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Monday, March 17, 2014

Dinner in the Neighborhood

It is difficult to walk down any street in Cairo and not make a new acquaintance.  For example, yesterday while visiting a mosque, we ran into this volunteer electrician rewiring several fluorescent fixtures for the building.  He had no English language ability but his young helper (perhaps a grandson) brought out two chairs as we were invited to watch for a while.

Today, we met the owner of a nearby cafe and talked about new businesses coming to the neighborhood.  A wedding reception hall is under construction across the street and possibly two small shops will be coming next to it.  Ramy is thinking there might be an opportunity for a dress rental shop by his cafe.  (Egyptians that we meet are very entrepreneurial!)

 Make a dozen acquaintances and you are bound to get a dinner invitation.  One of our acquaintances down the street asked if we had ever eaten camel.  "Yes," we replied, without ever mentioning that we found it tough as shoe leather.  He subsequently offered us the opportunity to sample another great delicacy from Upper Egypt, a form of stuffed cow's stomach.

We had visions of something that looked like a wrinkled football - but Linda checked with another neighbor and discovered that they actually just stuff the intestines with a mixture of rice and spice, making a tasty sausage dish.  We accepted.

We were served an excellent lunch on Friday (after prayers, of course) and you can see from the plate that it was a very tasty meal.  It was accompanied by a generous dish of camel, including the heart and some liver which were much more tender than the balance of the beast.  I happen to like calve's liver so I found it delicious although I did have to eat that entire plate of sausage and was quite full.

Here was the dinner table and family with the picture taken by our host, Hussein.

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