Last Monday, next to the coffee pot, a little basket adorned with a hand shaped paperclip appeared filled with treats and promises. Every morning last week, another basket appeared. Every evening a part of me got massaged. The last basket was a tagine pot. Friday night, Craig took me to a Moroccan restaurant for Valentine's Day.
Now, we don't normally celebrate Valentine's Day. So, I felt like a complete heel after his very thoughtful, romantic gifts. Not to mention, his paper clip shaping skills. But, I had heard somewhere that men are visual creatures and decided to work that angle. So, I got two outfits, one being a dress to wear to dinner. A cute, sexy, funky dress with a neckline that required I go bra less even though the dress was sheer.
I can solve this problem, I've seen those adhesive thingys that cover your nipples and I was gunna go get some. At Target. Of course, they didn't have what I needed. In the store, I was on the phone to my friend telling her about my predicament. "Go to the sex shop on the way home. They'll have them. And for god's sake, pick up something for Craig while you're there." The only nude pasties came in heart shapes. How befitting. Now, I could either go on a date with my husband or dance at a strip club.
When we got to the restaurant, the heat was broken. With it being only 20 something degrees outside, it was a meat locker inside. They promised they were working on it and it would be warm soon. So, I kept my jacket on, just for a little while. Or so I thought.
I wondered if American Moroccan food would compare to the real thing. The meal started with harira, a traditional Moroccan lamb and lentil soup. Delicious. We were off to a good start.
The second course was tabbouleh and hummus. Which, you may not realize, are NOT Moroccan. And I'm freezing, with no prospects of getting warmer. Even with a bottle of wine.
Next, is chicken bastilla. A very popular sweet and savory Moroccan dish, often made from pigeon with honey, almonds, stuffed in phyllo dough with cinnamon and powdered sugar on top. I've had it a few times in Morocco and it's amazing. But here, I'm completely underwhelmed. It's mostly dough and hardly any chicken. My legs are cramping from tucking them so close to my body to try to stay warm. And I'm getting a little pissy.
Next comes couscous, the national dish, consumed by every Moroccan, every Friday. Sky and I made couscous together in Morocco the traditional way, which didn't turn out nearly as good as couscous made by Moroccans. But ours, was way better than this, which had absolutely no flavor and had potatoes on it. Really? Potatoes? Where's the cabbage, pumpkin and caramelized onions?
Next came 3 tagines. Lemon chicken with olives, which is probably the most popular tajine in Morocco. Again, this dish has no flavor. The lamb and strawberry one that was actually good.
Then there's the shrimp tagine. Which, I've never heard of before. It's got a nice spice to it, but they forgot de-shell the shrimp. The restaurant isn't any warmer at this point, by the way.
They bring us Moroccan tea, which is authentically much too sweet, just like in Morocco. And most important, it's warm. They serve it with baklava. Which is homemade and delicious. And, yes, baklava is Greek. A traditional Moroccan dessert is fresh oranges dusted in cinnamon. If you've never tried this before, it's strangely addictive.
So I bought this dress so I could look all 40-something-brunette-Taylor Swift-ish-sexy-yet-cute (I'd even completed the look with cat-eye eye make-up) so Craig could stare at my cleavage throughout dinner, only to be curled up in my jacket freezing, eating disappointing food and then coming home only to have to rip those pasties off my nipples. Which really hurt, just in case you were wondering.
Since I really didn't get to give Craig his gift, I took this picture so he could remember what I didn't look like the day we didn't go eat Moroccan food. I can get it framed for him and give him a big heart shaped box full of authentic Moroccan baklava. I could even make the outline of Morocco out of a paperclip and stick it on top.