As May arrives with its better weather, I want to get back to the BBQ. Warmer temperatures mean leisurely outdoor family meals sitting around the yard and enjoying the fresh air. Once my herb pots are growing and the pepper and tomato seedling are all sprouting, I feel the urge to be more creative with marinating and grilling. If I could, I would grill year-round and I have been occasionally known for turning on our natural gas grill in December. There is something so satisfying and refreshing about the smell of outdoor cooking. We live in our yard/deck as long as the weather cooperates and absolutely love to entertain out there.
People always ask me how I came to love cooking and food in general. Since I grew up in a food family and always had different, delicious, unique things to taste it comes naturally to me. Being part of a Lebanese and Syrian family meant food was always the center of our household and continues to be. Food is our love language. We entertain frequently and the meal is always central — whether it’s an Easter brunch, a Memorial Day BBQ, Birthday meze, or a Graduation blowout. The first question we get is always, “What are you serving?” For Women’s History Month, I thought I’d share a little more about the women who are often preparing the meals.
If there was one thing that 2020 taught us in business is that to be successful you have to constantly grow and change. When we opened our store and café in late 2019 we were looking to serve our customers in the store, café and bar. Just as we were approaching that, all of our worlds turned upside down. And because this is NYC, the rules constantly changed. You can open the café, then you cannot. You can have people indoors, then you cannot. That was the running theme of 2020. We went from a café to fulfillment center and slowly, slowly back to café. We decided it wasn’t going to be about what we couldn’t do, but what we can do.
As we bid a very happy goodbye to 2020 and a warm welcome to 2021 and better times ahead, we’re in a reflective mood. From our first snow in early December, this winter promises to be a good time to burrow in and cook some soul satisfying meals.
2020 has been an unusual and challenging year, to put it simply! In an effort to manifest normalcy, we placed our holiday orders in the spring and hoped for the best. Traditionally we would prepare the shelves and know exactly how we were going to merchandise the products and promote the season. This year with all of the supply disruptions and border and factory closings, we just rolled with it with a smile. This week both stores began to receive tons of new items. Bell and Evans Turkeys have arrived and our kitchen is gearing up for holiday side dishes!