» fruit

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

Peeking at Peaks in Py

The next stop on our European odyssey was Py, a tiny village in the Pyrenees. First, though, we had to get to France! After saying goodbye to our hosts in Girona, we hopped on the bus to Perpignan, on the French side of the mountains. The driver chatted away to me as he hauled our bags into the belly of the bus. When I explained that I grew up in the US but currently live in Morocco, he immediately shifted to darija and spent the remainder of the trip trying out various Moroccan Arabic phrases on me and watching my reaction, despite my protestations that I only spoke “shwiya, shwiya!” (A little!) So that was entertaining for one of us.… Read More

Morocco, Week Fourteen

Week fourteen began with Austrians and ended with Germans. I had two delightful Austrian house guests, Sabine and Hans-Peter, who kept me entertained on Monday and Tuesday. Both of them had quit their jobs, bought motorcycles, and embarked on an around-the-world journey. (They took crash courses in motorcycle repair before leaving.)

Next up: traveling down the western coast of Africa. Their trip ends, I suppose, when they get tired of traveling and move on to the next thing in their lives. We ate delectable Moroccan food, played with Loki, and had a long, fascinating conversation about the attitude toward the film The Sound of Music in Austria and why most Austrians have never seen it.… 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

How to Cook a Tagine in the Woods

I suppose this post should, logically, be preceded with another titled “How to Cook a Tagine”. But you know me- I don’t do anything half-assed. I’d never cooked a tagine before, so naturally I made my first one in the woods over twigs and stones. Mustapha and I surprised his sisters by whisking them away last Sunday for a picnic in a forested glen by the ocean. After arriving, we spread out a big carpet to sit on, piled up the containers of ingredients, turned on some music, and got to work. … Read More

Morocco, Week Six

Week six, week six. As everyone gears up for the start of the school year, it’s become increasingly difficult to find that ideal balance between life and work. I spent long hours at school whipping the library into shape, then worked on the aforementioned secret edtech project from home most nights. This was complicated by the fact that Ramadan was followed immediately by Eid, a two-day holiday, on Wednesday and Thursday, so most of the work at school had to be put on hold until Friday.

Still, I managed to get away from my books and my PHP code every once in a while, if only out of a sense of responsibility to my readers. If I didn’t do interesting things each week, there would be nothing to write about. And definitely no photos.… Read More

Morocco, Week Three

My workdays during week three were filled with reorganizing the library. Moving shelves, sorting out picture books and junior fiction, peeling tape, selecting featured books, and making to-do lists. I also spent a great deal of my week walking and cooking, though not at the same time.

I cooked two vegetable curries, pizza for six, meringues, countless fresh fruit smoothies, and tabbouleh with parsley from the Sunday market, picked fresh that morning. I scavenged some beautiful succulents from the edge of a beach and finally found a basil plant, both of which are sitting happily on my balcony. I even found time to argue about Shakespeare.… Read More

Morocco, Week Two

Week two was a bit more challenging for me, but not because I was having any less fun. I decided to fast for the first week of Ramadan, and gained a new appreciation for those who keep it up the entire month. Yesterday was my last day of fasting, and boy was I glad to start eating breakfast again today! During Ramadan, especially toward the middle of the afternoon, everyone in the city seems drained, crabby, lethargic. I was cautioned against taking unnecessary risks while crossing the road in the evening, have been dressing a bit more conservatively, and now know what it’s like to go fourteen or more hours without food or water. I’m glad I did it, but I’m also glad to be getting back into healthier eating habits at the start of my third week.… Read More

Last-Minute Vegan Fruit Tart

Ever wandered, drooling, past a bakery window and wished that you could have a tart of your very own? A tart to cherish, to love, to pile high with freshly sliced fruit? Well, now you can!

As is often the case, I volunteered to provide dessert for a social occasion without actually knowing what I’d make. Or if I had the necessary ingredients. Or even the time. This tart is the result of an hour of frantic online recipe browsing, leafing through cookbooks, and running around Harris Teeter like a madwoman, and another hour of stirring, accidentally powdering all nearby surfaces with confectioners’ sugar, slicing fruit quickly rather than safely, and pouring hot jam.… Read More

Farmer’s Market Cantaloupe Sorbet

At the beginning of last week, I found myself with half of a delicious cantaloupe. Now, that may not seem like much of a problem to you. Eating cantaloupe is a pretty enjoyable activity, after all. But it just so happens that there’s one thing even better than than fresh cantaloupe on a sweltering summer day: icy cantaloupe sorbet!… Read More