Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Kuwait Beauty Sisterhood

We love the Kuwait Airport. I love it that you can get a cup of coffee and just sit and wait for your arrivals to make that long long walk as you exit customs and head toward the exit. We love watching the families so excited to see one another. We make up stories for ourselves to explain what we are seeing. Sometimes, we cry, too, because it is so moving. We love it when the women ululate on seeing a new arrival, when brides arrive with their husbands, when Moms come back from Hajj.

A few nights ago, my husband was meeting late arrivals at the airport and he saw something we have NEVER seen before. He saw four women, all with identical bandages over their noses. He figures they must have gone somewhere for plastic surgery. All four at the same time? We figure they must be sisters, or cousins, or very very good friends, all having their noses trimmed at the same time. He said they weren’t at all self-conscious about it, rather they were grinning with pride. I think when there are four of you with the same big bandage, it must take the self-conscious factor WAAAAAYYYYY out.

We’re always laughing at what we call “buying hope in a bottle.” For me, it might be the next luxury face cream that promises me “visible results in 7 days”. For my husband, it is always the next super camera. For some, it is the hot motorcycle, or the next hot car. For some, it is the hottest new computer, or the tiniest, biggest gigabyte iPod with all the bells and whistles. We’re all looking for a little hope. It just gives me a big grin thinking of those four brave girls going under the knife together for better noses.

December 4, 2006 Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Middle East, Random Musings, Social Issues, Travel, Women's Issues | 6 Comments

Christmas Cookies: Extra Credit Chocolate Macaroons

These are so good, and go so fast, that you might consider doubling the recipe even the first time you make it . . . Easy, easy, easy.

Chocolate Macaroons

(See Meringues for hints on separating yolks from whites)

2 egg whites, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut (available now in the Sultan Center)
1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted

(Melt chocolate on low power in microwave, or in a pan over hot water. If you try to melt it directly over the stove, it will burn, and it will smell terrible.)

Heat oven to 275 F / 140 C.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold in sugar and salt, beat again until smooth. Add vanilla, then stir in coconut and chocolate. Drop by small spoon on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet before removing.

December 4, 2006 Posted by | Christmas, Cooking, Recipes | 2 Comments

Christmas Cookies: Extra Credit Meringue Cookies

Don’t even think of making these on a humid day – the meringue will get all rubbery. It’s worth waiting for a dry day.

In the comment section of Christmas Cookies: Get Ready Little Diamond gave two recipes for her favorite cookies, which she calls Angel Kisses. Since we are related, it is no great surprise that I like them, too, and you will want to take a look at her recipes.

I even like the name Angel Kisses, but I just think of them as Meringues. And I kinda like them plain white. Sometimes I fold chocolate chips inside, but the flavor is always vanilla:

My friends, these cookies are SO simple. The toughest part is beating the egg whites. How tough can that be? Just try it, try it, it’s EASY. And for these are relatively low sugar, for a Christmas cookie.

(Separating Egg Whites from Egg Yolks
To get egg whites to be really stiff, there can’t be any yolk at all. The very safest best way to separate the egg yolk from the white is to use your HAND. Your hand doesn’t have any sharp edges to break the yolks.

Get two little bowls. Tap an egg on the edge of a cup, and open the shell slowly, over one of the bowls, and let the white fall into the bowl, tip the shell so that the yolk falls into your cupped hand and let the white flow through your fingers into the egg white bowl. Take the whole egg yolk and put it in the second little bowl.

Empty the egg white into the mixing bowl where you will be whipping the eggs. The reason is, while you are separating eggs, sometimes a yolk will break. If you are holding your hand over the egg white bowl, the entire bowl of whites can be ruined by a little piece of egg yolk. So always break the egg over a small bowl, and when you are finished, put the egg whites into the mixing bowl. That way, if you have a goof, it will only be one egg, not more.)

No greasing pans on these cookies, either, but you will need parchment paper, or good old brown paper bags, cut to fit the cookie pan. The secret to the success of these cookies is long, slow cooking at a very low temperature.

Meringues / Chocolate Kisses

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar (here is where you need really fine, white granulated sugar for really pretty meringues)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F / 160 C.

Beat egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Sprinkle in cream of tartar and salt; continue beating, add sugar slowly, slowly, beating continually until stiff. Fold in vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips, if adding.

Drop by spoonsfull on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cookies are firm to the touch and just beginning to brown around edges. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Chocolate Meringues

3 egg whites at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar
3 T. unsweetened cocoa

Preheat oven to 325 F / 160 C.

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar, beat until foamy. Slowly, slowly beat in sugar, continue beating until thick and shiny. Sprinkle cocoa in, beat just long enough to incorporate. Drop by spoonsful on prepared baking sheet, bake 30 – 40 minutes or until cookies are firm on the outside. Remove carefully to wire racks, cool thoroughly.

There is a recipe for Almond Meringue cookies for diabetics at Cooks.com.

December 4, 2006 Posted by | Christmas, Cooking, Generational, Holiday, Kuwait, Recipes | 2 Comments

   

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