This was a visit to Riyadh for a project with a bank. The funniest part of the trip was taking our Ethiopian housekeeper to the supermarket to buy supplies. We lost track of her as she wore a burka, and we could not remember what her shoes looked like. We had to hand around the check out until she found us. Lesson learned: we always noted her shoes on subsequent shopping trips.
The most memorable meal was one that she cooked for us, as it included Injera.
Injera is a sour flatbread used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine that is thicker than a crepe but thinner than a pancake and has a delightfully sour taste. Vegetable, lentil, or meat dishes are often served on top of the injera, and the food is eaten with your hands, using the injera to scoop up the other dishes.
Traditional injera uses all teff flour, made from the seeds of an annual grass native to the Horn of Africa. Teff is high in protein and fibre and indispensable in Ethiopian cuisine; it also happens to be a gluten-free flour. However, most injera recipes in the United States, like this one, use a combination of teff and all-purpose flour. The flours are mixed with salt and water and left to ferment, giving the injera its pleasant sourdough flavour and spongy texture since the bread is naturally fermented, similar to sourdough, you’ll need to plan ahead. The mixture must sit out and be stirred occasionally for three or four days. Fermenting foods can be tricky, since temperature, timing, and contaminants can all influence the mixture. Look for the telltale bubbles and sour smell when deciding if your batter is ready.
While I was there, Operation Desert Fox started, a major four-day bombing campaign on Iraqi targets from December 16, 1998, to December 19, 1998, by the United States and United Kingdom.
The contemporaneous justification for the strikes was Iraq’s failure to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions and its interference with United Nations Special Commission inspectors