As some of you know, I am obsessed with pickled foods. At the moment, my fridge and pantry contain the following: olives, sauerkraut, kimchi, bread and butter pickles, Moroccan preserved lemons. Probably there are some other pickled items hiding in the back as well.
About a month ago, my friend Sara and I took a class in which we learned how to make Moroccan preserved lemons (So delicious! And easy! Put slices of lemons in a jar. Add one tablespoon of salt per lemon. Fill jar with lemon juice. Add spices if you want. Close jar. Let sit for 30 days. Add to couscous, stews etc. and make yourself very happy.). Today was roughly the 30-day mark, so I decided to make a Moroccan-ish stew, sans recipe, as an excuse to use some preserved lemon. I was going to serve it with wheat berries (like rice, but tastier and chewier!) but became so excited about the existence of guacamole that I burned the wheat berries and had to make pasta instead. Hence Moroccan-ish stew/stew-made-of-things-that-were-lying-around-my-house as pasta dish.
Directions: throw onion, garlic, stewed tomatoes, butternut squash, canned beans, a little chicken broth, slices of preserved lemon, green olives, cinnamon, paprika, and a bay leaf in a pan. Cook on low heat for a long time. Yum. Once again, the photo is ugly, but not as ugly as last time:
In other news, I leave for China two weeks from tomorrow (eek)! I am finding myself consumed with pre-departure chores (buying a VPN service so that I can access the internet unencumbered by the Great Firewall, doing Institutional Review Board-mandated revisions to my research plans (those of you who don't do research on humans are lucky not to have to deal with this), finding an apartment in Beijing, etc.). None of it is particularly fun, but it all helps make the trip feel less abstract, which I think is probably a good thing.