Monday Meal Review: Somalia

Keith falls asleep quicker than I can slip under the comforter and lay my head on the pillow. Most nights, I find myself staring out the window – watching the moon arc across the sky – while Keith snores next to me.

I don’t know how he does it.

My mind rarely clicks off… each night my head hosts a cluttered, clamoring PARTY of thoughts. Just as with the most ruckus of house guests, I’m lucky if I can control one out of ten of these thoughts.

There’s no peace in my mind. There is just swirling, swirling, swirling.

Worry, insecurity, negativity, hope, joy… it’s all bundled up in their, tied up and tangled in the confetti of my life.

And yet, the Somali people say:


This beautiful proverb made me question what I am doing at night to keep myself from this kind of soul-satisfying slumber.

I asked myself:

What is my personal roadblock to attaining inner peace?

I sat with this question for a long time.

I thought about it while dicing vegetables for the Beef Suqaar.

I thought about it as the thin sauce simmered down into a thick gravy.

I thought about it when my daughter ate the yellow corn without a second’s thought as to how much yellow sauce she was getting on her face.

She could care less. And when I wiped her face, she also didn’t mind.

She was in the moment.

And that’s when it hit me.

She’s always in the moment.

Ava with flower crown

And so is Keith. If he feels like laughing, he laughs.

If he’s tired, he sleeps. That minute.

He doesn’t give space to thoughts that have no bearing on what matters in the moment… sleep.

Maybe I need to be more like Ava and Keith.

Dive into life – live it for living’s sake – and don’t worry so much about all the if, and’s and butt’s. Maybe I need to let myself get messy when messiness happens. Maybe I need to clean up when it feels right. Sleep when it’s time to sleep.

And other than that?

Maybe I need to let the chips fall where they may.

Give a little control back to the Universe, so to speak.

Sasha with flower crown

If you have any tips for obtaining inner peace, I’d love to hear them. Do you struggle like this? Do you have coping mechanisms, or do you live with the rattling mind? I can use all the help I can get.


Beef Suqaar [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

I didn’t expect suqaar to blow me away. There are no exotic spices in the mix. There isn’t much in the way of complicated cooking technique, either. Turns out my hesitation was misguided: I couldn’t stop eating it. Something about the gently simmered beef with garlic, onion, and vegetables was incredibly comforting. The fact that it pulled together with minimal effort was a definite bonus. Ava and Mr Picky both ate this right up.

The key is to season the dish with a good sprinkling of salt and to let the liquid reduce out, so that the flavor concentrates around the meat… instead of a loose sauce. Many recipes use precooked meat to ensure the most tender meat, so leftover rotisserie could be a fun option for this, especially on a weeknight.

What I loved least about this dish:

Nothing. I’d like to try it with lamb and chicken in the future.

Coconut Curried Corn | Galey iyo Qumbo [Recipe]

What I loved most about this dish:

This is such a fun side dish. Aside from serving the corn aside a heaping plate of suqaar, the spiced coconut milk corn would be great with grilled meats. I could hardly keep Ava from chowing down on this… she loved it and ate two pieces in one sitting.

What I loved least about this dish:

There is no denying it – the turmeric, which stains the sauce a lovely golden hue, gets everywhere. The key is to provide plenty of napkins and let go of that “control” thing. Mr Picky hates getting dirty, so he had a bit more trouble with this than the rest of us. Ava was not bothered at all.

When it comes to the onion, it takes a while to soften. Just be patient and rotate that corn every once in a while. It’ll all come together.


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