Sahlab – Salep — Middle Eastern Sweet Beverage

Sahlab, Salep is a type of middle eastern sweet beverage that is served hot. You can top it with cinnamon and serve it. You can also put raisins in it as well and drink and eat the raisins. With the winter upon us and the cold weather has arrived, this is a great thing to drink in a cold winters night. I was introduced to this a few years back going to my Armenian Bible study. We would usually have cookies, and snacks for after bible study sessions, so a few times Sahlab, Salep was made by the women’s guild group of the church and we would enjoy 2nd even 3rd servings of it. They would make so much that everyone got seconds and 3rds. It is so delicious.

The ingredients are Skimmed Milk or Water
Salep Flour
Sugar
Rose Water
Cinnamon
Coconut

In Specialty Grocery stores and middle eastern stores, they sell the ready mixed ingredient packages, you just add the milk or water to it and it becomes Sahleb, Salep, however you want to call it. Many countries and regions have different names for it which have different spellings and pronunciations. Sometimes all you need is a warm beverage to satisfy your sweet tooth and just enough for cold days. Who says you cannot have it in the spring and summer also. Its a good thing to have all year round. It is yummy, delicious and you will keep wanting more of it.

Enjoy and bon apetit!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – Love Talin Orfali

It is that time of year again. I cannot believe how quickly 2013 flew by. Just yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and New Years for 2012/2013, and now as 2013 is coming to a close, were doing it all over again with putting up the lights, the decorations, finding that perfect tree, or putting up a tree that has been in storage. I love Christmas time when everywhere is decorated with beautiful colours, beautiful Christmas lights on homes, wrapped presents, ornaments, tinsel, snow globes, candles, manger, stables, the nativity scene, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the Elves, Snowman, Mistletoe, Cookies and Milk, candy canes, the food, the celebrations, and of course and especially celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men and how Mary was chosen to give Birth to a King.

What are your Christmas traditions in your family? What exciting things do you do? Some families put on Christmas Sweaters, some families play games, and so on and so forth. What do you like to cook and serve to your loved ones? Christmas for me every year is always different, either we have a lot of people come over, some Christmases are spent going to other peoples homes, or going out to a party, so I cannot really say what is tradition with my loved ones, but every year is always different, but we do manage to always find a way to get together. When we do, we love cooking turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, gravy, and other things. I love baking my signature cinnamon cake which people I know love it, so they want more and more of it. It has been such a long time I have not decorated a Gingerbread house, but I think I will do that this year.

I love watching Christmas movies at this time of year like Miracle on 34th street, Home Alone 1 and 2, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Jack Frost, Four Christmases, Santa Clause, Santa Clause 2, I also love watching the Santa Claus Parade on television. I must have watched Home Alone 1 and 2 8 or 9 times this year alone on TV and I just love that movie especially. There is something about Home Alone 1 and 2, that make you get pulled into it and its so hard to flip the channel. After that Home alone 3-5 was all downhill and I did not enjoy them as much because when you change Characters, when you change the setting, it won’t be the same as the first 2. I know Home Alone 1 and 2 by heart, and if you put the movie on mute, I can say the whole script.

Anyway, lastly, I also want to acknowledge those people who are not so lucky during the Christmas and New Year Holidays, that are alone, but not really alone because there are people in this world that are thinking of them and one of them is me, people who do not have a warm home to go to, those who are less fortunate, those who cannot afford or who do not have enough to provide for their families and I’d like to reach out to all of those people around the world and tell them that I am thinking of them and they are in my heart, mind and soul and my thoughts and prayers are with them all and I wish them the best for 2014 and I hope that they too can have a nice and lovely Christmas. I want them to know that they are not alone and that I am with them all. The presents and Materialism shouldn’t matter, but all that matters is togetherness and creating memories.  I wish everyone peace, harmony, happiness, health, success, and all the great things of life. I wish everyone a prosperous, great, and lovely new year. Many blessings to all and wishing everyone all the best. With love always, Talin Orfali