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He swerved down the freeway in and out of cars honking and braking in a frenzy, brandishing what had become his new weapon. Rage and anger had never spilled over to driving but this would be the start of a new and dangerous game. The children let out gasps as he narrowly missed vehicles, passing anyone who impeded our path to the compound. A container of take away fish jiggled in plastic sacks threatening to fall from the seat just behind me. The meal was purchased after leaving the hospital and felt like a message that was meant to cement his frustration. Even the youngest of our family knew that I did not care for fish and when we arrived home I sat on the red and gold striped sofa, forcing a gentle smile, hoping to avoid what would be an inevitable outburst.

The food had not been covered properly, left on the refrigerator shelf in a takeout container to rot and eventually be thrown away. The careless and haphazard manner in which these tasks were carried out had not changed and it seemed nothing could be done about it.  He repeated these ideas three times, each time the volume increased as did the weight of the message. I stared blankly, confusion jumbled my mind and there was no response that seemed worthy. Anger mounted and he finally stated what he had been thinking for days, “I told you not to tell anyone, this is your fault! “The door slammed and he walked away leaving behind an emotional numbness that had not been experienced before.

I stood motionless behind the green pleated curtains, watching him back up and drive away. It was a relief and a burden to finally be alone with my thoughts, now able to place them all in order. On Monday I had been four months pregnant and by late that afternoon I was told the pregnancy had not progressed and in fact had most likely ended weeks before. The Doctor listened for a heartbeat and then requested an ultrasound. She confirmed that this was no longer a viable pregnancy and nothing much remained. The British midwife who had delivered my last baby concurred, urging me to return the next day for treatment so that infection and hemorrhage did not occur.  Bleeding had already started and served as a reminder that medical attention was needed.

I grappled with this reality but felt hopeful that his reassurance and support would ease my worries. When faced with this information and a request that he take me to the hospital he reminded me that it was a grave sin to terminate a pregnancy and that it was up to the Lord almighty. The conversation ended with him stating that he wanted nothing to do with it and obviously I had free will to do as I chose. The next morning at 5 a.m. a compound driver picked me up and dropped me off at the local hospital.

Sweet cheese buns

This is a recipe from Foof!

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These yummy little bundles of bread filled with cheese are found in neighborhood bakeries throughout Saudi Arabia. I have never seen them in Syria so I am not sure of their origin.

A basic dough is put together, left to rest for 60 minutes and then small pieces of dough are flattened, filled with cheese and rolled into a ball shape. We added a little twist to tradition and put feta cheese in the middle of some balls instead of cream cheese. You can chose which cheese you prefer. The balls are sprinkled with sesame seeds, baked to golden perfection and finally topped with a light warm syrup.

Ingredients for roll dough

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 package dry yeast dissolved in 3/4 cup warm water with 1 Tbs. sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup milk

(3/4 cups water for dissolving yeast)

1 Tbs. baking powder

Topping

3 Tbs. sesame seeds for sprinkling on top of rolls

Filling for inside of  rolls                                                                          

1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

1/2 cup feta cheese

Ingredients for syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

Directions

Mix roll ingredients by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook, knead, cover and let raise for 1 1/2 hours

When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees

We use a round cake pan and it has worked well for the amount of dough and the desired shape. Grease pan.

Pinch off pieces of dough and flatten in hand, place a spoon of feta or cream cheese in the middle, roll up into a ball making sure they are well sealed. Put each ball seam side down (if there is a seam or bunched up area) in the cake pan leaving a little space in between each one.

Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and put in the oven.  Bake approximately 30 minutes until bread is done and brown on top.

While rolls are baking make syrup. Place water and sugar in small sauce pan and let this mixture come to a boil, turn it down but keep it on a low simmer/boil. Watch this mixture carefully because it can cause a huge mess if it is left for too long or it can become too hard to use.  After ten minutes remove from heat. Try to time the baking of the rolls and making the syrup so that the syrup is still warm when the rolls are done.

When the rolls are removed from the oven, pour prepared syrup over the top, allowing to soak in.

 

Rolls will be hot so be careful!

A little break

Happy New year! I hope everyone has enjoyed a safe and wonderful holiday full of blessings!

I needed a little break and so I just took one! Things were getting busy and I felt stressed out, anxiety was slowly returning so I focused on what I could do to feel more relaxed!

I am working on a new, simple blog schedule where I post three times a week! The house is still on holiday break or at least for the college students so I am busy getting everything back to routine and look forward to working on finishing my story!

I have missed everyone and the amazing friendships that have brightened my life! Have a great week!

Happy holidays

Happy holidays to everyone!

I have been away for the past week, taking care of Mude and spending Christmas with my parents!

On Friday we went to Foof’s house where she presented us with gifts and made a great dinner! She and B were excited to host this very nice evening.

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Saturday morning Saleeha came over to exchange stockings before she left for Seattle.

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We missed Yusuf and Alicia but were very happy that they were able to spend Christmas with Alicia’s family.

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On Sunday we headed to my folks to spend the holidays with them. Sunday night we were surprised by cute little faces peering in through the half opened door! Osama, Jacki and the three special babies spent an hour with us. It was so sweet that they popped over!

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Christmas morning Osama, Jacki and the kids came over for breakfast at Great grandparents house adding to the joy of this special day!

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Today we will work on taking down our decorations and tomorrow we will be taking care of the babies while their regular helper is away. My children and parents spoiled me and this is the first year in a long time that I did not feel upset and unworthy accepting everything!