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Great decorations @ Azem Palace
Image by Alessandra Kocman
Azem Palace, Damascus, Syria.
Azem Palace (Arabic: قصر العظم) is a palace in Damascus, which was originally built in 1750 as a residence for the Ottoman governor of Damascus As’ad Pasha al-Azm. The palace now houses the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.
The architecture is an excellent example of Damascene traditional houses. The structure itself consists of several buildings and two wings: the harem and the salamlik. The harem is the family wing, which is a private space for the residents (the Azm family originally). This wing includes the kitchen, servant quarters, and the baths, which are a replica of the public baths in the city but on a smaller scale. The salamlik is the guest wing, and it comprises the formal halls, reception areas and large courtyards with traditional cascading fountains.
Used in the building of this palace were several types of stones including limestone, sandstone, basalt, and marble. This provided for a natural decorative appearance of the structure. The ceilings have painted wooden panels that display natural scenes.
In 1925, the Azm palace was heavily damaged by French artillery during the Syrian revolution. It has since been restored and became a museum of arts and folk traditions. It received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.
Euston Park Rural Pastimes Event
Image by Dave Catchpole
Euston Park Rural Pastimes Event
Celebrating 21 Years!
A traditional, English Country Fair for all the family.
Has now been held every June for 21 years. It began as a fundraising show for our local Blackbourne Churches and St Nicholas’ Hospice Care with the kind permission of our President The Duke of Grafton, who allowed the event to be held in the magnificent setting of Euston Park.
Together with John Farrow (the farm manager at that time) and Tim Fogden we set up a volunteer committee, which has continued to run this successful one day Show. We have raised over £370,000 for our causes over the years.
The programme has been broadly similar each year, but with increasing entries the demand for space has required more parking and display areas. A new entrance between the stationary engines and stalls, leads past the traction engines to the new Grafton Ring specifically for tractors.
The main Norfolk Ring has a constant programme of events, displays, demonstrations and parades. It is surrounded by band music, a busy tea tent and further stalls. Leading past the Craft Tent, the Suffolk Ring is home to a large display of Heavy Horses. Nearby is the start of the hugely popular Farm Rides. It has also been associated with a magnificent display of flowers in Euston Church.
There are several catering outlets, but the most popular are the excellent lunches served in the Hall kitchen.
Keeping very much to the same format we hope to continue to attract the numbers, which filled the car park completely last year.
What to see:
Steam Engines (Traction Engines, Road Roller, Commercial and Public Service Vehicles)
Classic and Vintage Cars
Three Show Rings (Norfolk, Suffolk & Grafton) featuring many display throughout the day.
Toasting the Dried Chilies on the Comal
Image by Waywuwei
The Mole Coloradito uses two types of dried chilies: Guajillo and Ancho chilies. Toasting brings out the flavor of the chilies. The chilies are slit open first and the stems, seeds and veins are removed. The Comal is the traditional type of Comal made of barra (red unglazed clay), set over a specially built round fire place with a place underneath to build a charcoal fire. This was placed in an open air out building to keep the heat out of the kitchen.
Rancho Aurora, Oaxaca, Mexico
In this year’s trip to Oaxaca we wanted to dig deeper into the art of cooking Oaxacan style. Specifically, I love the Oaxacan Moles of which there are purportedly seven (I actually think there are more), and I wanted to get some more hands on experience making mole dishes. So we booked a day at Susana Trilling’s Cooking school. The morning was a trip through the local market to buy food and the afternoon was cooking our menu for dinner that evening. It was an amazing experience and I recommend it highly.
Many of the recipes here can be found in Susana’s book Seasons Of My Heart
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