Independence Day BBQ

Lebanese food is famous all over the world for its flavors, textures, and variety. What would Lebanon be without its tabbouleh, hummus, kebbe, and shish taouk? 

So you would think that when our group of friends decided to have a barbecue to celebrate the country’s 72nd Independence Day, these would be the staples and we would devour every bite of them.

We went in the exact opposite direction: steaks, burgers, hot dogs, ribs, corn on the cob, and fries. It felt a lot more like the 4th of July rather than the 22nd of November.

Our trusty car loaded with everything you might need for such a lunch for ten people (even though only six showed up), we headed upwards to the village of Baalchmey, close to Aley. There was virtually no traffic and we managed to get there in around 20 minutes. And the weather was perfect, no cloud in the sky, though it did get increasingly cooler as we went up.

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Don’t you love it when all the elements just cooperate with your plans? Seriously, we couldn’t have asked for better in the third week of November!

Our host quickly took to setting up the grill while we prepped and seasoned all our meat. The day before, Ahmad and I had done all the shopping (we volunteered) and we got our hands on some great cuts of Rib-eye steak and ribs. So the moment those hit the grill, you could hear the sizzle- a sign of the great things to come.

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Personally, I was happy that I didn’t have to do much cooking even though I had been tasked with making the salads. But I had prepared those the day before: a classic German Potato Salad, complete with turkey bacon and a Caprese spin on the Pasta Salad. I also decided to forgo frying by using the world’s best invention: the Actifryer! Yes, I actually carried the whole machine just so I wouldn’t have to make fries the typical way.

Needless to say, the food turned out fantastic and I think we are all over-saturated with meat. I had one steak and a single hotdog and I couldn’t breathe after that. No kidding.

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And as is the case every single time we leave Beirut, I am amazed by how beautiful this country is. Sure, garbage was lined on the road as we made our way to our friend’s summer home, but once we got there and set up, we had a clear view of that village and the surrounding mountains. You could even see Mount Sannine.

I also love how these mountain houses are small on the inside but have the largest terraces so families and friends can hang out, enjoying food or coffee on those summer nights- while taking in the view.

But because it’s this bunch, naturally the BBQ ended with us playing a round of Catan inside. How appropriate.

Happy Independence Day Lebanon!

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