Siproeta stelenes by Tony Via Flickr: Adults feed on flower nectar, rotting fruit, dead animals, and bat dung. Females lay eggs on the new leaves of plants in the family Acanthaceae, especially ruellia. The larvae are horned, spiny, black caterpillars with red markings.
After 13 days of sharing a bathroom with six others, a diet consisting of falafel breakfasts with chai, a platter of biryani or bukhari rice and curry lunches and a whole chicken freshly pulled off from the rotisserie, its juices seeping through the brown paper bag its put in, with chai, and dinners that are sometimes looked over, for we opted to pray in the courtyard of the المسجد الحرام where veiled ladies will throw at your lap small packages of dates of all known varieties - on some days they’re sticky and sweet, covered in sesame seeds and on some day, my personal favourite, those not yet fully ripe and has a pleasant bite with just enough sweetness as to not make you rush to the beige barrels of cold زمزم , walking 2km to and from the المسجد النبوي in the heat, I can safely say that there is no place like home.
Still, it is bittersweet to leave a place each with its own charms - Makkah with its bustling reverie that is truly a city that never sleeps. Madinah with its dream-like mosque with minarets that practically glow in daylight (not to mention the sliding domes and butterfly wing-like canopies that automatically expand during the scorching heat).
This is nothing new, but it is a nod to something we ate during our trip. 6 days into our eating habits we realized that drinking gallons of chai, eating simple carbohydrates and an opulence of protein can be a bit boring. So we opened a can of sardines in oil, emptied the contents into a frying pan with a buckload of chili peppers, waited for it to reduce and ate it with plain, steamed hot rice. A few slices of cucumbers and tomatoes were served on the side. It was simplicity at its best with a nutritional value to boot and so, so satisfying.
Today, nursing a head cold with mugs of mint green tea, I decided I wanted to eat this fiery concoction to flush out my system. Use sardines canned in oil and not in sauce if you can, because that way you can modify the spices and flavors to your liking. Having said that, if you happen to have a preference for sardine canned in sauces, then by all means use them. Use as little or much peppers as your palate can handle.
On a last note, tonight is the peak of the April Lyrids, if I’m not mistaken. Anyone watching the skies?
SARDINES FRIED RICE (serves 3-4):
[ 1-2 tins of sardine in chili oil, or in any sauce you like + 1-2 red hot chili peppers + ½ of a small tomato + 1 small onion + 2 cloves of garlic + a ½ inch piece of fresh ginger + 1 teaspoon lemon juice + 2 cups cooked white rice that’s been left overnight + 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 1 teaspoon sugar + any vegetables you like in fried rice - I recommend some peas, carrots and bell peppers + eggs + fresh parsley or spring onion for garnish ]
Chop any vegetables you’re planning to use into small, equal pieces. In a food processor, pulse the chili pepper, tomato, onion, garlic and ginger until you have a coarse paste. Set aside.
In a large nonstick pan over medium-high, heat a ½ tablespoon of the oil that comes with the sardine (if you’re using sardines canned in sauce, use a ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil) and saute the pulsed ingredients for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the tinned sardines and break it up with your spatula. Stir fry until the sardines pieces browns and become a bit toasty, about 5-10 minutes. Add in sugar and the vegetables you’re using. Stir fry for 1 minute until vegetables just soften before adding the cooked rice. Give it a stir and add in soy sauce and lemon juice. Toss and work the rice so that the grains are evenly coated in the sardine mixture.
Cook until rice is dry and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry some eggs and serve rice with over-easy eggs, chopped parsley or spring onion, a splash of chili oil and a lemon wedge on the side.
His hand, obscured by her dinner napkin which was draped over her lap, reached beneath the hem of her black cocktail dress under the table.
In the dimly lit chophouse, their dinner companions were oblivious. The two older couples were busy discussing their recent Alaskan cruise. Both of the males, His bosses, were gentlemanly fellows and were happy to mentor their new protégé. It was the first time the young couple had been invited to socialize with the partners. She knew that she had best make a good impression. Smiling often, but adding little to the dialogue, she felt like His butterfly under a glass dome.
His hand ran along her thigh high silk stocking, until finding soft, bare flesh. She could distinctly feel His fingers and the warmth and strength of His palm. She fought back the reflexive shuddering tendencies that His tactile stimulation caused. She opened her legs slightly, allowing Him access. Her heart quickened and she wondered if the tale-tell signs of her desire showed prominently on her face; the display of her aching nipples evidenced the rage of sensations under the bodice of her dress.
The subject of the table banter among the males was the impending settlement of a large case. He managed to interject His thoughts, all the while His index finger made its way to the crotch of her juice soaked panties.
She took a sip of Merlot, scanning the faces of her dinner companions as she replaced the wine glass on the table.
Meandering under the fabric, He found her opening, which was hot and flooded with her passion. Using discreet force, He penetrated her with one finger. With all fortitude she resisted her cunt’s demand that she open her legs and ride His hand.
Attempting to distract herself, she individually fingered each of the exquisitely matched pearls which comprised the simple choker-length strand, resting in the pit between her clavicles.
He never missed a verbal cue from the partners. It was though His hands conducted a symphony below the table, while He had the presence of mind to proffer inventive legal theories to those whom He needed to impress.
She felt another finger enter her, stretching her pleasantly. He removed a coated finger and located her clitoris. He expertly began to unpeel her micro-heart which was swollen and throbbing. Delicately, He began to finger stroke the hard bead. She wanted desperately to thrust her pelvis forward, meeting His digits which were the immediate source of all gratification. However, He needed no assistance from her, as He strummed her body with greatest of familiarity.
The forbidden nature of their play, the urgency and the risk caused sensations which she had never experienced. The slightest grimace of ecstasy or groan of elation would be cause for His wrath, which she had already awoke the previous evening. She prayed for the ability to be stoic and endure the impending orgasmic wave…
Like watching television with no sound, she smiled at the strange faces and watched their lips move, but heard nothing. Breathless, she grabbed the table for support, as she struggled to repress the involuntary convulsions as the orgasm overtook her.
She caught a glimpse of Him in her periphery. He smiled and filled her glass with the dark burgundy liquid.