“Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.”

Today is beautiful. The breeze is keeping the air cool. The sun is bright and shines with the deep blue sky as its backdrop. When I went for the papers this morning, I checked my front garden. Every day something new is in bloom. Today it was a tall purple flower. I don’t know its name. I never know the names of my flowers. I buy them for color. The purple flower was a wonderful choice.

Today is dump day. I haven’t yet told Gracie. She tends to get a bit excited at the thought of the car ride and the dump. It will be a surprise.

My neighborhood is quiet today. The kids are still in school. Only the songs of birds break the silence.

I have a list for today, but none of the items make for too much effort. I bought a new flag which needs to be put on the flag pole in the front yard, my new hose will be connected to the outside faucet, plants in and out need watering and I have to connect the umbrella to the adaptor. They are all silly tasks but they still need doing.

We have a place to stay in Accra. It is where I stayed in 2011 for a week. The people are wonderful, the rooms big and clean, and they’ll pick us up at the airport. There is even a Lebanese restaurant right down the street. Ghana is where I first tasted Lebanese food. We used to go to a place called Talal’s. It was close to the PC office. I had hummus for the first time there. They served it in a flat dish with hot pepper around the top of the hummus and sesame oil in a well in the middle. I also had falafel, kibbeh and tabbouleh for the first time. I came to love Lebanese food. I had it often. The fact it was a cheap was also a good draw. I still love hot pepper sprinkled on my hummus and sesame oil in the middle. What I miss here is the fresh pita they always served.

One of the best parts of my Peace Corps experience was all the different foods I ate. Chinese food was considered a bit exotic when I was a kid, and I brought that with me to Ghana. The first day there I was served what looked like leaves from the tree and a soup of unknown origins. I didn’t eat it. I ate only breakfast as I recognized eggs and bread. Eventually, though, I started trying the Ghanaian food. Some I came to love, but I never did like kontomire, that soup from the first day. It is made with cocoyam leaves. That I know that makes me chuckle a bit. I went from Chinese food to cocoyam-a huge leap.

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21 Comments on ““Almost anything is edible with a dab of French mustard on it.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’m catching up. Glad to read that all went well with Gracie’s gums and that she is running around with her tail wagging all the time.

    Rocky was scheduled for dental work a couple of weeks ago but he got a reprieve. The vet said his teeth weren’t as bad as he thought and the broken tooth isn’t bothering him so no need to risk general anesthesia yet. I was relieved because I had a bad feeling about it all along.

    When I was a kid, standard Yankee food and Italian food were normal. Chinese food was a special treat that was infrequent but not exotic. I began to branch out to exotic in my mid teens. First there was lahmajun which is Armenian flat bread with spices and ground meat. Then there was French Canadian gorton or spiced pork spread. There was Lebanese food, Indian vindaloos and curries and Indonesian sati and rice dishes, Japanese sashimi, Mexican food and Dominican goat stew and pigs ears. I even learned to cook some of these dishes.
    I don’t cook a lot any more but I still do a Mexican white bean and ham recipe that is eaten with a killer salsa Azteca. I also make hummus. I put a lot of garlic and lemon in my hummus along with olive oil. No hot peppers but I might try that.

    Today is sunny and pleasant up here. A perfect deck day but I am deckless so we’ll be out on the lawn under the shade of old black walnut tree.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Gracie is the perpetual happy dog, but why wouldn’t she be? Life is great if you are Gracie.

      I felt the same way about anesthesia so the vet just filled her full of relaxing drugs so she didn’t care about anything that was happening.

      We ate Italian food, and if we went out to dinner, it was KItty’s, cheap enough for a family of 6. My aunt was married to an Italian so I first ate clam sauce at her house.It became a favorite. The China Moon was always a favorite restaurant when I was in high school. There were no other ethnic restaurants around. I’m amazed you could find all that food when you were a teenager. I would have loved it. It was in Ghana where I first had Indian food. I don’t remember when I first had Mexican, but it was before Ghana. Goat was a common part of dinner in Africa.

      I love salsas and make a great pineapple and mango salsa. I’ve only had sesame oil with my hummus. I never thought of using olive oil. The red pepper is great sprinkled on hummus.

      It is a perfect deck day!

      Have a great evening!!

      • Caryn Says:

        Kitty’s was a regular Friday night for my family when we were kids. My parent’s like to go out for pizza and beer and we got pizza and orangeade. That was way back when Kitty’s was a bit of a dive and way smaller than it is now. China Moon was also a regular dining destination. My aunt and uncle lived on a street behind the bowling alley so China Moon was handy. I liked going there because sometimes there was a pony I could ride.
        The more exotic food I found in Boston. I spent quite a bit of time in town in my early to late teens. When I went to work, I became friendly with a co-worker who was a Nederlander, born in Japan, married to a Sri Lankan and lived in Indonesia during WWII. She introduced me to a lot of really exotic foods. She got care packages of interesting foods and spices from her in laws in Sri Lanka. They were positive she could not get anything like that here. But Cardullos in Cambridge carried most things even back then.

      • katry Says:

        Hi Caryn,
        It was the only place cheap enough for all six of us to eat out. We loved it. I do remember it was a bit if a dive, but that’s why I liked it.

        The China Moon hasn’t changed its decor since the 50’s. It is a step back in time. Before big dances we used to go there to eat. It was a hot spot back in those days.

        I went to school in Arlington and then would take the bus to Harvard Square for a dime. We’d go to the Orson Wells Theater and just hand around the square. I think Cardullos is still there. I remember at Christmas time they all sorts of neat stuff you couldn’t find anywhere else.

  2. Richard Says:

    ‘Beautiful.’ That’s not quite the word I’d use for Memphis today. Heat index now is 105°, but there’s a slight chance of a storm moving in — that might drop the temp to around 102°. After all, the WX types describe what’s coming as a (cough*cough) ‘cold front’ … be still, mah hawt.

    Sounds as if Gracie’s on the mend, and that’s a good thing. Kids are still in school? Not here. Youngest Grandson has been free of classroom now for about two weeks.

    My ‘to-do’ list for today (such as it is) involves (a) Photoshop and (b) cooking. It’s a short list.

    The name ‘cocoyam’ evokes so much imagery … coconuts, cocoa, yams, tubers … but I’m fairly sure none of those are even close to its reality. Now I have to research that term until I know what it means.

    Today’s Musical Moment is what old-school radio jocks would describe as ‘A blast from the past!’ … hey, it’s just Li’l Stevie Wonder (or ‘Eivets Rednow’, depending on contractual obligations avoidance) doin’ that thing he does so well titled ‘Pastime Paradise’ … and now, to begin …

    • katry Says:

    • katry Says:

      I tried to delete one and ended up deleting two. I reposted the correct one and just left one of the other ones. Nothing wrong with a couple of Stevie Wonders.

      I’m hoping you get a bit of rain to cool everything down. I wish I could send a bit of the cool breeze your way.

      Well, we went to the dump, but I got ejected. I didn’t have the new sticker so either I pay by the bag or get another sticker. I had Gracie in the car so I couldn’t stop at the town hall. The trash will keep, and I’ll get the sticker on Monday.

      I hope you found out about cocoyam. It is a staple in Ghana.

      I am a Stevie Wonder fan-thanks!

      • Richard Says:

        Sticker? For a DUMP … ? Why do you need a sticker? That’s bizarre. Reminds me of the brake tag inspection stations in N’Awlins. If y’ really wanted a tag, just put $5 on the dashboard under the expired sticker … if it disappears along with the old sticker, you’re gettin’ a new one – guaranteed. They finally busted all the inspection stations for malfeasance, improper performance of job duties, theft, and graft … YAY!

      • Richard Says:

        Found this about cocoyam … I am SO gonna try this … now if only I can find it at the Meximart …

      • katry Says:

        It is the town refuse site and the sticker is over $100.00. It pays for the workers and for the trash to be taken off site which is massively expensive. There is no curb pick up of the trash. All cape towns have dumps. Some even have pay as you throw amounts.

  3. Richard Says:

    Sorry – that one’s the same as the wrong one preceding – this one appears to be correct:

  4. minicapt Says:

    I buy here: http://brassicamustard.com


    • katry Says:

      In my fridge are several different kinds of mustard. I’m leaning toward buying the cranberry honey mustard as it is not one I have seen before this.

  5. Bob Says:

    My parents introduced me to Chinese food at an early age. Although the food was an Americanized version of Cantonese fare. Italian was also an early childhood choice and also it was the Americanized version of Sicilian or Neopolitan food.

    When we moved to Dallas in the early 1950s Texas was a vast wasteland of eateries. Chicken Fried Steak, steak, Barbecue, TexMex and fried chicken were the staples of Texas eateries. There were a couple of Chinese and a couple of Italian resturaunts. The Waitresses were carbon copies of the character Flo in the TV series Alice.”Hun, you want white bread with that Egg foo Young”. Everyone suspected that the owners of Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant (Italian) were members of the Dallas branch of the Mafia. Of course they weren’t and aren’t. Now we have resturaunts galore with every kind and type of food imaginable except from maybe Ghana. 🙂

    I have a tenderfoot tounge when it comes to hot peppery food. My mother considered paprika a spice. I go into resturaunts with a sign on that says Mild.

    Today the temperature reached 98 degrees with a heat index of 105.

    • katry Says:

      My parents told us Chinese food was only for adults. That way they didn’t have to share. We caught on and they were stuck sharing!

      We loved Italian food and had it often when we were kids. Garlic bread was always part of the meal!

      Barbecue places are not common here, and I wish they were. We had one in Dennis, and it didn’t last long. The tourists want seafood so there are too many of those to count. There are several Italian restaurants but not many other nationalities. No African food here either.

      After living in Ghana, I am fine with hot food. They served all their soups fiery hot. I think once my lips burned from food I bought in a restaurant. Back then, there weren’t a variety of restaurants, but there are even Thai restaurants now.

      The ABC news showed the temperature in Texas and the heat index. I couldn’t believe how hot it was.

      • Bob Says:

        Actually there are African resturaunts in Dallas but not food from Ghana. I dislike Indian food because I don’t like curry nor hot spicy food. I probably wouldn’t like African food either.

        When I went to China I flew on Cathay Pacific Airlines from San Francisco and the plane had lots of Indians going to India through Hong Kong because it’s cheaper than going through Europe. They all ordered some kind of special meals of Indian food. When they all opened their meals the aroma of curry almost made me hurl. I ordered from the menu and had the Chinese dish.

      • katry Says:

        So much more of Indian food isn’t hot and isn’t curry. I happen to be a curry fan and have made it at home and converted many of my friends to curry. African food doesn’t have to be hot either.

        I’m sorry they had curry as a choice. It does have a certain aroma to it.

      • Bob Says:

        I do like the naan bread. No one has ever recommended a non hot nor non curry Indian dish.

      • katry Says:

        Check out the menu. You’ll find most restaurants label the hot dishes so you don’t order them. You’ll also find which ones are not curry-most of them aren’t.

  6. olof1 Says:

    We had quite lovely weather here yesterday, this morning the rain poures down so hard that Nove refused to go outside 🙂

    I did all my chores yesterday and I do hope I didn’t forget anything because I really dislike to have to do anything during the weekend. I think today will be a good day to start looking at all the dvd’s I’ve bought since it will rain most of the day. I also woke up with a sour throat so lots of tea and ginger will be drunken today.

    I do like Lebanese food. I’ve always womndered why Lebanese, Thai and Chinese food can be so cheap (and we always get lots of it too!) when the sad looking plates with very little food from other restaurants costs a fortune? Too bad I live so far from the closest chinese, thai and lebanese restaurants here, I could eat it every day 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      I want some of that rain. It’s been a while since we’ve had any. Nova is a smart dog not to want to go outside.

      It sounds like you need a quiet day watching movies and taking care of yourself. Rainy days are perfect for relaxing on the couch watching movies!

      Some restaurants have chefs who plate their food hoping the food looks like art. They are usually expensive. It’s true about ethnic foods-most aren’t expensive. Maybe it’s the ingredient!

      Hope you’re feeling better.

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