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Cookbook

I have been totally absent from my blog for months. Testing and working on the cookbook has taken up most of my time. Family and friends have agreed to volunteer at testing recipes and now things are wrapping up. There have been several proofs made and the main work is now being done on formatting and making the book look as professional as possible. Testing still continues but on a smaller scale.

I have thought of my special friends and have missed you dearly! Thank you for thinking of me and for caring.

Many things have happened in the course of these months. High school graduation, College graduation, a Wedding and baby sitting the babies. Fattima and Ben went to London and Italy. Osama and Jacki went to Hawaii and Sumaya went to Disney world!

A big thank you to my good friend Marci over at koolaidmoms. She helped my daughter and her best friend plan their Disney World trip and that made all the difference!

Osama and Jacki went to Hawaii and I got to spend time with my grandbabies!

Meanwhile the newlyweds (who are coming up on one year) had a fantastic experience visiting London and various places in Italy!

Another huge change has been the addition of a new baby! I grew up with pets but given our situation it was forbidden.  I never imagined having a special little friend again.  Finally my kids convinced me to take the plunge and it is amazing!

Have a great day and so good to see you all once again!59918abb-8d1e-4966-8d52-7704224b4e01

 

 

Hello again

Hi dear friends and thanks for your support and patience. As most of my friends know, I am working on a cookbook and that has taken up much of my time which has meant not blogging!

I am finally through the recipe testing part on my end and now that has been passed onto friends and family. I am currently writing the recipes and deciding what type of format I want for my cookbook. So, again more time spent on things other than blogging, which I miss very much! I will try to be more present while I sit at the computer working on the writing end of things! I hope you are all well.

 

Play my role

Heart and soul heart and soul
Given freely
Eaten whole
Mindless fury takes its toll
Live to please
just play my role

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Cookbook break

It has been awhile since I posted and I have missed my dear friends here! A whirlwind of cooking still continues and I am focusing on my project! I will try to post once a week and catch up as I go! Here is an update from Idaho:

The room

In a room well-hidden

I stood inside a box

Corners of seclusion

Marked only by his thoughts

Bow down and own your choices

Senses meld to grey

Humiliation tendered

Peace for one more daydsc_0147

Cooking and more cooking

These days have been spent; washing dishes, mixing meatballs, stirring sauce, whipping cream, adding spices, mixing dough, more dishes and quickly jotting more directions and fine tuning ingredients. My son purchased some items to make photography easier and so snapping pictures repeatedly has also been part of my daily routine. I am practicing and my kids are helping me out so for now more cooking, testing recipes and more snapping photos. I hope you are all well and I will be catching up this week.

I know my way around the kitchen but not so much around taking pictures of food! So I will take stacks of photos and in the end we will sort through them and start over if need be! Thanks for your patience while I work on this project!

 

Cookbook

 

dsc_0861_1 (1)I am back on track, working on my cookbook and on alternate days putting my real life story together. My goal is to test all recipes for the book during the month of January.

February will be the month of more testing by my family and friends and a constant effort of writing and editing recipes, taking pictures and deciding which dishes are truly suited for this book.dsc_0613

The other day as I chopped onions and garlic, peeled sweet potatoes and pulled together a fragrant red curry, Sumaya stood watching and listening to my back and forth reasoning regarding the cookbook. I told her that this seemed like part of my legacy and something that I wanted to complete. Thirty five years spent stirring sauces, adding spices, visiting neighbors to watch them cook and inviting people into my home for meals and to take part in my culinary adventures. Delivering trays lined with cream puffs, lemon bars and decadent chocolate tidbits. Taking informal lessons on Moroccan Couscous, Indian curries and Palestinian Maclube. Afterall it felt as if my children had been raised in the kitchen and had become amazing home cooks in their own right. She nodded her head, her shiny manicured nails gripping a mug of curry topped with a large spoon of yogurt. She smiled and clicked her fingertips on the glass counter and then asked me one simple question, “What would you give to have a book of your grandmother Elva’s recipes?” And with her words I gathered new motivation to work on my legacy.dsc_0857

My Christmas

As you may have noticed I basically took an unofficial winter break! We spent a merry holiday away from home for a few days where we enjoyed time with the little ones, their parents as well as my mom and dad.

dsc_0341We arrived on Sunday and got the girls settled in at my folks house, then headed to Osama and Jacki’s.img_3608

Aiden and Bennett opened their gifts and so did Alayna. The boys insisted on helping with construction of their tee-pee and Alayna showed more interest in helping than playing with her stuffed animal. Who can blame her?

Auntie Foof and Uncle Ben showed up with more gifts and soon after Great Grandma and Grandpa came with the girls. Siblings hung out and then it was time to cook.img_3409 Fattima, Sumaya and Deeja all helped their brother with his food preparation while I took my place on the comfy couch playing with the precious little ones.

The meal was amazing; perfectly steamed chicken that was finished with a pan frying to crisp it up, topped with a light sauce, homemade pasta and a crisp flavorful salad, yumm! Of course Jacki was in the kitchen helping, watching her babies and interacting with this lively group!

I’d like to say identical twins are no match for Gaga but they do keep me on my toes! Meanwhile Alayna is in the thick of things making her presence known!dsc_0438

The next day we went out to grab donuts and coffee and the day of Christmas eve began!

After the babies were snugly tucked into bed, Santa came and delivered their gifts.img_3554

Santa and her helpers were quite good at their job and once again I relaxed and watched it all unfold.

When morning came I heard the boys talking, then Daddy and Mom went in to get them and the fun began!

Numerous photos were taken but it was obvious that this would be a challenging effort and we decided “real” was better anyway!dsc_0500

Gifts were both practical and fun, children were grateful and parents exhausted. The next stop was Great Grama and Grampa’s on our way out of town. Brunch was served along with more gifts.

As always it was a memorable event!dsc_0515

Happy new year!

Christmas Eve morning

Lights strung on trees illuminate the darkness of Christmas Eve morn. Stockings line the railing and all is surely calm. Moments are spent waiting for angelic voices to call out, prompting a rush up the stairs to gather and bundle.

First year home-2009

This is an ongoing story recounting our first year back in America. There are three parts that can be found on my menu page.

Part one:  https://lynzrealcooking.com/2018/11/09/first-year-2009/

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Fight flight or freeze were words we all knew well. There was never a place to seek refuge in Saudi and fighting might have meant dire circumstances and so the mode of coping was usually freeze. Fighting only ensued when the children were involved and a demeanor of reason, reminders of religious principles and finally a stance of locked rebellion meant that the worst would not come to pass. Battles were picked according to priority which meant safety, basic needs and issues regarding personal liberation but I held firm when it came to my children. I was well versed in the operation of pick and chose, making sure that every decision took its place, stacked upon years of training, seasoned with fear.

The first grade teacher’s voice was no longer sweet and calm but had taken a turn towards dry resolve.  She remarked that my son was clearly not ready for school and that it would be better if he did not return. Her heels clicked on the patterned floor as she marched the other students to the door to line up. We walked to the brightly painted cubby and collected a single backpack, hoodie and lunch bag. No words were spoken and a sense of defeat hung heavy as we unlatched the wooden gate that lead to the apartment parking lot. My three other children who had attended the first day of school also remained silent and the unremarkable yet familiar feeling of dread lagged shortly behind us.

Fattima stood at the ready stirring homemade sauce that bubbled and spattered, leaving red dots on the yellow tinted 70’s stove. She started to ask how it had gone but stopped when she saw my face and instead plated meals and grabbed backpacks. Mom and Dad’s hand me down lake table was opened and chairs positioned near the slider so that the meal could begin. It was a tight fit but the table brought back cheery thoughts of carefree days spent in the paddle boat, laying on the dock and roasting marshmallows.  As each one finished they trudged into the tiny living room and plopped onto the couch.

It was clear that Heme was not going back to school, there was no option given and it was not worth the fight. It was almost a relief to keep him with me as his name had been mentioned and the idea that he should be returned to his father where he belonged. No other child was discussed but a message was clearly sent through a mediator that my youngest child belonged back in Saudi.

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