|First Dad gave them a demonstration|
|and they stuffed|
|and they rolled|
When Dad fell ill that afternoon, we decided to postpone the dinner until the following night.
We stumbled back into the house sometime on Friday, July 23 in various states of incompetence. The food didn't matter, nothing mattered. Yet we didn't really know what we were supposed to do. We assigned ourselves tasks: I needed to get my husband on a flight, Ellie needed to clean a bathroom, mom needed to make kibbee. I can't remember what Julie was trying to do. The four of us spun in circles around each other and the kids and the phone calls and the visitors and the plans and the disbelief. Mom kept cooking. Somehow, on that night, we eventually sat down to a beautiful and presumably delicious lebanese dinner, without our lebanana.
So it seemed fitting that when we all planned to gather on the first anniversary of July stupid 23rd, we would have a lebanese dinner. We all joked about how it would be a lesser, pathetic attempt, but we also knew that it was a fitting tribute.
The first thing we needed to start cooking was... well.... Dad. The second most important thing was the grape leaves. As with many of his other precise procedural operations, Dad had a method of drying brined grape leaves to prepare them for stuffing. Mom had seen him do it a million times, but didn't take note of timing or something and the first attempt was a bust. Which opened the door wide for me to be a hero! You see, one of the very lovely elements of my workplace environment is what we lovingly refer to as "the grapehouse." It's just a framed playhouse, covered with... you guessed it... grape vines! And you know what grows on grape vines, don't you? GRAPES! Also grape leaves. Yay!
We had ourselves a mission of love.
I washed and dried (ahem, Ellie) them, packed them into a zip lock bag and stored them in the freezer for one night before bringing them, in an insulated bag in my suitcase, to Mom's.
On the morning of Saturday, July Stupid 23rd, Julie and I once again gathered our various children in the kitchen for the traditional rolling of grape leaves. Dad wasn't there, but he had thoughtfully left a big bag of stuffing in the freezer for us, dated in his handwriting, July 22, 2010. Sigh.
|Julie gave my girl a demonstration|
|Then we stuffed|
|and we rolled|
|Ach, girl belly|
Ultimately, the bounty:
I really miss that guy.