My Photography

Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympics, dinners, and a special birthday!

Today is my mom's birthday! Although she's freezing in the northern US I'm sure today will be a good one for her, since of course the Winter Olympics are on! 

Growing up, my parents made the wise decision to rarely have a subscription to cable or satellite TV at our house, and us kids had movies or nothing, or we could play with the bunny ears to get fuzzy local channels. I don't remember being particularly upset about this counter-cultural lack for the most part, though I'm sure I complained at times. The more I am exposed to TV now as an adult and to other families who have the TV on constantly, the more grateful I am that my parents kept it out of our house and our heads! Without going into the junk that most TV shows are, I've personally witnessed on more than one occasion the impact commercials can have on children. Marketers advertise to children to get them to get them to bother their parents, and wow does it work. Othman and I enjoy certain shows and watch them online without any commercials, which makes them much more palatable. Thanks mom and dad!

Yah that looks about right.

Though TV was far from being a constant companion, there were certain periods when it was necessary in our household-- the World Cup and the Olympics being first among them. I remember with particular fondness the winter Oylmpics of 1998 in Nagano. As a 9-year-old I was enamored with Tara Lipinski (probably in no small part due to the American Girl magazine!). All us kids were homeschooling that year, cooped up inside our house in cold New Jersey, so we watched LOTS of Olympics. For years I'd bother my older brother with a mash-up of two different commercials from NBC that year, and still remember the Dave Letterman Late Show jingle. Interestingly I don't remember any of the sports other than ladies figure skating, but the commercials stuck with me. Hmm. Nevertheless, since then I've preferred the winter Olympics to the summer Olympics, by far. In 2012 I had fun watching the London games with my sisters, but was really yearning for figure skating, speed skating and bobsled in my heart! 

My memories of Nagano consist of commercials and these girls!
I've been following these past few days with some streaming sites, while Othman tries to get the satellite dish and decoder we borrowed from his parents figured out. (We've been perfectly happy till now to live without TV. Do I see history repeating itself?) As I watch and root for countries like the Netherlands (where big bro lives now), Poland (in honor of old family friends), France and Brazil (for obvious reasons), the US, (depending on who they're up against-- love seeing the little countries win! But USA vs Russia is an easy pick, for example), and even Morocco which has its first winter Olympics delegation this year, I feel connected to my family in frigid South Dakota who are surely watching and cheering at the same time as me!

I meant to talk more about my mom than that, but my love for the winter games got me carried away I guess, oops! 

On a different topic with another big nod towards my mom, I want to showcase a couple dinners Othman and I have had lately that are directly thanks to her!

The first is a dish that most anyone who has ever eaten at my house has had some variation of-- coconut fish (or chicken) over rice. Due to my allergies I've adapted the recipe to work for me, and it's delicious and easy, and definitely a favorite chez nous

Basmati rice we brought from France, yummm. Too
pricey here! Technically it isn't GAPS-legal, but as I
don't have problems with it, I do eat rice every so often.
The second we had last Saturday, needing a light dinner after having had a snack late in the afternoon. Pao de Queijo is easily my favorite Brazilian food, and my mom was wonderful enough to give us a few boxes of Pao de Queijo mix to bring back to Morocco with me. I'm extremly lucky that it's naturally wheat-free, and though I doubt it gels exactly with GAPS, it's so worth  the cheating! This was the last box that I had forgotten about, which made eating them even better. I used my mom's trick of kneading the dough into oblivion, and they were beyond delicious. Paired with the Brazilian Guarana we found last week, I truly felt I was in Brazil again!! Or close enough at least. =]

All in all, thank you mom for teaching me how to make delicious food, for raising me without a brain like this:

Othman posted this today on Facebook, I just had to use it!

and for being the supportive and understanding mother that you are! I love you! Happy happy birthday!


  1. Ok Claudia! ... you know how seldom I cry, and how terribly hard-hearted I am, but your post made my day! My eyes are teary and my heart is grateful, and missing you so much And... WHo could forget watching the Nagano Olympics that winter? I can still hum the David Letterman jingle mixed up with the (fast food?) commercial! Little Gus and his passionate crush for Michele Kwan! About TV Geoff and I remember well when we canceled cable--Nickelodeon gave the exact opposite views of what we wanted our children to grow up with--and I could have said the same thing about how we felt as children growing up with no TV--we complained some, but oh was it ever a great decision on their part! By the way a lot of people are streaming here, hope you find a way!

    1. Update--TV is working with the French coverage! Woo!
      "You say tomato, I say tomah-to, you say potato, I say potah-to, tomato, tomah-to, potato, potah-to, let's call the whole thing off! Call everything off and go exploring in a Ford Explorer! It's free from Shell!
      and of course--
      "Tamagachi, Suzuki, with Dave it's all so kooky! Down in Nagano, where they don't even watch Dave's show... the Late Show!" (I'm sure I don't remember the words right, but then again I think we substituted in our own words back then anyway!)

  2. Claudia, did you watch the team figure skating? There were some really great parts. One of my favourites was the couples ice-dancing. So fun!

    1. Hey B, the couples dancing is impressive but I like the singles skating better. Didn't get to watch most of the team stuff unfortunately and will be at work today and miss the couples free skate! Boo.