The Bucket of Doom

Peer inside.

Nooo! Why did you do that? Didn’t your mama teach you better than to listen to random voices on the internet? Now you are a victim of the Evil Paint Monster!

You can’t run.

You can’t hide.

It will get you.

Remember?

“Okay, we’re here,” Earl Grey said.

They peered out the car windows. There were no palms reaching up into the serene blue sky to be seen– instead, a great, rusty dumpster filled their sights. Steam and flies rose from it; dark, oily juice dribbled from it and ran into the street. Behind them was only an unfamiliar stretch of concrete.

“Do you want us to be kidnapped?” Flower Killer cried. She turned to Slime Monster, brushing away a lone tear. “How cruel life is. What a brother we have, abandoning us in distant lan–“
“Gogogogogo!” Earl Grey interrupted. “Quickly! Before I’m found out!” He yanked the wide brimmed hat further down his face and scanned the streets through his large sunglasses.
“A noble fate, at least, it will be,” sighed Slime Monster gallantly. “Send my salams to every one back home. Come on, sister, off into the great unknown we shall ventu–“
“Aaaaaah! Someone’s coming!” Earl Grey ducked down. “Go now before he sees me and digs his claws in me!”
“Oh, fine,” sniffed Flower Killer. “Whatever you say.”
The two descended from their chariot and began the long trek towards civilization, while Early Grey zipped out of the parking lot.
THE END

Tit for Tat

My sisters just love what I do to our room. Lumpy potatoes, so full of grace, in glasses of water, and styrofoam cups of dirt adorning all available windowsills. Not to mention when I decide that a little fertilizer might cure our sluggish habits and sprinkle eggshells and earthworms on every person’s bed. What would they do without me?!

Quote of the day: We see a tall person and we swoon. –Malcolm Gladwell

Baba Ghanoush to the Rescue!

This is a tale of the sweet darling Baba and the evil, selfish Snowflake.

Once upon a time, Baba Ghanoush was chasing after Snowflake, trying to clean behind her ear.

“Come here! You’re so dirty!”
“No! I like being dirty!”

Snowflake jingled up the stairs, heading to the toilet for a quick drink, Baba at  her heels. (Do cats have heels?)

But SURPRISE! Everything was frozen! And Snowflake was cornered.

“Grrrr! Now,” snarled Baba Ghanoush, grabbing her sister’s face in both paws, “you will sparkle, like me!”

After giving Snowflake’s icky face a few good licks, Baba decided that more extreme measures were needed. Snowflake needed a bath.

“NO! ANYTHING BUT THAT!”

But Baba’s word was law. Immediately, her minions appeared at her shoulders, ready to carry out whatever order Baba gave them.

“Ha ha,” snicked Snowflake. “The pipes are frozen, just like my heart. You can’t do anything.”

Minion #1, Maria, and Minion #2, Zainab looked at each other. That was true! What were they to do?

“But my heart,” cut in Baba Ghanoush with a darling baring of her teeth, “is warmer than the sun. Just as the sun melts everything in its way, I will melt the ice in the pipes and your heart too while I’m at it!”

“I don’t think so– I’ll freeze your heart before you do anything!”

The two fluffy sisters glared at each other. One was scrawny and evil (can you guess who?) and the other was cuddly and delicious (this one’s Baba, of course!). They were both cute.

With a burst of sugar and spice and all that’s nice, Baba Ghanoush filled the room with warmth and melted all the ice! That is, all the ice except Snowflake’s!

As for Snowflake, she could not freeze Baba’s beautiful, warm heart. But Baba could not melt Snowflake’s frozen heart. Hmm.

But Baba Ghanoush had fixed the pipes! And now Snowflake could finally sparkle like her sweet, superior sister!

Baba Ghanoush had saved the day!

Are you freezing yet?

The cats and I are huddled around the few sparks in the fireplace. Our teeth are chattering, our fingers freezing, and our hearts icing over. Cold drafts nearly knock us over. I can barely type this. In the sink there is a stream of frozen water– turned into ice as soon as I turned on the tap. As I flick away frozen tears from my cheek, wouldn’t you think that considering all this, certain people– cough cough safeena cough cough– would feel comfortable enough now in the middle of winter to not open the AC?

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Brave Microsoft is braving the snow in an attempt to rescue us. Please pray.

What’s the title again?

Sitti’s Famous Basboosa Recipe

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup powdered milk
2 cups coconut
1 tablespoon baking powder
2-3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

Spread mixture evenly into a greased pan, and bake for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sheerah. Boil and melt together:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Cut basboosa immediately after taking out of the oven, and pour the still-hot sheerah all over it.
Kunafah Recipe from Cleobuttera
kunafa
Sheera:
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
lemon
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.
Gishta:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a saucepan, stir together everything and bring to a boil on medium-high heat, constantly stirring. Boil a few more seconds to thicken then set aside.
Crust:
1 lb frozen kunafah dough (You can find this in any Arab/desi/halal store!)
1 cup butter, melted
Shred the dough into 1 inch pieces, then mix with butter until the dough is completely coated. Press two-thirds of the dough into a 10 inch cake pan and press in well. Pour in the cream layer, then cover with rest of dough. Bake for 35-45 minutes then immediately pour the cooled sheera over it.
Arabic Coffee
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Note: You will need very lightly roasted coffee beans for this. You can usually find this in halal/desi/middle-eastern food markets.
In a saucepan pour in 2-3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of ground super-light roast coffee. When it boils, take it away for a minute, then put it back. Boil it three times. Then add 1 tbsp of ground cardamom, and 2 or so cloves or saffron if you would like. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve without sugar and very hot in eensy weensy little cups with very sweet dates.
Here is a very helpful link on this type of coffee!

Rosy Teatimes (AKA Get a Life)

tea for two

Roses and tea are some of life’s simplest but greatest pleasures, don’t you agree? It’s a natural thing, as inevitable as the pulsing of your heart! It sneaks up to even the most stubborn self-declared rose/tea haters and seizes them. This comes with age, like sparkly hair and an admiration for cats. Beautiful, graceful, carefree cats! We all aspire to be a cat. (Even if it is sometimes secretly.)

Alas, this tech-smitten generation drinks only coffee and bone-melting sugary sodas! Coffee can be pleasant– I had a dear friend who would invite me over for Arabic coffee and dates. We would spend evenings chatting about everything in the world, sometimes go for walks and enjoy the trees and sky and weather and flowers. But when this pleasurable part is lost, when coffee is gulped down while staring at a cold iPhone screen, matters are indeed sad! Where are the roses? Where are the colorful conversations?

If it is possible, soda pop is even worse. The slowly-killing poison! Avoid it like the plague. Do you realize what is doing to you? It seeps into your brain and soaks it like a pickle. It softens your brain until it is like cheese! Your mouth starts to slack. Your eyes glass over and turn zombie-like. When someone speaks to you, you grunt in reply. You cannot formulate a coherent response! And that is only the beginning. What’s that saying you newfangled people like? Live, laugh, and something. Say goodbye to living and laughing. You are now a zombie.

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Is this what you want to be?

 

Sigh. Roses and tea. I do not apologize for the unpleasant photograph. Today, take the afternoon off and make yourself a cup of elderberry tea. Find a novel or a friend, get a few roses, and live! Or brew a cup of lemon, sit by the window and watch the world go by. Notice the sky above you. Don’t dismiss it as simply blue.

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The Folly of Cats

We’ve been doing a lot of crying lately. And now, let’s cry some more, for a year wasted! A year gone and nothing gained from it!

Sir Mitten, Baba Ghanoush, Icicles, Mocha, Crookshanks, Bicycles, Mrs. Norris, Water Bottle, Tibbs, Jolly Roger, Baskets, Snowflake, Cliche, Microsoft, Fifi, Tigger, and I all have decided that inshaAllah, we are going to whip up a list of resolutions and diligently turkish delights the year of 2016– the year of change, success, and sowi srch!

Then we whipped up a batch of cinnamon buns, sat back and braced for the explosion.

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Meet a Minion Monday!

The minion we’re meeting this Monday is the one and only… Fifi of the Lake, my neighbor!

JK: Hi Fifi.
Fifi: Hi Fihi.
JK: Are you hungry?
Fifi: I just wanted y’all to eat!
JK: How are you doing today?
Fifi: I’m not that afraid of hating on. It’s very redneck or ghetto, I don’t know what to call it. I want to slap you.
[whips out hair]
Fifi: Is that Quaker oats?
JK: Yes.
Fifi: WHYYYY?
[sobs]
JK: Thanks for the interview, Fifi!
Fifi: There will be no next time!