C’est l’heure de Maman

After the two weeks of winter vacation, a few of my students are having trouble adjusting to being away from their moms all day.  My mom was here visiting me for the whole break, so I also have to adjust to life away from my mom.

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My dad was here too, and is also photogenic.

I mentioned in my post about my sister’s visit that having family come and see what my life is like gives me new perspective on my situation.  My mom is especially helpful for the obvious reason that she knows everything.  How to clean marble floors (vinegar), what to do with exhausted yet excited three-year-olds (duck duck goose), why my yeast bread didn’t rise in 45 minutes (my apartment is too cold), and what a galette is (whatever you want it to be).  She also shares my interest in cooking mystery vegetables, drinking Nescafé Gold, walking everywhere, and watching movies in French that were not made in France.  It was a lot of fun to have my mom stay with me, but just because she’s gone doesn’t mean I’m back to the old routine.

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We also both like looking at jewelry.

My mom came to work with me for four days during the three weeks she was here, and was excited about every one of them.  It helped me realize that if she’s excited about my job, I can be too.  Sometimes it drives me crazy, but sometimes three-year-olds are hilarious.  It’s also pretty nice to have a job where I get to run around on the playground and color every day, not to mention the world-class pastries the school chef delivers right to my room.  I also found a new appreciation for other aspects of my situation; just last weekend Chicago had dangerously cold weather while my mom and I were enjoying drinking avocado juice outside in sunny Casablanca.  My mom also met some of my friends, so it was wonderful to have her perspective on my social life (if you’re wondering, my friends are “varied,” some are “adorable,” and some know where to get really amazing birthday cakes).

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Sorry, we already ate them both.

My students occasionally cry during class because they want their mothers.  I’m not going to cry, because I’m 23 and not 3, and also because I don’t think my eyeliner is waterproof.  But if I did want to cry, I would remind myself that my mommy will come back, and there are plenty of fun things to do before then.

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My dad takes cool pictures of my mom taking pictures.

Moms certainly are capable of fixing everything, even when their kids are older than three.  I’m taking a lesson from my students and remembering that you don’t miss your mom if you are having fun.  But, there’s plenty of space for her in my apartment for when she does want to come back!

Peanut Butter

Yes, this entry is just about peanut butter.  The search for quality peanut butter outside of the United States has been an ongoing challenge for me, so I think it warrants its own post.  In India and Morocco, the best peanut butter has added oil, and in most of Europe it has added sugar.  As a peanut butter purist, this does not cut it for me.  Is it really so hard to take some peanuts and squish them?  Apparently.  But here in Morocco, I am so incredibly fortunate as to have been provided with imported peanut butter.  Observe:

ImageThis beauty comes all the way from the Central African Republic, which is in fact a lot closer to Morocco than the United States.  Don’t worry about mailing me peanut butter, Mom; I’m set for at least a few months!  My boyfriend’s mom sent this to him, and he gave it to me to use in cooking.  Which I do, nearly every day.  I also eat PB&J just about daily.  So there is some proof that I’m doing okay here in Morocco.

Update: Peanut butter cookies