For our last pop-up of 2018 — a special Holiday Edition of Newcomer Kitchen — we are doing something a little bit different. Tonight, in the spirit of the Holidays, we are asking our community to pay it forward and give the people who have received so much support from us a chance to give back to others who could use a touch of kindness and holiday cheer.
This week we’re collaborating with Building Roots, a remarkable organization that helped create the Moss Park Market, a shipping container grocery store near Queen & Sherbourne, that brings affordable fresh produce into one of Toronto’s most underserved neighbourhoods.
We ask that you go ahead and purchase these dinners as you usually would, but on Dec 19 all the freshly made meals will be brought to the Moss Park Market where volunteers from Newcomer Kitchen and Building Roots will distribute the meals to individuals and families in the Moss Park community.
For more than two and half years, Newcomer Kitchen has been building bridges and creating community through delicious Syrian home cooking. Join us as we invite some special new guests to join us at this bountiful holiday table.
[beef] Auzi￼ أوزة
A decadent and luxurious meat pie from Damascus, auzy combines a filling of spiced ground beef (halal), rice and green peas, mixed with almonds and pines nuts that have been fried in butter. This filling is wrapped in a delicate, crispy phyllo pastry shell, and brushed with butter and eggs that give it a beautiful golden colour when it is baked. Auzy is often made for wedding celebrations, family gatherings, or holidays like Ramadan or Eid.
The vegetarian version made with rice, carrots, green peas and cremini mushrooms, enriched by butter-fried almonds and pine nuts.
M’tabbal Kousa متبل كوسا
A relative of hummus or baba ganoush, this is cool and refreshing meze dip is made with zucchini, yogurt, tahini and mint, seasoned with olive oil, and garnished with parsley.
Fattoush is a popular Levantine salad made with toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens, fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber and radish, but recipes vary according to season and region. Fresh mint and parsley lend freshness and complexity, and dried sumac (the same staghorn sumac that grows here in Ontario) gives the olive oil-based dressing a distinctive tangy flavour.
Ghraybeh is a delicious and delicate Middle Eastern shortbread that melts in the mouth, flavoured with vanilla or rosewater, and garnished with pistachio seeds.
Newcomer Kitchen is a new project that invites groups of Syrian newcomer women to use our kitchen to cook traditional Syrian dishes in a fun, social setting. Meals are prepared and packaged, and then sold online for pickup or delivery to pay for all the ingredients and provide a source of revenue for the cooks.
We also offer “Guest Cook” spots on Wednesdays where you can help & hang out in the kitchen, learn the recipes and join the ladies for family meal. These can now be booked via AirBnB Experiences.
Proceeds from the sale of meals goes directly to the newcomer cooks. However this does not cover the costs of the enormous amount of behind-the-scenes coordination required to keep this project going. You can support the Newcomer Kitchen project directly and our vision of expanding this model to support more women in more neighbourhoods!