Thursday, October 22, 2009

Days 2, 3, & 4

Well, getting sick this week has been a double edged sword as concerns no impact week.

As far as food goes, its always been a compromise. We seldom eat meat although there is a halal store within walking distance and owned by family, and another only 7 minutes away. We tried Organic Zabiha and LOVED it (mashallah, the simplest chicken broth adds TONS of flavor, it was extraordinary and I highly recommend it to all, even if you just splurge once every 6 months).

Since we stick to veggies, we also stick to H-Mart, which is certainly NOT local. I've tried growing my own tomatoes and without the fertilizer, but there is only a single, green baby tomatoe hanging from the vines of the plant on my terrace.

Anyway, being sick has meant tons of sunshine soup (recipe at the end of this post) and juice. No processed food (except for that graham cracker pie crust), and no excessive eating (since there is no real appetite to speak of).

BTW, since we're on the topic of food, everyone needs to read The Omnivore's Dilemma--I'm sure lots of people who write for and read this blog have heard of it and read it, but for the others who have not yet had this chance, please do it!

Being sick has also limited my transportation, since I have stayed home for about 2 days in my effort to not spread germs more. But in thinking further about alternative means of transportation, I come to the bike discussion. Ladies, did you ever feel that you looked goofy on a bike with your helmet on your hijab? Or, did you even grow up riding one? I think some of were in this position, obviously myself included. It wasn't really intentional, its just that I didn't really get out there as a child on a bike. And so, I found myself in the early 20's, a muhajibah and environmentalist-ish person trying to do my body and earth some good ,but stumbling over this small issue of learning to ride a bike in the first place, and getting over the whole "does this helmet make my hijab look goofy?" bit. Thanks to a supportive mentor and friend (aka Faheem), I'm slowly gaining confidence on the bike and hope to use it for errands and such instead of driving. To all the sisters out there who feel hesitant to get on a bike in public/ with their hijabs, don't sweat it. For me, there are few things as awesome as seeing a modest woman do her thang and cruise the city with her uber cool bike (might I add, she knows how to ride well!).

Here's one of the disadvantages of being sick this week: LOTS and LOTS of tissue waste. Why? I have an upper respiratory infection. Not a huge deal, but still supposedly highly contagious. And so I resort to carrying boxes of tissues with me wherever I go. Other than that, most things that can go in the recycling end up there. I live in an apartment right now so I didn't try to buy a compost bin/ barrel, but I am looking into buying or building one as soon as we move out to a location that gives us access to land/ more of an outdoor space. In the meantime, lemon peels do double duty: rub them on your hands as my mama does to give your skin a vitamin C-rich polish, then throw them down the disposer for a lemony scent. OK thats the only doublt-duty type thing I have to share right now.... :p

Sunshine Soup (for any sick readers or for soup lovers, I hope you enjoy)
1/2 butternut squash
2 stems celery
1 large sweet potatoe or yam
2 carrots
1 large white potatoe
1 large onion
1 small turnip (optional)
1 yellow squash or zucchini
1 small bunch fresh parsely
1 Tbsp oil

2-4 tsp. turmeric (fights inflammation)
1-2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
2-3 large bay leaves

Chop all the ingredients very finely so that you can get a little bit of each in a spoonful. Heat oil, saute onions carefully. Add seasoning (all but the bay leaves). Add celery and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies (except for the turnip, parsely, and yellow squash/zucchini) and cover with water (add the bay leaves now). Boil for 15-20 minutes. Add the final ingredients. Boil an additional 7 minutes and turn down the heat to simmer for about 15 minutes or as long as you like. Garnish with more fresh chopped herbs if you like. These instructions are very general, so use your own judgement while cooking and feel free to add to exclude other ingredients.

(BTW word to the wise: DONT overcook turnips or they'll become bitter!)

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