Sunday, May 4, 2008
"Two Peanuts Walk Into a Bar..."
Yesterday, I was greeted by my 2-yr. old. I had been riding the elliptical early in the morning in preparation for a long, challenging weekend. He greeted me with a half filled bowl of Trix. Unfortunately, we followed the trail all the way down the stairs where a pile met us at the bottom of the steps. From there, we followed the colorful trail through our soon-to-be wonderful kitchen, into the dining room. At this point, I knew it was going to be a challenging morning as I saw the biggest pile in the middle of the living room with the empty box and bag sitting on the couch. Without our kitchen, I have been struggling to stay on track and our kids have been struggling too. We all our surrounded by food and the old "Out of sight, out of mind" sure goes a long way.
We had a smorgasbord of leftovers including pot roast from the slow cooker, soup, and Easy Mac for lunch. For dinner, I was sent out to buy a rotisserie chicken and some potato wedges. It was a good dinner, but I went a little over board on the wedges. Well, I knew today would be a challenging day right from the start as we had plans to visit our wonderful friends Nancy and Miloudi. Nancy and Miloudi are the sweetest couple you could ever run across and I am lucky to be able to call them friends. I had run into them earlier this year at a luncheon and I mentioned that I had bought some couscous. I had never had it before and knew that they would be expects. Well, Nancy went on to invite me and my wife AND our three kids to their house for a traditional Moroccan Feast. Miloudi is from Morocco and Nancy met him on one of her worldly travels not so long a go. The two have been married for over 25 years and are getting ready to travel to Morocco again in a few weeks to visit Miloudi's family.
I knew I was in trouble before the meal started, so my goal was to not overindulge, but try a little of everything. We started the meal with T'mar or dates. I honestly can say that I had never tried a date before so, this was my "first date." We were served Khobz or Moroccan Flat Bread. They had made three loaves and I think my 6-yr. old ate a whole loaf on her own. We were then served Harira, which was a flavorful soup filled with chicken, beef and lots of hidden vegetables. I was plenty full after the soup and then came Bastilla or Pigeon Pie. "Bastilla is made either with pigeons or chicken and is usually served as a first course. Wrapped in rich, gossamer-fine, flaky pastry, the filling is a blend of chicken, with parsley and egg along with oil and spices." First Course??
After the Bastilla came the main course, Couscous. Served in an authentic Moroccan Tigane with a heap of veggies I couldn't pass out. It had carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, onions, raisins, tomatoes, chicken, not to mention the couscous. The kids loved the veggies and I'm sure it's because we have plenty of veggies at home regularly. In fact, my 6-yr. old usually asks if she can finish the veggies at home.
I'm sure Nancy and Miloudi spent countless hours preparing for this feast and it was wonderful right down to the Moroccan Kab-el-ghzal or Gazelle Horns, straight from Morocco and the Mint tea. The tea was very dainty and sweet. I would definitely gain a pound a week if I ate meals like this daily.
After Nancy and Miloudi's, we had to drop my 6-yr. old off and Grandma and Grandpa's and were greeted by Lasagna. I had a small piece and again had dessert: Key Lime Pie.
I will be so glad when our kitchen is done and we can let the kids play throughout the house again. Mission this week: paint the computer room, kitchen, new closet, and a few walls in the living room.
Oh, and by the way, Nancy would always tell this joke during Happy Hour at the nursing home and because many of the residents have some form of dementia, it was always a hit: "Two peanuts walk into a bar...one was: 'A-salted!"
Thanks Nancy and Miloudi for a wonderful afternoon.