ELKO – From Bethlehem to the buckaroo backcountry, Reem Odeh has been sharing her love of cooking Middle Eastern food since she was a small child. Locals love the variety of foods Reem and her family make with love in their small kitchen at Odeh’s Mediterranean.
Now food lovers attending the Gathering can sample her wares and learn her secrets in a new workshop called “Clay Pot Cooking.”
“The students have a chance to work with me chopping veggies, stirring and learning how to do [the cooking],” said Reem about her upcoming class which still had openings at the time of this writing. “After we finish, we’ll eat it,” she said, smiling.
There should be no problem with the “eating” part. Since 2017 Elkoans and visitors have delighted in sampling her lamb, falafel, homemade soups, Arabic coffee and — my favorite — pistachio baklava, gooey with melted butter.
Participants will assist Reem in making a lamb and vegetable stew that will be put into a “fahora” and baked in the oven. Accompanied by flavorful rice and her ever popular hummus, the resulting meal will be a group effort as well as a celebration.
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“Everybody is looking for my secret,” Reem said about her hummus.
The class is limited to 25 people.
Reem will talk about other types of Palestinian food and give pointers about her spice combinations, many of which are uncommon in our Western diet.
Reem cooks everything from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients.
“I will wear a traditional vest like this,” she said pointing to lush, red textiles that hang in her restaurant.
“I brought them with me from when I went back home,” Reem said. “I bought [the clothing] for special events and now, here we go.”