31 bumps is what Erik gets. Yes, 31 big ones. It’s tricky for those late December, early January babies. Moms, wives, friends and family members are divided between hosting events, planning dinners, shopping for presents. Sometimes birthday celebrations don’t get their due. It’s like the solid month of December is a tornado of calendar-oriented expectations. By the time Erik’s birthday rolls around, we’re usually both so partied out that his celebration request usually involves relaxing for an evening and doing nothing but be cozy. Ohhhhh but I wasn’t having it this year. Oh no. Turning 31 deserves a delicious dinner, lots of bright party decorations, and loads of flickering candles. And so this year, for Erik, I rolled up my sleeves and indulged him in a Moroccan feast.
Thanks to my pal Amber, I was able to dip into her epic stash of felt and make some fantastic party garlands while visiting her during our trip to Portland.
And, while vacationing in the Arizona desert with Kristin I picked up this amazing Tagine by Le Creuset. I highly recommend one of these if you’re interested in trying to make some Moroccan dishes at home. It’s suggested that the tagine is the most frequently served dish in Morocco. The Le Cruset tagine has a fantastic cast iron base that allows you to braise or cook on stove top and then transfer to the oven (or vice versa).
The menu included all kinds of fun fares; Chorba B’Hodra (Saffron-Vegetable Soup), Fekkous Wa Matisha B’Nahna (Minty Cucumber and Tomato Salad), B’Stila B’Djej (Chicken B’Stila), Temrika Meslalla (Garlic Beef with Cracked Green Olives), Atay B’Nahna (Mint Tea), rose and pistachio pudding, and of course an Icebox Cake from Smitten Kitchen. I can confirm that we literally had to roll away from the table and experienced food comas for about 5 hours. But the leftovers were delicious.
We spent the evening reminiscing about our adventures around Morocco and it was really neat using some of the spices from our trip. The dishes and techniques we collected on our travels throughout that great country were definitely worth it!