Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lightning and Finn, Part 6: More Yummy Stuff!

Lightning and Finn have shared many meals along the journey. OK, they've hung out with us people while we eat.  Here are some of the things we've tried...

 Jalebi is a popular sweet treat in India...It's fried, but when you bite into it, it's sort of juicy, surprising the first time around.  Here you can see them being made in the market at the Sonepur Mela. It's veeerrry sweet. We also saw jalebi in the market in the Old City of Jerusalem. 


Given the dearth of electricity in Chatra, we never really got to have ice cream.  However, one morning when we were headed north, we made a stop in Gaya and bought some delicious butterscotch ice cream. The container of ice cream was ripped all the way open and cut in slabs for us to eat.  It seemed like the perfect snack for 9:00 in the morning!

One of the great things about being with the SCNs was their joy in celebrating every occasion, large and small.  For Halloween, they made sure there were plenty of sweets, including my favorites...chocolate and custard apples! Cakes (or what I'd probably call sweet breads) were also a part of every celebration.  Finn and Lightning chose to pose with their favorite sweets, too! 

We also celebrated Thanksgiving.  Thursday nights, we always had an evening mass at the house.  Thanksgiving night, the mass was dedicated to me and to Thanksgiving.  While no one ate turkey, I made sure a turkey was present at the celebration! 

For Thanksgiving, for me there were, predictably, chocolate bars and cake.  Soft drinks were another special treat! Finn and Lightning always made appearances at special dinners!

Any time the sisters ate meat, like on Thanksgiving, they made paneer dishes for me.  Paneer is Indian cheese.  Yum!! 

One of my favorite types of street food in India was chaat.  Chaat is made from samosas that are broken open and all sorts of sauces that are then poured over it. Spicy, messy, and delicious!

We spent only a couple days in Morocco, but had some delicious food there.  Mom and Dad had chicken in their tagine (really cool serving bowl and cover- sadly, I didn't take a picture of the dish covered for you to see.  I mostly just had the rice, sauce, and raisins.  Even without something more substantial, it was pretty tasty...

Several times in our travels, Lightning and Finn have seen the impact they've made across the world.  Here they are posing by Lightning candy in the window of a candy shop in Seville.

We were in Seville for the celebration of the Reyes Magos, or Three Kings on January 6.  There was a huge parade that snaked through Seville on January 5th.  The parade floats were filled with children dressed according to the float's theme.  They threw candy and sometimes small toys or key chains to all the spectators. 

Sometimes the candy fell in unexpected places, like this one that got caught in my dad's glasses! 

The parade lasted well into the night and even after many hours of throwing candy, there was candy to be thrown!  We tried to guess how many tons of candy were thrown that day...and how much of it was smashed by the floats or people walking on it!

In residential areas, people went out on their balconies to watch and used whatever they could to catch flying candy!

Finn and Lightning got some candy, too, but they gave it to us.  

 No Three Kings Day celebration would be complete without the Three Kings cake.  It could be bought in many sizes, with filling or without, but the shape was always the one you see here.

Baked into each cake is a baby or other symbol of the baby Jesus.  Whoever finds it is said to be especially blessed.  Dad got ours. The baby is hard to see here, as it's still in the little bag that protected it.  The cake- pretty tasty!

After Spain, Palestine!  A few weeks ago, I visited a spice shop where we watched this man grind some of the spices.  The shop smelled so good as the aroma of all the various spices mixed and mingled. Lightning and Finn wanted to pose amid the spices...

 The same day, we went to a shop where peanuts were being roasted in the back.   We got invited to watch the process. After the roasting, water is poured over the nuts to cool them.  We got to taste the peanuts hot, fresh out of the roaster.  Peanuts have never tasted so good! 

Last week, a few of my students took me to the candy factory where one works.  No candy was being made at the time, but you can see the sugar mix used for the candy and the big containers they are mixed in.  To me they look a lot like what the peanuts were roasted in...

We were there when some of the candies were being packed up for sale.  When we arrived, we were given a bag of yummy hard licorice candy.  Lightning and Finn wanted to pose in a sea of candy on one table.  We were given a package of these candies to take home, too.  Incidentally, I just emptied the bag into our house candy jar this afternoon... It's almost empty now.

Halawa is also made at the factory.  It is a sweet made from sesame seeds and lots of sugar.  Here, Lightning and Finn pose with my students/tour guides and then we took a picture together with our bags of candy.

Later we were given some halawa from another shop (where another student works), so Lightning and Finn posed again.  Everyone at the house has also enjoyed munching on that!

We have tried other sweet treats that we don't know the name of.  This came in a long roll and we cut off pieces.  The outside is covered in pistachios, the inside is chewy and has a butterscotch flavor.  We bought it in a shop in Silwan after the shopkeeper gave us a sample to taste.

No blog that includes food from Nablus would be complete without a mention of kanafeh.  This is a cheesy syrupy, so so sweet specialty of Nablus and nowhere else.  It is sort of like a pancake soaked in syrup over melted cheese.  I tried kanafeh my first night here and was also treated to it by my students the day we visited the candy factory.   Nablusis like their sweets!!

There have been some unexpected food sights, like this Chiking Fried Broast restaurant in the city center of Nablus. that a young Colonel Sanders or simply one with his hair dyed?  There is a KFC in nearby Ramallah, but I've never been there (nor do I plan to go).  I've only heard ads on the radio.  The only words I understand in the ads are the restaurant name.

In Bethlehem I walked past Stars and Bucks, but didn't try any of the coffee...

When I was in India, one of the sisters made fresh peanut butter, which I ate whenever it was offered.  I was missing peanut butter in Nablus and went looking for it in the market.  I was surprised to find Kroger brand peanut butter in the middle of Palestine... As I have done more shopping, I have noticed more and more Kroger brand items with all the labeling except the main Arabic.  Who would have thought?

I'm sure Lightning, Finn, and I will have more adventures with food and lots of other things, but that catches you up on some of what we (OK, I) have been eating as we travel.  We hope that you are also having some culinary adventures wherever you are!

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