"He who knows what sweets and virtues are
in the ground, the waters, the plants, the
heavens, and how to come at these
enchantments, is the rich and royal man."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What the World Eats in a Week:

A Dollar A Day! $1/person/day

A Dollar A Day!  $1/person/day
We were blown away by all the Coke and other multi-national labels in the hungry planet video clip above that seemed to permeate the tables and kitchens all over the world! It would appear us Earthlings can't live without our sugar water (or make that high fructose corn syrup water). Our backdrop is the only Pepsi you'll see in this month's photos. Aleli has nicknamed this old half of a tin sign, " Food Shortage".

Sunday, August 17

Open Mosque Day

We found an insert in the Claremont Courier that was promoting Open Mosque Day. This whole experience has connected us closer to our community. This was the 5th annual "Open Mosque Day" for Southern California and held on Sunday, the 17th. The Open Mosque Day seeks to enhance understanding and perpetuate peace among people across all faiths. Later in the day we would go for a visit, but first........ adventures in rice.


What a way to start the morning. Aleli was washing some fruit for breakfast when she heard this distinctive.... um, ....."ricey" sound. So much for child proof locks on the pantry. Our little explorer cracked into a gorgeous stash of wild rice and was splashing around in it like it was a wading pool. That's one dinner we won't be making soon. He was enjoying himself so much it was hard to play the part of the responsible parent and break up all this joyous abandon. We eventually found a happy medium between play and structure.


Jujubee is a responsible little guy and so after some fun with rice he helped Mommy clean up his food mess with his very own monkey broom. Good job Juju!

With all the cleaning done, it was time for some cartoons, a snuggle on Mommy's lap and a mid morning snack.



Lunch rolled around quickly and we made use of whatever we had in the fridge. Aleli was in the mood for breakfast food and Julian wanted peanut buttery goodness. Easily done on the cheap.


Julian is a good eater and great mealtime company with that big juicy grin!

The afternoon flew by and it was time to head across town to the Mosque. We read that there would be "ethnic cuisine" available and so the late afternoon was our time to go.

Here's the flyer we found inserted in the paper right on the page of the article about us. Maybe there really are no accidents.








James called this one, "The Money Shot"



This is not asking a lot, except when your budget is a dollar a day, then it's everything!



We loved the warm hospitality, the wonderful displays, the beautiful people, and the oh so tasty cuisine while visiting our local Mosque for the first time.



This is an old middle eastern lunch pail that was on display. I've seen modern versions of this. You can store multiple courses in the different compartments. Good design!


There was so much food offered. And it was all so flavorful, abundant and lovingly prepared.


There were recipes available for most of the dishes. We liked how different the spellings and pronunciations were from what we are familiar with. Many of the women shared the subtle changes made to each recipe from place to place. It was a real education in regional cuisine!

These tasty stuffed grape leaves, or dolmas, were of particular interest to us since we have so many grape leaves at our disposal. We asked if you had to use the canned grape leaves that are prepared for several months in a brine or if one could use fresh leaves. We were delighted to find that the fresh leaves are preferred by many. You simply place them very quickly into boiling water to soften and slightly wilt them before stuffing them. Learn something new every day. The woman at this mosque were beautiful and gracious. They shared so much about their cuisine with us and were so patient, generous and open.

Eggplant! Eggplant! Yeeees! The first ingredient is eggplant. Now THAT we have! Can we find some cheap tahini anywhere? This recipe rocked the house! We are going to try to include it in our kitchen back at home as soon as possible.

This was sooo good. We absolutely stuffed our faces. There was more than enough to go around.





Authentic Arabic coffee infused with Hale. With so much spice in it, this very strong coffee was almost more like a tea than anything else. Every region serves it up a little differently. Some serve it with dates or date cakes but no sugar and others use sugar but no dates or "hale" (spices). Anyway you make it this was really good!

The coffee is served on this ornate platter and poured into these tiny little glass cups. Super strong brew, but very, very delicious.




A few of the women wanted to do henna designs on Aleli's hands. Aleli was eager to spend some more time talking with them as well. James and the baby were ready to go by then. We were assured it wouldn't take long. A mother of four carefully applied this herbal paste to Aleli's hands as the two of them talked about what it is like raising four children. Other women joined in with more discussion of recipes and religion. Once the design was complete it was suppose to dry for "30 minutes" and then be brushed off to expose the stain underneath. This meant that Aleli couldn't really hold tired baby or even really navigate simple tasks for a while. Eventually the half hour passed and the paste was flicked off to reveal................ a really light design. We would later learn that the henna really should have stayed in place for several hours. Henna hands............... not really designed for mothers of four. It was, however a wonderful cultural experience from start to finish. We are glad we went!







A great big thanks to the mosque for a delicious feast and to the women for their generosity of spirit and gift of time!



1 comment:

Leesa said...

The food looks DELISH and so does the coffee... I LOVE the henna... I did it on my feet a few weeks ago but it didn't turn out as nice looking as your hands!!
You guys look like you had a wonderful time!!
Hope you are feeling better, Aleli... Hi to everyone!!
Leesa et Alex

A food for thought video. A must see for all! Enjoy!

And now a word on organics. "Grocery Store Wars"

Food, Glorious Food!

A Dollar a Day is all it takes: Plumpy' Nut...... a life saver.....please watch and think