Posted tagged ‘Hummus’

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

June 17, 2016

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.

“But I’m really enjoying my retirement. I get to sleep in every day. I do crossword puzzles and eat cake.”

July 15, 2013

When I let Gracie out this morning, I couldn’t believe how hot and humid it already was at 7:15. When I went out for breakfast later, my glasses fogged as I was walking from the car to the restaurant, a matter of only a few feet. It was already 82˚ at 8:30, and I suspect it will get hotter. My plans for the day are to stay inside the cool house and look out the windows if I want to view the world.

Yesterday I heard squealing from my deck. I feared Miss Gracie had found herself another friend who was objecting to Miss Gracie’s attention. I went to go out to save the creature when I saw Gracie was asleep in her crate so I went to the window instead to see what was happening. I felt like a voyeur. The spawns of Satan were spawning right there on my deck. The Mrs. was doing the squealing whenever the Mr. was doing his business. It went on for a while as I could hear the squealing. When I looked again, I saw the Mrs. jump on a branch hotly followed by the Mr. I assume they went somewhere more private than my deck.

It must have rained a while last night as everything was still wet this morning. The flowers and herbs looked perky. They give the deck so much color. I still have to replace the third broken clay pot. I’m buying a larger one than I’ve had hoping it will be too heavy with potting soil and flowers for the spawn to break it again. I’ll do that tomorrow. I like having an errand or two each day now that I’m allowed to drive. I’ll go to the farm so I can pick up some fresh vegetables at the same time, and on the way home I’ll also stop and buy some fruits. I’m thinking cut watermelon, strawberries and maybe some honeydew. Sounds like a great lunch to me.

My friends Bill and Peg are leaving September 14th for Ghana. I am envious. We traveled together all the time in Ghana, and it seems strange not to be with them. Bill has a 1970 map of Accra so he is going to try and find the old Peace Corps hostel in Adabraka, one of the districts in Accra, and Talal’s, a Lebanese restaurant which we volunteers loved. It wasn’t far from the PC offices. Talal used to make a sandwich with pita bread, tomatoes and melted cheese. He used to call it the Peace Corps pizza. Talal’s was where I first tasted hummus, and I usually ordered it every time I was there. The first time I went back to Ghana in 2011 I tried to find the hostel but I just couldn’t remember where it was, and most of the landmarks have changed. I told Bill to take plenty of pictures when he found our old stomping grounds.

I’m going to get changed from my outside to my inside clothes, and I’m going to read while lolling on the couch. I will have no productivity whatsoever today. I wish you the same!!

“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”

October 11, 2011

Today is quite the contrast from the weekend. The temperature is down 20° and the sun is intermittent. I’m even wearing a sweatshirt though I’m still clinging to sandals. Shutting in my feet seems the last resort before admitting summer is really gone.

Last night was perfect for sleeping, far cooler than it’s been. I kept the window opened and could feel the night as it chilled. I’m looking forward to snuggling under covers on cool nights.

This morning I had a library board meeting. Only one other member is younger than I so the rest make me feel young. Two of the members are 90. Only one of them was here today; the other forgot.

I have no ambition whatsoever today. I won’t even make my bed as I feel a nap coming on a bit later and there’s no sense messing a made bed. Yesterday I did a little shopping so the animals and I have some food to tide us over, and I don’t have to cook for any of us. For them, it’s just open the cans and also fill the dry food dishes. For me, the chicken is already baked, the salad made, and I bought cheese, hummos and pita bread. Life is good when the larder is filled.

I think a cloudy day makes me lazy. Nothing is inviting when the world looks dark even in the daylight. Rain never stops me nor does snow. I love to watch them both. I got a couple of books when I went to the library so I can see myself prone on the couch reading with the light on beside me giving me a cozy feeling, a drowsy feeling. No question I’ll easily succumb to a nap.

“The mouse that hath but one hole is quickly taken.”

August 1, 2011

Lazy day is my mantra.

It was a restless night so I made up for it by missing a good portion of the morning. I slept in until 10 o’clock. About seven I let Gracie out, and she came back in at some point and joined me. She always has a morning nap. It’s already hotter than they predicted for today, but there is a nice breeze on the deck where I’ll go when I finish here. I have a new book to read called Children of the Street. Kwei Quartey, the author, is a Ghanaian and the mystery takes place in Accra. I read his first book, Wife of the Gods. It was okay, but I wished there was more Ghanaian English as it has wonderful peculiarities, but the books are fun to read as they mention familiar places. This one has some Hausa, the language the Peace Corps taught me.

Anther summer month has come and gone. If I were a kid, I’d be appalled at the back to school commercials on TV. We never went back until after Labor Day, and that’s still over a month away. No reminders were necessary.

Another mouse yesterday, but this one was still kicking. Gracie was making a ruckus in the dining room so I went to check and found the mouse. When I went to pick it up to get rid of it, the mouse’s legs moved. I should have known it was still alive as Gracie has no interest in one already gone to its heavenly reward. I was grossed out. I don’t mind dead mice, but I do mind half-dead mice. I called my mouser, my friend Tony, who came up and took the mouse outside. Tony was gentle and said he was sorry to the wee mousie. I don’t think it will survive, but at least it was outside and away from Gracie.

All my neighbors must be at the beach as the street is really quiet. I grew up in a neighborhood which was only quiet late at night. All day long kids played on the street or in the backyards. Mothers yelled out back doors for their kids to come in for lunch or dinner, and every kid who jumped through a cold sprinkler squealed. At night, you could hear the TV’s from the different houses and even see the wavering black and white screens through the windows. I remember the sound of snow on empty stations. I know now it was static, white noise, but back then it was a little mesmerizing with its sound and flickering dots. I figured it looked like a giant snow storm which is why it got its name.

I’m ready for lunch. Today is hummus.

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.”

March 4, 2011

When the sun is bright, I am easily duped into thinking the day is warm. It isn’t, but I’ll accept being easily duped. Looks like the birds need their feeders filled. I’ll bundle up a bit later and go out on the deck with my bag of sunflower seeds.

Tonight is chili night while we watch The Amazing Race from last Sunday when we watched the Oscars instead. The chili is cooking and will cook all day long. I’ve  some corn bread and toppings to serve with it. I haven’t made my guacamole yet and won’t until just before my friends come. The only thing left is the dessert, and I have no idea what we’ll be having yet.

Italian and Chinese were the most exotic foods my mother served us. That was a good thing as we probably would have turned our noses up at most other foods. She started us out with American chop suey, not at all related to its Chinese cousin, but it was her way of sneaking bean sprouts into our diet. Later we’d order out at the China Moon. It was until my two years in Africa that I was introduced to all sorts of exotic, strange foods.

I ate Indian food at the Maharajah. It was near High Street and was on the top floor of a retail building. The walls went only halfway up so we could hear the hustle and bustle from the street below us. We sat on cushions, and I thought the restaurant was the most one exotic one I’d ever seen. There were lots of red cushions and curtains and tassels. I don’t even remember what I ate, but I must have enjoyed it as I still like Indian food. Hummus, tabbouleh and falafel were next, and it was a good thing I didn’t know anything about them because the mere mention of chickpeas would have put me off. I still like my hummus the way it was served at Tahal’s in Accra: a ring of hummus on a flat plate with sesame oil in the middle and red pepper in a ring around the outside of the hummus.

I ate food from the street vendors. Lots of times I didn’t know what I was eating, and I knew not to ask. I decided if it tasted good, that was enough. I have made Ghanaian food here for my friends to taste, but that was a long time ago. I am hankering for some kelewele and jollof rice. Maybe that will be my next offering. Luckily my friends are adventurous and will try most anything. They too have learned not to ask what is in any dish I serve.

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