We were under a time crunch this weekend, making a quick 24-hour trip to Mt. Sinai, which was sandwiched in between Ben’s church and coaching responsibilities and Emily’s business trip to Buenos Aires. But even though we made great time out of Cairo and across the Suez, we were stymied just an hour a way from St. Catherine’s Monastery which lies at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
The police shook their heads at us and told us the Bedouin had been shooting at cars, the roads were bad, and we’d have to make a four-hour detour or so to make it to Sinai. We didn’t have that kind of time, so we sat their at the checkpoint, befriending the army, and doing our very best, but it wasn’t to be. Alas, we had to turn all the way around and drive the five hours back to Cairo.
We did stop by the Red Sea, and I stuck my toes in.
And then somewhere on the way back, Ben said, “You know, if we’re having to drive all the way back, we better make the best meal of our life to make up for it.”
And so we did.
We stopped at Gourmet Egypt, where Evan and I drooled with delight over the foreign imports, the cuts of meat, and stuck a vanilla bean in our basket. Emily and I went out for a jog to stretch our legs, the guys lit up cigars on the porch, and we all got to cooking like that’d been the plan all along.
And even though I’d raved about the pork chops, broccoli, mashed potatoes and beet, goat cheese, and arugala salad earlier in the week, this may have just been one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Part of it had to be the determination of it all, of course. Determination that we’d make something of a disappointment so that we’d remember the experience not because we hadn’t made it to our destination, but because we’d re-orchestrated the whole evening to our liking.
And oh yeah, we each had a glass of red and white wine, because it just made sense, and because we could.
Take that stupid police at the checkpoint to Mt. Sinai, rowdy Bedouin, whoever you are!
We finished off the meal of filet mignon, chanterelle parmesan risotto, and braised brussels sprouts with my favorite dark chocolate cake.
Decadent, satisfying–we made our own mountain-top experience, and I’m not looking back.