Sunday, November 25, 2012

Salmon with Cilantro. War.

I was born during a civil war. I used to play "war" with my siblings and my cousins, full blown war, with rock(et)s and tanks and street fights, just like the war we were living. We were lucky, because whenever the fighting was in Beirut, we stayed in my hometown, whenever it was in my hometown, we fled to Beirut, and whenever it was in both Beirut and my hometown, we fled to Syria. We used to hear the rockets fly above us, and we'd ask my father, "will it fall here?", and my father would listen a bit more, and say, "no, it's high." We thought that was normal, that was our reality. (One time, a rocket did actually explode next to our house, and something happened; I may share that sometime later).

 There is nothing good about wars, nothing, dot. But for a child, the war is a game, the war is what everyone talks about, the war is scary, the war is how we meet other children, it is thrilling- fleeing is thrilling. Will we make it through the checkpoint? Will the fighters let us pass? Will we pass that 100 m dangerous zone? Will the rocket miss our house? Will my mother give birth in the car? Will the militias believe she's in labor? Will we not go to school? (The best war time was when one year we didn't go to school for 6 months in a row.)

 Extreme fear and thrill, and high doses of adrenaline, that's the experience of the children of the fortunate uninjured families. Then we, the children of war, grew up. I have lots of memories from the war, though I never talk about them, and never will. But that's who we are, that's our history and what we were born into. It made us strong and life loving. It made us fighters, and, it made us push ourselves to the extreme, seek the thrill of life and love the adrenaline high.

 During the war, I remember a car coming to our town to sell fish. I actually thought it was normal to buy fish from a car. I love the fish in Lebanon (though this year, when we went for a visit, we had a 1lb fish for 100 dollars! Just one fish that's true, so be careful).

Recipe: Salmon with Cilantro
The fish in this picture is cod and not salmon, but I prefer salmon or catfish for this recipe.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Thanksgiving..

Candles at Karen's favorite holiday in the U.S.!
 This year, I and Sary spent our Thanksgiving at our friend Karen's  house (thanks Karen for the last minute invitation, it was wonderful), and V. spent it with his soccer mates.
 The hard thing about not settling down in one place is that we always know we'll be leaving, soon. It becomes hard to invest in having a life, and getting to know people, especially with a young child.
 I've been here for two years, completely occupied with my family and work. I was busy, and very satisfied with only having two close friends. I barely know anyone in this town. My idea was to postpone 'my real life' until we settle down. What I didn't realize is that I was missing out on so much great stuff and so many amazing people, right here where we are.

Yesterday, at the dinner table, it was time for each of us to say what we're thankful for. I think that when someone asks us what we're thankful for, usually, the first thing that comes to our minds is what we are truly and deeply thankful for.

I am thankful for Sary.
I am thankful that even though we're very far from our countries and our families and friends- and that is very hard, we still meet great strangers who welcome us to their houses, and they become our new acquaintances, friends, and bigger families.

Sometimes, all we have to do, is to leave our doors open.

Food's cooking. I told Karen I'll make her kitchen mess look nice in the photo.
Sanelma making the best pumpkin pie ever, right from
a fresh pumpkin!
Karen's so excited about her amazing turkey after 7 hours.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Going Vegetarian? Foliage

 It's getting cold again. I have to get out to snap some nice photos of the Autumn leaves. I think the peak is this weekend.
 There is this episode (Lethal Weapons) from Family Guy when New Yorkers or "leafers" invade the quiet town of Quahog to watch the leaves. I am a leafer! I mean, how can anyone not be? They're fabulous!
 I am sharing some of my favorite foliage photos. How do foliage colors happen? (click here to find out.)

 The dish today is a simple whole wheat pasta dish. This definitely does not qualify as cooking, but it's pretty fast and convenient. I am trying to go semi-vegetarian. Growing up, my mother was obsessed with nutrition and the quality of our food, so we only ate meat once a week. I will try to go back to that level first.