Few things have more nostalgic power than food. We all have fond memories of meals and foods from childhood: a favorite dish from Mom's kitchen, those cookies your best friend's mom made, the smell and warmth of Arab bread, fresh from a bakery oven in Khobar, or the pungent, exotic aroma of freshly ground coffee with cardamom. Sadly, most of us left Arabia at a point in our lives when it didn't seem important or didn't occur to us to preserve this part of our past in some way. What would 15-year-old have done with a community cookbook anyway? Now you find yourself wishing you had that recipe for Dining Hall rice or samosas. You've even resorted to sending out Facebook pleas and stalking Ebay for old Aramco cookbooks. Tell the truth!
In fact, it was a recent Facebook plea from a Brat that gave us the idea to scan the old community cookbooks we could get our hands on and make them available to all for download. These recipe collections are a reflection of our unique, culturally-diverse Aramco family and the travails of living in a relatively remote location.
Family Favorites Vol. 1 and Family Favorites Vol. 2 are the first ones we have available for download. This 2-volume set appears to have been compiled in 1987 and published in 1988 by the Dhahran Women's Group with financial assistance form AEA (Aramco Employees Association). We have 3 other DWG recipe compilations to be scanned: Al Hasa Cookbook (1976), Food for Arabian Days and Nights (1980), and Crossroads (1992). If you have others and are willing to make them available for scanning, please let us know!
These are our mothers' recipes and our friends' mothers' recipes. The forward from Family Favorites Vol. 1 says it best:
"...we have taken recipes from past Taster's Luncheons, various DWG functions, past Sandscript features (such as Anne Garland's column, 'Tasty Tips'), and recipe donations from the current DWG membership. We have a tremendous commonality of experience. Remember the time we had no mayonnaise available? And, the excitement and commotion on the day the chocolate chips came in, after being absent from the Commissary for 5 months? And, when we all made our own sour cream, biscuit mixes, pickles and whipping cream? These are a wealth of remembrances; times of laughter and times of tears and frustration. Welcome to it all, DWG members and friends. Share our Family Favorites. May they become part of your Family Favorites as well."
Click on the cookbook cover to download (PDF). Enjoy and bon appetit!
Artistic Beginnings (Hot and cold beverages, hors d'oeuvres, canapés, spreads, dips and snacks
Sensational Sandwiches and Soups (Sandwiches and soups)
Premier Salads (Fruit salads, molded salads, meat salads, vegetable salads, and salad dressings)
Aristocratic Accompaniments (Vegetables, pasta, dressings, and other miscellaneous side dishes)
Enticing Entrees (Beef, ground beef, veal, lamb, other red meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, vegetarian and marinades and sauces)
Bountiful Breads (Quick breads, non-sweet and sweet yeast breads, and specialty breads)
Scrumptious Cakes and Cookies (Cakes with vegetables/fruits, miscellaneous cakes, chocolate cakes, cake frostings and icings, drop or shaped cookies, bar or square cookies)
Other Sweet Endings (Pies and pastries, frozen desserts, refrigerated desserts, miscellaneous desserts, candies, and dessert toppings)
Magnificent Micro-Meals (Introduction to microwave, microwave appetizers, meat entrees, seafood entrees, egg and cheese entrees, vegetables, and desserts)
A Cook's Compendium of Helpful Hints (Dieter guides, herbs and spices, substitutions, equivalents, and other aids)