A Feast Of The Senses - Morocco. I have been traveling to Morocco with Peggy Markel's Culinary Adventures for 6 years now. Each trip expands my heart and mind further. The delicate weaving of flavor, tradition, artisanal craft, and community are what these programs are made of. This particular trip was especially unique as it we brought in an emphasis of photography by our amazing teacher Stephan Smith, and a daily spiritual practice of yoga taught by myself. The rest of our days were spent connecting with our Moroccan teachers and friends as a tight thread of our being was connected with permanence to the country, landscape, individuals, and cuisine of Morocco.
Today there is much conversation about the "wall" in our world. With the political noise on constant echo in our minds and on our social media pages as the US prepares for changes in November 2016. This particular trip to Morocco carried a significant weight to it, as many things could change for how Americans travel and connect with other countries such as this one in the very near future, depending on the direction of the elections.
I was reminded often of the kindness of strangers. To be a foreigner and a traveler, we must be sensitive to differences that set us apart. We are indeed the minority and we are just visitors here. So subtle and yet profound the gestures of kindness from the Moroccan people were constant. Simply placing their hand over their heart and asking questions of concern;
"Are you hungry? Are you tired? How is your family? Tea?"
One is never far from the tender care of Moroccan hospitality during our 10 day stay in their country. Generosity flows endlessly from teapot to cup. Here is one of my favorite flavors and traditions of Morocco- Berber Whiskey.
Recipe: Moroccan Mint Tea (a.k.a. "Berber Whiskey")
Perfect for snuggly winter days under a blanket, a pick-me-up and mellower in equal measure. Recipe via Peggy Markel's Culinary Adventures.
- one 6-8 cup teapot
- 1/3 cup gunpowder green tea
- freshly boiled water (quality will determine the quality of your tea)
- 1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
- one bunch fresh mint (spearmint or your favorite variety)
Cover the tea with boiling water and pour off the first glass full. Save aside. Pour boiling water over the tea again and swish around. Pour off second glass and discard. This cleans the tea. Put the first glass of tea back into the pot, with the sugar, fresh mint and boiling
water to desired level in your tea pot.
(If you have a metal teapot that can be put over a flame, it is traditional to bring the tea to a boil again at this point.) Pour from on high to aerate the tea.
May we continue to make choices that build more bridges between us and brew more tea together. Inshallah.