Picking Olives for Pickling

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Smooth and heavy – a guide to choosing the best raw olives for pickling at home. There’s nothing like the sensation of running your fingers through a heap of smooth, heavy, fresh olives. And now is the season. Open markets of the Middle East display stands heaped with the green and purple fruit, perfect for […]

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Yom Kippur Fast Food, Before and After

Miriam suggests dishes to suit meals before and after the Big Fast of Yom Kippur. This coming Friday night a Jewish Shabbat and Yom Kippur holiday occur together. While I look forward to a day of prayer and meditation,  a day offline and a day of cleaner air, I confess I don’t relish the thought of […]

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RECIPE: Kafta, Syrian Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce

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These big, savory meatballs satisfy big hungers. Certain dishes are considered working-man’s lunches in the Middle East. They’re foods you  find in small shuk restaurants or roadside eateries. Eggy shakshoukah (recipe here), mulukhiyah soup (recipe here), the classic lentil/rice combination, majadra. The favored meat in the Middle East  is lamb  and it’s most often prepared […]

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Marijuana Prevents Post-Trauma Stress Disorder: University of Haifa Study

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Pot can prevent PTSD, finds a new study from the University of Haifa. Another socially redeeming value in that evil old weed? Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in people exposed to life-threatening events or atrocities, like the arrest and torture of female activist and journalist Faranak Farid in Iran. The list of consequences after trauma […]

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RECIPE: Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

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The Middle-Eastern pantry staple can be made at home easily. Pomegranates come into season now, just as summer fades and before the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Fresh pomegranate seeds are one of the traditional Rosh HaShanah simanim (symbolic foods) on the holiday table. Downtown juice stands everywhere in the Middle East offer glasses of […]

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Breastfeeding Moms More Agressive than Those Who Use Bottles

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Breast feeding moms have lower blood pressure and behave more aggressively compared to women who are bottle-feeding their children, suggesting that breast-feeding dampens the body’s typical stress response to fear, new research suggests. Women who breast-feed are far more likely to demonstrate a “mama bear” effect — aggressively protecting their infants and themselves — than […]

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Ridiculously Simple Technology Can Save Millions from Arsenic Poisoning

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Zam Zam holy water in Mecca is contaminated with arsenic, but researchers in the US have discovered a ridiculously simple technology that can render contaminated water safe to drink. Millions of people in the developing world are frequently hapless victims of arsenic poisoning. This is not because they have angry spouses, but because arsenic is […]

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RECIPE: Late-Summer Pickled Peppers

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Preserve plenty peppers to produce a plethora of piquant pickles. The late-summer peppers are excellent right now, firm-fleshed and plump, with smooth skins and that robust flavor that marries so well with vinegar.  Why not pickle some of them? Lemon season is just starting too, so try our recipe for preserved lemons while you’re in […]

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Herpes in the Middle East

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Expressions of affection, even from mother to child, are often the way herpes is spread from person to person. From private organizations to the World Health Organization (WHO), the experts agree: regardless of region, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a pressing reality that stress individuals, families and communities, and call upon public health officials to […]

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