Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Last Sunday I had to cook for my host family. I wanted to make sure it was something “American.” At first I picked a cauliflower-cheese pie recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook that I love and have often made, but the difficulties in creating that dish here in Morocco soon discouraged me. Eventually, I settled on something better – meatloaf and mashed potatoes. What could be more American than that?

With some help on simplified recipes from my “food advisor,” Joan, back in the States, I created a four-course meal for sixteen people: meatloaf, mashed potatoes, tossed salad with a vinaigrette, and rice pudding for dessert. We even managed to make it more American by having a dish (quite small) and silverware for everyone. Usually, we all eat from a common bowl using bread or a spoon to pick up our food.

They loved it. As you can see in the “after” picture, all the meatloaf is gone. So, take note, future Peace Corps volunteers: Moroccans love meat. You can’t go wrong with meatloaf.

I had help, course. There are two kitchens in our house - one for douaz (vegetables, tagines, soups, etc.) and one for aghum (bread). I had only seen them once before since, as a man, I am not encouraged to go there. I would never have been able handle the equipment and preparation on my own. My host sister, Aicha, a couple of nieces, and other people who wandered in from time to time to check out this curiosity, gave me a hand. I wish I could show their pictures, because they’re lovely, generous, and truly hospitable people, but they’ve asked that they not be shown on the Internet.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you're having a great experience - and 16 people is quite the family! Miss you - Jill Miner