Obtaining a copy of Mouneh: Preserving Foods for the Lebanese Pantry by Barbara Abdeni Massaadl has been the object of my obsession for the last seven years. If I could reclaim the hours I’ve spent googling and searching for a copy of this book, I’d be able to take up a new hobby (I’d probably just read more cookbooks). A year ago I wrote a post on how to manage your cookbook collection and one of my last lines read “…. I still want a copy of Mouneh!” Shortly thereafter, I wrote to Barbara and she informed me that Interlink Books was re-publishing the title this year, and I was overjoyed. The long wait has been worth every second. 

Mouneh is a comprehensive study of traditional Lebanese food preserving methods, an important aspect of Lebanese culinary heritage. The content shared here is derived from recipes produced all around Lebanon. Organized by the four seasons and later into twelve months, the book provides readers the opportunity to seasonally produce sweet preserves, pickles, cheeses, distilled items and dried goods derived from vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and animal products. 

Barbara’s knowledge is best described as an encyclopedic passion for all things Lebanese. This title is home to almost two hundred recipes that are wrapped in a wealth of stunning photography. The author also shares captivating stories of her  dealings with farmers, food producers and the people who continue to prepare food the traditional way and is a gifted storyteller.

Do yourself a favor, do not let the opportunity slip by to order this book. Travel with Barbara on her culinary journey through Lebanon, you will be the richer for it. Special thanks to Interlink Books for providing two copies in our giveaway below as well as for sharing a recipe with our members today. Please support our authors and publishers by sharing this post and visiting their social media pages – those options provide you extra entries as well. 



Apricot Syrup
Sharab el Meshmos
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) apricots
  • Granulated sugar equal to the weight of juice extracted from the fruit
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

Wash the apricots with cold water. Dry with a kitchen towel. Remove the stone from the apricots. To stone apricots, take a sharp knife and cut the fruit in half lengthways following the natural line. Firmly grasp the two halves and twist them in opposite directions. Pull them apart and remove the stone.

Use a food processor to extract the juice from the apricots. You may filter the juice through a strainer lined with muslin. I don’t!

Measure the weight of the juice and prepare the equivalent amount of sugar. Cook the mixture in a non-reactive pan on a low heat, bringing it slowly to a boil. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice.

Skim the froth from the surface. Turn off the heat before the liquid sets, or becomes too thick. Pour the hot syrup into sterilized bottles. Seal immediately, closing the lid of the bottle tightly. Leave to cool.

Put the bottle in the refrigerator or if you want to conserve the bottle outside of the refrigerator, boil it for 10 minutes. Let cool until the next day. Wipe with a damp kitchen towel. Label the bottle and store in a cool, dark place, if not for immediate consumption. Once the bottle is opened, it should be refrigerated.

To serve, pour about 2 tablespoons of syrup in a glass, dilute with water, and add ice cubes.

Recipe from Mouneh, published 2018 by Interlink Books, recipe © Barbara Abdeni Massaad

The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 27th, 2018.

Post a comment


  • Takethetoyz  on  July 12, 2018

    I’d try the dries eggplant first!

  • vickster  on  July 12, 2018

    Fig Molasses

  • SheilaS  on  July 12, 2018

    I have her beautiful book, Man'oushé, on Lebanese breads and have also been on the lookout for this one. I would love to try the traditional goat cheese in terra cotta or the labneh balls.

  • annmartina  on  July 12, 2018

    Mandarin marmalade

  • kmn4  on  July 12, 2018

    Strained goat yogurt cheese balls in oil (Labneh mkaazaleh bil zeit)

  • AlexH  on  July 12, 2018

    Rose Petal Jam!

  • monasli  on  July 12, 2018

    Spiced cheese ball.

  • Maefleur  on  July 12, 2018

    I would like to try any of the okra preparations as I have so much in my garden right now.

  • Terrill  on  July 12, 2018

    Id try the Plum Paste

  • laffersk  on  July 12, 2018

    Fig Jam

  • riley  on  July 12, 2018

    Pickled green cherry tomatoes

  • mziech  on  July 12, 2018

    Great book! I already have a copy but would recommend to buy it (or win it!)

  • tennyogirl  on  July 12, 2018

    That apricot syrup recipe looks pretty great!

  • demomcook  on  July 12, 2018

    I'm intrigued by the pickled green thyme.

  • amyz218  on  July 12, 2018

    Apple molasses

  • parnassus  on  July 12, 2018

    whole dang apples stuffed with almonds

  • MiMi60  on  July 12, 2018

    Grape roll ups sound interesting.

  • ladybrooke  on  July 12, 2018

    I'd try orange blossom petal jam (Mrabba zahr el laymoon)

  • sarahawker  on  July 13, 2018

    Mulberry jam

  • pappaslauren  on  July 13, 2018

    This book looks amazing. I would like to try making Rose Water.

  • aoiwowie  on  July 13, 2018

    Stuffed green olives in oil

  • Ingridemery  on  July 13, 2018

    I’d love to try fig molasses

  • amandabeck  on  July 13, 2018

    There are a lot of similarities with Greek cooking and preserving. I would like to try the lemon jam and lemon marmelade…sound delicious! What a unique book.

  • ravensfan  on  July 14, 2018

    Strawberry jam (Mrabba el farawla)

  • LaurenE  on  July 14, 2018

    Rose Petal Jam

  • RSW  on  July 15, 2018

    Orange blossom petal jam (Mrabba zahr el laymoon)

  • thecharlah  on  July 15, 2018

    Vegan cheese in oil (Kishk el khameer bil zeit)

  • Karen.2018  on  July 16, 2018

    I would try Apricot roll ups (Amareddine)

  • kitchen_chick  on  July 16, 2018

    Rose water – I’ve never made my own.

  • sedm3949  on  July 17, 2018

    Pickled green grapes or green cherry tomatoes!

  • sgump  on  July 18, 2018

    I'd try making fig molasses.

  • AsTheNight  on  July 19, 2018

    The very first thing I'd try is the drying grapes technique. Then, depending on how well my young fig tree produces, I'd try making fig jam.

  • mduncan  on  July 19, 2018

    First preparation would definitely be the Stuffed Eggplant in Oil

  • WCchopper  on  July 19, 2018

    I'd love to try that orange blossom jam although I don't think I live in the right climate.

  • demomcook  on  July 19, 2018

    Thank you for telling us about this book. I have my own copy now, and it is so interesting. What a treasure! I'm going to look for the bread book now.

  • Julia  on  July 20, 2018

    Pickled cabbage and grapes in sugar syrup.

  • sweatpants  on  July 20, 2018

    I love loquats, and can't wait to try the Loquat Jam

  • Amyhop  on  July 21, 2018

    I’d try the Khaltet el zhoorat (Blend of dried herbs, roots and flowers). Sounds like fun tracking down all those ingredients!

  • mombaker247  on  July 21, 2018

    Rose Water with my own roses

  • crownoflilies  on  July 21, 2018

    orange blossom petal jam

  • PeavineBlues  on  July 21, 2018

    Pomegranate molasses

  • mrscahughes  on  July 21, 2018

    Everything. But if I had to pick just one it'd be an eggplant dish.

  • Laura1  on  July 22, 2018

    fig jam

  • cora429  on  July 22, 2018

    Pickled green thyme. I always end up with so much leftover thyme when I buy it, this would be a great use for it!

  • RickPearson54  on  July 22, 2018

    Rose water

  • Dannausc  on  July 22, 2018

    Pickled cauliflower

  • LSanders  on  July 22, 2018

    Apricot syrup

  • fbrunetti  on  July 22, 2018

    Pomegranate molasses

  • kcfish  on  July 23, 2018

    Pickled eggplant

  • Siegal  on  July 24, 2018

    I would like to make orange petal jam

  • leilx  on  July 24, 2018

    I would make any of the jams and pickled lettuce hearts.

  • LMS209  on  July 27, 2018

    grape leaves in brine 🙂

  • jmay42066  on  July 27, 2018

    Whole apples stuffed with roasted almonds (Teffeh mehsi bil loz)

  • rosalee  on  July 28, 2018

    Pickled cabbage rolls sound wonderful!

  • beetangsurat  on  August 1, 2018

    Pickled heart of lettuce since I never know what to do with leftover lettuce hearts.

  • DarcyVaughn  on  August 3, 2018

    Traditional goat cheese in terra cotta

  • Sfgordon  on  August 3, 2018

    dried okra!

  • t.t  on  August 4, 2018

    Rose water (Ma ward). Excited to know that this book is available again–I've been wanting this book!

  • banba1  on  August 4, 2018

    I've never seen a recipe for Verjuice before — only seen it as an ingredient! Would love to try making it!

  • Maaseelulu  on  August 6, 2018

    Artichoke hearts in brine (Alb el ardichawki bi mahlool el may wal meleh)

  • kbennall  on  August 9, 2018

    Makdoos (aka stuffed eggplant fermented in oil.) One of my absolute favorites when visiting the Middle East – I've made it at home but I'm always looking for better technique.

  • auntietina  on  August 14, 2018

    Melon jam. My Dad's ladyfriend is Lebanese and has talked about this.

  • rchesser  on  August 18, 2018

    The fig molasses.

  • orchidlady01  on  August 19, 2018

    Loquat jam from the loquat tree in my sister's yard

  • EmilyR  on  August 19, 2018

    So many to choose from – this looks like a gem. Traditional goat cheese in terra cotta (Serdeleh, Ambarees), just to pick one.

  • Katiefayhutson  on  August 19, 2018

    Fig ,olasses

  • NaomiH  on  August 22, 2018

    Rose petal jam (Mrabba el ward)

  • kitchenclimbers  on  August 22, 2018

    spiced cheese ball

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!