جَنَّة

Heaven in Yonkers

Full-sour pickles and homemade moussaka were on my shopping list this morning, as I headed to the Bronxville Farmer’s Market at 8:30am.

The Greek stall is often late in setting up, but today there was no sign of it. Ma’lesh. Their take on moussaka isn’t particurlarly fabulous anyway.

But Dr. Pickles was there to save the day. I bought two 1-quart containers of homemade full-sour pickles for $16 dollars — a bargain, in my book, since you can’t find them where I live in Florida.

Delicious!

I took the pickles back home, then rode my trusty iron camel to Al Rayyan — which is quite close to Yonkers Raceway — to pick up the fava beans.

I also bought a large container of authentic, made-in-Egypt damyatti (ie, in the style of the city of Damietta) white cheese. This particular gibna beda (ie, white cheese) is a soft cheese that is produced using buffalo milk. It tastes absolutely marvelous.

I talked briefly with Ahmad, the owner of Al Rayyan, who quietly but not without pride let slip that he’s the designer of the beautiful calligraphic logo that sits above the English language signage of his store.

He told me that he wanted to evoke a door or portal with this design, hence the logo’s shape. Baab (ie door) el Rayyan is a term that strongly resonates in Islam, owing to a well-known hadith. *

Mashallah!

* I plan to get into this spiritual topic in some depth in a future post. Suffice it to say for now that the title of this post (“Jenna”) means Heaven in Arabic. Al Rayyan, according to our Prophet (PBUH), is the name of one of the eight doors of heaven that is exclusively reserved for the sayyimoun: those who fast.