andrew and I made some pita bread and falafel for dinner yesterday. It wasn't as difficult as I first thought it would be but I must say that it's a whole lot easier to just walk to a little street stand and ask for falafel and pita than it is to make it yourself. Perhaps it's because I lack the appropriate equipment, like a falafel ball scoop, a big vat of boiling oil, and a stone oven that's fired up to 500 degrees all day long.

We improvised though and used our meager counter space, our hands, our sauce pan, and our conventional electric oven and a pizza stone. It worked out well. And as a matter of fact, we're so good at making falafel now that we didn't even have the pot of oil foam out all over the place this time. We felt like experts!

The pita bread was a little tricky since we hadn't made it before. We used a combination of two different recipes: the ingredients from this one and the technique from this one. It was exciting to see the pita actually puff up in our oven. We weren't sure it would work, but it did! We really liked the recipe we used because the dough only had to rise for about 40 minutes, instead of the 2 hours as some recipes instruct.

The Pita Puffing

Andrew shows off our feast
Since most of our cooking experiments don't work out so well we were shocked that the pita actually turned out alright! It was way easier than we expected and it tasted wonderfully authentic.

It's hollow!
Rachel was a little disappointed that she didn't get to join in our exciting dinner. All she got was mushy carrots which, after she got over her original disappointment, she enjoyed thoroughly. She tends to lunge toward the spoon as it comes toward her mouth so you have to be careful not to jab it all the way down her throat. Instead of a "straight in" approach we use more of an "advance-retreat" action. It takes practice.

She's pretty clean in these pictures, but that's only because these are her first few bites. She gets more excited and animated as her feeding continues and starts talking with her mouth full (which involves spraying food out of her mouth and all over you, the floor, and anything else within range). She grabs at the spoon or bowl and puts her hands in her mouth and then will grab her toes, smearing food from her eyebrows to her toenails...and beyond. She also takes great joy in wiping her face with her bib periodically throughout the meal--this only helps get her cleaner the first time she does it.

I think we all enjoyed our meals last night. Andrew and I were left craving the Middle East and Rachel was left covered in carrots--definitely a success.


  1. I can relate to the messy baby. Since about seven months or so Grace has refused to eat anything we try to feed her. She will only eat stuff she feeds herself. Yogurt, apple sauce, baby is all just an icky mess! The pita bread looks nice. I was thinking about trying some out recently. After reading this post I think I will.

  2. Yay, it was the weekend for Middle Eastern food! We went to some of my parents' friends, the wife is Turkish, and man, did we ever fatten! Borek, Turkish lentil soup, vegetables Med style, and truly real baklava for dessert. :) I think about the only things that WEREN'T Turkish were the chicken and the bread. :-D It made me happy and fed the Middle Eastern cravings I get every once in a while...