Did you know that they call you Bunga Raya in Malaysia and that you're their national flower? I think it's a different kind of hibiscus flower though. Still, it sounds a little obscene to me but then again, karkadeh might sound just as indecent to them. Your street name, as you know, is Roselle while your birth name is Hibiscus Sabdariffa. Sorry to break it to you this way. Regardless, I'm glad that the Egyptian you decided to travel all the way from Egypt this year to spend the holy month of Ramadan with us. I know we're a lot quieter than what you're used to - what with the entertainment-driven Cairene Ramadan tents where you get to spend night after night in the hands of beautiful and not so beautiful ladies equally preening and ready to be as unholy in a holy month as possible. If you're being naughty and I suspect that you will be (be naughty for me - since I'll be fasting and won't be as naughty), you'll spill some of your self to stain them forever with your sweet purple dye. I know that you've been subjected to humiliation before in Malaysia when you were asked to be diluted - they didn't mean it, they're just not used to how sweet you can be and sometimes that intimidates them. I'm sorry that I offered you to them - they did not appreciate you for the shining star that you are. This year, I promise to use you in more than one way. I shall not only drink you for you are worthy of more attention than what you are given. And best of all, you will not have to share our home with Amar-el-din, that orange-spray-tan-like apricot juicy tart. I'm sorry I said tart. I'll be trying to curb my tongue from now on. Anyway, I'm glad you're visiting. I'm excited to be spending a lot of time with you. Until you meet my lips again, good night.
Warm fuzzy feelings your way,
P.S. I painted that swirly designed stool in the last photo.
Egyptian Karkadeh (Sweet Hibiscus Tea):
2 scant cups of dry hibiscus flowers
10 cups of water
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar (depending on your preferred sweetness)
Rinse the dry hibiscus flowers lightly and place in a large pot over high heat. Pour the water, stir, and allow to boil for 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Allow it to simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring every now and then. Give it time to cool when you're done then strain it three times to get it as clear as possible. Place in your bottle or jug of choice and refrigerate.
Serve with or without ice. Drink. Get a sugar rush.