What do you pack when you’re an expat at the end of your vacation back home and you’re getting ready for another year away from your family and friends?

How do you capture the precious warmth and joy that you feel in their company? what can you take to help you get through the months of nostalgia?

Whenever we go back home for a visit, my mum prepares a love package for me and the kids, there are always new books and DVDs for the kids,a few props for my blog, her signature cookies, maamoul, Zaatar, nabulsi cheese and this apricot jam. My son loves jam but in his book, no store-bought could ever come close to his teta’s homemade apricot jam (teta is Arabic for grandma).

For the first few months after the vacation, I am fine, I miss everyone, but I manage to keep busy and keep my mind off it. But as the year rolls by and we get to the last couple of months before the summer break I struggle with longing and little details like opening a jar of my mum’s jam, tracing her handwriting on the lovely notes she sticks to the lids can drive me to tears.

Apricot jam by chef in disguise

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So many of you have kindly written to me asking how I was coping in  Ras Al Khaima, wondering about my new life here. I’ve been meaning to write a long post about this for months! but something always comes up! So I have decided to break it up into a series of posts. I will tell you a little bit about the great move, life in the UAE and how I’m coping with the whole idea of being an expat. Do stay tuned 🙂

If you are here for the recipe, scroll to the end of the post, you will find the English and Arabic versions