How about a double major in Gastronomy?
I love to cook. Naturally I was very excited for tonight’s orientation event: an Egyptian cooking lesson! For our feast we made mahshi, which is essentially a hot dolma or a stuffed vegetable, most common of which in the US is a grape leaf. We stuffed a mixture of parsley, chopped onion, uncooked rice, chopped tomato and salt (all the while practicing the Arabic words for the vegetables and cooking verbs) into hollowed-out tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and peppers. Arranging the packed veggies on the insides of cucumber and pepper, we then turned to the origami of folding the mahshi waraq ‘inab (specifically a stuffed grape leaf) around the same filling. Despite the cook’s demonstration on how to carefully fold and not over pack the leaves, I was still miles behind her dexterous wrapping! But inshall’alla, I will be up to speed by the time I make mahshi waraq ‘inab for my friends and family—consider yourselves forewarned!
But never fear, after baking, we enjoyed our feast andpracticed our polite refusal of more food when, per Egyptian culture, we were offered thirds, fourths and fifths just to be sure we truly were all happily stuffed!
(Above: my fellow Egyptians-in-training, with the exception of the Egyptian cook and coordinator, of course!)
Today, we also rapidly toured the new Library of Alexandria. Good thing I am here for the semester because almost any amount of time is too short to do this beautiful building of reading rooms, books, and art exhibitions justice. I can’t wait to intersperse my attempts to soak in the Arabic language with a stroll through the libraries many museums!
**If you read my past post it turns out I was gleefully ignorant of the process one must go through to actually be a member of this enrapturing library. Don’t despair, I’ll be a member within a fortnight, insha’alla! I’ll keep you posted!
Shoofokee baud shawy!! (See you in a little bit)