Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Roasted Tomatoes

A friend brought me a huge bag of tomatoes, and also a serving of the same tomatoes roasted up – oh WOW. Roasting these already tasty tomatoes concentrates their flavor.

I serve them as a side dish. I add them to salads, and to salad dressings. I serve them as a salad with a little Balsamic vinegar. I add them to the spaghetti sauce. I make them into a roasted tomato soup, with basil (be sure to use real cream; it’s OK, it just makes the taste richer and more satisfying. If you are satisfied, you won’t eat more and the cream won’t make you fat. I promise.) They are like magic, anything they touch tastes wonderful.

Chop cherry tomatoes in half, bigger tomatoes into quarters. Place in a long flat pan (with sides; these get juicy at first) and spray with a really good olive oil and sprinke with sea salt.

Roast at 180°C / 350°F for 40 minutes, longer if you want less juice.

You will find it hard to resist eating them right out of the pan.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cooking, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 5 Comments

Meat and Fish at the Sultan Center

It doesn’t take long before you live in a country long enough that you don’t see with the same eyes as when you came. Last week, as I was shopping, I was looking for something to fix for dinner. Normally, I just see something and grab and go, but my attention was caught by how expensive everything was, and then again, by the fact that American ground beef was twice as expensive as New Zealand ground beef, and both were really really expensive – it’s ground beef!

I’ve been careful about meat ever since I read Deadly Feasts about ten years ago. The book is a medical mystery, it traces the identification of Mad Cow Disease, and how vulnerable we all are. The human variant takes ten years to develop – all because tainted meat enters our food supply, because meat producers are too greedy to pass up a cow who is stumbling and falling down.


Even those who keep it out of the human food chain often process fallen cows for animal food.

And none of that has anything to do, really, with this post. The point is, for once, instead of rushing by, I was paying attention. When you pay attention, you start to see things (again) (or for the first time.) Here, you see things routinely that you don’t see in the United States:

Lamb’s brains:

Lamb’s heart:

Sheep’s feet:

Fresh Quail:

Kuwaiti Shoom:

Saudi Shrimp (these look big, but Kuwaiti shrimp, in season, are even bigger, and the sweetest shrimp you have ever tasted):

Iranian Squid:

Nuabi (a fish caught locally)

I love Kuwaiti seafood, and this is the one I love the best of all, Kuwaiti Zubaidi:

For those of you in the US, you can multiply the prices by four for an approximate idea of how much the food costs in dollars. The dollar is slipping here, as everywhere else, prices are going up, and we are taking the double whammy.

The seafood is out of this world. Even though expensive, local caught seafood is about what we would pay for seafood in the US. Vegetables IN SEASON can be reasonable. When I want iceburg lettuce, I pay about $3/ head. I have wonderful friends who are sharing their bumper crops of vegetables this year, and oh! they are SO good, so tasty! One of my friends has tried some heirloom tomatoes, and they are doing well!

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Books, Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Shopping, Social Issues, Technical Issue | , , , , | 16 Comments

St. Patrick and the Wearing of the Green

Growing up in the USA, everyone knows, as a kid, that on St. Patrick’s Day you wear green. It doesn’t mean you are Catholic, or Christian, it means you don’t want to get a pinch, because that is what happens to kids who don’t wear green. (You know how mean kids can be!)

Later on, maybe in high school, a few people will wear orange and explain that they are Irish protestants. Most of us, as kids, don’t really know a whole lot about St. Patrick other than that he went to Ireland to convert the heathens to believe in the church, and that he cast the snakes out of Ireland.

When you get older, St. Patrick’s Day is often a rollicking night in local taverns with Irish names, where they serve stew, and soda bread, and potatoes, and lots of green beer and live music singing old Irish songs.

There are references below to the short version of St. Patrick’s life, and a longer version. The longer version is the Catholic version and, while less documented, is longer and more interesting.

This is from Wikipedia, and is a short summary of the life of St. Patrick:

Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius[2], Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. Patrick was born in Roman Britain. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary, working in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he actually worked and no link can be made with Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.

(From Who Was St. Patrick?)

The available body of evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick’s life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Many of these works cannot be taken as authentic traditions. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster (see below) would imply that he lived from 378 to 493, and ministered in modern day northern Ireland from 433 onwards.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a long and detailed but easy-to-read description of the life of St. Patrick, who gave up a life of riches to serve the church in the wilds of Ireland.

March 17, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Biography, Character, ExPat Life, Ireland, Spiritual | , | 6 Comments