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Rooftop Gardening: Rebooting The Tomatoes

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I hit the reboot button!


I thought I’d do a roundup on the rooftop gardening, since I haven’t done that in a while. As you can see, I totally lost my patience with my ugly tomato plants. They have been suffering all this time, after being hit with a bacterial blight in the spring with the first heat wave’s arrival. Perhaps I must be grateful that the plants survived, and have churned out a pretty fair amount of tomatoes, under the circumstances! We don’t use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. on our gardens, so dealing with bugs and diseases is fairly stressful for the plants. You can see it in the leaves, they look miserable:

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I've lost my patience with these ugly tomato plants!

The amazing thing, really, is that the plants keep producing nice, red, juicy delicious tomatoes! I’ve been steadily trying to cut out the dead foliage without making too much drastic damage while the tomatoes are ripening, but finally there comes a time when no more blossoms means time for drastic measures. When all else fails, hit the Reboot button!

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Pruning out the ugly branches is such a relief!

You know how great it feels when you get a nice new haircut? Well, I hope the plants felt that great after I pruned out all the old sorry looking stuff and left only the few ripening tomatoes and the little bit of new green growth. Personally, I felt much better after that! I love a nice, tidy garden! The really nice thing about a rooftop container garden is that there are very few weeds to deal with. First, not as much seed floats around on the wind up that high, and second, the containers have pretty limited surface, so it’s really easy to pick out a weed while I’m watering. I’m really enjoying this!

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The Egyptian Bell Peppers Are Starting To Look Good

Growing up, I was never a fan of peppers, until I ate a hotdog at a carnival once with grilled peppers and onions and mustard on it. There’s something magical about grilled or saute’d peppers and onions on a piece of egyptian wholegrain flat bread slathered with mustard! If you’ve never tried that, I definitely encourage you!

It’s so exciting to see fresh veggies ripening on the plant and these peppers are so colorful, I just love to share!

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Aren't They Pretty?!

And here’s more good news, saute’d eggplant is soon arriving on the menu! Eggplants are way more versatile than most people imagine. Peel them and slice them thin like mushroom pieces, and saute’ them exactly as mushrooms with a little of your favorite oil and some salt and pepper. Then use them in any recipe as an alternative to mushrooms and you’ll probably be surprised how much you love eggplant after that!

Purple is my favorite color – who can resist such a gorgeous flower?!

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A Sneak Preview Of The Eggplants

So here’s today’s harvest in the next two photos. Just the right amount for two grateful people who love fresh, all natural, homegrown veggies!

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Today's Harvest, Part 1

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Today's Harvest, Part 2: Squash, Okra & More Cucumbers

Here’s a quick recipe for Egyptian Okra Soup:

Fill a medium size cooking pot halfway with soup broth (or use water and boullion)
Cut the tops off of 20-30 “arns” (arabic for “horns”) of okra and discard,
Then cut the okra in 1 cm pieces and add to the soup
Then add in the following:
1 ripe tomato cut into small chunks
1 hot pepper, cut into small chunks
2 or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
Season with salt and fresh black pepper

Bring to a boil, and then boil on low for about 5-7 minutes. The okra won’t be mushy this way, it tastes best when it still has a light crunch to it. Enjoy!
♥♥♥
;^)

★★★★★★★★★ Guess what?!! It’s party time again!!! ★★★★★★★★

And since tonight is Ramadan Eve, insha’Allah we’ll have a Ramadan Party!!

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In Ramadan, Muslims fast from early dawn till sunset every day for the whole month. Here in Egypt, early dawn for this coming first day of Ramadan is at 3:11am. We need to eat and be finished before that time, so I always allow one and a half hours for food prep and eating. Tonight I’m staying up since I have a lot to do, but usually I try to sleep for a few hours in the night, and catch a nap in the mid day. So, as long as I’m up already, let’s have a party!

The food table is all set up, see?!

I think I’m starting to improve my party throwing skills, alhamdulillah / thanks to God! Hope you enjoy the food! (You can learn more about the food by clicking the caption link)

★★★ The Seed of Light Award ★★★

On June 09, 2014 Sumaira of The Muslimah Mommy awarded me with the Seed of Light Award – Thank you once again, my dear sister! God bless you and all of your family with every success! ♥♥♥ ;^)

I hope you all will visit her blog for a great inspiration and lovely glimpse into the life of a Muslimah Mommy working hard to put her faith into practice, and sharing her efforts with us on her blog:
http://themuslimahmommy.com/2014/06/09/the-seed-of-light-award/

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Sowing this seed is easy, Here are the steps:

1) Thank the person who nominated you.

2) Nominate at least 5 blogs and provide links to their blogs.

3) Notify each on their nomination.”

As with all of the awards I present, you are all recipients, whether or not you generate another cycle of this award. Recycling is optional, but the award is yours! Display it as you like on your blog and enjoy – Congratulations!

If you do decide to recycle this award, there’s no deadline to doing so. Take your time and you can always plug it into a post you are doing anyway, just like I did, that seems to be an easier way, sometimes, than making a separate post. The point is to enjoy it, and share the appreciation and recognition so others get a chance to learn about the great bloggers you are enjoying. The more the merrier! ♥♥♥ ;^)))

Here are my awardees, Congratulations to you all! I appreciate you all and enjoy so much your wonderful writing!

Zara http://zar4h.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/limitless-love-2014/
Christy http://poeticparfait.com/2014/06/18/mythology-the-golden-apple-of-discord-poetry-who-is-the-fairest-by-christy-birmingham/
Lady of the Cakes http://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/language-learning-youve-got-to-live-it/
Traditionally Modern Food http://traditionallymodernfood.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/baked-besan-bonda-2/
Katarina http://katarinawohlfart.com/2014/06/28/going-to-porvoo-with-svenska-resebloggar-and-travelhouseporvoo-in-september/
Nicole Marie http://wordsandotherthings.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/my-grandfather-and-i/
Corrine and Jim http://www.reflectionsenroute.com/weekend-travel-inspiration-develop-sympathy/
Emily http://emilykarn.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/the-new-arenas/
iithinks http://iithinks.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/a-single-smile/
Holistic Wayfarer http://holisticwayfarer.com/2014/06/27/my-boys-love-on-the-landing/

★★★★★★★★★

I invite you all to explore the souq / bazaar at night during Ramadan – it’s enchanting!

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Shopping at night is always more fun in Ramadan!

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♥♥♥
;^)

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EdenKeeper Article: Egypt Illuminates Ancient Alleyways With Solar Light

Dark alley in crowded city

Dark alleys are very common in over crowded cities. El Mahala, Egypt

I’d love to share with you this great new technology that Egyptian researchers have designed to brighten up dimly lit streets and alleyways blocked from the sun by overcrowded conditions in high rise urban centers. My latest article published on EdenKeeper.org can’t be posted entirely here on my blog, but it can be “reposted” with a synopsis, and I think you’ll find it interesting! I’m also throwing an Award Party down below, so I hope you’ll stay for the free food and fun!

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Egyptian Culture, Part 6: Water, Water, Everywhere

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Clay Water Jugs On A Wire Rack Attached To A Pole

In Egypt, and the Islamic world in general, water has a special importance due to the need to ritually cleanse with water prior to prayer. Praying five times a day makes the presence of water more than just a convenience, it becomes a necessity to ensure a steady, clean supply for the community. Before indoor plumbing became more common around the world, water was drawn from cisterns, wells and fountains. It was during the Ottoman Empire that drinking water fountains in Egypt became commonly installed for the public, usually as a charity offered by the wealthier citizens of the community. These public water fountains often formed the hub around which sprang up mosques, schools, libraries and hospitals.
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Aisha’s Egypt: A Very Versatile Goat

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A Very Versatile Goat Could Be A Great Companion!

A VERY VERSATILE GOAT

It takes a very versatile goat to sit cramped up like that
In a crate on the back seat of a motorcycle
With only her head poking out
I’ve never met a goat like this
Ours would turn into a hairy tornado
If we tried to stuff it into a crate
But look at her, she looks delighted!
Like an adorable, happy child straining to see over his shoulder
She seems to understand the street as if she does this everyday

Maybe her Buddy whistles
At the back door of her barn
And she runs to him, jumping into the box,
And off they go, enjoying the ride together
Going where no goat has gone before
At a speed no goat has dreamed of
She’s obviously enjoying it
I think they must be very good friends
I think a very versatile goat
Could be a great companion!

© Aisha Abdelhamid

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Aisha’s Egypt: A Kiss From The World

This Photo Poem is my latest post over at Kiss From The World Travel & People Magazine. You might recognize this little shepherd boy from an earlier post, although I have repurposed it slightly to condense the text into a poem. I like the way it turned out, so I decided to post it on my new little home at Kiss From The World.

I just started writing for them about a month ago, and finally I’m taking the time to post about it! If you do not already know about it, KFTW is a really terrific website for international travel articles by interesting bloggers from all over the world. I hope you’ll take a look at their exciting array of travel related topics, I’m very sure you’ll enjoy yourself immensely! And, by the way, if you are interested in joining the lineup as a featured writer for KFTW, click on the banner image where it says, “Become our Kiss From The World Blogger.”

If you like to write about the place where you live, you might find a home writing under the topic, “Live Like A Local.” If you are an expat, like me, you might find a home writing under the topic, “Living Overseas.” If you are a seasoned traveler and enjoy blogging about the places you love to visit, Kiss From The World is stuffed with a variety of topics you can file your posts under. Writing for KFTW is easy, they allow you to post articles previously published on your blog, and it is an excellent platform with awesome internet exposure. There’s always room for more writers at KFTW, and I’d really like to see more WordPress bloggers in the lineup. We have a wonderful sense of community on WP that I’d love to see grow on KFTW. Click this link and join us!

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Aisha’s Egypt: 11 Little Secrets & A Liebster!

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I Love The Red Carrots In Egypt


I’d like to thank Sarah Sandoval, of In the Life of Sara Sandoval for being the inspirational muse responsible for this post. On 24 April, 2014, Sara nominated me for “The One and Only Liebster Award!” The rules for accepting this award are to link back to the post where you received your award, reveal 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions from the one who nominated you, nominate 11 more blogs for this award, and ask them to answer 11 questions. There’s obviously a special relationship between Liebster and the number 11, and I am an especially big fan of special relationships, so I’m quite happy to accept this award and let you all in on 11 Little Secrets of my life in Egypt:

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Aladdin at 35, with his pet monkey


11 Little Secrets About Aisha’s Egypt:

1. I am married to Aladdin!

Lol, not really, but this is my husband when he was working for the Egyptian Government in neighboring Sudan as an Arabic teacher. He had this gorgeous little pet monkey for a while, and the monkey liked to ride around on Mohamed’s shoulder everywhere he went. This special relationship came to a quick end, however, when the monkey kept ruining Mohamed’s nice white galabiyah by refusing to go behind a tree like good monkeys ought to do when they have to go to the bathroom! Buh-bye, Aboo! I’m really glad someone took this photo so I could see how adorable my husband was when he was younger. He’s still very handsome to me, but I have to admit that this is probably my favorite picture of him!

 hit Refresh to display this! 2. I am in love with the donkeys of Egypt

Especially in the countryside, where the agricultural way of life is more common, it often seems there are more donkeys here than cars. There is a very special relationship between a farmer and his donkey. Donkeys are able to find their way into the fields, going where no car or truck can go. They feed themselves politely from the field while the farmer is loading up their backs with bundles. They are the most patient of companions, traveling daily back and forth from home to field and field to market, and finally from market back to home. They obediently carry whatever is required, patiently pulling a cart or a piece of farm equipment, and I love the sound of their clip clopping hooves on the street as they pass by our home.

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My First Blog Award!

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This is quite exciting, I like awards! On Jan 6, 2014, I was nominated by A Mom’s Blog for the Reader Appreciation Award. Thank you so much, Zainab! I’m really new to blogging, having only just started here on Dec. 5, 2013, so I honestly consider it a huge honor to have made so many friends so quickly. I can not thank you all enough for the kind words and encouragements you have offered with your friendship! But I will try: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! But it’s still not enough ;^)

So, now I will happily share with you all 7 things about myself:

1. I absolutely love being Muslim – Islam is my anchor

2. I hope I will die a martyr – insha’Allah by any of the nonviolent means!

3. I hope I will go to the Paradise, and be my husband’s wife there, too, insha’Allah, I love him so much

4. I was born into a nice big Irish Catholic family, there are no muslims in my family except me

5. I went to Catholic school through the fourth grade, and learned to love God from the nuns there

6. I never dreamed of growing up and becoming Muslim, or an Egyptian, but I’m very happy that it happened

7. I’m very thankful for ALL the blessings Allah has given me, but especially my son and daughter!

Now for my Nominees for the Readership Appreciation Award, I’d like to offer it to the following excellent and appreciative bloggers who took the time to read and comment on my blog posts. Thank you for your friendship! I appreciate you! Xoxoxo ;^)

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1 Shadows of the Divine
2 Loving Food Fasion & Life
3 Browsing the Atlas
4 Go Go Gadabout
5 The Hungry Artist

Congratulations, and thanks for being such delightful readers! The rules for accepting your Award are to link back to this post, share some things about yourself, and select your own nominees for this award.

Thank you, once again, my dear new friend and sister, Zainab! Please visit her wonderful blog!
http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/blogging-awards/

Please click here to visit my ‘About’ page to see more awards that really great people nominated me for!