The annual fall return of the parents-in-law from Lebanon arrives. We decide to cook up the Saturday night dinner so Isgouhi doesn't have to work with fresh jet lag the day after. Baked pasta: whole wheat penne with onions, red pepper, a portobello mushroom cap and a pound of hot Italian sausage, and 3 small cans of pelati puréed in the Vitamix. Some parmigiano of course. Green beans sautéed with garlic in olive oil for a side dish. bob wanted it in the salad but everybody else objected. Nora brought this baked chicken. One lick of the spices on the surface and bob knew it was a keeper. Easy bake, no fuss, packed with flavor.
Nora has an innate taste for spices and their combinations and affinities, something which bob does not possess, and for which reason ms_ani is an indispensable partner in the kitchen. This is not the first time nora has impressed bob with simple baked chicken, but the magic ingredient is still one of those Middle Eastern combo spices, allspice, which is sort of like the American allspice but not exactly, although there seems to be no mention of what any possible difference might be on the web.