The Many Promises of Jordan
All week, since we returned from Jordan, I've been trying to craft a blog post about our recent trip there. Normally my stories from Jordan come to me so easily, are full of new finds and sun-drenched explorations. As I've written before, the magic of Jordan quickly receeds once we're back in London so I've been trying to work in haste. They are such different places - in mood, climate, landscape, order, people. I feel quite a different person when I'm in Amman, unburdened and adventurous.
Thursday found me in a bit of a panic as our week was drawing to a close and I still hadn't found anything new to write about. Yet another good friend of ours works for the Jordan River Foundation, an organization headed by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, that helps Jordanians help themselves. Their showroom just off of Rainbow Street has beautiful traditional handicrafts and our friend told me all about a culinary project they have in the works that they'd love my feedback on. They're taking Arabic sweets and giving them a modern twist with interesting flavors and ingredients, but organizing a visit to their kitchens on such short notice just wasn't going to happen and wouldn't it be better if I could also visit the women in the villages who are making these products and share my ideas with them in person?By Friday I'd given up, given in to the fact that this was just going to be a vacation. I was going to put my brightly painted red toes up on a lounger by the Dead Sea and drink blended mint lemonades until my brain froze. Meanwhile, a friend of ours promised to fix me her mansef next time we're in town and that lady in Karak who makes the best jameed, well, I'm going to visit her next time I'm here too. Hopefully I'll be able to get back in the next couple of months to forage for some of those Jordanian capers (or even better, the caper berries if I can stand the summer heat) and I'm going to ask someone to freeze and good supply of the kima when they're in season next year so I can try them (I think a shaved salad of them with some grated jameed and olive oil might be delicious). I've been promised they'll save the next batch of the family's olives from their trees, making sure I'm around to watch them get pressed into olive oil. Oh, and hopefully I'll get to help out at the Jordan River Foundation, offering them ideas to update their Arabic sweets. So many ideas, so little progress, but with the promise of many more adventures to come...I just need another visit in a couple months time, inshalla.