It’s been weeks since I last wrote and during that time our little family have been out and about seeing the world. Some of us have gone north to dine at Alice Water’s amazing Chez Panisse restaurant, while others have travelled very Far East and walked the Great Wall. Together we all went south to hike Utah’s Bryce Canyon over Easter break, where the awesome beauty of the hoodoos inspired and delighted us. I’ve so much to share in the coming weeks about where we’ve been but first I’d like to quickly tell you about a lovely dinner party I was fortunate to be part of last week where, for a few hours, I was transported to Morocco.
The evening was hosted by a new friend who has an eye for style and a talent for throwing relaxing, fun parties. Everything from the Evite to the Marrakesh-inspired decor was simple but beautifully done. The gathering was for a group of women who couldn’t have been nicer and the event, unbeknownst to us, was to celebrate our hostess’ recent birthday. The drink was flowing, the food was spicy and warm, and the vibe was definitely North Africa. There was none of the horrible O.T.T. (over-the-top) Arabian-night costumes or cheap fabrics draped here-there-and everywhere. There were no belly dancers, exotic birds or camels. It was intimate evening, playing on the edge of escape, for time-starved friends who reveled in having the chance to get away without needing a passport.
Our hostess creatively established her sitting room (living room) coffee table as our dining area. She decorated with jewel-toned colours, candles and dishware. Over-sized cushions left on the floor, gave us a comfortable place to sit, eat and talk. The food (a gorgeous Orange-Ginger salad, two Tagines, a couscous and dessert) was delicious without being heavy and the pitcher of cocktails I brought, called The Morocco, complimented the meal perfectly.
As we girls sat on the floor, talking and laughing the hours away, I realized I was having a rare relaxing moment and so were the others. It felt like we were on holiday…without the hassle of packing and traveling! I am thankful to our lovely hostess for opening her heart and home to us world-weary women and giving us a magical Moroccan-night to remember.
2 teaspoons Crystalized Ginger
1 teaspoon icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 teaspooon ground cinnamon
fresh mint for garnish
1. Slice oranges into 1/4″ slices, cut off the rind and the pith (white bitter part), reserve some juice and discard two end pieces. Plate oranges.
2. Sprinkle crystalized ginger over oranges.
3. Mix icing sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over top of oranges and ginger, as desired. Tip: I use a small hand-held kitchen sieve for even coverage.
4. Pour reserved juice over oranges and garnish with mint.
Related Articles: To inspire your own Moroccan-theme dinner party.