Sounds of Thursday

We returned to the apartments tonight to the sound of wedding celebration fireworks and the evening call to prayer from East Jerusalem, Shu’afat, and beyond. The fireworks have continued for the last two hours, as have the prayers sung out from the minarets.

In the midst of this cacophony, Shiri and I decided to make something with the vast quantity of lentils that I acquired last week and eventually settled on this recipe (though only the soup part). We didn’t have fennel, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, parsley, bay leaves, sugar, or chickpeas, but the stew turned out pretty fabulously. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow! I’ve never had standby dinner plans beyond “steam chard; cook rice; heat chicken sausages”, so it’s incredibly satisfying to find robust recipes that can be easily made night after night.

The next culinary goal is handmade tortillas, perhaps for a Mexican-inspired birthday meal on Sunday (we’ll see how perky the instructor team is after returning from four-wheeling around the Negev Desert all weekend). We’re doing pretty well without an oven, though I’d be curious to hear thoughts on no-bake dessert recipes.

While browsing the store tonight for chicken and watermelon tonight, Shiri and I encountered a display of my favorite local snack: Bamba (בַּמְבָּה‎; corn poofs that look like large Cheetos, except flavored with peanut butter instead of cheese). Not only did they have the chocolate nougat-filled Bamba that my students had brought to MEET today, but also halva (חלבה)-filled Bamba. Sababa! Will we be able to find strawberry-flavored Bamba (“Red Bamba”) before we leave in a few weeks? Stay tuned for more…

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