Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Struggles with Cooking

Bread, bought very easily off of the streets of Cairo.
An Egyptian food called "Kushary". This dish is popular because it can be bought, already made, or make it in your home very cheaply.

Some of the beautifully displayed vegetables that can be bought very cheaply here in Egypt.
The McDonalds' motorcycles used to deliver food to homes.
Ok, I am not one to make New Years' resolutions, but this year, I am going to work on making cooking fun and creative. I love to crochet, paint, etc., and make things, but I have never absolutely LOVED to cook. Since moving to Cairo, that "Love" has dwindled even more. So, I am going to try to combine the love I have for creating with my cooking, and see what happens. There are several reasons why I don't enjoy cooking here in Cairo.

One of the biggest reasons I do not like to cook while living here is because of the weather. Most of the year it is so hot here that even the thought of stepping into the kitchen and cooking something makes me nautious. The apartments here do not have central heat and air. If you want air conditioning, you have to have wall units in each room, and even then, people do not usually put them in the kitchen.

Another reason I do not enjoy cooking in Cairo is because the kitchens are usually very small and closed off from the rest of the apartment. I love big, open kitchens. You know, the kind where you can be cooking and at the same time be visiting with others, or maybe even watching something on TV. I am a bit clausterphobic, and I just hate to be stuck in a small, hot place where there is not enough room for others to be there too.

Then, there's the whole "we don't have that here" problem, or the thing that is very cheap to buy in the States, but is outrageously expensive here. I do have to say, I've been here long enough I've pretty much worked through this one, but there are still things I miss. One thing that I just found the other day for the first time in two years is canned pumpkin. We didn't get to have pumpkin pie for the last two Thanksgivings and Christmases. But we are going to have pumpkin pie here really soon.

Speaking of expensive, meat is extremely expensive here. We just bought 2 lbs of ground beef the other day and it cost us 70 Egyptian pounds. That comes out to equal around $6.00 per lb. Chicken and other meats are expensive too.

A really nice thing about Egypt though is that fruits and vegetables are really, really cheap. At the vegetable market the other day I bought a head of lettuce, 1/2 lb. onions, 1/2 lb. cucumbers, and 1/2 lb. of carrots for around $2.00.

One last reason I don't like to cook here is that it is just too easy to order food by phone. ALL restaurants and fast-food places deliver to your home. How cool is that? Just pick up the phone and you can have your order from McDonals in your home in about 30 minutes. Like I said before, it is ALL restaurants, and fast-food places. If we ever move back to the States, this will be one thing I really miss.

So, wish me luck. You may just see a recipe or two on a post here in the near future.


  1. Jackie! I loooved this :) i agree with all your reasons about not wanting to cook, too. I love the Egyptian veggies and fruit and how inexpensive and sweet they are. AND i love ordering delivery. Well done!

  2. Thanks Christy! I loved your last blog post too! Can't wait to see you Sunday, even though I can wait for Sunday. ;o)

  3. Oh Jackie, how I miss Khartoum when I see your photos of vegetables stalls and the divine breads. I really miss that now I'm back in South Africa. Hoo boy, can I remember the heat of cooking in the kitchen while we lived there. It was, as you say, seperate from the other rooms (I also love open plan kitchens where I can be part of the activities in the lounge) and it was VERY very hot in our kitchen. We had an overhead fan, but we also used a gas stove, so you can imagine what it was like! Thanks for the lovely post. Blessings Jo

  4. Jo, we also have a gas stove. We have a little exhaust fan that helps somewhat, but when the weather is hot, nothing helps!

  5. What a colourful fruit & veg market it is! And that bread, mmmh I would love to eat it too. I doubt many of us like to cook when it's hot and especially in restrained area but good on you for making it a "New Year resolution!", lol!
    Luckily, there are plenty of take-aways.

  6. Yes Flo, those take-aways are part of my problem of not being successful on SP lately. ;o)