If you’ve been hanging out with me for a bit then you’ll know that I spent almost two month in Athens, Greece not to long ago.
While we mostly ate at our Airbnbs, we did eat out and at the homes of new friends.
One meal that Jay enjoyed but that I was not present for was Kufta. A Syrian refugee he was working alongside made the dish and Jay raved about it for the next week. Thankfully, the raving died down but he still talks about that meal.
It became alarmingly apparent that we would have to try making it ourselves. After all, rural central Pennsylvania doesn’t have the option for good Arab restaurants.
We did try Kufta once ourselves and it turned out alright. He said we didn’t put enough mint in because I said that I thought they tasted a little like an Arab version of a taco. Oh well.
Anyway, this last weekend, we decided to try again — but this time it was with friends!
Of course, I could have picked a better day since I started the day with more than 50 children, followed that up with a trip to Skyzone, and all this with a headache!
However, Kufta is an easy meal and it’s not so exotic that the meal takes ages to make and enjoy. Plus, they did all the cooking.
So, how do you plan a simple Arab inspired meal in the middle of nowhere without going overboard on Pinterest?
The same way you plan any other kind of party!
- Pick a date that works for everyone and send out invites. In my case, it was simple text conversation. Don’t overthink it! Getting friends together shouldn’t be rocket surgery!
- Decide on a “theme” or menu. We wanted to share our Kufta recipe which we found here. Of course, we cut the cumin half to diminish the taco flavoring and added 3 teaspoons of mint because the Kufta Jay enjoyed in Greece was made with mint.
- Grocery shop what you need. Despite the fact that we live in farming country, we’re only about 40 minutes from the nearest Wegman’s (grocery store that carries “exotic” food) so we did our shopping there.
- Prepare a few special touches. I decided to put my Cricut to good use and I made some Arab inspired light boxes. Here’s the link in case you wanna try it yourself.
- Do what you can ahead of time. I knew my morning was going to be crazy so I set the table and gathered the ingredients I would need.
- Schedule day-of preparations. We decided not just to share the meal but the prep with our friends so there wasn’t much I needed to do day-of except put things into bowls. Yay easy!!
- Welcome friends and enjoy! We laughed, we ate, we did life right!