Friendsgiving in Moody, AL

Plans change. Sometimes I have to remind myself that things happen for a reason. So, the long and short of it is that we didn’t go to West Virginia to spend the holiday with the cousins. So, we made it right here in Oak Valley subdivision. And, it was good. It was definitely non-traditional, but it was good nonetheless.

Zeek made his world famous Mansaf! If you’re unfamiliar with mansaf, I pity you. First, you melt the ball of dried jameed in hot water. When that is accomplished and the ball is completely broken up (in the blender) then it’s put on the stove to cook. Cardamom and other spices are added, and the jameed is stirred constantly until it reaches the boil.

Meanwhile, rice and lamb have been prepared and finally, the nuts are fried in oil. When all have been finished the rice is piled onto a tray and the lamb chunks are laid on the top. Fried nuts (almonds in this case) and parsley are sprinkled liberally over all.

The jameed is served next to the mansaf tray. You douse the portion of the dish you’re about to eat with it and dig in! The lamb is as soft as a Mother’s heart and the spiced rice is nearly indescribable! Add the jameed and pop a spoonful into your mouth. Pure, unadulterated joy! If the God created anything better, he kept it to himself!

Mansaf 2.jpg

During the years I lived in Jordan, I learned to love many new dishes and recipes. My absolute favorite, though, is mansaf! The best part of mansaf is, at least, back in Jordan is sharing it with friends. Each person eating from the same tray in a communal celebration of food, friendship, and love.

Our celebration was much smaller this year, but a celebration it was nevertheless! There’s nothing better than communing with a loved one over food and drink.

I hope each of  you had a very happy Thanksgiving, shared with people you love and enjoy being with. I’m very thankful that so many of you have stayed with me despite my absence. Happy Holidays to you all!

See you next time; same time, same channel.

Ol’ Big Jim


About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
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3 Responses to Friendsgiving in Moody, AL

  1. Sounds like a beautiful gathering. The food looks terrific. Thanks for sharing.


  2. jaysquires says:

    I’ve missed your terse, almost Hemingway-esque style, Jim. And now, add to my re-acquaintance just about the best description of food I’ve never eaten before and framed in such a way that my mouth was watering. I usually reserve that for something I at least have an inkling of what it tastes like. I don’t know whether it was fish, fowl, meat or soup. I just want some, now!!!



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