Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Yasmin Farms, Kuwait

“But this is just as good, madame.” the produce manager was telling me, but I’ve tried this spinach, and it’s NOT!

“The spinach from Yasmin Farms, which I bought here, has the BEST taste,” I told him again, “please, please, tell me when the Yasmin Farms spinach will be delivered and I will make a special trip to buy it. It isn’t like the others, it’s better.”

This is some of the best tasting spinach I have ever tasted:

I wonder what else Yasmin Farms grows?

Grown in Kuwait!
“Madame,” he shook his head sadly, “I think there is no more spinach from Yasmin Farms this year.”

I love fresh spinach. I love it in salads. I love to cook it just a little, with garlic. I love to cook it just a little, with soy sauce and tahini. I love to cook it and serve it with a little bacon. I love to use it in dips. I love to use it in vegetarian lasagne. I love to use it in cassaroles. I even use it raw in sandwiches.

Spinach is one of the joys in my life, and the spinach from Yasmin Farms is back in the Sultan Center, for only a short time. I bought so much – we will be eating spinach and more spinach! 🙂

I also found Kuwaiti artichokes! We cooked them up last night, and they were nutty, and delicious.

Back in October, something happened that changed my life unexpectedly. I was visiting Fonzation and he had a post on How Old Are You Really? You take this test. It is a long test. Then, a couple hours later, they send you your results, how old your body is, given your health history, your family health history, and your habits.

OK, here is a truth I am ashamed to tell you. I felt pretty confident I am younger than my real age.

So I took the test, and came out two years older than my real age because I don’t get enough exercise. It really hurt my feelings. And then, because you have to give them an e-mail where they can send the results, they started sending me a little newsletter telling me little hints that would help me lower my real age, and they were mostly hints I could incorporate into my life easily. Things like telling me that artichokes – which I love anyway – have a huge amount of fibre. So last night we had delicious, fibre-filled KUWAITI-grown artichokes. What a treat!

Both AdventureMan and I are really trying harder to live healthier lives. We ate breakfast this morning (neither of us likes breakfast) and he had oatmeal, a very special oatmeal that my best friend sent from Seattle, and I had a healthy oat-y granola, and we both had blueberries in our cereal. Blueberries are amazingly good for you – I have learned from this health newsletter. (Breakfast is a lot easier when you are jet lagging, wide awake at three and have some time to kill before going to work.) Skipping breakfast is another thing that is bad for your “real” age, as it turns out.

This test is not like “what kind of flower are you,” which is fun, and frivolous and gone from your mind two days later. Two months later it is still having an impact on us. Visit his site and take this test. And then RUN to the Sultan Center and buy some Yasmin farms spinach!

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Experiment, Health Issues, Kuwait | 16 Comments

Stop Honor

I used to send out e-mails to close friends about my adventures travelling and living in “exotic” places. When you live your entire life in one place, the smallest things that may seem trivial to you are interesting and different to those who have never been to your country. I would get letters back saying “you don’t know me, you don’t even know the person who shared your e-mail with me, but (that person’s) former wife is related to one of the people you sent the e-mail to . .”

If someone makes an interesting comment on a blog I follow, sometimes I follow that comment, which I did today. On the blog of a person I don’t follow, from a comment from another blogger I don’t follow, I found this fascinating website:
Stop Honor

Here is what I would describe as their mission statement:

INTERNATIONAL: International Campaign Against Honour Killings
Posted by Ginger on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 (12:56:46) (187 reads)

Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called ‘honour killings’, according to the UN. These crimes occur where cultures believe that a woman’s unsanctioned sexual behaviour brings such shame on the family that any female accused or suspected must be murdered. Reasons for these murders can be as trivial as talking to a man, or as innocent as suffering rape.

I’ve lived in countries where honor killings happened, and we knew about it. It would be in the paper. We saw it in Jordan, in particular, where there is now a huge effort to put an end to the killings, and in Qatar, where it was never in the paper, but the kids would tell their teachers about it, and word travels fast in a small country.

I never hear a word about honor killings in Kuwait.

Is that because there aren’t any?

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Health Issues, Jordan, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Women's Issues | , | 24 Comments

Expiration Dates

Thank God for other bloggers. Simply Stinni, in addition to having some drop-dead fabulous recipes, often has good little tips for shopping in Kuwait. One reminded me to check expiration dates, something I just don’t even think about doing.

As I was preparing for a party, I needed some cream cheese for a dip. When I checked the expiration date, this is what I saw:

From August 2007 to May 2008? Horrors! I am aghast. What kinds of preservatives would you have to use to give cream cheese such a long shelf life??

There must be some local equivalent, a very mild soft cheese that I could use. You know I love buying local, buying fresh – help me out here. What can I use in place of processed cream cheese?

December 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Community, Cooking, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Shopping, Statistics | , , , | 14 Comments