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Friday 14 November 2008

Deer oh Deer

Well, I know that I have kept you waiting – and that the question on everybody’s lips all week has been, “What did you do with all of that deer???” On the eve of its arrival, we had a feast of sorts – deer brochettes (kebabs) with deer pasta bake. The brochettes were prepared outside, like any good BBQ, and then put on the fire to be grilled. You should have seen the smoke billowing from our house! And the rest of the deer has filled the entire freezer, sure to keep us busy for the next few weeks!

After returning from their weekend at home, the girls returned to school for 2 days, only to leave again for the Independence Week celebrations in Morocco. So, on Wednesday, Latifa and I were alone in the house – oh, with one of the girls. Admirably, she decided that if she was to return home, she would be obliged to cook and clean the entire time, therefore she asked if she could stay with us (a pretty huge revelation and proof that our work here is changing a mindset). She did try to get out of studying once in a while, but I was only too happy to clean – with her just showing me the way (Noah would have been proud of me for surviving the flood)! I thought I would also give Latifa a break from the cooking, and cooking for three is my forte, so she endured a number of Australian meals over the three days with us in the house. How many ways can you make an omelette???

In the most ironic of situations, I even treated the girls to an Australian style Moroccan chicken, the way that I would make it if I was at home. The roasted chicken and vegetables were a hit, the yoghurt with mint was loved, but when they heard the couscous would take five minutes, the drama started. Couscous in Morocco takes a few hours of steaming and fussing. When I still hadn’t started cooking it at 7.15pm (to eat at 7.30pm) Latifa was talking to Fatiha in a tone not dissimilar to the one that I use when I see the hearts and livers come out of the fridge. I thought I might have to make an emergency batch of cheese on toast, but guess what….they loved it. To quote Latifa, “I would make this. It’s nice. Why do I cook, cook, cook the couscous all day?” Look out!!!!

Now, all this talk about food reminds me of a ‘funny’ (gritted teeth) incident. After being in Morocco for a few weeks now, I’m starting to field questions from home as to whether I have found a nice Moroccan man. Despite this being impossible as I rarely leave the house, it seems that Moroccan men like their women a little plumper than me. So, when I received my first ‘second look’ from Mohammed, who works at the government boarding house (and hearing from Latifa that I look nice and fat now) I have embarked on a diet and exercise regime. It’s not extensive, but I am very concerned.