...the mice will eat Lebanese food.
Every year around this time, Tom heads off to the big Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I tagged along once, and my chief memory is of walking into the classroom building where his panel was scheduled to see a group of eight or nine Franciscan monks, tonsured and attired in their brown robes tied with rope, standing in a circle chatting. I think someone had to physically push me out of the doorway, I was so immobilized by astonishment.
After that, I've decided to stay home, which is really for the best since the Kalamazoo conference usually happens right during finals week.
To be honest, I've come to enjoy Tom's annual exodus. I usually have a lot of grading to do, so it's nice to just be able to get into a work groove and not worry about anyone or anything else. I've also developed a few idiosyncratic traditions over the years that I look forward to, such as making and eating stuff that Tom doesn't enjoy--primarily, Middle-Eastern food.
This time around, I enjoyed a much-needed break from grading by making mujadarah (lentils with rice), mussaka'ha (an eggplant, chickpea, and tomato stew), and fattoush (a salad with lemon-garlic dressing and pita bread), all from the Sahtein cookbook by the Arab Women's Union of Detroit.
The mussaka'ha and the fattoush tuned out great; the mujadarah, OK, but not as good as what I've had at Cedarlands Restaurant in Dearborn, or at the Tiger Bakery in Toledo. If anyone has a good recipe for the mujadarah, I'd love to have it; this one comes out dry and bland, and the best versions I've had are flavorful and have way less rice.
I'll be glad to see Tom when he gets home tomorrow, but the few days without him are an annual reminder of the pleasures of solitude. And chickpeas.