Tag Archives: Food


This is my tagine. I bought it at Sur La Table for under thirty dollars. There were other tagines that were far more expensive, but I wanted one that was ceramic and perhaps closer to what you might find in North Africa. Continue reading


Tunisian Brik

Tunisian Brik

Tunisian Brik

We once had an exchange student from Tunisia who stayed with us for far too short of time. I’ll always be grateful to her for introducing Tunisian brik into our home. Technically, I think these are actually called Fingers of Fatima as brik are traditionally triangular and feature a raw egg, but brik is what she called them and that is good enough for me. Plus, it’s easier than explaining who Fatima was and why we are eating her fingers. Continue reading

Wurstfest: German Food and Texas Fun

Wurstfest, 2008

Marketplatz, Wurstfest, New Braunfels, Texas, 2008

Wurstfest is the Texas version of Oktoberfest that is held in New Braunfels, Texas each year during the first week of November. Olga, Asya, Irina, and Kate all attended the festival with us. It’s a fun place for an exchange student to absorb a little Texas culture. The two Muslim girls did not attend because Continue reading

Pickled Lemons

Preparing Pickled Lemons

Preparing Pickled Lemons

One staple of North African and Arabic cooking is pickled lemons. There is a recipe for chicken tagine with green olives and pickled lemons that gets made in our home on a regular basis. I have found pickled lemons at the Arabic grocery store, but they are not nearly as good as what you can prepare at home. With a few hours of preparation time, you can make enough pickled lemons to last a year. Continue reading

Life with a Muslim Exchange Student

Volunteer Work, Texas, 2007

Volunteer Work, Texas, 2007

Somehow in our hosting journey we were transitioned from Slavic to Muslim daughters. After four daughters from Russia and Belarus as well as months spent in those two countries, having a Russian in the house became comfortable and predictable. Those things that made them Russian no longer seemed different or surprising but just what was to be expected. Without doubt, taking in a Muslim exchange daughter moved us out of our comfort zone and into a new learning experience. Continue reading

Be Careful! Tea Kettles!

"Danger, Tea Kettles", Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russian Federation, June 2008

"Be Careful! Tea Kettles!", Tea Kettle Museum, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Russian Federation, June 2008

In the Golden Ring north of Moscow, outside of Pereslavl-Zalessky where Alexander Nevsky was born, and near Lake Pleshcheyevo on which a young Peter the Great sailed his boats, is located the funky little Tea Kettle Museum. Continue reading

Uzbek Palov

The Russian Cook Book"

Please to the Table: The Russian Cook Book

I love Palov. I love cooking it and I love eating eating it. Palov is a traditional dish from Central Asia prepared with lamb, onion, carrots, and rice. Although a recipe had resided on my shelf for years in Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman’s excellent cook book Please to the Table: The Russian Cook Book, I just seemed to skip over those pages every time I was looking for a recipe. Continue reading