A Mother’s Day Menu, Lebanese-Style

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Flowers for Mothers Day

Along the book promo trail, someone said to me recently that it’s as though I’ve given birth to my own baby, my book.

It’s kind of embarrassing to say it does feel a little that way. A little, it does.

I suppose this is true of artists and their creative endeavors. We gestate, we make it, we give it to the world. We love what we have made, and we consider it beautiful. When others also consider it beautiful, that’s a special something, and pride-of-parenting starts to get all puffed up.

Grapefruit Mimosa, MaureenAbood.com

Spinach quiche baked, Maureen Abood

Olive salad glass and pink POST
Meat fatayar on a pan, Maureen Abood

This must be similar, a little, to the sense you parents have. My mother, for example, has always espoused sizeable pride for her five children, but hers is paired with endearing humility. She doesn’t realize that this remarkable balance is perhaps the greatest gift she could have given us: it’s good to love what you have created, and also good to keep your pride in check.

Mom has always softened the missing element in my life (… of no children…) with a you’re-just-fine attitude, even while she has always considered her own motherhood the most essential and important thing she could do with her life, as most mothers do.

Za'atar roasted potatoes 8, Maureen Abood

Knafeh slice, Maureen Abood

Strawberry Rhubarb with Rose Water, Maureen Abood

I have always loved celebrating Mother’s Day with and for my mom, my aunts, my mother-friends—all strong women doing good, challenging work and reaping the joyful bounty of that work. This year our Mother’s Day table will be filled with flowers, with delicious Lebanese dishes, with a celebration of what it means to have special ones you’ve given to the world and loved, heart and soul. I’ll share in the mother-joy as a grateful daughter/Aunt Maureen/Step-mom too, but now also, even just a little, as author of another special one—a cookbook!—I love, heart and soul.

Mother’s Day Menu, Lebanese-Style

Ruby Red Grapefruit-St. Germain Mimosa

Crustless Spinach and Feta Quiche with Sumac

Meat Pies

Za’atar Roasted Potato Wedges

White Asparagus with Pistachio Oil and Lemon

Lebanese Olive Salad

Knafeh Jibneh with Orange Blossom Syrup

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Rosewater
(and My Mom’s Best Pie Crust)

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  1. Maureen: I gave my two daughters, Rita and Renee, copies of your new “baby” for Mother’s Day!! They loved them!! Rita, right away, wanted to make the vegetarian kibbee. From what I have read so far, it is top-notch and thanks for enlightening those of us less fortunate with family and friends.

  2. This menu looks so delicious that I want to take off work for the day, run to the kitchen and start cooking. Congratulations on your “baby”. I can’t wait to pick up a copy.

  3. Just ordered your book. It will take a place next to my aunt’s church cookbook with her notes on each recipe. Congratulations to you!

  4. I just ordered your book because I love your blog and Lebanese food in general. I just had to say that I TOTALLY share your “giving birth” sentiment. I don’t have kids, but since I recently finished writing my own cookbook, people have been making that gestational analogy. I do feel a tad embarrassed to make the comparison myself, but it really does feel that way sometimes! Glad to hear I have a kindred author. Thanks for your beautiful work!

  5. These are exactly the things I would want to eat on Mother’s Day (especially the crustless quiche and those grapefruit mimosas!). Thank you for sharing!

  6. Every kid needs a childless Aunt that can be a friend and not have the responsibilities of a parent or the age of a grandparent yet have the knowledge of the traditions and norms of the family. Mine was Aunt Sadie, my Dad’s older sister. She was such a wonderful asset to all of my 20+ cousins. All of us saw her as something more and different than any other relative. I am at a loss for words to describe the feeling. So wonderful. Even if you have no children that doesn’t mean you are childless. You have all of the nieces and nephews that depend on and lean on you in a way they can’t depend on or lean on anyone else. Just be there for them in a way their parents cannot.

    1. Roger, this is beautiful. Thank you so much for this and for your wonderful review of my book on Amazon!

  7. Maureen, thank you for this delicious Mother’s Day menu. Surely every woman who offers her gifts as you do to so many, to provide delicious food for their families, is a mother, as much as any woman who biologically carries a specific child is a mother. I am afraid you probably have many many children!, from your sweat and your joy, and your labors of love. And yes, my own aunt loved me more than anyone in the world, and I, her. An aunt can change a life, give us strength and a wild hope….my own precious aunt, who always said I must have come from her womb, surely did. Blessings and congratulations on the fruit of your worthy efforts! V.

  8. Just love your blog. I am on the hunt for a tahini sauce/dressing that I have with my falafel salad at a local restaurant. Have not been able to successfully make it. Any ideas? Thanks……

    1. Hi! My guess is the dressing is a combo of tahini, lemon, yogurt, garlic! Let me know if that combo is it!