Ann, and memories of her grandfather: Syrian Lilac, mint, parsley, figs

I come from a family of gardeners.  My maternal grandfather was the gardener at the Grotto when I was growing up.  He brought with him from Lebanon, Syrian Lilac trees that he planted there and also in our yard.  They died many years later from an ice storm.  Also, he brought mulberry trees that he used to feed the silkworms that he raised in a shed in our yard.  So, we always had fresh vegetables and fruit, thanks to him and my mother who followed in his footsteps.

I couldn’t imagine not having some sort of garden where I could grow just the basic things like tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and garlic.

We are very organic gardeners and never use harmful things in our yard or garden.  I guess you could say we embraced most of the bugs in the garden.  My grandpa used whatever means he had to control them.  Not sure what that was but probably egg shells and coffee grounds.

Mint, parsley and figs would be three things that I grew up with. They bring back happy memories of my childhood with a grandpa that I truly loved. Mint grows almost wild, and parsley is pretty easy to grow.  We use the curly leaf rather than the flat leaf. My mother’s recipe, sufsoof salad is a traditional Lebanese salad. It is also known as tabouli. It is a salad made with parsley, mint, cracked wheat and onions with a lemon dressing.

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Sounds delicious Sittu! We will be making this recipe tonight to go along with Lentil soup with lemon and mint.

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