Remembering the Egyptian Childhood I Never Had Through Its Culinary Traditions

Every grape leaf has a smooth side. My mother explains this as we sit at her round breakfast table. She dips her hand into the bowl of washed grape leaves, gently peeling one away from the stack. She gives me a wet leaf to feel so that I can rub my fingers across it. The smooth side goes on the outside. She says this, motioning for me to lay it on the plate, smooth side down.

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