'Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother'

Using his mother's unfinished memoir as his foundation and adding his own thoughts and memories, Michael Shaheen retells a familiar and touching immigrant's story.

Perhaps one of the more interesting trends in publishing lately has been the replacement of the more conventional cookbook format (i.e. to simply compile recipes) with something a bit more personal: a food memoir of sorts.

Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother by Michael Shaheen, a Duquesne University grad and native of eastern Ohio, is just such a book.

Using his mother's unfinished memoir (she died before its completion) as his foundation and adding his own thoughts and memories, Shaheen retells a familiar and touching immigrant's story, one of a single mother in a small coal mining town working her tail off to raise, to care for and to feed two boys.

And she managed to do a pretty good job of all three—especially the feeding part.

Central throughout every recounted tale and anecdote in the first 30 pages of Addie's Way is the food, so it should come as no surprise that the family history serves merely as an appetizer to the main course—100 pages of striking food photography and classic Middle Eastern recipes.

From homemade yogurt and pickled turnips to hummus and stuffed lamb, every dish is simultaneously mouthwatering, uncomplicated and inexpensive.

In the words of Addie herself, this is "an essential book for people who love good food and must economize-as most people must, at least some of the time."

In tough economic times like these, who could argue with that?


Addie's Way: Lessons in Cooking and Life as Learned From My Lebanese Mother by Michael Shaheen; Shaheen Enterprises LLC; $24.95.

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