I am so grateful to have friends who love to eat, who enjoy trying all manner of new culinary establishment, and most of all, who love to cook and share the fruits of their labor with friends.
It was our dear friend Ara's birthday and Fe, A., and I were lucky enough to be invited to his and Lilit's home to help celebrate. I suppose you could call it a "barbecue," but that term does not really do this fête justice.
Ara went to town with the help of our friend Joseph, preparing four giant slabs of pork belly and one whole lamb in Joseph's roasting box, called La Caja China. Ara's and Lilit's mothers contributed exquisite Uzbeki lamb pilaf, tabbouleh, hummus and tzatziki.
Add many large bottles of ice-cold vodka and a tussle of friends and family and you have a party that is simply put – off the hook.
The pork belly with Ara's special seasoning -- Ara, what is in there? -- was hands-down my favorite.
And the pork cracklin was life-altering. I've thought of it longingly every day since last weekend.
Best of the good news –– Ara is going to take me meat shopping soon!