happy Eid al Adha, y'all

2004-01-28

Tonight, I'm accompanying the Shannaryls to an Eid al Adha interfaith whoopdidoo in Dearborn. There will be food, which I am especially pumped up about, as well as an Islamic calligraphy booth. I have to say, I'm a little skeptical of the kickoff, which has Muslims praying on stage while the rest of us watch. I mean, I wouldn't want to pray for an audience - ever. But I suppose that it could be done in such a way that it is informative. We'll see.

In addition to Islam, there will be a large Catholic representation (I wore my celtic cross so I could represent my Catholic homies). There's also Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish stalls (where did they find Jews in Dearborn?), etc. Oh, and some Intergalactic something or other that worships the Earth. Perhaps, in the spirit of unity, I can unite all of the "normal" religions against our space brethren and we can run them out of town.

With the wedding no longer taking up all of my planning energy, I have busied myself planning parties for the next couple months. First, there is Leo's birthday which will be Mexican themed. We'll start out with some pepitas, then have a caesar salad (Leo's favorite), chicken flautas, ceviche (another Leo favorite), ablondigas, yellow rice and frijoles d’olla. For dessert we'll have a key lime pie (ok, that's not Mexican but it's his favorite) and naranjas rellanas de coco. To drink, we'll have the tequila we brought back from Mexico (complete with sangrita chaser), margaritas and limonada (my favorite beverage of all time).

I've also planned out a romantic Valentine's Day picnic with all finger foods. One of our first dates ended up being a "picnic" when I brought dinner over to Leo's apartment and we ate it on a tablecloth spread on the floor because he didn't have a dining table. And Valentine's marks the fourth anniversary of our first date. We will have some smoked salmon mousse canapés, and then caesar salad. I've always wanted to serve a caesar salad in its original format, which is to be eaten with the fingers. The romaine leaves are left whole, but still coated with the dressing. Traditionally the salad was made tableside, but this seems a little much to do when dining at home. Besides, Leo would just ask why on earth I was making salad dressing in the living room or he might even freak out when I add olive oil or the raw egg, so I'll skip that part. Then we'll have rack of lamb (pre-sliced into dainty ribs) with individual pommes anna and green beans with a lemon-garlic dipping sauce.

So now I'm on to planning Easter. I'd like to know if Leo's family would like to join us, but I'm afraid to call them about something that's still two and a half months away. I can get away with that sort of weird behavior in my own family (in fact, I think I asked Schwest about her Easter plans before Christmas) but I don't think Leo's family is ready for it. I seem to always have either a Greek, Italian or Southern menu and I'd really like to break out of that cycle this year. It seems rather wrong to pick recipes from a non-Christian country. French perhaps? Spanish? German seems rather anti-spring. At least thinking about it will give me something to do.

Here's a particularly trashy recipe that I came across recently:

SWEET POTATO SURPRISE BALLS

4 large sweet potatoes

1 cup broken pecans

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1 tablespoon flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bourbon, to taste

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Large marshmallows, halved

Vegetable oil

Peel, slice and boil potatoes until done. Drain well and mash until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except marshmallows and oil and mix well. Chill for easier handling. Mold sweet potatoes around marshmallow halves; shape each into a ball and roll in additional crushed corn flakes. Refrigerate briefly to set. Fry in deep oil at 375 degrees F about 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Drain well.

Serves 8.

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