Today I was in the kitchen making "Fatayer Sabanegh"….Spinach pies. As I've mentioned before, I am of Lebanese descent. Spinach pies are one of the recipes my grandmother passed down to her daughters. My mother was the best at making anything with yeast in it. As the holidays approach I become a little nostalgic, thinking of Christmases past. I have a blest life and certainly am not melancholy. Even so, my thoughts keep going to my mom, who passed away 2 1/2 years ago. There are days I miss her terribly! Today is one of those days because, I was making her favorite recipe. My mom died at 89 years old. The last few years she struggled with dementia. She lived with me and this was a very hard time for both of us. She was an excellent baker. When she would make her spinach pies I would stand and watch but, never really helped. This was her thing! Yeast baking was her specialty. Even though I was quite proficient in the kitchen I never attempted making my mom's spinach pies. That changed when she was 87 and could not remember a lot of her recipes. She would say to me "I want to make spinach pies but, I get mixed up and can't remember anymore". That's when I started baking Spinach pies with my mom. I told her that we could do it together and I gave her the written recipe (which she never had to use before). The first time we did this, she followed the recipe and my directions. Then we rolled the dough and filled it with the spinach mixture. The next time we did this she needed help making the dough. So I made the dough with her direction. Because of this time we spent together, yeast dough is now one of my specialties. I am forever grateful we had this time together, while she was still able to participate. And so glad she was able to pass on her knowledge of baking to me. All her little secrets that still help me to this day.
|kneading till smooth|
|place in oiled bowl to rise|
|5 pkg. frozen spinach, squeezed dry|
|Add all ingredients then add oil and mix, let stand to meld flavors.|
|add toasted pine nuts (or toasted chopped walnuts)|
|dough ready to be filled|
|Make triangular shape|
|Ready for the oven|
8 cups of flour
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup oil
1 Tablespoon salt
about 3 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix yeast in one cup of lukewarm water and add 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand.
Mix all dry ingredients make well in center, add water and oil. Mix well.
Knead until you form a smooth dough. I usually add only 7 cups of flour at the
beginning and then add the rest as I am kneading the dough. Put into an oiled
bowl, cover loosely and let rise in a warm place. After this has risen, punch
down and break off small pieces and make small balls and let rest. I usually
roll them with a rolling pin but you can flatten with your hand.
5- 11 oz. pkg. frozen spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry)
2 onions (chopped fine)
Juice of 3 lemons
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of olive oil
Mix all ingredients and let the flavors meld while you wait for the dough to rise.
Place spinach mixture on rolled dough and and close into triangular shape.
Brush oil onto baking sheet and arrange pies in rows. Bake at 350 degrees for
about 20 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Then place under broiler
until pies are lightly browned. Serve hot or cold. Makes about 3 dozen