Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bounty In The Trees


In April we are surrounded by red/black and white mulberry trees full of ripe fruit. In the old days, the cities were also filled with mulberry trees along the streets, but as the ripe fruit does gather flies, people are cutting down the trees. It's heaven to go for a leisurely ride on horseback and stop to pick a few every few meters.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Study In Pink

Wrought iron bars are often placed on the ground floor windows of homes for security. Obviously this young lady felt that they were there for another purpose. It's a great look out for a small one.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Egyptian Superfood For Free

This plant (weed actually) is known in Egypt as Khobeyza or in English as Mallow. It's a relation to Molokheya, another mallow plant, and hollyhocks which are yet another one. Egyptians eat it as a soup either with meat or without. The recipe from My Egyptian Grandmother's Kitchen calls for 1 kg mallow, 2 large bunches swiss chard, 1 onion, 2 Tbsp ghee, 2 cups of tomato juice (or tomato pureed in a blender...fresh is always better), 1/2 kg cubed meat (we usually skip the meat but it's good), 1 bunch each fresh dill and fresh coriander, 1/2 cup of rice, 4 cloves of garlic minced.

Boil the picked, washed chard and mallow leaves in a small amount of salted water and then run it through a blender or processor. Chop the onion and saute in 1 Tbsp ghee until golden and then add meat. Add the tomato juice and half the chopped dill and coriander and all of the mallow/chard to the pot with salt and pepper to taste, cover and simmer until the meat is almost done. Add the rice to the pot and finish cooking. This should take about 30 minutes. Saute the garlic and remaining dill and coriander in 1 Tbsp ghee and toss into the pot of mallow. Serve.

I personally like a lot of garlic so the amount of garlic is definitely expandable and this is a recipe that will put anyone with anemia right in no time. Mallow can be found growing all sorts of places as a weed. This particular patch was photographed at Blue Star Equiculture, a draft horse rescue in Palmer, Massachusetts. Free nutrition is always good.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Farming Friends

I love the contrast of the facial hair adornments on these two men. They are two of the farmers who brought their animals to the Rural Wellness Initiative clinic last week.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Downtown Wash


Anywhere other than Cairo you don't expect to see a horse getting a shower on a busy road median.... But then, Cairo is Cairo. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Facing the Summer

When a friend of mine moved from an old apartment she gave me this palm log carving of a face. She said that it have her the creeps but I find it charming. I have no idea who the artist was or if it represents anything special but it is great with nasturtiums. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Moving The Calf


When you don't have a livestock truck, and most farmers here don't, you make do with what you have. In this case it's a pickup truck and A LOT if rope.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Cotton Candy Man

During protests, the activists used to tweet that it wasn't real until the cotton candy man showed up. That's how ubiquitous these men carrying a big plastic bouquets of bright pink sweetness are. You may see them in any neighbourhood, walking down the center of a busy street or winding through coffee shops. This man was walking the dusty roads near Abu Sir. I have never seen a cotton candy machine to make the sticky sweet inside the bags, but there must be one.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Step Down

This odd image is even odder with an explanation. This was taken in a shop on Kasr el Aini Street in downtown Cairo. Egyptian buildings are not built with basements, so how is it that you have to come down five stairs to enter the shop? Many of the streets and buildings are so old that over time the street level has risen above the original by this much. Some of the old buildings in Old Cairo are even further below street level.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Handprints

White chalk handprints on a red wall are meant to convey good fortune and ward off the evil eye. Sometimes blue handprints are specially used for this, but any colour or medium works.