Day 2: Breakfasty Couscous and BEGHRIR MADE CORRECTLY!

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I think I need to slightly modify the name of this particular project. Operation Cook Moroccan Food and Feed it to Caroline is a bit too specific, especially because today I cooked Moroccan Food and Fed it to Joe, Zoe, and Ernie. Joe, Zoe, and Ernie are pretty much the best people on the planet. Heather and Amanda too, but they were at work (SOME people have jobs, Katie). Today was a phenomenal, wonderful, fabulous, tiring day, and I now find myself in that classic conundrum: I’m too hungry to go to sleep, but too tired to want to get up and eat. As you’ll know if you know me or have ever read this blog before, hunger won out.

Katie, you’re unemployed and all you do is cook food and nap all day. Hungry and tired?!

ANYWAY!

Today’s menu featured my first crack at couscous and second attempt at beghrir. The couscous turned out decently well–I sauteed some pears, cooked onions and raisins in sunflower oil and added as many spices as I could to form a sort of ras al-hanout (I know I can buy it, but I was having fun just throwing in different spices. Wheeee! It makes me feel like a real cook! You know, not a holographic one!), and topped the whole thing with some dates and a sprig of mint. If I’ve learned anything from the dishes I ate in Morocco, it’s that presentation matters. We ate it out of a baking dish because I don’t have a tagine or anything. Anyway, it was a bit of a take-off from the sweet couscous served on special occasions in Morocco, only done on a smaller scale and with a lot less knowledge of what I was doing. Uh.

Speaking of couscous, I hear that you sort of have to use instant couscous in the US, which is dumb. I don’t think it turned out as well using veggie broth as it does using chicken broth–I usually make my instant couscous with chicken broth and orange juice to give it flavor. I probably could’ve gone the extra dollar and bought real, not from-concentrate OJ, but I’m cheap. Anyway, I’m going to start looking for a better way to make couscous here, because instant really isn’t the same.

ANYWAY, note to readers, when doing seat-of-the-pants couscous, always make more sauce than you think is necessary. In my case, I should’ve made sauce. Couscous can get a bit dry if there’s not enough goopy stuff to go with it. Still, I shouldn’t be TOO judgy-judge with myself, because it was also pretty yummy. I kept some Moroccan tastes and definitely made it in the spirit of Morocco: fruit and onions cooked together! Woohoo!!!!

Also, beghrir is the SHIT when made correctly. Each batch makes enough for…a lot of people, so I put them on the table with a note to my housemates to dig in, and they were GONE in two shakes. I’m going to try to tweak the recipe so that they turn out spongier and a bit thinner, but I’m new to baking and cooking (I’m not a cook, really. You know this, right?), so I have absolutely no idea how to go about that. I’ll probably google something like “how to make spongier beghrir” and see what comes up.

Okay, now you google it. There is ONE result, a page of the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food that mentions it. I’m going to google–oh. Yeah. Googling “beghrir recipe” is a bit more productive, huh?

Well, I’ll go back to my red beans and rice, take my nap, and leave you in peace. When I decide to stop being a lazy fart, I’ll upload pictures.

Peace and happiness, yo.

(oh. Maybe I’ll start posting some recipes or something. That’d be useful, huh? Might give a bit more purpose to this blog, which is currently me telling you about what I cooked today? Hmmm.)

And now I’m cooking.

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Have you ever noticed how breaking up summers makes them go by faster? A little time here, a little time there, WOOHOO I’M UNEMPLOYED, let’s go ride bikes, holy shit this room needs a rug. That’s sort of my summer. For the next two weeks, though, I’m holed up in Seattle: beautiful weather, big library, not much to do, Moroccan cookbook. I’m SET.  Two weeks to keep myself busy: LET’S COOK MOROCCAN FOOD (and feed it to Caroline)!

Today was Day 1 of Let’s Cook Moroccan Food and Feed it to Caroline, and it was a bit of a flop. I came decently close to making beghrir/galettes/those spongy-bread crumpet-like things that you drizzle with melted honey and butter and it’s the SHIT–but I (dumbly) decided “screw it, I’ll try it with whole wheat flour instead of white flour because I’m too lazy to run to the grocery store!” and, well, the consistency wasn’t at ALL what it’s supposed to be. Caroline would never have known, because they were still pretty good (I mean, what could be bad about a fried pancake drizzled in butter and honey?!), but I’m going to try again soon and use the right flour.

So, uh, I’m not a good Moroccan cook. What kind of blog IS this, anyway?! OH WAIT! I did successfully make BOMB Moroccan mint tea, as close to my family’s as possible. Got some loose leaf green tea, some fresh mint (I want a mint plant. I want potted mint. It grows like a weed in my mom’s garden), and a buttload of sugar, and POOF. AHAHAHA. It was this instant portal back to the whitewashed house behind the high blue walls, where we sipped endless cups of tea and traded stories about our lives.

I’m going to try to find some rose water to put in it too, my fam did that.

ANYWAY, that’s my plan, update this blog with tales and pictures of MOROCCAN DINING! Operation Cook Moroccan Food and Feed it to Caroline is a go.

HaHA! And you thought this blog would WIND DOWN once I got home! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!

Peace out, scouts.

CAMPING!

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(just kidding, I’m not going to talk about camping. HA! I AM THE MASTER OF DECEPTION! MAYBE I NEED A NAP!)

I love seeing the things people Google, hoping to find something useful and informative, and instead they find this blog.

On the WordPress.com dashboard, my little ego-homepage where I can obsessively check how many people have read my blog today (FOUR VIEWS! I’M INTERNET FAMOUS!), I can see the “top searches” that led to some poor schmuck accidentally reading this blog. Today, it was: mezien, can’t talk memes, morocco meme, arabic mint tea memes, is farting sexual harassment

I read the last one and WHAT?!???!?!! I HOPE not, JEEZ! If so, I’m screwed. I’ve written a personal statement about it and published it on the INTERNET. Wellp, there goes my life. Maybe I’ll get off because it was retaliatory, but probably not.

Another of my favorites was (I had to go back and find this in the draft of a post I never published) March 28: the 10 scary seconds when u trapped in the shower with the cold water running

Terrifies me too, those 10 scary seconds when u trapped in the shower with the cold water running

Anyway, I figured (since now more people are following this blog – OH HI WELCOME! – ) that I should continue to write and update you on bringing the Morocco experience back home. Well, here’s how it’s going: remember how I said that Morocco was hard to talk about because it was in a different universe? Not emotionally difficult or anything, just that Morocco resided in a separate sphere of existence that simply didn’t translate into life in the U.S.?  It was as though Morocco, Arabic, French, tea, and all of that just dropped out of my life all at once–oh, wait. It did. Well, that train of thought just derailed.

Well, anyway, Morocco has begun to turn from a cynical internal monologue (about the meaningless materialism of life in the U.S. and all that stuff) into stories. Anecdotes to pop into conversation here and there: an interesting factoid about something, an I-can-relate-to-your-stomach-problems-and-by-that-I-mean-one-up-them-HAHA story, stories that I keep short to avoid those awkward moments when everyone remembers that they don’t really care about Morocco. No, that’s a good thing. My friends doze off while I tell my usual stories, and there’s never even a good punch line. They call them Katie stories. Oop, derailed again.

Well, ANYWAY, long story long, it’s been great. I have fun facts to share. I wear poofy pants. This lack of Struggle and Emotional Journeys and all that stuff that I spent January through March writing about PROBABLY makes for much boring-er reading, but oh well. You’ve read nearly 487 words of derailed thought-trains heading for those poor schmucks googling stuff like “do cats in morocco understand french”

(DO they?)

I’m off to go invent some arabic mint tea memes, while hoping that farting isn’t sexual harassment. Peace out.

(bows to tumultuous applause)

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THIS WEEK I would like to thank and shout out to Elise Blalock, whose blog is as awesome as SHE is! It’s called Global From Home, and it’s great. It’s also sort of ironic that I’m mentioning her now, since many of you seeing my blog today will have been directed here from hers! Today, Elise featured this silly little blog on her “Study Abroad Blog of the Week” series! AAH! (I’m still squealing with excitement). She also nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award, and I’m going to pay it forward as soon as I get home from the Griswold Family Camping Trip (it’s Christmas, Clark. We’re ALL suffering), for which my raucous aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and parents are leaving today. I’m eating pop’ems at the kitchen table. Anyway, EEE! I’m still all a dither from all of this excitement.

So, most importantly: thank you Elise! Yaaaaay! Yaaaaay! I’m honored and excited and grateful for everything. Woo!

And, to all you new readers, welcome! Welcome to these silly tales of study abroad, snacking, and, well, farting. That’s the post that started it all. Have fun! Feel free to e-mail me, I’ll reply as soon as I get home (in a few days): sweenums@gmail.com.

To my old readers, guess what?! PEOPLE THINK I’M FUNNY!!!!! I know, right!?!?!? For an exclusive interview with ME (as if you people haven’t read ENOUGH of what I have to say about myself), and, more importantly, because Elise’s blog is awesome, check out Global From Home!

Okay, everyone. I’m still in my jammies and the family is rumbling out to the cars. Time to start packing, I guess!

Thanks again, Elise! Welcome again, everyone! Have a lovely day, see you in a bit!

Pax in internetta, y’all,

Katie

 

Wobbegong

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IS A REAL THING

IN FACT, IT’S A SHARK

BEWARE THE WOBBEGONG!

 

Edit: WordPress suggested the following tags, since I hadn’t tagged anything: work, community, girls, people, hollywood, entertainment. Are these tags that get lots of views? If you say so!

(ALSO TAGGED AUSTRALIAN WOBBEGONG)
WOBBEGONG
WOBBEGONG
WOBBEGONG
HAHA

AÏCHA! AICHA! ECOUTE-MOI!

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AÏCHA! AÏCHA! T’EN VAS PAS!!!!!!!!

Here’s a bit of pop culture from North Africa! Cheb Khaled is an Algerian singer, and everyone loves him. Me included. Definitely beats “Call Me Maybe,” which was topping the charts when I got back to the US. (Call me maybe? Really?)

This song topped OUR charts o’er yonder, and we all know the words. I listen to it and am transported back to our home sweet van, singing and dancing to this as we trundle through the Moroccan countryside.

Since we’re all feeling wistful

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and I have NO SELF CONTROL

AT ALL,

(AT ALL)

(I was going to post this the day after I got home from Morocco because I thought I’d be funny and ironic, but then I forgot. I just remembered, and it made me giggle. No, I don’t have any self control. NONE.)

This may also be one of my favorite songs to sing in the shower, but that’s neither here nor there. (It just seems appropriate in the shower, right? It’s almost like you’re standing in the rain–no, I’m stopping there. I’m already running low on shame. And dignity.)

But seriously. Thanks for the views and thoughtful comments, I really appreciate it!

(Now play the song again. Sing along. Dance like you’re kelp. DO IT.)

EDIT: this song also ALWAYS reminds me of my cousin Elizabeth, trololol. She’d love that, so I’m going to go post this on her Facebook wall. HI BETHIE WHAT’S UP THIS IS ME SHOUTING OUT TO YOU ON MY BLOOOOOOOOOOGGGGGG ALSO YOU MET ANDY DICK?!?!?!? (She met Andy Dick. I saw pictures. WHAT) THAT IS SO COOOOOL ALSO WHEN ARE WE HANGING OUT NEXT!??!?! YOU SHOULD COME CAMPING IN TAHOE THIS YEAR.

OKAY EDIT OVER

(PEACE OUT BETHIE)