What with Lil’ Wayne’s new album coming out last week, it seemed only natural to revisit his catalogue and its lasting contributions to Arabic song. In particular we were drawn to his brilliant commentary on the hyper-extended greeting sequence, with which we’re sure many of you are familiar. We write, of course, of Lil Wayne’s “’عامل ايه؟”
It seems, however, that Tarek Masoud may have heard the lyrics differently, as an ode to the heir apparent. He apparently heard “Gamali, Gamali” (sample lyrics: “I’m a Young Guard Gamallionaire/tougher than Captain Mamdouh’s eyewear”…“What’s a goon to a goblin?”…“I’m okay, but my pops’ sick” ) In short, a modern-day “O Captain, My Captain” (or is that “O Hosni, My Hosni”???)
That was an awful lot of throat clearing but you know what DJ Kool always says… (sample lyric: “We never let the blog magnetize me no more”)
As for the article itself:
As promised yesterday, we’re back with some important Downtown news.
WILL SHOP 4 FOOD.
Photo Credit: Nadim Audi
TBE is branching out. Like all of our blog ideas, the new one began when we thought of a clever play on words. In this case, al-Masri al-Yum. As you might’ve guessed, this new venture will focus exclusively on food.
Since the site is still in beta, and to forestall accusations of postlessness, we’ve cross-posted all the old TBE items dealing with the culinary arts to the new site. We haven’t yet decided whether we’ll continue posting food-related content on the main site, or put them exclusively on our new “Dining & Wine (You should be imagining drop shadows on this title)” site. Probably the latter.
Also, we’re hiring. So if you’ve got a bevy of food and bevvie pitches at the ready, please don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
Sorry for the recent lack of posts. To make up for it, TBE is today featuring a recipe for banana bread, which is delicious and eminently doable even in the most ill-stocked of Cairo kitchens, so long as it contains a mixer (about which we’ve recently learned that some people refer to it as a “hand blender,” which sounds rather sinister). Also bananas are currently in season and the bananas of Cairo are far better than any one is likely to find in the US, so one should take advantage.
But first, some topical humor dreamt up by TBE’s team of highly trained comedians:
What did the banana do when he wanted to talk to someone on the other side of the café?
Answer, and the recipe, after the jump.
“Back on the scene, crispy and clean”
Not exactly fresh news, but “Rob,” of Arabic Media Shack fame, is blogging again, this time at War and Peace. For those that don’t know, Rob is something of an iconoclast, and his thoughts and ideas are always worth reading. Our blogroll has been updated. Has yours?
“You better learn how to add”
We also added Chocolate & Zucchini to the food section. While not all of their recipes are really doable in Cairo, some of them are. Also we were just pondering why zucchini is one of those vegetables that is available all year round in Cairo, along with tomatoes, onions, potatoes and cucumbers. Why are some vegetables seasonal and others not in countries where the growing season lasts all year?
“Read More Learn More Change the Globe”
TBE has also added another tab on the top of the page, called “Reading Material.” Readers should know that this decision engendered a huge argument at TBE HQ. TBE’s Facebook editor argued that he finds those “What I’m Reading Now” applications to be insidious examples of intellectual one-upmanship, meant less to recommend books than to show off, and drew a parallel between those applications and our proposed new feature. Our Long Article and Book Reading correspondent offered a vicious riposte on TBE’s in-house listserv, attacking the vacuity of anyone whose career aspirations led them to become a “social media expert.” Despite recognizing our correspondent’s tactic as attacking the person making the argument instead of taking on the argument itself, we decided to humor him, at least temporarily.
TBE loves nothing more than royal coats of arms emblazoned with stylized dolphins.
Real talk: Back in the late 1990s, a TBE correspondent used to work at the now-defunct location of Blockbuster Video in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. One evening a number of men wearing wool greatcoats swept into the building. DC not yet having been overrun by czars, TBE was unsure what to make of their uniform attire, other than to remember his training, which called for increased vigilance when people in baggy coats stepped into the building, lest they be thieves.
They were not, as it turns out, thieves. Rather they were members of the secret service escorting Tipper Gore as she picked up a couple movies. One of the movies she rented was Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead.
So that’s where we got the title of this post.
Fittingly, considering that Al Gore was once a Democratic dauphin of sorts, the first recipe we’re featuring is Gratin Dauphinois, which is really simple and delicious aside from the tedious slicing of potatoes.
But first, one final aside: In order to forestall what would surely be a torrent of comments from correspondents angry at the fact that we misidentified the origin of the name of the dish called Gratin Dauphinois, let us now declare now that we are aware that the dish is in fact named after the dearly departed French province of Dauphiné, and not, as we’ve implied, the dauphin himself. If you’re interested in learning more about the distinction, you could do worse than to read this passage from Wikipedia, about which we’d like to learn more: “A major condition [of the 1349 treaty incorporating Dauphiné into France] was that the heir to the throne of France would be known as le Dauphin, which was the case from that time until the revolution.”
Recipes and more after the jump.
Prescript: “Cairo Gems” is a new gimmick TBE is developing in conjunction with the unknowing city of Cairo, in which we highlight some of our favorite spots. We stole the idea from “MA,” “JJ” or “JL” or some combination thereof, so all due respect to them. Our idea is to self-publish a book with our text and luscious photos by our photographer or maybe this fellow, TBE’s portraitist-in-residence. We will then sell the rights to AUC, so they can include our guidebook in the orientation packets distributed to study abroad students. Enjoy!
"This is what springformocracy looks like" ... "And you will know us by the trail of springform pans" ... "Leopard-Skin Springform-Pan Hat" ... etc.
El-Ebiary: The name alone conjures up visions of Moorish Spain, or a place where birds are kept, perhaps in gilded cages. Alas, it is neither of those things. Instead it is a store, or rather two stores with one name and two other stores separating them.
To find it, one strolls down Shagarat al-Dor in Zamalek away from 26 July. When you see a girl’s legs dangling from what might be an airshaft on your right hand side, reflect on what you just saw as you proceed to the next store, then enter. There are a lot of housewares and kitchenware stuffed in this spot, which can be disconcerting, especially for those of you who, like TBE, have a delicate constitution. Do not be deterred, o ye of little patience for overstimulation.