Friday, March 2, 2007

Greatest Places on Earth!!!!

Good morning everyone, are you ready for our trip today????

Before we go anywhere, I have to tell you all that I visited all my favorite blogs last night and was NOT able to comment. For some reason, I could not get the word verification to show up, I would type the comment and then it would "word verification" and there was NOTHING. Stupid Blogger!!! I'll give it a try again today when I get a chance but probably not until tonight, we had a snow day here, snow everywhere, no school and it's just nuts.

So anyway are you ready to come with me???? Guess where we're going today???? Egypt and the Pyramids anyone???? I'm SO excited. Let's go.


Egypt enjoys a distinguished geographical location at the juncture of the ancient world continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. It has always been a place of inter-civilization reactivation between the East and the West as well as the North and the South. Egypt was also the crossing road of the heavenly religions of the world.

Cairo - the Triumphant City - is the glorious capital of Egypt, the cradle of civilization and the beacon of religion. It is the largest city in the Middle East and Africa and lies at the centre of all routes that lead to and from Asia, Africa and Europe.

Cairo was founded on July 16, 969 AD by the Fatimid leader Jawhar Al-Sequilli, by an order from the Fatimid Khalif Al-Mo'iz lideenellah. It was named "the city of the 1000 minarets.

Cairo is Africa's most populous city and the Arab world's cultural center. People from all over the world visit Cairo to see the monuments and artifacts of ancient Egypt as well as the various aspects of modern Cairo.

The River Nile

The Nile River is the longest river in the world, stretching for 4,187 miles. The Nile flows from south to north and is formed by three major tributaries: the White Nile, the Blue Nile and the Atbara. The Blue Nile has its source in the highlands of the African country of Ethiopia, by Lake Tana. The runoff from spring rain and melting snow caused the annual summer flood of the Nile that the Egyptians depended on for water to irrigate their crops, and deposit fertile top soil.

The Nile is truly the River of Life and has been revered in Egypt since ancient times. Until the Aswan High Dam was built, only 4% of Egypt was cultivated, but this has now been extended to 6%. Nearly all habitation owes its existence to the narrow strip of land either side of the river itself or to the very fertile Nile Delta in the north.


During Egypt's Old Kingdom (time line), the pharaohs established a stable central government in the fertile Nile Valley. Perhaps the greatest testaments to their power were the pyramids and other tombs built to shelter them in the afterlife.

If you want to explore each pyramid, then click on THIS link, you can then click on each individual pyramid and see photos and information. It's pretty neat.



Egypt - Through my eyes....a video by a photographer called Hisham Ibrahim.

Tribute to Egypt and it's wonderful monuments.



Now here is one of the best parts of our trips....our wonderful food. Enjoy!!!

Bamya (Meat and Okra Stew)

2 lbs. stewing lamb or beef, cut into one-inch cubes.
2 onion(s), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1 teaspoon(s) ground coriander
1 cup(s) peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoon(s) tomato paste
1 cup(s) stock (beef) or water, or as needed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs. okra
juice of 1 lemon

Note Okra must be cooked so that its slimy texture is eliminated. The Greeks have the best technique for achieving this. Trim the conical tops with a sharp knife, then soak the okra in red wine-vinegar (Khall) for 30 minutes, allowing 1/2 cup vinegar per pound. Drain, rinse and dry the okra and proceed with the recipe. This dish is popular throughout the Middle East and can be prepared with lamb or beef. Serve with rice.

1. Preheat an oven to 325 F (165 C)
2. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the butter or oil per serving.
3. Working in batches, add the meat and fry, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a baking dish or stew pot.
4. Add the onions to the fat remaining in the frying pan and saute over medium heat until tender and translucent, 8-10 mins.
5. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, the 1 cup stock and mint (if using). Stir well. Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Cover and bake until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 Hrs. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
7. Meanwhile, prepare the okra as directed in the note above.
8. In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1/2 tablespoon (per serving) of butter or oil Add the okra and saute for 3 mins, stirring gently.
9. Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the okra on top in a spoke pattern. Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface. Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven.
10. Bake for 35 minutes longer. Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry.
11. Serve the "BAMIA" stew piping hot.

Egyptian Rice
Yield: 4 servings

1 lb lean ground chuck
1 ea small onion, chopped
2 cn beef consomme
2 tb to 3 soy sauce
1 ts Worcestershire sauce
1 jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 c raw rice
salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger & onion. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until rice is done, about 20 minutes. Divide into individual serving dishes, add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.

Egyptian Sweet Couscous Dessert

1 cup couscous
2 cups fruit juice
2 tablespoons rose water
3 tablespoons melted sweet butter
1/4 cup finely ground blanched almonds
1/4 cup finely ground pistachio nuts
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2-1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup candy-covered almonds (kufeta)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, if in season

Bring fruit juice & rose water to a boil, add couscous, stir well, cover, remove from heat & let stand 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Rub well into grains 3 Tbs. melted sweet butter.
Combine couscous with 1/4 cup each finely ground blanched almonds and pistachio nuts.
Mound on serving platter and sprinkle with mixture of powdered sugar & cinnamon.
Garnish with kufeta (candy-coated almonds) & pomegranate seed.

And there you have it, hope you enjoyed the trip to Egypt....come back next week for another wonderful place :)


Kelli said...

Hi Sandra! Grace and I really enjoyed this tour of Egypt! We've been studying Egypt in our schoolwork and it's so nice to see all the pictures!!
Have a great weekend! Oh, the word verification was happening to me annoying!


Lisanne said...

Wow! I'm amazed at how much time and effort you put into these entries. Thank you! The couscous dessert and okra dish both sound delicious. I've never really had okra much; I might try that sometime! Thanks for passing those along! Hope you're all well!

Barb said...

Just this afternoon Rob and I watched a long show about King Tut on The History Channel. And then I come over here and I'm in Egypt!

I can't believe the great research you do for these trips, recipes and all.

Here's a tip about the word verification letters. When I'm trying to leave a comment and the letters aren't showing, if I just type in random letters and try to post it, the letters almost always pop right back up. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries but it usually works.

Michelle said...

I was going to tell you the same thing about the letters that Barb did. Or you don't even have to type in letters - just hit post/submit again and it will come back to the page because there weren't any letters typed in, and they usually show up again.

Thanks for the tour of Egypt - and again the recipes! I have some new ethnic dishes to try out!

Christina said...

Egypt looks like a beautiful place. I think the pyramids are amazing. I once worked with a girl named Ikram who came from Egypt. She went to college in the US and so did her husband. The ended up living in the US but traveled on occasion back to Egypt. She said she never got tired of seeing the pyramids.

Alexis Jacobs said...

Egypt looks amazing. I hope one day to be able to see such amazing places in person. Until then I will just live through your blog.