Thursday, April 30, 2009


This is a very popular dish in Egypt. It is popular because it is easy to make, and it is also very affordable to buy. There are specail shops you can go to to buy Kushary, or sometimes hand-drawn carts selling Kushary can be found in heavily populated residential areas.

I have only made this once because it is so cheap to buy here, it is worth going down to the local Kushary shop and buying it.

So, here's the recipe:

1 cup brown lentils
1 cup rice
1/8 kg macaroni
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups tomato sauce (recipe for this below)
garbanzo beans (optional)
Recipe for tomato sauce:
2 cups tomato juice
1-2 onions very finely chopped
5-7 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. vinegar
cooking oil, salt, and pepper

Cook lentils in salted water until tender. Strain. Cook rice in salted water until tender. Strain. Cook macaroni, preferably the small, round variety, strain, rinse, and strain again.

Place these three ingredients in a cooking pot. Fry onion to a rich brown, then remove the onions onto absorbent paper and strain the oil into lentil mixture. Return the pot to the flame and cook for 7-10 minutes, tossing often to prevent sticking.
For tomato sauce:
Saute onions until soft, then add garlic and fry to a pale brown. Add tomato juice and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce is cooked and becomes dark. Add vinegar and seasoning and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

Serve by topping each individual plate with tomato sauce and friend onions and then sprinkle a few cooked garbanzo beans on top if desired .

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Live in Rehab ;o)

For those of you who know me, you know that I don't now, ever did, nor will I ever drink alcohol or take drugs. So, why do I live in Rehab? Well, I live in a small suburb of Cairo, and the actual name of it is El Rehab. We have lived in several apartments here in Cairo, and I do have to say, that this one is probably my favorite, for several reasons. When you move to Egypt, it is really easy to find a furnished apartment. All of our apartments before this one have been furnished. When our two oldest kids went back to the States, we decided to downsize because we were not even using even half of the apartment we were living in. Also, the rent was getting high. In Egypt, if you are renting an apartment, the rent usually goes up 10% a year. This makes it hard to stay in one apt. for very long at a time. We had not even thought of moving to this new area, but Tim saw an add for it in one of the local papers. We decided to check it out and it was perfect. It was about half the size of the one we were living in, but it still had three bedrooms, which we were having a hard time finding. The area is very different from living directly in Cairo because it is kept much cleaner, it is quieter, and there is a lot of greenery and flowers. One reason it is quieter is because in Cairo, the bottom floors of most buildings are businesses. Here in El Rehab that is not permitted. So, you have the living areas, and the market areas are separate.

Another reason I really love this apartment is because it was unfurnished and we got to buy our own furnishings, putting our own little touches in it. This was a lot of fun, but a little stressful at the same time. We live on the 5th floor, so you can imagine trying to bring up all of the heavy items. Fortunately, the places we bought from always delivered their items so we did not have to do too much of the heavy lifting. One of the reasons it was stressful was because we could not afford to buy everything at once, so there were certain things we had to do without for a while. But, we are all settled in now and feel really at home in our newly furnished apt.
Above is a picture of the view from our apartment and just a little of the new furniture we purchased. We also have an area we furnished with Bedouin type furniture that I will share about in a future post.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Egypt: The Mother of the World

Egypt is a fascinating place to live. There is so much history here that one could literally spend

months here and never run out of historic sites to see.

Egyptians take pride in their rich heritage and in their descent from what is considered the first great civilization. They often refer to Egypt as "Um Idonea", or in English, "The Mother of the World". Of course one of the first things people think of when they think of Egypt are the pyramids. I consider myself very blessed to have seen the pyramids several times, but no matter how many times I see them, I am always very intrigued. It is kind of funny to think about telling my kids we were going to take someone who was visiting to see the pyramids and remembering their response. "Not again"! I don't really think they will appreciate the experience until many years in the future, but then again, growing up in Egypt, the Pyramids were just a normal part of life here, not just something they read about and only dreamed about seeing.

Egypt is Africa's second most populous country after Nigeria, and it has the highest population in the Arab world. About 95 percent of Egyptians live along the Nile—on less than 5 percent of Egypt's territory. The Nile Valley is one of the world's most densely populated areas, containing an average of 1,540 persons per square kilometer (3,820 per square mile). Most Egyptians are Muslim Arabs, but there is a sizeable Coptic Christian population of seven million. The total population is a little over 74,000,000.

Hope you enjoyed these facts about Egypt. There are so many more, but I can't give them all away in only one blog. You'll have to keep dropping by to hear more.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our other family member!

Yesterday I posted about our family and even our kitty, who's name is Miss Kitty, but I didn't post a picture. So today, I thought I'd post a picture and tell you a little about her.

I love cats, but, just because a person loves cats means that just any cat would be a perfect pet for them. We have had several cats over the years. The first one we had was a Christmas gift from Tim and Levi. Her name is Angel. She was a wonderful cat, but unfortunately we did not keep her very long. We had her in the States, and when we came back to Egypt we decided that if we could find her a good home, she would stay in the States. Fortunately, she is still in the family. Tim's younger brother took her, so, when I go back to the States I still get to see her. The next cat we got was named Lion. We didn't get to keep her very long at all because our daughter lived with us at the time, and we found out at this time she was allergic to cats. The next cat was named Precious. We got her after our daughter left for the States. We had her quite a while, but Precious seemed to get meaner and meaner each day we had her. This was partly due to my oldest son. He would play rough with her, and eventually she got to rowdy for us to keep, so we took her to a local shelter here, and I have heard she was adopted again.

Now, to the cat we have now. Like I said before, her name is Miss Kitty. For you Americans out there that are old enough to remember this, there used to be a popular Western show on in the States called "Gunsmoke". There was a character on there named "Miss Kitty", and this is where I got the name. We adopted Miss Kitty from a shelter here in Cairo. I have heard there are several cat or animal shelters here in Egypt, but this is a special shelter. There is an organization called EMRO here. EMRO stands for Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization. Their web-site claims that Mau cats are the oldest known descendants of the domestic cats, existing since Pharaonic times, and are the only naturally occuring small spotted cat in the world. They are beautiful cats, and the aspect of their history intrigued my husband. Well, we went to this shelter and told them the type and temperament of cat we were looking for, and they immediately suggested Miss Kitty. Mau cats come in several colors, and Miss Kitty is a mixture of these colors, but to me, she is one of a kind and a very beautiful cat. I am so happy we went to this shelter and found her because she has been the perfect fit for our family. She is playful at times, but not overly hyper and mean as some cats we have had in the past. She is also a very loving cat, and even very obedient.

EMRO adopts cats out all over the world, and if you are interested in adopting a Mau, or just interested in just checking them out, here is there web-site:

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Well, here goes! My very first blog ever! I have been hesitant in the past to start a blog, but recently, something has kept nagging at me to do it. I am an American living in Cairo, Egypt, and there are so many things to share from my experience. Lots of people probably think it is very glamorous and exciting to live in Egypt, and for sure, there are many, many wonderful things about it. You might ask how did we end up here. Well, I give all of the credit to God. When I was a little girl, I always wondered if God really existed. I distinctly remember praying one evening and the prayer went something like this: "God, if You really do exist, I would love to see more of the world one day". Well, since that time, I have come to believe 110% that there truly is a God, and He answered this prayer for me. It isn't very many people that have been given the opportunity that I have, and I just want to share my wonderful experiences with as many people as I can. There are many ups and downs living in a foreign land, and I just want to encourage you to hold on as we get ready to journey through this wonderful experience together.

I have posted a picture of my beautiful family. My name is Jackie. Right now, I am mostly a stay at home mom and wife. I love working with kids. I have worked at a couple of daycares here in Egypt, and even started one with an Egyptian friend. I have worked with special needs kids, and I enjoy visiting the Sudanese school my husband works with. My husband's name is Tim. He is a teacher here at the school our son attends here in Egypt. He is also the chairman of the board of a Sudanese school here. Our oldest child is our daughter Kaily. She is almost 20 years old, and is attending Missouri State University in the States and is working on a degree in business and finance. Our second child is our son Dillon. He is 17, and is finishing his last two years of high school in the States. He lives with his grandparents there. And then there is our youngest, our son Levi. He is almost 15 years old and still lives with us here in Egypt. The most recent edition to our family is our kitty cat, Miss Kitty. We got her from a shelter here in Egypt, which I will post about in the future.

Well, hope you have enjoyed meeting my family, and as I said before, hang on. It's going to be a wonderful adventure together as we explore the many ups and downs of living in a foreign land.