the bread-making to the Situs of the world.
The young woman, who had taken the day off from graduate school to help with the church dinner, picked up the rolling pin and slowly, carefully rolled out a piece of dough.
To a bystander, it appeared to be as thin and flat as Angie’s expert bread – though maybe not quite as smooth.
“Let me fix it,” Angie said.
“She’s yelling at my creases,” Charbi Anne said with a quiet sigh. “Let me try.”
“She’s doing good, for the first time,” Charbi Anne’s aunt, Theresa Webby Schenck, chimed in. “It’s beautiful.”
“She’s helping me,” Angie Webby agreed. “She’s a good girl.”
Thus the making of the extra-thin bread passed to a new generation.
But will the workers reveal the ingredients to the public at large?
“Flour and water,” George Webby said with a mysterious smile.
“You don’t want us to tell you any more,” another volunteer wisecracked. “Then we’d have to kill you.”
In the kitchen, meanwhile, attorney Ferris Webby – Charbi Anne’s father – stirred a hot panful of onions that were destined for the lentil and rice dish. “This is the trick,” he said, “to darken them but not burn them.”
His brother Pete Webby mixed lemon juice, olive oil and spices to dress the tossed salads and, on the other side of a large, industrial stove, his friend Joe Thomas heated the homemade pasta, the macroon.
Volunteers had been working at the church for hours, keeping in mind the customers who would begin to arrive at 3 p.m. to eat in or take out.
“We had to go through the lentils and make sure they were all clean, wash the rice and chop vegetables for the salad,” Ferris Webby said.
“One lady came in this morning and made cakes.”
The desserts were American, but all the main dishes – and, of course, the bread – were Lebanese.
“We’ve been eating this kind of food since we were babies,” said George Webby, chopping more onions in a manual food processor as his mother checked the progress of the hot dishes.
“Mother and son work together all the time,” Thomas remarked, glancing from one to the other.
“She likes to yell at me,” George Webby said with a grin. “But she can yell at me any time. I can take it. That’s how I learn.”