Back in December, my cousin’s wife served me a can of tasty Lychee Drink when I was over at my uncle’s home. It was sooo good that I’ve been searching for the exact same stuff ever since.
All I can remember was there was an illustration of Lychee and a Melon and possibly a Pear on the front, and the can itself was pale pink with white polka-dots and was either made in Malaysia or Thailand based on the writing (I dunno’).
During early December, I hit up both the Souq Sharq branch and Salmiya branch of Sultan Center and the Salmiya branch of City Center (ergo Collective Snackage Haulage) and bought a ton of other groceries as well, but couldn’t fit everything into one photo, so I didn’t even bother attempting it.
The drinks in the 1st photo were all from City Center Hypermarket (Salmiya). As you can see, it was very lychee-oriented lol
When I took the kids to see Toy Story 4 at Souq Sharq (fully gory deets here), we hit up Fantasy World and Bath&Body Works (dis) and MAC (dis) before the movie, and Sultan Center after the movie. As you can see, we mostly got a bunch of snackage from Sultan Center.
I thought for sure that I’d gotten everything in the photo, but apparently not. I had to put everything away, because I prefer to wait until there’s nobody else in the kitchen before I take the photos (it feels weird having people watch lol) and the first time around, I forgot some stuff in the freezer. So I had to get everything out again and take pics all over again… only to find out that I’d forgotten the Pop-Tarts and Cheerios this time. Rather than lay everything out for the millionth time, I just took a photo of them separately and included them below.
Once I discovered how easy, and more importantly, fun, messing around in the kitchen could be (dis), I started looking into even more “easy” recipes! That’s how I came across the recipe for Elote (also known as Mexican Street Corn).
Good vibes… food-poisoning… same thing, right? To be fair, their food was decent… at first. I was on the hunt for a substitute for the Ruby Tuesday Classic Ribs (my favorite!) which seemed to have been either out of stock or discontinued all together. The name Kush made me giggle (doesn’t take much to crack me up) and so I decided to give them a try.
I gave their Miami Fries a shot, but it had way too much going on for my taste. So, I went for the Eastcoast Fries the next time… and every other time since. Aside from their Salads, I’ve given several of their Appetizers and Burgers a try, which were all just okay. My go-to became the Eastcoast Fries and Rocky’s Ribs, topped off by a slice of Puerto Rican Tres Leches much, much later, I felt stuffed and legit drowsy, but together, they really hit the spot! Unfortunately, when you have something nonstop, until you get sick of it… well… you get sick of it lol and in my case quite literally. I noticed it the first few times I had a slice of Puerto Rican Tres Leches, two times out of three, I’d get some serious stomach cramps! The last time I had some, I had to take a day off. That’s why it was “the last time”! lol
So I’ve never actually prepared a proper dish before. Usually, everything I “make” is microwavable (popcorn, poptarts, etc…). The closest I’ve ever come to actual cooking is heating up some ready-made soup (haulage here). However, years and years ago a friend of mine mentioned having an “Awesome Blossom” at either Chili’s or Applebee’s or one of the other ee’s (can’t remember) and he wouldn’t shut up about how awesome it was! Every time I would visit one of the aforementioned ee’s and ask about the Awesome Blossom, I was told that it was currently unavailable. It’s been years now, so I don’t know why they still keep saying “currently”, because they’re making it sound like it might be available again in the future. Anyways, I finally gave up and decided to just go ahead and make my own.
We were having guests over for Ramadan Iftar/Futoor (breakin of the fast after dusk prayer) and my decision (like most of my decisions, really) was a spontaneous spur-of-the-moment decision. I found an easy how-to video on YouTube (clip below) but most of the ingredients were missing, so I had to dash to the nearest co-op, purchase the missing ingredients, make the Awesome Blossom, pop it in the freezer, go shower (‘cuz Arab spices… stink and the stench stays in your hair), dry my hair (hate this part the most!), style it, apply my make-up (no time to get creative so just some neutral shadow, liner, mascara, lipstick, topped off with some highlight on my cheekbones) take the onion out of the freezer, fry it, go back to my room, change out of my lounge-wear into something more Ramadan-esque (Kaftans usually do the job), light some incense around the house and prepare to welcome the guests as they arrive (all in around 2-3 hours). My life would be so much easier if I just planned things ahead of time lawl but I just can’t bring myself to commit… to anything. Nothing crushes my soul more than having a routine that’s set in stone (I thrive during chaos)!
Let me preface this by saying I don’t cook… ever. The closest I’ve come to actual “cooking” or anything of the sort, is tossing a couple of Pop-Tarts in the microwave. For me, cooking was never a necessity. Just like the majority of Arab households, we employ live-in housekeepers who would do all the cooking and anything pertaining to it such as grocery shopping, meal prep, etc… If I happened to get the munchies at midnight, I have no qualms (I know, I know, I’m a horrible person) with waking up a family member (mom, older sister, younger brother) and asking them to fry up some chicken nuggets for me, bearing in mind that all the bedrooms are on the top floor whereas the kitchen is on the ground floor. My dad has told me off several times for waking my mom up just so I can stuff my face, and my sister moved out once she got married, and my younger brother has learned to ignore my phone calls after midnight. With that being said, there’s always some snacks and fruit and such in the dining area and leftovers and such in the kitchen. If I’m willing to be patient, I could always have my pick from the obscene amount of fast food restaurants that all happen to deliver. As such, I’ve never felt the need to learn how to cook.