Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kids Unscripted; Chapter 16

Talia: (about random, faint doodles all over her math work) "I had to erase all of that... it was just from my forgotness."
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Talia: "Mama, I'm going to play you a song on the piano called 'God Makes Little Girls in His Creation.'"
Me: "How long is it?"
Talia: "About 20 inches tall."
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Me: "Talia, be patient, hold your horses!"
Talia: "I don't have any horses, so I'll hold my ducks!"
Me: "You don't have ducks either..."
Talia: "Yes I do! They're sleeping in my bed!" *fit of crazy giggles...*
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Me: "You can either read, or go to bed"
Talia: "I only have enough energy to play!"
Me: "Then you will have to go play like you're sleeping..."
Ben: "That is my favorite game to play!"
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Talia: "Why are nuts that are shaped like a butterfly called 'walnuts' instead of 'butterfly-shaped nuts'?"
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Talia: "Mama, Elias and I are just sitting here being friends."
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Talia: "I make art because I love people and it makes their eyes happy."
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Talia: "It doesn't matter how pretty the pencil is if it doesn't write..."
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Talia: "Mommy, you can call me 'lovely girl Talia' if you want..."
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Talia: "Do people put sticks in a stick-grinder to make brown paint?"
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 Talia: "Some people make bird-chirpy sounds, but Elias BELLOWS!"
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 Talia: "Mommy, why isn't 'Ponka-tonna-phillis' a name?"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Seen in Abu Dhabi: 10



 The sign said "academia," a Guatemala friend called them "nispero" and I'm still not really sure what these are...


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lighting at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

There are many things to notice in the details of a palace, and I do not have the slightest clue about the basics of decorating or architecture. However, something that caught my eye the most at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi were the light fixtures.
The ones in this passageway were some of the more simple.


Several forms of lamps in an almost feathery or palm frond pattern were scattered throughout the decor of the building:
Some had more intricate bases or metal work:
 
And the sometimes muted and sometimes highly polished gold in every area accented by cut glass or jewels also appeared in the light fixtures.
It was as if the gold picked up the light and reflected it back with a more subtle glow.





Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Seen in Abu Dhabi 9




Asafoetida... yes, I had to look it up. Perhaps some interesting things about this ground up perennial herb resin are that it has a nickname of "devil's dung" and supposedly "reduces the growth of indigenous microflora in the gut, reducing flatulence."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Piroshki

Since almost every nationality in the world can be found in Abu Dhabi, I've learned just as much or more about other cultures as I have the Emirate one. Annnnd, since one of the best parts of any new culture is figuring out how they cook, I was very excited when my friend from Uzbekistan taught me how to make piroshki:

A simple mixture of either yogurt or cream with flour, is the base for the dough. Egg or baking powder can be used for leavening and a dash of salt for flavor... and that's it. Mix it until it isn't sticky, (we didn't even measure, just started with about two cups of yogurt and added flour until it was soft, but easy to handle without sticking to fingers.) If you'd like to see the recipe in Russian, check it out here... This is the one approved by my friend, anyhow. Some English ones in .pdf can be found here.

For the filling, anything can be used, but since meat can be very expensive, one traditional filling is pumpkin. We chopped onion very fine and cooked it in butter until transparent and then added grated pumpkin. To this mixture we added sugar to taste and let it cook down until very soft. Apple is another popular filling that I might have to try later. I had never tried savory onion and pumpkin also mixed with sugar, but it was a really nice flavor.

Stuffing the pumpkin inside of the circles of dough, pinching the seams closed and then frying them reminded me of making pupusas in Guatemala...

They were delicious!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cloud Seeding: Scientific Rainmakers in the Desert

If you've never heard of cloud seeding, it's basically shooting frozen air or chemicals into the atmosphere to enhance the weather conditions, like rain. This is practiced in Abu Dhabi leading to about a week of rainy days. I'm not so sure of the long-term effects from something like this, but since I can't control that, we just enjoyed having the rain while it lasted!
Look, there's actually water on the side of the road! This picture taken entering Dubai with Ibn Battuta Mall visible in the background.



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Visit to Ghayathi in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi

Ghayathi is about a 2.5 hour drive from Abu Dhabi, and further from the city in a more country, desert setting.
 We saw a tent outside of a big fancy home with a satellite on one side and water/sink hooked up on the other.
 Like all of Abu Dhabi, pictures of the leaders abound.

 There was quite a bit of structured green places in Ghayathi.

We've heard there are more camel and horse stables around here also... and Talia is really interested in finding those!