Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cooking Class: Moroccan

Once a month I meet with a group of lovely ladies for a cooking class in a gorgeous Victorian home. I am lucky to live in a very international community, so our classes have been filled with delights from all the across the globe. This month we had the pleasure to learn from an adorable Moroccan woman.

Last night, while all of us were chopping up garlic (Battle cry of the evening: More Garlic!), stirring the Tajine stew, juicing lemons, and  separating basil leaves, our wise friend told us stories about growing in Morocco. Every vegetable, spice and chickpea had a memory.   If I decide to name any future children after spices, Saffron will be at the top of the list. When we were about to taste the fruits of our labors our  friend disappeared and returned in the most stunning dress. She explained that in Morocco they have special clothing for entertaining guests, and tonight we were her guests.  Note to self—next dinner party-allow enough time for a costume change.   And with a toast of “Next time in Casablanca!” we broke (pita) bread together.

Food tends to get a bad rap in our culture, and justifiably so sometimes. (Insert long tirade about the modern food and diet industries.) But I love when food is a storyteller.  Since we all have to eat, the what, when, where, why and how we put food in our mouths and bellies are little footnotes, or whole chapters in our own stories.  And I believe, from the top of my head way down to my toes, that it is the ability to tell and share our stories, whether it be in the form of a poem, a song or a casserole, that is what makes us human and separates us from all the  other creeping things.

So here is to eating with meaning!

Tomatoes and cukes for the salad

Making hummus--I got to add the tahini!

MORE GARLIC! There are no vampire in Morocco.

The finished Tajine stew

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