Week 58. Syria. Ros Bhaleeb.

I stood over the tee at the 10th hole and prepared to take my shot. It was a warm March day and I was in shirt sleeves. The course was beautiful and I was being paid to be there, as it was, technically, a work day. I wanted to draw the ball from left to right and bring it down onto the green and I swung the club well. My impact was solid and the ball soared towards the green, through the blue sky and I stood back and admired it. Seconds later I glumly realized I had very slightly misjudged the shot and the ball plummeted, landing 15 feet short of the green and in the lake. My mood turned in an instant and I swore, loudly, and crashed my club into the turf with anger.  I had messed up and I was raging.

At that moment I was annoyed with myself and now I am even more annoyed with myself, but now I am annoyed with myself for being annoyed with myself for something so pathetic. The reason I say this is because I am now writing about Syria and what is happening in Homs is worth being annoyed about – not my game of golf.

What is happening in the world today is beyond disgusting. Whilst world leaders have phone calls and meetings and think about what the best thing to do with the escalating situation in Syria, the situation is indeed escalating and innocent people are being executed. It’s not good enough. Let me put this into context. Imagine the reaction in the UK if one person walked out of work today and as they did someone walked up to them and shot them in the head. Would we be appalled? Would we do everything we can to punish the perpetrator and hold them to account that day? Of course we would, but this is happening today over and over again in Syria and the world is responding far too slowly. As a result we have the blood of the people dying on our hands. The rest of the world didn’t initiate murder but we are now responsible for it as we should be in there and stopping it.  This is a food blog and always will be and this is why my ranting will stop here, but this is worth being angry about and not bloody golf. Life must go on in other parts of the world, but when you get annoyed by those little things, remember how some people in this small planet of ours are frightened today and many people will have today as their last and tomorrow their families will be destroyed. All because we have done nothing so far.

I decided to make a dessert this week and I was intrigued by Ros Bhaleeb. In the UK we eat Rice Pudding but I would imagine 90% of it’s consumption is with the over 70’s and under 5’s. It’s baby food or old fashioned stodge.  It has a reputation for being heavy, tasteless and sickly rich. High end restaurants have attempted to bring it back to popularity by grating some nutmeg through it but it is yet to really take a hold. If people could taste Ros Bhaleeb it would change opinions in an instant. Rose Water is a distillation of rose petals and is used across the middle east to add a floral lift to many dishes. It absolutely does in this dish. We usually eat Rice Pudding hot but this is served very cold and the rose and orange make it feel incredibly light and almost refreshing. Not often do I make something and be utterly surprised at the flavour outcome. With this dish is was a huge shock and in a very good way. We are off to our first BBQ of the year today and I am taking a batch of Ros Bhaleeb with me. I am looking forward to seeing the shock on the faces of my friends.

I used this recipe as this lady is from Syria and very much knows what she is doing! http://www.syriancooking.com/other-desserts/roz-bhaleeb-rice-pudding

Let’s not forgot what is happening in Syria right now.


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