My smartphone is my demise

October 20, 2014

It starts with 5 minutes of free time. I’m checking WhatsApp. Checking my emails. Then I notice my update from Pinterest. Waste an hour looking at ‘kids bedroom’ ideas or funny movie quotes…

Or I’m playing Solitaire with one hand while rocking my daughter to sleep with the other.

It’s night, I’m going to bed. But I’m not quite ready to sleep, yet. Let me see what I could make for dinner tomorrow. I spend an hour browsing recipes. Or perhaps I should check what new restaurant we could visit next time we’re out. So I end up scrolling through Urban Moon Kuwait or Talabat listings until after midnight.

The tendons in my hands hurt from holding that stupid damn thing. My eyes strain.

Tomorrow I’ll do it again.

The Kuwait Bookshop closing down sale

October 7, 2014

The grapevine brought news that the Kuwait Bookshop in Al Muthanna is having a closing down sale.

photo 1 copy

This must be the largest bookshop in Kuwait! It has a huge range of books, including children literature and foreign language books (I’ve seen plenty of books in English and French). They have magazines and birthday cards, too. It is located in the basement of the Muthanna Mall next to the Marriott Hotel (City Centre).

The sale has been going on for a while now but there is no need to panic. Apparently they have sold so many books that they are thinking of keeping the shop going!

Do you find browsing bookstores enjoyable like I do?

largest Kuwait book store sale

Muthana Kuwait bookshop

Muthana bookshop closing down?

Kuwait Bookshop sale

Al Muthana Kuwait bookshop sale

Oh, and look what I got!

Speak Kuwaiti book

Baked-grilled nagroor

September 26, 2014

Quick, I must write it down before I forget it. A good recipe came out of my brave experiment.

grilled nagroor preparation

For two nagroor fish (about 3 kg):

a couple of ripe dates
2 onions
1/2 bunch of parsley
1/2 bunch of dill
1 green chili pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tomato (optional)
2 spoons of ghee or butter
2 spoons of oil
salt, pepper
spice mix (coriander, cumin, ground chili, ground mustard seed)

The fish need to be cut from the dorsal side (back, not belly) and the fishmonger will do it for you if asked.

Rub the outside of the fish (the scales and head) with dates. This is supposed to prevent it from getting burnt.

Finely chop onion, tomato and herbs, add melted butter, oil and spices, with a generous amount of the spice mix. Make a paste. Cover the fish so it wouldn’t dry out during baking or grilling.

It took about 1 hour, or slightly more, in 250 °C. I have a gas oven, so I baked the nagroor initially with the bottom flame and put the grill on at the end.

Halfway through, I spooned some more ghee on top of the fish to keep them moist.

grilled nagroor preparation

We usually order this fish for home delivery and it has always been delicious. This time we bought fish from Souk Sharq (3,5 KD per kilo) and I managed to hack the restaurant’s recipe. So moist and tasty!

Missing Scotland

September 20, 2014

A big piece of my heart stayed in Scotland. I miss the green and mountainous landscapes and lovely, friendly people. It’s painful comparing that place with this one. At this moment I particularly long for the fresh mornings at the beginning of autumn.

It’s been very emotional watching the independence debate and voting.

Luckily, you can find delicious sausages in Kuwait (of course halal, beef), straight from the butcher’s stall. So today’s lunch was sausages & mash!

sausages and mash

Pączki (Donuts)

May 17, 2014

 

I made Polish style donuts today for the first time in my life and they were delicious!

The trick seems to be in: loose dough; learning to manipulate the loose dough without getting it stuck to your hands and generally all over; making sure the frying oil is neither too hot nor too cold.

Ta dah!

donuts

I will have these over Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ any day!

Arabic sweets

May 3, 2014

Whenever we want to treat ourselves, we go to Kanafani (they’re a chain with plenty of branches) and order a box of kunafa. I like the little rolled pieces. This is something to indulge in.

The soft, melted cheese and crispy, crunchy shell make a perfect combination for the palate. The first pieces are usually gone by the time we start the car…

kunafa

Inspector Gadget

April 14, 2014

The newest fashion which hit Kuwait: to have your mobile disguised as a bottle of Chanel No. 5.

chanel no. 5 mobile

 

Baby perfumes

February 22, 2014

Another thing that surprised me in this country. Baby perfumes are being sold here. And not just a choice of one or two – a whole shelf! Apparently babies want to smell good, too.

It’s because they sweat so much, and they drink milk, which makes their breath turn sour. And they want to smell good. Especially when going out to a party or meeting with friends for a play date. And when they come home after a long day at work and kiss their wife/ husband hello, they also want to smell good.

So next time you don’t know what to get for a baby, buy them a flask of cologne!

IMG_1160

I was curious enough to demand a presentation from the sales assistant. The Bulgari “Petits et Mamans” smells of baby powder.

IMG_1161

A bun in the oven

October 18, 2013

What happens during the last few weeks of pregnancy:

- sitting the usual way  is not comfortable as your belly gets in the way of your thighs;

- you keep discovering food stains on your top (former waist area) after meals and toothpaste foam after brushing teeth;

- not even three layers of clothing can hide your sticking out belly button;

- there is something pushing around inside of you, which makes you feel like you’re wearing ill-fitting clothes, but on the inside;

- your personal space expands even more, so that you shout at people in the queue to keep their distance;

- even small activities, like getting up in the morning or eating, make you tired;

- at night you make yourself go to sleep by doing Kegel squeezes;

- you wish you had bought that wedge pillow for your bump which you thought looked ridiculous in the picture;

- you dream about painting your toenails again.

Moving to a different continent

May 10, 2013

Kuwait it is, then.

I have moved, packed my belongings, cleared and cleaned the flat in Edinburgh (which took about two weeks of methodical work) and will be living in a different continent in the forseeable future.

I am missing all my friends and family, already, and the green, cold and windy capital of Scotland.


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