I can’t believe I made it to day one hundred! I feel like I should celebrate, but I can’t seem to find time. Below is a little recap of how the past three and a bit months have influenced me and each other. But first, Lebanon.
It was 1:40 am when I sat down to eat my tabouli after finishing a twelve-hour shift at the pub (oh, the life of a server). Such a simple, healthy and delicious dish, it was perfect (suggested by my manager Alana). Traditionally made with bulgur, I used couscous because of my time constraints (bulgur needs to be soaked and then dried before using it).
A few facts about Taboulleh:
- The word tabbouleh (tabbūla) derives from the root Arabic word “to season” or “to spice.”
- Tabbouleh is properly eaten by scooping up small amounts with pieces of romaine lettuce.
- Tabbouleh relies heavily on parsley to cleanse the mouth between bites of other more heavily seasoned dishes, such as hummus.
- Served as part of the mezze or beginning course.
- The Guiness World Record for Tabbouleh was in 2009 in Beirut, Lebanon, weighing 3557 kilograms! “250 sous-chefs and their 50 bosses from the state-run culinary school chopped and sliced over three and a half tonnes (7,000 pounds) of the salad, using 1,600 kilogrammes (3,520 pounds) of parsley, 1,500 kilogrammes (3,300 pounds) of ripe tomatoes and 420 kilogrammes (926 pounds) of onions.” (Google News)
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2-3 tablespoons fine bulgur
1 chopped firm tomato
1/2 onion or 2 scallions chopped
1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayyene pepper (optional)
Serve cold garnished with romaine lettuce.
Making it to day 100!
It’s been a crazy few months, but I’m over a quarter of the way into my year of experiments and I’ve learned a lot. Sometimes those lessons are obvious right away, and sometimes they are a little harder to figure out, but I do feel more knowledgeable – and more tired!
It’s interesting how each month tends to help the next ones. I still use coupons – one I even used to get someone to go on a second date with me! I agreed to direct a one-woman play because of art month, which we’re rehearsing for right now, and the woman was a guinea pig for a couple international recipes. Some of my dates from last month have sent me ideas for this month.
Extreme couponing taught me about planning, making lists and saving money (I’ve managed to do all the months on a budget so far). 30 Days of Art taught me about being creative and trying new things. Date month helped me connect with some amazing people, go to places I would have never gone on my own, and to be comfortable in meeting people. This month so far has made me try new foods and eat healthier meals. They’ve all taught me about time management.
There have been days when I’ve hated that I’m doing this – that I’d love a ‘normal’ life where I don’t have to blog and make Taboulleh at 1:30am. But most days I love it. I love that I’m learning something new and writing every day. I love talking about my project – still. I love sharing my experiences with other people, whether by the blog or by them being a part of whatever adventure I have planned for the day. I love that I’ve created this for myself (with the help of so many great people) and I feel so fortunate every day that I can do this. Whether this turns into a million-copy selling book becomes less and less the point (although that would be fantastic). It’s about the experience, the knowledge and the growth. And the chance to share that with you.
South African curried meat casserole – Bobotie