Thursday, November 23, 2006

She'll run away?

My husband has finally decided to bring his mother over from Algeria. On the Eid day he talked to a friend who told him that his mother came to the U.S. by herself. You can pay a fee and someone will accompany her to the gate, show her where to sit while she waits, and even help her with her luggage. We were so excited because we know how happy she would be. She hasn't seen my husband in almost 11 years and has never seen our 3 year old son. I compared tickets, found information on the visa process, and I wrote an invitation letter.

A few days ago, I called my husband and he seemed upset. You could just tell in his voice that something was up. He let me know that his father doesn't want his mom to come. He says that she will get lost and he's never been away from her for that long. I'm thinking, "Oh, how sweet he is worried about her." Then my husband drops the bomb on me. He says my father won't renew her passport and won't tell me anything about it because he thinks she might run away. WHAT??? Why in the world would a woman with 9 grown children in her late fifties who has been married 30+ years run away from the only life and the only man she has ever known? To put it simply... She wouldnt! I became very upset. She is an adult. A grown woman. Not a child.
Does he really have that little faith in the woman who raised two of his children from a previous marriage, a child from a relative, and 9 children of her own. My husband let me know that his father thinks she may get lost going down the street and he doesn's know what might happen if she tries to go around the world. Maybe if he said that she couldn't travel without a mahrem then i could reason that, but running away? Give me a break.

I've been thinking a lot about her lately. I wonder what it must have been like to grow up in a French colony. What was it like to live in your own country, but treated like a second class citizen. How hard it must have been to never go to school and never learn to read or write. I blamed the French. I blamed the Algerian government who took over in the late 1960's after the war of independence. I blamed the people of Bab-el-Oued for not caring enough about their women, but mainly i blame my father in-law. He is a man who pledged his love and protection for this woman. When he married her he forgot that it was his responsibility to teach his wife. I'm sad that he may be accounted. I'm sad that for over 30 years he did not have the time to sit down and teach her how to read. I'm sure he taught his children, so why not his wife? It's really the mentality of the older generation. They are only worried about food and shelter. The husband provides a home and the wife cleans it. The husband brings home food and the wife cooks it. Food, house, and babies seem to be the extent of their relationship. How can I expect a man from that mentality to let his wife come to the U.S.

I realized that I cannot really be angry with him because that's who he is. We can't really expect anyone to change especially not an old man set in his ways. We're going to have to guilt him into letting her come. Lay it on really thick. InshaAllah we will get to see her soon.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Easy-Cheesy Potato Omelet

I was 19 and staying with a friend in Orlando for the summer. I was completely bored and spent most of the time watching TV. It was that summer that I discovered the Food Network. I watched Emeril Lagasse cook a recipe from Camelia Grill in New Orleans. I was a student at Loyola University which was just a few blocks away from the famed restaurant.

After watching Emeril brown freshly cut hashbrown potatoes for this classic omelet I was hooked. This recipe is an adaptation of the original Camelia Grill recipe. I cooked this every weekend for my brother when I lived at home and now every weekend for my son. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

1 large russet potato
3 eggs
2-3 strips of breakfast beef (optional)
1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, preferably cracker barrel or tillamook
splash of half and half
salt and white pepper
fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
pinch of cayenne
canola oil

Grate peeled potato with the larger holes on a box grater. Evenly spread potatoes inbetween two layers of paper towels. Presh firmly to remove extra starch.

If using, brown strips of breakfast beef. When cooked blot to remove excess fat and crumble into small pieces. Reserve bacon.

Heat 1-2T canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, spread potatoes evenly in the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When potatoes are browned flip the pancake like potatoes to cook on the other side.

Mix eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, cayenne, and herb of choice together very well. You want to beat until eggs are almost foamy. When potatoes are done lower the heat to medium low and pour eggs on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Stir until eggs are no longer runny. I like my eggs on the softer side. Just make sure they aren't overcooked.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog

I thought I should start out with a little information about myself. I am a 25 year old, married, muslim-american woman. I live in the upper midwest with my husband and 3 year old son. I'm originally from the south and although i love it here now, I wasn't always so happy.

I've recently graduated with an associates degree in Histology and possibly finishing my bachelors in Healthcare administration next year. I am currently finishing an internship. I have just enough time to sleep, eat, work, study, and squeeze my prayers in.

I would like to say that I spend my spare time reading religious books, but that would be a HUGE lie. Didn't you know that muslims don't lie. At least I know that I am lacking the level of iman that I want. InshaAllah(god-willing) that is a step in the right direction. We can't change that which we don't acknowledge.

This blog will serve a few purposes:

1. To talk about icky stuff I see at the hospital: 20lb fat rolls, legs, fingers, toes, and who can forget the foot with the flesh-eating bacteria.

2. Complain about how much it sucks to be a wife and mom, but also how rewarding it can be when you realize how important the job is regardless of the recognition. How great it is when that little boy who lived inside of you looks at you with is big brown eyes and says "mommy i love you, now be a horse!" How wonderful it feels when my husband eats up everything on his plate, gets seconds, and licks his hands and the plate.

3. To showcase my cooking skillz...dats right i said skillz...YA HEARD!!! That was a little taste of the southerness that comes out from time to time.

4. To discuss random feelings or rants about anything I though was particularly annoying that day.

I wanted to thank my dear sister Organic Muslimah for encouraging me to blog. She has been a source of strengh and stability for me in the 4 years that we have known eachother. She is my best friend and one of the few people that I completely trust. She is an inspiration to me. She has showed me just how easy it can be to be better if you really want it. If you make one step towards Allah(swt) he will move many more towards you.