Thursday, June 30, 2011

And the adventure begins

Today is Justin's last day of work. I cannot believe that it has been almost 1 year to this very day that we submitted our applications for the Peace Corps. It has been quite a journey and if you can't already tell, I am SO excited for this next stage to begin.

We're off to Justin's parents' bungalow for the weekend - a few hours from New York City, in the Catskills region. I think it should be just the break we need to decompress and get ourselves prepped for an exciting few months. Next week we'll be starting our NYC Tour and for those in the area, we'd love for people to join us on any or all of our daily adventures. I'll post our tentative schedule early next week.

And for those who haven't gotten around to it yet, don't forget to email me with a picture and a message for our Photobook to come with us to Morocco! You have until mid-July, and don't worry, I'll remind you a few more times until then :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bubble Wrap, Mermaids, and Tagines… oh my?

The last few weeks have flown by in a whirlwind of boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape! This is what my days recently have been looking like:
boxes under the lovely fluorescent lighting
that only a basement can provide!
Luckily I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Justin only has 2 weeks left of work and then the real fun begins – buying the remaining things needed for the Peace Corps, finishing packing and storing all of our stuff, and then doing our grand NYC tour before leaving for Vietnam, Thailand, and Scotland in mid-July!

We have been able to do a few fun things in the meantime though, including seeing the famous Mermaid Parade in Coney Island (1 thing crossed off of our NYC Goodbye tour list!).  I’m starting a Flickr page to house all of our photos over the next 2 years – you can click here to view photos from the Mermaid Parade (warning: photos are a bit scandalous, NYC’s version of Mardi Gras!) and you’ll see that I have added a widget on the righthand side of the blog to showcase recent photos that have been uploaded onto the Flickr page.  A few choice photos below to showcase this truly outlandish event, I kept these fairly PG…

In addition to the Mermaid Parade, Justin and I just took an “Essentials of Moroccan Cooking” class at the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, thanks to a birthday gift card from my parents. Not only was it such a fun experience (our first cooking class!), but it also got us both very excited about our Moroccan adventure to come.

The dishes included the most wonderful meats, spices, and produce and you can imagine the tantalizing smells that filled our classroom/kitchen. Here’s what the menu included, and to reward those that got this far in the post, I have posted a link to download the recipe for my personal favorite dish from the night, “Lamb Tagine with Prunes”. Click here to download; hope you enjoy it as much as I did! All other recipes available upon request; just email me.

Couscous aux Sept Legumes (Seven-Vegetable Couscous)
B’stilla (Sweet and Savory Squab Pie)
Kefta (Finely ground, skewered meat)
Harira (a hearty vegetable soup)
Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Olives
Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Almonds
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad
Carrot Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing
Beet Salad with Orange Flower Water
Harissa (a hot red pepper paste used as a condiment)
Moroccan Bread
Mint Tea

More to come as we embark on our goodbye NYC adventures!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Photobook request

Justin and I have a small creative request for our friends and family, and we hope that as many people participate as possible! 

We have heard from many Peace Corps volunteers that it can be very meaningful to have photos of friends and family, both to remind of home when things get tough, and to also share with the new community in Morocco. So Justin and I have decided to create a photo book that is filled with photos and (hopefully) greetings from the very important people in our lives (which of course is YOU!).

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to send us the following (digital or traditional mail, either is fine, if you need our mailing address just email me):

1-2 photos to remember you by. Could be pictures of us together, just you, you and Mickey Mouse, whatever you would like!
A short message to us. Could be sentimental, humorous, a haiku, song lyrics, etc.
    If you want to design a full page yourself, then feel free - just send us a jpeg that is approximately 11" across and 8" tall.  Group entries are accepted too!

      Please have your submissions into us by mid-July so that we have time to get it printed. I really hope that we have lots and lots of photos, it will be a wonderful reminder of home!