Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stuffed Eggplant

This is a delicious recipe even for those who aren't eggplant lovers!


2-3 large eggplant
3 small white onions
4 cloves of garlic
3 tomatoes
2-3 bell peppers
1/4 bunch parsley
1 tbsp tomato paste
8 tbsp olive oil
2-3 cups water


Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute for three minutes. Then add the tomato paste, garlic, and parsley. Stir for fifteen minutes and remove from heat.


Cut the eggplant into fourths or into strips about an inch wide (you are going to stuff them so you don't want them to be too thin). Soak the cut eggplant in salt water for about five minutes. Then, add 5 tbsp of olive oil to a hot pan on medium to high heat and fry the eggplant until golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).

Next, cut down the center of each eggplant and fill with the stuffing. Pour water into the pan so that the eggplant are surrounded, but not covered. Place on medium heat, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy! I am personally not a fan of eggplant, but I loved this. It goes great with rice or bread.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Gopkinar, Turkey

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

London Was...

London was not what I expected. I adamantly dislike the rain, and London has a lot of it. I expected to walk around resembling a wet dog for the majority of my stay, and I was shocked when instead of disliking the place (minus the hideous rain, of course) I absolutely, positively loved it.

We stayed a little outside of the main city, but the hostel was great and the price was right. After mistakenly buying a bus pass instead of a bus and metro pass (I'm really a genius), I of course realized the necessity of a metro pass and took the metro almost everywhere. And everywhere we did go.

I went to the National Portrait Gallery and discovered that I like to draw portraits. I was especially excited by the portrait of Isaac Newton (I'm a dork, I know). I went to the British Museum where I found that if given the time, I could stay there for days and days. I saw the Rosetta stone. I saw shriveled mummies and the tomb and supposed mummy of Cleopatra. My favorite item was probably the small glass prism in the room on the Enlightenment, which, though probably generally passed by, was super exciting for me because it was used to explain Newton's theory of refracting light. I had read all about it in a paper, written in proper old English where the s's resembled p's, by Newton himself, explaining about light refraction and basically describing (inventing!) calculus.

I went and saw the outside of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, along with the Houses of Parliament. At the Tower of London, after being convinced to walk, in the rain, across the London Bridge, I drooled as I stared at the Crown Jewels and a 500 carat diamond.

Perhaps best of all, I got to see my brother, and while together, we took what has to be my new favorite picture:

Most importantly of all, I learned when in London...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Morality musings in Barcelona


I have a family that I love in Morocco, but I can't bring myself to call them. Why? I don't really know, but I have a feeling it has to do with my house mother. Mama Malika saw a doctor while I was in Fez. He told her that in a month, she needs surgery for the inflammation in her stomach, or she might die. The surgery costs three to five thousand dollars, about forty thousand dirhams. If they pool all their assets, they maybe have two thousand dollars.

Except that I'm an asset, too.

They would never ask me for money. In fact, when I gave them some while I was in Morocco, they carefully explained that I am the same as any of their other children, and that they don't need money from me.

But I'm not the same.

Flattered as I am that they want to think of me that way (I wouldn't want it to be any different), I'm not the same because I have money and they don't. I'm American. They live in rural Morocco. I'm white, they're not. As much as I wish these things didn't matter, they do.

They matter because they all add up to the fact that I could afford to pay to save her life. And how can I not do it? It is a lot of money, for me, so it will seem exponentially more to them. I'm scared. I know that kind of gift changes things. It strongly tells them that I'm not part of their family, not really, no matter how much we pretend.

But what it comes down to, too, is whether I'm willing to put a thousand dollar price on someone I love. Would I ever be able to forgive myself if she dies while I do nothing? How could her life not be worth my money?

They already think of me as rich. Do I want to further separate myself from them, and further flaunt my wealth? I don't want them thanking me when I see them. I don't want gratitude. I don't want them thinking of me that way. I don't want to pick up the phone, and hear that she's died.

What is the right move? Am I asking 'whose place in the family do I care about more'?

And how do I pick up the phone?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Favorites Of Fez

My Top Three Favorite Things About Fez

Cafe Clock

Located in the heart of the medina, Cafe Clock appears a beacon of Western reason and customs in the surroundings realities of the bustling city of Fez. While their produce and flour is delivered by donkey, they cook sandwiches, burgers, and pancakes that will have any foreigner dying for a taste of home drooling.

Furthermore, the Cafe offers cooking classes, Moroccan cultural classes, yoga classes, and concerts, along with free wifi. Perhaps the best part are the mochas, which, instead of being over sweet like in the rest of Morocco, are unsweetened!

The Craft Capital

The second best thing about Fez is undoubtedly the fact that it is the craft capital of Morocco, and therefore has unbelievable ceramics, leather goods (and tanneries!), and wood carvings, along with weavings and metal ware. This is best expressed through pictures, honestly; there is just no way to convey the masses of handmade treasures!

Winding Mazes

My third favorite thing about Fez: the winding maze that operate as its streets. Sometimes while walking on the busy, winding paths, it would appear dark in the middle of the day because the buildings were so tall and the streets so narrow. Most buildings are very old, and look like they have been thrown up and stay up on prayers alone. If I managed to figure out where I was at any point, I was immediately again distracted by weaving people, negotiating shopkeepers, and yells of 'balak,' watch out, as men herding donkeys and mules rushed by and I slammed myself into high walls and attempted to become flat.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lightning Games

Zhor and I discovered a new game while dancing. The heat had finally died down, and I smiled as rain drops began to fall on my shoulders. Having tea and sitting just outside the overhand of the roof of the house, I was the first to notice. But it didn't take them long.

Soon I was laughing beneath Baba's jacket as Mama covered her and a sleeping Huda with a scarf, and Hiba, upon our comment to her that it was raining (the wandering two year old had not noticed) covered herself haphazardly with the towel.

And so we went outside, and Zhor and I danced. She spun, I dipped, and we trotted around in slow circles between galls of laughter (Hiba had decided to place her towel on the ground, and sit alone in the rain).

And then... Lightning.

I saw it first.
I jumped up and down as I saw it again and willed Zhor to look. When the bolt crashed, she shrieked and jumped back and I roared with laughter.

And then the game was formed.


She was better than I was, probably more attuned to timing of strikes. Yet every time the lightning struck on the three, we cheered. We laughed, screamed, shrieked with delight. We probably woke the whole damn village.

But the game was ours.

I've often wished that for a few minutes, my brain would just stop. Its always seemed like something out of my control, like spinning wheels or ever distancing horizons that you just can't grasp.

I've found few things in my life that put my mind at ease, that hit my analytical off switch.

Playing with Zhor is one of them. Whether we're cooking, dancing, dressing up, or just chatting, our laughter generally drowns out the dialogue of my mind. With her I find peace. With her, I make lightning games.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The village of Fariat