Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It seems forever and a day!

It really has. I haven't been here in so long. I've been really busy working on genealogical research for myself, my childhood friend, my ex-husband and my landlord. I had a month's worth of access to Ancestry.com and made the most of it. I had a blast. All those documents in digitized form that I could see what was REALLY said and not just what someone else claimed was said (believe me - some people see words on documents that aren't even there! It's amazing how far off transcription can be at times.) I found burial records, military records, immigration records, marriage records as well as other people working on the very same lines (which is how I was able to get my ex-husband's lines back to when the American Southwest was part of New Spain - they had used Spanish colonial records and Catholic mission documents to back up their search. It was great!)

Lots of things have happened during this time. Of course, I've gone out to eat. And, I've made a few meals. I was taken to an Indian buffet in Philadelphia called San Samosa. It was so good! And cheap, too. $10.99 for AYCE. And, I discovered something I'd never had that I really liked - that was keftas. They look like meatballs and actually taste very much like meatballs, but they're all vegetable. San Samosa had them sitting in the most wonderful curry sauce. I'm not sure if it was a Makhani sauce or a Masala sauce or something else entirely, but it was delicious!!! I love meatball sandwiches, but if someone put those veggie balls on a good Italian roll with loads of that curry sauce, I'd enjoy them just as much, I swear. If you're in the Philadelphia area, go check them out. They're on Walnut between 12th and 13th. A most excellent choice, I promise.

More recently, I was taken to a Middle Eastern place in Philly, just off South Street on 4th, called Alyan's. I'd never been there before and I'm glad I went. I had the mixed grill pita sandwich because I'm not a fan of hummus which comes with the mixed grill platter. I didn't want them wasting it on me, and the sandwich had just as much meat as the platter did for $4.00 less. I also ordered a side of grilled zucchini, which was delicious!! The mixed grill included lamb, beef, chicken and kafta kabab. Now, if you're thinking that kafta sounds very much like the kefta already mentioned, you'd be right. It seems that part of the world does share a certain amount of food culture and some of the words are very similar for those items. This kafta, though, wasn't vegetarian, but was very much ground meat, basically a mix of seasoned lamb and beef. They are not ball shaped, either. They are elongated and placed on skewers to cook, just like the cubes of meat and chicken were. I've had them elsewhere and wasn't too thrilled with them, but at Alyan's they were DELICIOUS! The pita they put this meat on (with a green salad filler and tahina sauce much like we'd use mayonnaise) was also wonderful. I've had pitas in the past that were of questionable quality - more dried out and almost impossible to make a pocket in whereas these were fresh baked, soft, moist and just plain wonderful. We also had baba ganouj for an appetizer. I'd never had it before, but I like eggplant and wanted to try it. It came with quartered pitas and some tahina sauce on top and was excellent. It's a cold appetizer, although the eggplant is cut into tiny cubes and baked (or baked and then cubed...I'm not sure which). If someone wanted to take me back, I'd go in a heartbeat. I was truly full when I left, yet I didn't feel weighed down by my meal.

But, something else happened during my absence from Blogger - we had a daytime intruder in our home. My daughter had gone to work and left the front door unlocked as we have always done while living here. We've never had a problem and didn't think it was an issue as long as we were home. But, this particular morning, I was still in bed when I heard someone knock. Now, I wasn't dressed to be answering the door, so I ignored it. If it was important, they'd come back. The next thing I knew, I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and turn to go down the hall to my daughter's room. I knew it wasn't my daughter since she wouldn't knock first. I actually thought it might be her ex-boyfriend who still comes around from time to time - they're friends - so I called out, "Who's here?" fully expecting Steve to answer that it was him. Instead, I heard the footsteps stop and come back down the hall, down the stairs and out the front door. It happened so quickly, I didn't have time to be afraid. But, as it sank in, I realized that it could have been a much larger problem than it was. My daughter thinks it was an ex-friend of hers who wants to get back at her for whatever reason (I don't know what happened between them - she won't say) while I thought it was my landlord's nephew who will take anything that isn't nailed down that he can make a quick buck on. I can tell you, though, that we now keep the door locked all day, even while I'm here. That was truly a wake up call.

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