News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 22, 2013

Middle Eastern Festival set for Oct. 6 at St. George

Place order for kibby, baklawa in advance


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — “Food for one is enough for two.”That’s one of the proverbs, along with “God Fed You, Eat and Feed,” that Wabash Valley cookbook author Helen Corey uses in her speeches when preparing cooking classes. She likes to talk about her culture and tradition evident with all of the Syrian/Lebanese families living in Terre Haute.

And what better way to spread that culture than to let the public become aware of a smorgasbord of delicacies at the upcoming annual Middle Eastern Festival from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 6? Visitors will be welcomed with a flavorful aroma as they enter the doors of St. George Orthodox Church Social Center, 1900 S. Fourth St., where they will feast on nutritious, health foods from biblical times.

Esther Simbol, president of the St. George Ladies Society, and Claudia Tanoos, co-chairpersons for the event, have been working with committees for several months preparing these foods of Syria and Lebanon.

This year’s menu will include rolled grape leaves filled with meat and rice; spinach pies made with homemade yeast dough and filled with seasoned spinach, onions, olive oil and lemon; meat pies filled with seasoned meat and baked to a golden shade; spheres of kibby made with nutritious cracked wheat and ground round and filled with seasoned ground chuck; rice with orzo cooked in clarified butter; green beans in tomato sauce; grilled shish kebab; Syrian salad; pocket bread and hummus tahini; falafel, a vegetarian sandwich made with chic peas and spices.

Offered this year will be an ala carte menu featuring: tabouli, cucumber-yogurt salad, meat and spinach pies and kibby.

Always a special attraction at the dinner will be a pastry booth featuring an array of Syrian/Lebanese and Greek pastries that will be available for purchase to take home. Topping them will be queen of all desserts baklawa, anise cookies, ma’moul, gribee, hareesee and many more.

Several booths will feature “Heavenly Delights” cookbook with recipes from St. George Ladies Society and honoring those who were well known to the community down through the years; also homemade canned goods, such as pickled turnips; yogurt balls, cracked wheat; dried mint and baba ghanouj (a dip made with eggplant and tahini); mountain, pocket, Zatar  and sesame bread. There will also be a silent auction booth with baskets of Middle Eastern products, restaurant dinners and a vast amount of items from which to choose.

The Rev. Paul Matar, pastor of St. George Church, and Deacon Elias Corey will take visitors on a tour of the church and explain the Byzantine icons, liturgical items, vestments, Tabernacle, Chalice and more.

Because of the great demand, the women of the society are taking advance orders for kibby and baklawa. Call in your order on Sept. 27, 28, 30, Oct. 1 and 2. Call Esther Simbol at 812-249-9247 or Helen Corey at 812-235-2320. Orders can be picked up the day of the dinner. Prices include: medium kibby, fried 12/$24; medium kibby, frozen, 12/$20; baklawa rolls, $15 each.

Ticket prices for the dinner are $15 for adults and $6 for age 12 and younger. Tickets also are available at the Saratoga Restaurant, Corey’s Fine Footwear, George’s Cafe, Mike’s Food Market, Ellis Law, or from any St. George Church member.