“Hi, this is Kareemi Atallah. I am Lebanese. And my mother used to make the best fattoush.”
So began a message left on my telephone in August, shortly after the Press Herald published a recipe for fattoush – a peppy Middle-Eastern salad made from toasted pita, radishes, tomatoes and sumac. And so began a friendship of sorts.
“I can’t make it like her, but I would love to talk to you because I cooked Mideast food and sold it wholesale here in Portland for 15 years,” the message continued. “Atallah is Arabic, of course, and so is Kareemi, but I’m