Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is my house??

Over the weekend Marin and I were enjoying a quiet breakfast. She had this peaceful, confortable, satisfied expression on her face. I asked her what she was thinking about.

Marin: I can't believe this is really my house.
Me: What do you mean?
Marin: I just can't believe it.
Me: I still don't know what you mean.
Marin: It is so different from my house in Ethiopia.
Me: Tell me about your house in Ethiopia
Marin: It was like a three little pigs house made from pieces of wood and grass and leaves
Me: What else do you remember?
Marin: It had a hole for a door. Not a door that you can close or lock. Just a hole in the wall that you can walk through. And it had windows. Not with glass or curtains, but a hole in the wall so the air and the light can come in.
Me: Do you remember anything else?
Marin: It was pretty tall inside. I could not reach the ceiling. Sometimes it was really quiet and peaceful. Other times it was really noisy, like when the chickens and the goats wanted to come inside.
Me: Do you remember anything else?
Marin: I remember the smell. Our house today always smells clean like the stuff under the sink. My other house smelled like outside. Mostly dusty and like grass, and sometimes like smoke if the Mamas were cooking.
Me: Do you miss your other house?
Marin: No. I like this house. But I hope I can see my other house again some day.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Amharican Chop Suey

OK, I invented this myself, so I'm pretty psyched about it.

In the grocery store I saw a box of german dumplings (spaetzel) and it had a photo of beef stroganoff on it. That was one of my Mom's best home made dishes when I was a kid and it brought back a flood of memories, so I bought the spaetzel.

I get home, and remember no one else in my family likes sour cream, or gravy, or mushrooms - three important ingredients in stroganoff. Now what? Ta da! Amharican Chop Suey!!

1. Boil the spaetzel per directions on the package until plump and tender. Then drain.
2. Add about 1 lb of cooked meat (ground beef, or ground turkey, or ground pork, or shaved steak (like in a cheesesteak sandwich)) I used shaved steak.
3. Add one or two cans of spicy tomatoes. I used Hunts chili ready tomatoes.
4. Add spices. I used a little cumin and a little berbere.
5. Toss ingredients until blended thoroughly.
6. Serve piping hot in a big deep pasta bowl.

For vegetarian use peas, green beans, carrots, eggplant, zucini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tofu, etc instead of meat.