Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world! I will never forget the excitement on hearing that Cairo would be my first overseas assignment with the British Diplomatic Service. That was over 20 years ago, but I can still feel the blanket of heat which engulfed me as I stepped off the aircraft, and if I close my eyes I can almost smell the sweet jasmine trees which lined the dusty streets.
A country steeped in history and culture – from the winding warrens of the Khan El-Khalili souk where I would wander for hours haggling over perfume bottles, spices and other treasures – to the wide open expanse of the desert where I would de-stress from the daily noise and traffic by riding on horseback for miles, then take in a spectacular sunset over the pyramids at Giza.
One of my most memorable journeys was driving through the Sinai desert by Landrover on my way to Israel. I was lucky enough to see some usually elusive Bedouin tribes who greeted me with curious, toothless smiles from afar. If ever you question infinity, it must be on such a journey with nothing other than sand stretching before you for hundreds of miles. There was, however, a sensual beauty in the starkness and solitude of the desert. I saw there, that there are many shades of sand – ranging from burning terracotta to liquid gold. Each shade determined by the sun and the moon. How small I felt in such a wondrous world.
…Dead kings knew love and passion ere they slept,
Dead cities once were glad with colour and light.
Dust now, and sand…. The wind passed through the night.
I turned to you and hid my face and wept. [Poem by Teresa Hooley]
Maggie Repp, February 2011
Baid Mutajjan- Fried Hard-boiled Eggs
Often sold in the streets of Egypt!
Peel your hard-boiled eggs and fry in olive oil until golden all around.
Dip eggs in a mixture of:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
My friend Maggie and I have teamed up with Joan of Foodalogue’s Culinary Tour: Egypt. I am not an expert on Egypt, so I have asked Maggie to guest post here on Big Red Kitchen and share a bit about her time in Egypt. What a wonderful tour she had, I can picture, smell, and taste Egypt through Maggie’s colorful stories she has shared with me. Thanks for letting us join you on this trip Joan!
Click here for the Egyptian Tour Roundup on Foodalogue.