Saint Barbara day - "Eid el Berbara"

As every christian village in Lebanon, Maghdouche celebrates Saint Barbara on the 4th. of December of every year. As the day, according to the oriental christian tradition, starts and ends with the sunset, the big celebration would be the evening of the 3rd. of December.

Saint Barbara day or " Eid el Berbara" is celebrated in Maghdouche similarly to the North American Halloween. It is believed that Saint Barbara disguised herself in numerous characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her.

Sugar and coins (paper money nowadays) are offered to the masquerading children who walk the streets of the village and sing door-to-door. No need to mention that the quality (or vulgarity) of the songs vary according to the money offered !

Lately, I would say 15 years ago, The youngsters of Maghdouche developped a masquerading parade that walks the streets of Maghdouche on the evening of the 4th. of December. I hope that this parade has become a tradition and that it is still going on.

"Elbeh"- Wheat of Saint Barbara

Every single house in Maghdouche will be having "Elbeh" the night of Saint Barbara (3rd. of December). "Elbeh" known also as "Am7 el Berbara" is served in a bowl and eaten as an evening snack or a warm dessert. Here is the recipe:

1 glass of whole-grain wheat
5 glasses of water
1 tablespoon of anis seeds (yansoon)
1 tablespoon / bowl sugar
1 teaspoon / bowl orangeblossom water
1 teaspoon / bowl rosewater (optional)
Almonds, walnuts, pine seeds, pomegranate seeds and raisins for topping (all are optional)

1. Wash the wheat and boil it in the water. Remove the foam from the surface if any forms.
2. Put the anis seeds in a textile cloth and knob it and let it boil with the wheat (nowadays they boil the anis separately and they filter its water into the wheat while boiling but I like to keep the tradition).
3. There is no timing for how much the wheat should boil (you need to taste to know). When the wheat is done, you serve it together with its water into bowl.
4. Sprinkle with sugar then with orangeblossom water and rosewater.
5. Top everything with almond, walnuts, pine seeds, pomegranate seeds and raisins.
Serve warm.


Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients (serves 6):
500 g. split red lentils
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (or 2 cubes) bouillon
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper (to taste)
juice of half a lemon
vegetable oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Boil the lentils in water around half an hour until the lentils are really disintegrated. With a spoon, remove the white foam that forms on the surface. Add the bouillon at this stage and add water every now and then if needed.

Meanwhile, fry the onion in oil until it gets red-brown and add it to the boiling lentils.
Add and stir cumin, salt and pepper.
Remove away from fire, add the lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil. Stir again.

Serve with a slice of lemon and croutons ( pita bread croutons are the best).
Enjoy !


Dignity on Facebook

Here we are, slowly back after a " too much to do" period... Besides, Trond was having some health problems that paralised our activities for a while. But we are back and that is the important.

On Facebook, we started a group for Dignity's friends. So if you have an account on Facebook, dont hesitate to show your support and join our group. To go there just click here...
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