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We left the US to live in the Middle East in 2005 with one child and 10 suitcases. We've been here for over 5 years now and we have three children, each born on a different continent!
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these pies had better be flippin' delicious!

Posted by Tim 23 November 2005

There has never been such a display of blood, sweat and tears poured into two pies in the history of man. Let me tell you what...

On Sunday we were asked to pick something to cook for the Thanksgiving dinner we are having with friends here. We heard the run down and what was missing was the deserts. So we decided to make a pecan pie... and once we kinda realized that these types of items are rare for people here, i really wanted to make a pumpkin pie too. So I have been on this quest for ingredients that has spanned 3 or 4 days now.

The hard to find items were as follows (listed in degree of difficulty from easiest to hardest)

  • Karo style corn syrup - while impossible to find in our local markets which the mainly the nationals (and us) shop at... it can be found at a few expatriate markets if you know where to look.
  • Crisco or some substitute (preferably one that doesn't involve butter flavored water buffalo fat... argh!) - Crisco would be another one but that same friend had a friend that had bought some for her so she gave some to her friend (me!) because she would be able to partake in said pies involving made-with-crisco pie crusts (run on sentence? yes. i know. back off!). Otherwise it would have been a 45 minute taxi ride to the other side of town where I heard it could be bought. But then later today, after I already had it I heard where I could buy it within 10 minutes.
  • Pumpkin pie filling - We hadn't really even considered pumpkin pie until we saw a "thanksgiving combo pack" at a local market which had a can of pumpkin pie filling, a small bag of walnuts and a can of jellied cranberries. Once we did see it that is when the quest began to really do a great job of deserts for our friends. I asked at the same market saying, "Ana eize pumpkin pie filling lechen ana misch eize walnuts wa cranberries". Loosely translated that means, "I want pumpkin pie filling but I don't want the walnuts and cranberries." I said all that to basically ask do you have just the pumpkin pie filling. This was met with a search through store and a big fat "lah" or "no." So I looked at Massoud market and didn't find it, so I looked at Metro market and found it there (yay!)
  • Pecans - Well pecans really should be the hardest because they are only available once a year at one particular store in our whole megacity, but... a friend of ours had several bags in her freezer that were shipped to her from family.
  • Evaporated milk - what a nightmare! So last night I went down to exchange some money before CSI Miami came on the tele... yes CSI Miami (we get 1 hour of free American television a night from 8-9. Sunday is WWF so we don't bother)... and I stopped at a local Metro market to see if they had it. They didn't so and I ran into an expat who said it was a mission to find. He told me to go to a place called Carrefore, which is sorta like Walmart. So I did later that night but they didn't have it. So I called it night in terms of evaporated milk. Today we met with some language tutors who told us that the bigger Metro market near them might have it. They didn't. So later I tried a place, Maryam Market, recommended by an expat we met yesterday. Nope. So I tried an old faithful, Kimo market. Nada. While I was at Kimo's I saw some old friends and they said they were on the identical quest. They said that Saoudi market might have it so we joined forces and I got a free ride (and they were more polite than some taxi drivers) and lo and behold... Saoudi's had it! So I bought 11 cans... 5 for a friend and 6 for me. The end.
Here are some pictures of the spoils of war...

All of my finds... except the crisco cuz I already have the dough made in the fridge.

Like I would know what this is if it wasn't printed in English on the other side... whew!

Have a good thanksgiving!
We love y'all!


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