Friday, October 29, 2010

Moroccan Celebration

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!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mama!

We celebrated Mama's birthday last week.  We are all tremendously blessed to have Mama as a part of our lives.  She consistently cares for us, encourages us, and sacrifices her time and efforts in order to insure that our household runs smoothly.  She challenges us to always strive for excellence in all we do.  Most significantly, she is absolutely devoted to God and earnestly desires to follow his will in every part of her life.  Over the years, she has led us to pursue that same devotion.

Every year, we put on a concert for Mama's birthday.  Below are a few snapshots.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Camping at Huntsville State Park

Last week we went camping!  We had a great time!

This is Seth fishing.  The fish ate the worms off his hook, so he didn't catch anything.

John and Seth rode their bikes all 60 miles to the park.  Here is John drinking a swallow out each of these water bottles in order to freeze them and take them.
Our friends dug this big hole.  It was about five feet deep.
We went on a walk to this dam.
Lots of people went on the walk.

Uncle John.
We had fun in the hammock.
We camped near this lake.

We had worship on Sunday.
This slide was very popular.  There were children on it almost the whole time.  It was really fun to sit on something vinyl while sliding down because it made you go very fast.