There are lots of date palm trees. Recently, we’ve noticed lots of burlap bags tied in the trees. They’re placed there to protect the ripening dates from hungry birds. The dates themselves have for some time been being sold at the side of the road, piled up in great brown, dry heaps. We finally were brave enough to buy some. They’re a strange texture—almost leathery—but tasty. Lucy loves them (and regularly alarms Ed by asking if he wants a date—“No! I’m not sixteen yet!”).
We also bought dried hibiscus flowers to make karkadeh, a popular Sudanese punch that Isaac and Nora and I have met at play group. You steep the dried flowers in water, then chill the water and add sugar (lots if you’re Sudanese, not quite so much if you’re not). It’s delicious, a little bit tangy, and beautiful, a deep red color.