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Thursday, March 5, 2020

In Anticipation of Bamia

Our good friends have been preparing this dinner since August 2019. They know that we like bamia (okra) prepared the Egyptian way. The season for okra is in the summer and our friends, knowing how much we like the dish prepared the way they make it, froze some fresh okra last summer.  We have been anticipating this dinner for six months, ever since they told us they would invite us for a bamia dinner while we are here.    

It did NOT disappoint! It was a perfect blend of tomato, okra and tender lamb. It was served with another favorite, pickled egg plant. I've tried our hostess's recipe for pickled egg plant numerous times at home but it just doesn't turn out as good. Other dinner accompaniments included yellow olives and the ever typical rice with vermicelli.

Tea is an after dinner must and it is always prepared on the spot in this household. The small gas canister was brought into the sitting area along with the tray of glasses, tea pots, water and tea. It's "normal" to have a fire in any room of the house, something we'd never do in the States, but something that we have become comfortable with.

Suddenly the lights went out. Not to worry, it's just a temporary electrical outage.  We're used to those too. Everyone turned on their phone lights and the tea making process carried on.

The lights returned and the tea serving continued. The tea is often poured from a considerable height. We hear that it makes the tea more favorable. What comes after the tea is served? Conversation. We talked for a couple hours, enjoying our time with the entire family of four children (ages 12- 24) and two adults, until it was time to go home.

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