Saturday, November 19, 2005

Turnip Love 2

We began our day today with bread, cheese, jam and cream, and tea. Also, fearing there is lots of turnip to eat and it will start molding if I don’t get started now, I ended up caving in and eating the turnip because I finally realize my body is starving and I came from overeating calorie-packed American food to having snacks for my meals. Having the flu isn’t helping either, although it has helped keep the appetite somewhat at bay.

Good news, the turnip is actually delicious! Apparently, after boiling, it takes on a sweet taste and its consistency is similar to that of mandioca, a food I remember having in Paraguay. Mandioca is a big sweet root with a brown hairy skin and white flesh that is poisonous unless cooked. I think it’s also known as cassava and it comes from the yucca family. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, it was nice and sweet, and when salted, the sweet-salty flavor is delightful on the tastebuds. I was pleasantly surprised and am looking forward to adding it to our food repertoire. Ali Bob thinks it isn’t bad, but he doesn’t seem all that thrilled.

Lunch for AliBob was the last of the egg salad and then we went back to the bread, cheese, cream and jam. I actually also remembered today (yes, it took that long to remember) that my mom and dad (so far-sighted they are) had sent us with a few small prepackaged foods (salmon, tuna and pre-grilled lemon herb tuna fillets) just in case we didn’t have food so I made I used the tuna chunks to make a tuna salad for lunch. This one needs no draining and is ready to use. I made a mix with the mayo, salt and pepper. It was delicious, but the fantasy bread was ever harder and more stale tasting. AliBob hates fish (unless it’s super breaded and deep fried) so he was unable to partake. So now our menu includes boiled turnips, tuna mix and lavash, cheese, cream and jam.

We went for a little walk to the University together. Actually, we didn’t go through the gates, we just walked as far as the roundabout but didn’t cross. Quite a walk. Then we walked back. It’s fun, walking up and down these streets to explore. There isn’t that much, but it’s still interesting to see.
We saw a cyber-café, a few meat stores (no chicken or beef in sight it seems) and several restaurants. We are trying to keep track of the restaurants to see where we’d like to eat.

I also noticed lots of cute little gardens along the street. They have playground sets and benches and are quite well maintained. Very green, with pretty flowers and large trees. The street is also lined with young eucalyptus trees on either side.
Maybe the Qomis were inspired by the Ayatollah. Agha Katebi told us during our drive to Qom from the airport that the Grand Ayatollah Ardebili founded Mofid University in 1989 and he *loved* trees and nature, so he had lots and lots of trees planted all over the campus.

As we drove around with Dr. Elahi when he had taken us out, we noticed the outer walls of the university formed the dividing line between dense forest on one side (inside the university’s walls) and stark mountainous dusty desert on the other. It’s always so fun to see the two side by side. The Ayatollah was a smart man.

Anyway, I haven’t taken any pictures of the sights around our neighborhood, but I will at some point, when I feel a little less foreign.

On a funnier note, people have *really* been checking IrfanAli out. He’s this tall alabaster glow-in-the-dark hero and people stare and swoon. And then they look and me and it doesn’t seem to click for them. Why would this tall, handsome (?) foreigner be with a fat brown prune??? I don’t have the requisite porcelain skin or doe eyes needed in Persian culture (or brown or arab cultures for that matter), but that’s just the way of things. It annoys him to no end and I'm really enjoying his discomfort. mua. ha. [insert more maniacal laughter here]

We tried eating out again tonight because we still don’t have any food (except garlic and onions) to cook or Paki spices with which to cook. And yes, I know most people could probably whip up something amazing with all that stuff around, but I’m just not that amazing. I need lots of help.

Tonight we went to a pizza place a few blocks away and got takeout. We had high hopes and it smelled amazing. We were unable to finish the pizzas. The dough was quite good, as was the cheese. The problem was, there was no tomato sauce (which AliBob had warned me of) and it was STUFFED full of meat. There was lamb and chicken and sausage. The sausage was white in color and spongy in texture. They had topped the pizza with good veggies, and we tried just eating the veggies and cheese and the bread but there was actually so much meat that we weren’t able to successfully pick it out of the cheese and the bread tasted of sausage and lamb juice. It was another night of jam and cream and cheese and bread and tea for us, and the some more of the tuna mix for me. I also had some turnips throughout the day.


Blogger huma said...

start taking some pictures -- i thought we said you looked like whitney...

2:22 AM  

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