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11
Sep

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axUixg0RFaI&list=PL278F49D930BC2980[/youtube]

I nearly forgot about my belly dancer this month. It must have been all the fun I was having in the US. Anyhow, I thought I would change it up a little this month and give you a male belly dancer. He is not the most famous one. That honour goes to Tito Seif who is Egyptian and who I will feature soon but this one is Turkish and he is called Diva. His movement is pretty incredible but his straight shape interferes with the enjoyment of the dance as it is not quite so suited for belly dancing. Still, he is fun to watch, particularly against the camel mural!


1
Sep

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It is the first time I post a blog from the plane which is kind of fun even if the connection sucks. Anyway, I am on my way to Ohio via NYC to present at a new conference which sounds both interesting and fun and my presentation is about Syrian women who use their cooking skills to earn money without having to leave their home by preparing vegetables for Souk el-Tanabel, or the lazy people’s souk. I once wrote briefly about it for Saveur magazine and while researching the piece, I went to visit Besbuss, an amazing lady who chops parsley for a living to sustain herself and her two boys. They lived in Kafar Sousseh which has been heavily affected by the uprising and the regime’s monstrous response to it. I do hope she and her boys are OK. They must be young men now. In any case, if any of you are in Ohio, come and join us and if not, I am sure some of the presentations will be posted online. Until then, I leave you with a picture of one of the displays in the souk of cored, shelled and peeled vegetables. Each type will have been prepared by one woman whose speciality will be coring, or peeling, or chopping, or shelling. Almost as if you had your own chef but remotely!


18
Aug

lovely ladies eating koshariYesterday, we had our first serious Koshari Street event, setting up stall at the Mayor of London’s Eid Festival in Trafalgar Square. It was quite amazing. We never stopped for one minute, serving people of all ages, all nationalities, all sexes who all loved our koshari. And we loved them for wanting it. I particularly loved the two young girls in the picture above, university students who had come up to London for the festival and had stocked up on  food from other stalls which they carried in blue plastic bags. I should have asked them to put the bags aside for the sake of the picture but then I wouldn’t have caught them so natural. Another one I loved was the gentleman in the picture below squeezing through the crowd anxiously carrying away his pots of koshari. I also liked his fashion sense although not as much as that of two Italian ladies who also enjoyed our Koshari. I am not sure why I didn’t take their picture. They were just as gorgeous as the two university students. But I took others, all with instagram, which I resisted for years but no longer and if you are curious to see them, you can in our facebook album!

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11
Aug

roast chicken copy

I went to Waitrose today with the intention of buying one chicken breast for a recipe I was testing. As I looked at my options in the organic section — I only buy organic chicken; I used to trust free-range but I don’t anymore; am not even sure you can trust organic but if I start on this path, I will probably end up eating nothing which may not be such a bad thing at least for a while — I realised that I could buy a whole organic chicken for only a little more than the price of the pack of breast filets I was looking at. They were more than I needed anyway, and I wouldn’t eat what I don’t use — breast is my least favourite part of the chicken. So, I bought the whole chicken and jointed it myself, deciding to marinate and roast the legs and wings to have for my lunch, use one breast for my recipe and freeze the other in case I needed to test the recipe again. Now, if I were roasting the chicken whole, I would have kept it plain finishing it with either lemon juice or sherry to have a tasty gravy. But for the pieces, I decided to make the marinade I use for  wings, with garlic,  spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Here is the recipe. As you can see from the picture below, I really enjoyed my lunch!

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