Thank God It’s Friday: What’s For Breakfast??

Hello there!

It is funny how some food can take you straight back to the origin of a memory. Every item on today’s menu (lunch), magically took me back to the beautiful home, where I spent all those beautiful years of my childhood! May be it is the appetizing smell of those vegetables being cooked, or the delicate aroma coming from that HARIRA (a Moroccan soup that I will soon post its recipe), on the stove. One thing I am sure of, though, is that with every stir and every move, I saw my mom in the kitchen, passionately and lovingly doing what she did best, while I would sneak in and be the littlest food thief I always was. I saw my mom in her apron, looking so pretty and gracious. Gently yet efficiently, transforming few items, into this gorgeous looking meal, that would take all of us to heaven!

Today we had some very precious people over, for lunch, and just like every time, we talked and talked and talked for hours, over lunch! It is always refreshing to spend some valuable time, with some healthy minds and virtuous souls. People who can teach you things you never knew they even existed! Just as your body needs food, your mind needs these inspiring and insightful conversations with people who fill your world with positivity and serenity!

My menu today was 100% Moroccan; however, today’s recipe is of none of the dishes I have cooked! It is not even my own recipe! Today my husband nicely and sweetly, suggested sharing with all of us, his recipe for making jam! He makes the best jams ever, so why not take advantage of his skills and expertise, right?…. yes RIGHT!

So without further ado, here is my husband’s easy and quick recipe for jam:

1Kg of any fruit you have

2 cups of sugar

1 lemon (we will use both, the zest and the juice)

Put the fruits in a pot , after washing and drying them, add the sugar, the lemon juice and zest and let it simmer over a low heat for about an hour, or until the liquid gels over a cold plate. If you think you have overcooked it, just add some water and cook it some more!

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Enjoy your Jam!! Xx

Ouiam!

Memories…!! 

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Sometimes memories of mine are so vivid and so real that I can just close my eyes and go right there, be there, feel the same way I did then. Memories are a funny thing aren’t they? They change over time, shift and collapse! We hold on to the ones we want and the rest just dissipates into a hazy fog! And a simple song, smell or even a specific texture can evoke these forgotten memories! Mine are with me all the time, they are my happy place, and my stress defense mechanism. Whenever I am down, upset, or uncomfortable, I run to my childhood memories and seek refuge in them! I run to the days when my dad used to take me to the bakery next to his work and we would buy my favorite cakes, and eat them in the car; while talking about his work and my school, who said what, and who did what in my class, and it always felt like a guilty pleasure that I shared with him. I would also run to the summery quiet afternoons, all bundled up in my mom’s arms, probably too big for that already, while she is telling me a story after another, and I never seemed to be satisfied, always wanting to hear more about the turtle who sewed the napkin and married the prince or the spoiled princess who married the homeless man and learned how to appreciate life. (I think she used to make up these stories lol). The moral of these stories never passed unnoticed, I would never say it out loud but it taught me some valuable life lessons!  I would also run to the mornings where my sister would fill the bathtub with water, put my swimming costume on, and pretend to put salt in the water because I have insisted on that so it feels like seawater! (Now how hilarious is that)! There are also the afternoons spent with my brother, eating dates while he gave me massages! It was so exciting because I felt like a grown up, I would close my eyes and tell him whether the pressure was good or not and he would say, “yes Ma’am”, and once done I would tip him with imaginary coins and say goodbye! Or when he would insist on turning me into a monkey because he was a magician and I would run terrified to the mirror to check if he succeeded in his mission! My favorite memories though, would have to be the ones with my grandma! (May her soul rest in peace). She would take some old clothes and transform them into these beautiful princess dresses that I would wear proudly, sit on the table with her and enjoy our tea parties! We would talk and sing and she would tell me stories about the past, most of them would make my jaw fall, because everything in her stories was so magical and new!

I also remember weekends spent at my aunt’s house! It was a mixture of cooking, makeup and acting classes. (I should specify that I was only  seven by then lol) my aunt would bring a chair to the kitchen, sit there and give me instructions, “pour the flour, OK enough!! Now go get two eggs from the fridge, don’t you break them…” I would have a little apron on that my grandma made for me, for occasions like these and i would be so happy I could cry! Then when my cousin comes home from work, she would bring her unwanted makeup and accessories, she would lay them on the floor and I would sit there dazzled not knowing from where to start! and when everybody gets busy i would sneak out and secretly head to the big mirror in the hallway, grab a comb and pretend to be a TV presenter!

Oh! and those summery evenings spent in the garden with my uncle playing on the “Oud” and all my brothers, sisters and cousins singing and clapping! Or the nights when the electricity would suddenly  go off, my dad would bring candles and my mom would get some sheets and we would pretend that we were camping! Until today whenever the electricity goes off, I get the same chill I used to get when I was a child!

These memories are so dear to my heart! They remind me of a precious time of my life that I owe to every member of my beautiful family who have worked so hard to make my days and nights filled with joy, beauty and laughter. These memories have become the essence of my sanity! And somewhere in the future when Adam will be all grown up, and think back to being little, I hope  he will remember some precious memories too, and they will be his happy place too, I try to make these everydays count , to be present and to make the ordinary extraordinary, the regular somehow special!

Ouiam

Strawberry Milkshakes!!

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Every time I think of my childhood, the first thing that comes to my mind is: strawberry milkshakes! Not any strawberry milkshakes though, only those made by my dad! Every morning, he would wake up a little earlier than I did, goes to the kitchen, gets those strawberries out and gets down to business. Few minutes later I would come down to find a strawberry milkshake (sometimes, I would find two glasses and that day without a doubt would be the happiest). I would also find one of our famous Moroccan snacks at the time “Merendina” (only my Moroccan readers will know what I am talking about). I would enjoy every bite of the fantastic meal made by my dad and head to school. To me, then, there was nothing special about my breakfasts; it was just a regular, typical breakfast that anyone could have. Except, not everyone did have that kind of breakfasts.  Only I did. Thanks to my dad. Years later, and after becoming a parent myself, I now know that there was nothing regular nor typical about my morning meals! That was my dad’s way of saying: “I Love You”. As it was when he walked with me every night to go to my evening classes. And when he would go out every Saturday and comes back with a bag full of candies that I would be waiting impatiently for. And when he made coffee for me and my friends while we were studying for our exams. And  now when he gets us presents every time we would visit home. His way was in the doing of things. His way was the reason every time I think of my childhood I smile!

Being a parent after being parented for so long, is a funny thing! You only know your parent’s way of parenting, of how to do things (or not) and here you are trying to do the same things that once seemed so wrong to you and used to drive you crazy!! Isn’t that funny!

When I think of these things, my only wish is that one day Adam will have the same thought I now have, I wish he would look back at his childhood and smile, and even feel nostalgic about it. I wish he would think of me the same way I think of my dad and the little things he used to do and still does for me. I wish he would remember how every morning I would sing the “Good Morning” song for him. How I kiss his little toes and call his feet “feetsees”. How we would kiss “Teddy” the bear and say “Good Morning” to him. How we would cuddle and read our books every morning. How we would sit and enjoy our breakfast together. How I would give him a bath, read for him and hug him so tight before I would tuck him in bed. I wish he would remember how much I love him! I look forward to more actions of love, more memories that will make my son feel HAPPINESS when he thinks of his childhood, just like I do when I think of mine.

What is your vivid memory of childhood? What do you want your child to remember from your “NOW”? and what do you do to make your kids childhood memorable? Please share ….

Ouiam