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A Taste of Africa

May 25, 2015

Today was the last day of (another!) long holiday weekend... It was miserable, rainy, and cold (shocker.) since we left Munich last week.  The Inn Valley where we live was covered in a heavy cloud coverage for days on end... I hadn't seen the sun or the mountains for a week straight.  And, I don't have to mention how this affected our moods.

So, when Sunday came around we gave up, packed up, and high-tailed it back to Munich for a CHANCE at seeing the sun... and maybe something else besides gray clouds... 

Luckily, Sophia found us something fun to do... Afrika Tag - an African Festival at Theresienwiese!  We were just here a few weeks back at the Oktoberfest fairgrounds for a huge flea market. 

This time, we had a new set of wheels on hand... a lovely, old wagon... very much loved and given to us by friends.  The wagon had a newly repaired drawbar, custom fitted seats and back rest, AND a side umbrella.  Mikel-Phia don't mess around, people!

El spent a few quiet moments at the woven baskets stand... testing out the mini-baskets for sale.

Next up, drum testing...

The 'worry dolls' and bobble head turtles caught El's eye... and a hundred eyes bobbled back at her when we bumped into the table!

As I am a self-proclaimed Ottolenghi fan, my foray into his recipes has lead me to the world of spices.  A bag of harissa was given to me by our friend, Michael, and I must say... it's altered my taste buds forever!

If you haven't tried dried harissa, you must!  If you ever come across any (lucky you!), grab some and give it a whirl.  I put it on everything - eggs, popcorn, chips, a grilled cheese, roasted anything.... it's like a warm hug.  I swear, I'm not a big spice fan... a bit of a wimp, actually... but harissa is the perfect amount of warmth and brings a dish up a notch!

If you can't wait, like I couldn't... you can make some yourself! The Noshery has a good recipe here.

When Sophia suggested the African Festival, I immediately thought, "Ooh, spices!!  I can get some spices to make harissa!!"  And, luckily for us, there was a lovely woman, named Lalasoa from Mada Spice, and she had ready made dried harissa.  Score!!

She is from Madagascar... and grows and dries all of the spices herself.  Double score!!!


I grabbed three bottles of harissa (because who knows when I'll run into this stuff again), some ground cardamon, some star anise (for pho, of course!), and a bag of Rooibos Chai (my two favorite teas, in ONE!).  It was a grand day, indeed!

Topped off, only by a few nibbles from a camel!

Camels are quite tall in person.  They have beautiful, big brown eyes... very matted hair (in need of a brush)... and the touchy-feeliest of lips!

Afterwards, we had Ethiopian food (my first time!).  Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic fast enough (we must have been famished?!) because we finished the plate of food in a flash.  All I can remember are flatbreads similar to a heavy crepe (injera), a few spicy meat dishes, a yellow lentil stew, a spinach and carrot dish, a salad, and a creamy cheese on top - all eaten by hand.  Delicious!

Post-digestif time consisted of tickles and cuddles from Dada... and a few sweets such as baklava, peanut cookies, walnut cookies, and a few stuffed dates... of which Lil enjoyed and had...


On the road again... Lil pulled El...

... and El pulled Lil.

Back home, a few more antics before we hit the road back to Austria.

Graffiti Artist on the Run



Til next time, Munich.  It won't be until Thursday that we'll have a sunny day (and 73 degrees!) again... so we'll hang on to these lovely moments of bright African colors and flavors and all of the fun and the laughs with Mikel-Phia!!

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