Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pudding that tastes like a Grandma

Monday was special not because it was my birthday, or because I saw both Petra and the Dead sea, but because I discovered a fourth thing in this world that I will not eat under any circumstances.

I had breakfast with my group, and got to know them a little better. We have me, two french canadians Isabel and Marie Antoinette, A Finnish by way of Belgium lady named (I think it's spelled) Pirko, Brett from England, Joel from Australia, Suvi and Laurie from NYC, Helen from England, Mother and Daugter Sharon and Rachel from Vancouver, Kathryn from Australia and George & Anabella, the cutest couple from Portugal.

After a visit to a mosaic factory, we went to Mt Nebo, where Moses climbed up after 40 years in the desert, and died. The views (above) were amazing.

After this we went to the Dead sea - which I have been looking forward to for MONTHS!! The dead sea is 400 meters below sea level, and oxygen levels are 8% higher than normal. The water is 33% salt, so you float like a cork.

The fresh water pool:

The dead sea beach:

It is the strangest sensation, floating in the dead sea. It is IMPOSSIBLE to sink. You can't even put your legs down in the water for very long. You can lay back in the water, reading a book, not supported by anything! It was truly amazing and just as fun as I imagined it would be.

After this, for a few Jordanian dinars, we could cover ourselves in mud!

After the sea, I went in the pool, which was just a normal pool. It felt very hard to float, like I was made of lead.
Then it was time for a buffet lunch! The lunch part was OK.. then there was the dessert platter. Rachel had tasted the white gelatin dessert and made a face. I went up to get an assortment of desserts:

Sometimes my friends like to laugh at me (opposed to with me) for the reason that I will eat ANYTHING, no matter what it is. Something gross in the vending machine? Sara will try it! drink condiments for $80? Sara will! Dare me to eat a candy bar with mustard on it for $5-$10? My pleasure!
Before today, there were only three things I could never eat.
1. Circus peanuts
2. Canned peas
3. Salmon (except lox)
And now we have #4!
4. The white gelatin dessert at the Dead sea buffet.
Gourmet magaine (sadly, RIP Gourmet magazine!) used to have a "reader request" column. You could write in to describe something delicious you had on your travels, and they would hunt down the recipe for you. Let's write Gourmet, shall we?
Dear Gourmet - while I was travelling to the Dead Sea, I had the most amazing dessert! It was white, gelationous and tasted exactly like a Grandma smells. It had an unusual texture as well. My taste buds were singing! I will never forget this dessert, and if you could find the recipe, it would be wonderful!! Sara, Chicago.
Dear Sara,
You are in luck! We found it for you!
Dead sea style grandma-scented gelatin
2 packages plain gelatin
1 cup cottage cheese (to make it white and lumpy)
1 cup sugar (to make it sickeningly sweet)
30-40 vigorous sprays of the cheapest, sweetest perfume you can buy at Walgreens or CVS
Mix together, chill, invert
spray a decorative lattice design with aeresol whipped crem
accent with drops of red food coloring for a festive look.
Actually I have had some amazing desserts here. The pastries (that remind me a little of baklava, or baklava with custard) are just incredible. But this dessert actually made me scream when I put it in my mouth because it was so gross. It tasted just like perfume!
After all the dead sea fun, we climbed Kerak castle, and arrived in Wadi Musa, the town next to Petra. That night, most of us took a candle-lit tour/walk to the treasury. I will put pictures of Petra by day in the next entry (my camera does not take good night pics), plus - nothing would do this justice. It was magical, breathtaking. You walk through walls of red rock and there were luminaries every 10 feet or so. After you arrive through a narrow entry, you see Petra. We all sat down in rows while some Bedouins played traditional music for us, and made us mint tea, all with candle-light. Suvi and Laurie sang happy birthday to me and I blew out one of the luminaries. Seeing Petra at night was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Just beautiful. It was a wonderful birthday. I had one beer at the irish bar because it was closing, and slept better than I have since I got here.
Below - road between Kerak castle and Wadi Musa:


Trisha said...

Those pics are amazing! Petra at night sounds like a perfect birthday!! Can you bring back some of that mud? We can have a big mud spa party.

Kate C. said...

I really hope you make some of that pudding when you come back. It sounds fantastic! I think I know where we can get some Celine Dion perfume to add to it :-)

Jeff said...

Hope you had a great birthday, sounds like you are having a fun trip. I am enjoying reading your blog. Don't fall off your camel.