Akaka Falls

See the World for Free

The idea here is to TRAVEL THE WORLD regardless of time or budget. It dawned on me one day that even if I had unlimited time and money (which I definitley do not), I still couldn't see everything in the world that I'd like to see--I'm simply not going to live long enough to do it.

But I had a bit of brain wave and soon after the travel envelope was born. This is an actual physical envelope. I typed the name of every country in the world, plus every state in the US on little slips of paper which I then put into the envelope. In the beginning we (myself, my husband, Dave and daugher Catherine) would draw out a slip at random at the beginning of the month and that's where we would go---at least in our minds. We grab some books about the country from the library and put them in our bathroom to look at. We also check out some videos about the country if any. We check it out on googleearth, listen to the music, try the food, maybe even attempt to learn a dance or celebrate a festival.

After the first two years we discovered that even virtual traveling can be tiring, so we travel now whenever I happen to be in the mood.

It's great fun. I especially love it when people I meet have been to the place I'm "visiting" in real life, or get excited and have some virtual adventures of their own. I hope that anyone who comes across this blog will feel welcome to come with us on the trip!

You have a standing reservation to see it all!

Jun 28, 2012

Suqaar with Sabaayad

We had our Somali dinner last night--not bad, I wouldn't consider anything I made as one of the world's "best recipes" but trying one recipe hardly qualifies me to be making any judgements. The thing that struck me was the lack of thickening ingredients. I made "Qumbe" which is a kind of coconut dessert--all it was was milk and sugar stirred for 15 minutes (which feels like a very long time) then put in the coconut and some cardamom and stir some more. Eventually, you're supposed to put it in a pan and refrigerate and then cut into squares. What I got was sort of the consistency of the inside of an almond joy bar. Not bad, but I think a little cornstarch would have simplified things a lot. The Suqaar was a stew. Same problem. As instructed, I first boiled the meat and then poured off the water (which to me means pouring off a lot of the flavor. Then I fried the meat with some onions in oil, added fresh water and vegetables and again let it cook down until almost all the liquid was gone. Not bad, and would be even better if I had more experience with peppers. The fry bread "Sabaayad" was great. It's hard to go wrong with fry bread. I dutifully rolled it out and then folded it up and re-rolled. No idea what that was supposed to accomplish, but it felt like the sort of motion that had been done for hundreds if not thousands of years. I remember making bread with my grandmother who always made it the same way out of long training and habit. This is probably the same kind of thing. While we ate, we watched a National Geographic special about an African soccer team from Zanzibar. Wrong country, but at least it was on the east coast and there were African faces and sounds to accompany the dinner.

Jun 27, 2012

Doughnuts and dates

Yea! Blogspot seems to be back in order. We're having two meals from Somalia--going with the business man's assessment that "Somalian recipes are the best". So far so good. For breakfast on Saturday we had "Khamir" it amounts to homemade doughnuts flavored with a little coriander and nutmeg and served with dates. No sugar on the doughnuts--maybe Somali's don't have such a sweet tooth as Americans. They were very good. I don't know why I dont' eat more dates. They're delicious.