Nov 17, 2010

A birthday Meal

The simple things in Dakar are not always so simple. Take cooking. Today is Jon's birthday and he loves mexican food. It's been awhile since we've had basic tacos, and I think I can safely say, it will be awhile more. But I wanted to make him something...something like mexican food.

First step, tortillas. There are no tortillas in Dakar. Homemade tortillas would be a simple fix, right? So I found a bunch of recipes that use lard, and resolved to replace the lard with butter. I'm getting ready to start mixing the tortillas and I realize I left our baking powder at the last apartment we were living in. And unfortunately, its a holiday today, so we won't be going to the store. (more on that later). So now, I'll just have to make the tortillas without the baking powder. I'm not sure how this will turn out, but I'm just hoping they work well enough to wrap whatever it is that I manage to make for filling.

At the store yesterday I found green peppers, onion, and chicken. Ahh chicken fajitas, right? There's no sour cream or avocados, so these will be VERY simple fajitas, but hey it's something, right?

Cheese. This one should be simple, but have you ever tried emmentel in burritos? its pretty awful. I opted for the fake, orange, american cheese slices. I will cut them up and hopefully they will approximate jack cheese.

Salsa. There's no salsa, but we've got tomatoes and onions. Maybe I'll add a little garlic? No cilantro, but it will have to do.

And finally, cake. The ingredients are hard to come by, but I found a chocolate cake mix that will have to do. Unfortunately, the apartment we just moved into doesn't have any oven safe baking dishes. I am resolved. I'm going to try cooking in a bowl. We'll see what happens.

I'll let you know how things turn out! Next week, Thanksgiving, where I hope to make use of my $14 celery!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, sweet husband.

Nov 16, 2010


I can't tell you how much I've begun to miss things. How it aches. How I am sometimes so sad and I just don't know if I can do this. It started in Paris, but here in Senegal this homesickness has grown. In the morning I lie in bed thinking about how I will make it through the day. Just one day at a time, I tell myself. One day at a time. I put on a brave face for my daughter because I want her to feel all the things I don't feel: settled and safe. But sometimes I crack. Lately I've been cracking a lot. I cry in front of her. I break down. Is it going to get easier?

Everyone I meet says it will--get easier that is.

I want to report to you all the things I've seen in Senegal. I want to tell you about this city I'm living in. But I can't; not yet. Hopefully, it will get easier. Until then, I will share with you what I can.

Nov 15, 2010