Friday, December 10, 2010

Feeling hunger

Lebanon has been a culinary joy. Christmas cookies coming out of my ears, complimented by good coffee, homecooked African food, homecooked Chinese food, labne and other Lebanese delights, and plenty more.

Though the food has been amazing, what has brought me to the next level of heaven has been the contrast with the life I left behind. In Sue Dan, the food is not bad, but it's not exciting either. We have cooks in our guesthouses who make an assortment of dishes, an intriguing combination of Sudanese, West African and East Asian cuisine - all represented to some extent in each dish. The same 5-10 dishes are repeated almost daily. Good food, but after a few months, not very exciting.

Here, the food is exciting and I've been eating as much as I can appropriately stomache. Sometimes my hunger is insatiable, and other times I've burnt out, feeling like the mere thought of food would sicken me.

What's really getting my hunger out of whack though, is the Food Channel! The last few nights, right around midnight, we have been watching the Food Channel. Two nights ago it was a special on the uses of vinegar: roast meat recipes and an intriguing salad in which parmesan is roasted onto a half a head of romaine lettuce then sprinkled on top with shaved frozen red-wine vinegar! (I know, seriously, didn't that make you feel hunger just now?) Last night it was a tour of the kitchens in various southern barbeque joints.

Watching the food channel just empties out my stomach. The hunger hits loud and strong and I just want to eat everything! (Remind me to NOT watch the Food Channel when in the Dar and can't access much of anything.)

As an aside, the other hunger I'm feeling is the hunger for writing. Such a strange feeling, and even stranger is the feeling of utter satisfaction after a productive session typing.

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