Saturday, January 14, 2017

Chicken with olives and preserved lemon, and a new tablecloth

Winter days call for some new cheery things. Last week, I decided to order a new tablecloth decorated with colorful birds. When it arrived from, I decided to invite a few friends to its premiere. We haven't yet identified most of these birds, but we're working on it, and so is one of our guests. We hope these illustrations turn out to be real birds, not just "realistic" as the description said. Update: we've identified most of the birds -- details on Len's Flickr Page here -- click on each photo; bird ids are included in the labels.

A cardinal and a painted bunting are two birds we recognize.
The salad in the photo is green beans, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.
The main course was chicken with preserved lemons and green olives,
based on a Moroccan recipe by Paula Wolfert.
We served dinner on glass plates so the birdies showed through.

Dessert: sliced oranges, Murcott tangerines, and satsumas with a hint of
rosewater and cinnamon. Also Moroccan style.

Strange interlude: interpreting the grease marks on the stove:

After I browned the chicken, I noticed that my stovetop (left) was marked with a circle that looked like a famous zen illustration (right). Maybe it was just some grease that spilled. But maybe my stove was saying this: "when the duality of self and reality has been overcome not only is reality forgotten, but so is the self; the circle symbolizes the all-encompassing emptiness that constitutes the ground of all things. Now, in the awareness of unceasing transformation and total interconnectedness in every experience one is freed from all craving and hatred for the other. In this freedom there is a sense of the wholeness and perfection of ordinary things." (source)


Olga said...

What a lovely tablecloth! I must browse more!

I admire your persistence with creating special dishes.

It all sounds so tasty!

Donalyn Ketchum said...

Love this beautiful tablecloth and the recipe sounds SO good!
Donalyn at