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Chapstick Cookies

Unappealing title, huh? Luckily, though chapstick is a key ingredient in this cookie recipe, no chapstick actually goes into the cookies. Butter, flour, almond, sugar, and jam make these bite-sized shortbread cookies lip smackingly good.… Read More

Nut Your Chipical Banana Muffin

I can hear you grumbling already. “I know my banana muffins,” you say. “There’s absolutely nothing special about a banana muffin. Banana muffins are the ones that you find sitting untouched, amid blueberry and lemon poppyseed crumbs, when you arrive late for your motel’s continental breakfast. Nobody really wants banana muffins.”

WRONG!… Read More

Quimper in Stained Glass

Whenever I visit a new city, one of my favorite pastimes is photographing stained glass in every church and cathedral I can find. Not the usual, “this is a really big wall of glass and look at all the beautiful colors” photos, but photos of the intricate details that are easily missed when taking in the window as a whole. Why do I do this? Sometimes to find inspiration for my own illustrations. Sometimes because I love the stories the glass portraits tell. Sometimes because they make me laugh. And sometimes, simply because I like the colors and shapes. Occasionally I neglect to take any photos of the entire window, and only realize this days later when sorting through my photos.… Read More

Vertically Challenged Bread

Let’s all stay politically correct here, okay? Nobody wants to eat smaller-than-average bread with a complex. These went straight from my oven to a fancy dinner party at a local museum. In case you’re not important enough to be invited to such an event, these can also be rolled flat and cut into exciting shapes, like dinosaurs or ferocious undersea predators.… Read More

Infinite Feta Baked Pasta

This all started because I had too much feta. I know, right? Difficult to believe. The thing is, this one package of feta seemed endless. I used it in salad, with potatoes on no fewer than four occasions, I even snacked on bits of it from time to time. The feta continued. I was starting to think that I was at the beginning of a bad horror film: “The Feta that Ate Tangier!”… Read More

Minestrone-y Minestrone

The weather is beginning to turn cold here (in Moroccan terms, that means it rained a little this week) so of course my thoughts turned to soup. (Actually, my thoughts turned to stir-fry first, but broccoli was not to be found for love of money. Since I’d already bought the other ingredients at our delightful Berber Sunday market, I had to rethink my meal plan.) Erm. I mean, I began craving soup.

I have always loved minestrone, but it never made me giggle until I watched Green Wing for the first time.… Read More

Hummus for Hungry Humans (and non-humans)

“I want hummus.” You know how many times I heard this from a friend over the course of a single week? I don’t know either, because I lost count. Neil would be over watching a movie, and suddenly: “I want hummus.” Walking through the medina: “I want hummus.” Discussing time travel: “I want hummus.” Taking self-defense lessons: “I want hummus.”

So do you know what I did? No, I didn’t banish him from my presence, my home, and the whole of Africa. I made hummus.… Read More

Morocco, Weeks Fifteen and Sixteen

On Saturday afternoon I was off to Spain. You might remember from my last post that Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which includes sheep sacrifice, was coming up. Well, rather than listen to thousands of dismayed sheep bleating across the city (and smelling them roasting later on) I opted to travel to northern Spain. My goal, San Sebastián, (Donostia in Basque) was only two flights and a three-hour bus ride away.

On the first flight I sat next to a young man who had never flown before. Through him, I remembered the wonder of seeing the tops of clouds for the first time. It was great seeing the look in his eyes in the moment when the plane lifted off the runway.… Read More

Morocco, Week Eleven

Another slow week, which means a short blog post this time. After a long work day on Monday, I took a spontaneous trip to the school swimming pool with a couple kids in tow.

We practiced swimming, splashed, and even had a spirited game of marco polo, then headed to Wafae’s house for soup and Moroccan pastries. (I have been specifying the type of pastry every time because I am aware that you, my readers, are extremely discerning and absolutely need to know whether each pastry is Moroccan-style or French-style.)… Read More

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