June 4, 2013

Chef_Gidget Visits Lighthouse of Alexandria

Greetings from Alexandria, Egypt!

I have to tell you, I'm having a wonderpurr time in this country. Everywhere I go I am put on a pedestal, given the finest noms, and the softest beds to sleep on. I had no idea there were countries where cats were so highly thought of -- even worshipped! But now that I do, I believe I will vacation here more often.

As I've mentioned in past articles, I am on World Tour of Ancient Wonders. I've seen the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramid and the wonderpurr Sphinx. This week I am on the ancient island Pharos in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt where there once was a lighthouse called The Pharos.

A little history about this area ... Alexander the Great started about 17 cities using his name, but most of them disappeared. Alexandria, Egypt, however, prospered and is still around today. Obviously, since I'm here.

When Alexander died in 323 B.C., the new ruler, Ptolemy Soter, thought his city needed a symbol -- and a guide for the trade ships that used the busy harbor. Twenty years later, between 280 and 247 BC, The Pharos was built. It was the first lighthouse ever built and also, at 400 feet high, one of the tallest structures in the world.

Historical documents mention the lighthouse had a mysterious mirror that could reflect the light for almost 40 miles away. This mirror was also able to detect and burn enemy ships before they reached the shore. 

The inside of the lighthouse was used as a shaft to lift fuel needed for the fire. At the top, a mirror reflected sunlight during the day and fire was used during the night. Pharos was the island the lighthouse was on and it quickly became the name of the lighthouse. Look up Pharos in a French, Italian or Spanish dictionary and you'll see it means lighthouse.

This structure was also the last World Wonder to disappear when earthquakes destroyed it in the 14th century A.D. In 1994, French archeologists discovered remains of the lighthouse on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour.

These are two Greek coins with The Pharos image on them.

As I leave this amazing country with all its history and fine cuisine, I would like to share one last recipe with you. I chose it from all the other recipes because of it's name. Baba Ghanouj. Just saying it tickles my whiskers. Enjoy!





Baba Ghanouj

You will need the following:

1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs tahini
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt
3 Tbs olive oil
several whole olives

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place whole eggplant on a baking sheet and bake until outer shell is crisp and inside is soft and mooshie. I mean, mushy. A fork should pass easily through the eggplant when done (about 1 hour).


Let the eggplant cool, then remove and discard black skin and green cap.

Spoon the insides into a food processor or a blender. Add garlic, Tahini, salt, lemon juice and yogurt. Puree until creamy.

Spoon into a serving dish and garnish with olive oil and whole olives. Serve cold or warm with sliced Pita bread and/or vegetables for dipping. 

Thank you once again for enjoying my recipes.

 

Don't Mess Wif Me!