Goody Two Shoes Makes Krass
In my life East meets West frequently, often head on, fast and merciless. This time though it was fun, interesting and tasty.
I had been an organiser, motivator and a bit of a nag (nothing new there!) to a group of people who were attending a cooking class in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.
The tour of the camp was depressing, heavy and had a hopeless feeling. I couldn't bring myself to take a photograph unlike the others in the group. I was embarrassed to be a privileged foreign looking person. The residents of the camp did not need my pity, they needed my enthusiasm.
That is why I had got a group of people together with the help of a friend to attend the cooking class.
Cooking classes are a grass roots movement entirely run by women of the camp to raise money to pay for care for their mentally challenged children. They offered their expertise, ingredients and experience and we offered to help make it, pay for it and eat it afterwards.
One persons husband had renovated the room, built a stove, he supported his wife 100% and even cooked our Krass we made. For more information: NOOR Women's Empowerment Group, Aida Refugee Camp- Bethlehem, Palestine. Www.noorweg.wordpress.com
Krass is sort of a triangular package made of a gooey pastry filled with (in our case) spinach and onions. Absolutely delicious. I must have eaten at least 5 at the cooking class. We also made Sveeha, lentil soup and a dessert called Halba.
On returning home I decided to make a slightly more Western version of Krass using wholewheat flour for the pastry and adding mushrooms and a bit of salty cheese to the spinach mixture. It took for ages to get the pastry dough to rise even after a serious bit of sunbathing the bowl did.
I agree they looked weird, the small package triangles turned into giant size envelopes due to lack of patience and time, the colour looked like mud at it's worst, the fillings overflowed BUT the taste was delicious. Throwing caution to the wind I offered one to a Palestinian friend who after complaining they were not the 'real deal' had to agree they were good.
So East met West and the result was good. Roll on the next cooking class!
Conclusion: Going out of the cultural box can result in a richer and in this case tastier life.