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Manaeesh zaatar-flatbread

Manaeesh zaatar-flatbread

I had the pleasure of chatting and cooking with Nadeen Kharputy, as she shared her Mom’s recipe for Manaeesh zaatar.   “asking a loved one if they’ve eaten is the ultimate Arab auntie way of showing care and affection”  

Super Easy Almond Flour Pancakes

Saturday mornings in our household often begin with some sort of pancakes for the kids. They always enjoy making them together as much as they enjoy eating them!. This is our quick and simple recipe.

Lunchtime Lime with Bea Jimenez and the Spanish Tortilla

Lunchtime Lime with Bea Jimenez and the Spanish Tortilla

You know how I love food, not only because of the physical nourishment that it can provide, but also the nourishment to the soul, and the connections and and wisdom that it can offer.

So, when, during the pandemic a fired of mine suggested that I join a platform called Lunchclub, I simply assumed that it was just that…a place to meet people and have lunch. It turns out that it has nothing to do with lunch…audit a professional platform like linked in to meet with professional who have similar experiences. Well, I was kind of bummed…but quickly turned it into a lunch club by inviting my connections to make their favorite recipes with me. It was a wonderful project for me! I met s many beautiful people around the world and got to cook their favorite recipes!

 

Mi abuela siempre decía que el mejor regalo era la salud. Y yo sonreía sabiendo que el mejor regalo era ella. 

También decía que todo en esta vida tiene solución menos la muerte, y ahora se que tenia razón. Ella paso por mucho, una guerra civil, la muerte prematura de su marido y mucha pobreza, pero siempre estaba dispuesta a hacer tortilla de patatas. Quiero pensar que su tortilla era su manera de hacerme feliz porque ella sabia que puedes ser feliz con muy pocos ingredientes. 

Como sabía que yo era muy impaciente y quería comerme la tortilla enseguida, ella me la escondía y me decía que tenia que ser paciente porque la tortilla siempre sabe mejor al día siguiente. Y es verdad, os reto a que lo comprobéis vosotros mismos, ¡la tortilla al día siguiente sabe mejor! A veces en la vida solamente necesitas ser un poco paciente. 

My grandmother always said that the best gift was health. And I smiled knowing that the best gift was her.

She also said that everything in this life has a solution except death, and nowadays I know she was right. She went through a lot, a civil war, the premature death of her husband and a lot of poverty, but she was always ready to make a potato omelet. I want to think that her tortilla was her way of making me happy because she knew that you can be happy with very few ingredients.

As she knew that I was very impatient and she wanted to eat the tortilla right away, she hid it from me, and she told me that she had to be patient because the tortilla always tastes better the next day. And it’s true, I challenge you to check it out for yourself, the tortilla the next day tastes better! Sometimes in life you just need to be a little patient.

 

Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omlette)

Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omlette)

 Once upon a Thyme · Tortilla de Papas   I spent a great deal of time in Madrid between 2009 and 2011, and loved going to the farmers market to chat with the vendors. I inevitably ended up with MUCH more than I had…

Homemade Farfalle-Butterfly Pasta

Homemade Farfalle-Butterfly Pasta

  Once upon a Thyme · Homemade Pasta Farfalle – 4:21:22, 7.29 AM Who doesn’t love a pasta dish?  Making Pasta is one thing that I love doing on weekends with whichever children happen to  around. It is such a great engaging activity, that enables…

Planting New Roots: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

Planting New Roots: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

I recently took a deep dive into my heart. I changed my career. I left my friends and my home and everything that was familiar to me, and moved across the Atlantic.  I arrived into my new country with a suitcase in one hand, my daughter’s hand in the other and my heart full of promise.

I spent the first couple of weeks living in hotels, looking for flats. 23 flats later, I had become completely exhausted and feelings of fear and anxiety began to creep in.

Even though my mother tongue is English, so many of my interactions left me feeling so incredibly alien and rather insecure. One such incident occurred with a discussion with my real estate agent.

“Whats your social?” She asked me.

“Uhm, I am not really active on social media” I responded, wondering why she would need this anyway. I got a hard stare.

“What-is-your-so-cial se-curity-num-ber,” she spat out, with an exaggerated eye roll and a condescending huff.

Further conversations were just as confusing.

She was constantly throwing acronyms in, around and out of sentences. I had to constantly ask for translations, which clearly exacerbated her and frustrated me.

On the last day of the month, my agents told me that there was nothing more on offer. I also did not have a credit history in this country, which made it even more difficult for any landlord to rent me a flat. An elderly lady whom I had met at the hotel, overheard the conversation and shard that she had just heard about a private listing.

I called the number listed, got  a cab and headed over. 

The minute I walked inside of the flat, my heart smiled, and my daughter took out her wallet, gave the landlady three coins,  and proudly stated that, “We were taking this flat!” 

I let the lady upfront know that I did not have a social security number, nor a credit score to prove that I would be a good tenant. We exchanged a few words and within a few minutes, I had a landed a home.

“I’m giving you all three keys, my new landlady said, smiling with a youthful giggle and a heart full of trust.

I most gratefully took the set of keys, placed them carefully into my pocket, headed back to the hotel to grab my bags and looked forward to sleeping in our new flat.

We sang during the entire cab ride, while the cab driver bopped his head to our rhythm. 

When we reached in front of our new home, I skipped out, and reached for my keys. My fingers fumbled around and I didn’t hear a jingle.

I stopped singing and my heart stopped smiling.

I checked my left pocket. My right pocket, again. My bag. My other bag.

Nothing.

My recently-found excitement deflated and morphed into panic.

I called the cab and asked him to check his car. 

“No, Mam. They are not here.”

I called him again and asked if he could take me back to the hotel.

We drove back and forth three times, after which point the taxi driver took off the meter. He looked at me pitifully through his rearview mirror, as tears made their way down my face.

On our fourth trip back to the hotel, the receptionist ran to me and handed me the lost keys, with a look of relief that mirrored mine. 

I went to bed, as my feelings and thoughts took turns between fear towards this unknown chapter, and excitement towards this unknown chapter.  ” Have I made the right decision? What if…? I woke up exhausted and famished, craving the taste..any taste of home…something familiar.

It was the knock at the door which took me away from my thoughts. I cracked it open and saw a gentleman, carrying a smile and holding a beautiful box, which he handed over to me.

“We live next door, and just made a batch of chocolate chip cookies to welcome you.”

An awkward moment of silence followed, because there was a huge fanfare party going on in my body, and no words could come out my mouth. I wanted to jump and scream and shout and cry, but I managed to hold myself back, with squinted eyes and a much-too-wide smile. 

The chocolate chip cookies were the perfect texture with a thin, crispy exterior, and a beautifully chewy centre, sprinkled with sea salt.

They were the perfect welcome; The taste of home, for which I had craved. That was when I knew that things are going to be O.K., after all.

The Magic of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Magic of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

Once upon a Thyme · The Magic Of The Chocolate Chip Cookie The chocolate chip cookie has always held great meaning for me from my first bite. It was the first time that I had travelled to the United States. A little girl was eating…

Sweet Potato Falafel

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Connection: Cologne to Namibia

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Connection: Cologne to Namibia

I recall so vividly that Sunday morning. It was such a quiet day, with no traffic populating the streets.  There was no hustle and bustle of people going to work or school. My ears were attuned to the flutter and song of birds outside of…


All Time Favorites

Homemade Farfalle-Butterfly Pasta

Homemade Farfalle-Butterfly Pasta

  Once upon a Thyme · Homemade Pasta Farfalle – 4:21:22, 7.29 AM Who doesn’t love a pasta dish?  Making Pasta is one thing that I love doing on weekends with whichever children happen to  around. It is such a great engaging activity, that enables…