Earlier this month, we held our annual international celebration. Our country of focus this year was Morocco.
Moroccans traditionally eat around low tables, seated on cushions. We really wanted to try and work that out in order to be more authentic, so we took our dining room table off of its stand and propped it up for the evening. It made us feel much more Moroccan.
There is a traditional hand-washing ceremony that is done for guests in a Moroccan home. The goal of Moroccan hospitality is to provide for every possible need of the guests. We tried the hand-washing ceremony with one person, but we didn't have the patience to go all the way around the table!
From near to far on the table is bread, an eggplant and tomato salad, a complicated chicken pie, a prune and beef dish, and a couscous dish. Couscous is probably the most characteristic food of Morocco. It is eaten there like rice is eaten in many parts of the world.
For dessert, we had a sweet couscous dish, fruit, and these almond pastries.
This is a close-up of the eggplant and tomato salad.
Becca made the bread, but she wasn't impressed with the directions in the cookbook. Whereas we usually knead in flour, this recipe had her kneading in the water! Despite the extreme stickiness of the dough at certain points, the bread still turned out very well.
The chicken pie, called B'stilla, consisted of multiple layers. First was a sweetened almond paste. Then there was chicken, topped with a sauce with onions and herbs, and the rest of the almond paste. The whole mixture was encased in filo dough, coated with butter and egg yolk, and baked. Then it was topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
The most ubiquitous refreshment in Morocco is undoubtedly mint tea. Even though tea wasn't introduced to Morocco until the 1800's, it has become a fixed tradition. The drinking of mint tea is traditionally a leisure, ceremonial affair. They drink it very sweet.
Even Peter liked the food!