I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Egyptian Pot-Luck Breakfast
All ready for Breakfast
When we arranged to visit our friends
in Cairo, we were warned that they were hosting the weekly Maadi
Runners “pot-luck” breakfast while we were there, so we might be
pressed into service helping to get things ready. I thought this was
a great idea, and would give me a chance to meet some of their
I was told that it was a casual affair
and everyone chipped in, bringing and preparing food. It was a hot
sunny day so the whole affair would be held outside beside the pool.
Tables and chairs were pulled from storage by the gardener and set
up, and in the morning I swept the mango tree droppings off the
tables and gave them a wipe down.
Drinks are ready!
The first to arrive was a young
Egyptian fellow who immediately took over the kitchen, (Those who
know our friend will be gasping at this). He began chopping onions,
garlic and preparing a huge bowl of eggs. He pressed me into service
trimming beans and then handed the next runner to arrive a knife and
asked her to chop mushrooms and spinach.
Next a girl arrived with a bag of
tomatoes and cheese and took over the kitchen table to prepare a dish
called gibna-tamaatim. However, Mohsen, the leader of this band of
runners arrived next with the same idea, but looked at her salad and
announced “not a problem”, he would make another different
gibna-taamatim. At this point he was introduced to me and he handed
me a knife and I was given directions to chop tomatoes. As I got
about half the tomatoes done he announced that I was doing a great
job, so I was in charge of mashing the tomatoes into the cheese. As a
result of his careful instructions, I am now an expert gibna-tamaatim
sous-chef. Although we did have a problem with
"He made it!"
spice . . . he wanted
his gibna-taamatim to be Egyptian, not “For tourists” and wanted
it spicy, but was not familiar with my use of spice and it took our
friend's assurance of “Art knows spicy . . do not worry!” before
he allowed me to add cayenne to the chili in order to achieve the
result he wanted.
In between this cooking lesson I
started meeting the members and friends of the Maadi Runners. A tall
fellow with a decidedly not Egyptian accent was from Germany, that
red hair was not Egyptian but Australian, and so it went . . . .
Thailand, France, Scotland, America, Brazil, Malaysia, Austria,
Korea, and of course us Canadians, with a friendly pregnant Egyptian
street cat thrown in for good measure.
So, although there were about 12 or 13
“real” Egyptians, it was really more of a international gathering
of runners. Over half of the 40 people, happily gathered for
breakfast after an early morning run, were from countries scattered
across the globe.