We hosted Sunday's Iftar at our house, and prepared meals from online recipes -- I especially love the sites that feature Ramadan foods from all over the world. Tonight, we tried the pomegranate stew with chicken served with basmati rice [cooked with cumin, peas, and pomegranate broth], and after dinner, spiced pears with pomegranates [pictured above].
After dinner, it was all about the kids. I especially loved this moment where both my daughter and niece were in the arms of our parents, laughing at Grandpa... and as my sister pointed out - that's probably what it was like for her and I with Mom and Dad 30 years ago...
For my sister and I - this is one of those treasured moments that has us spilling over with emotion. We're both little girls in complete adoration of our parents - unbeknownst to us, time has aged us. And in its place, gifted us with little girls of our own to experience Mom and Dad all over again with. When I tell Ava a story about my childhood, starting out with, "when I was your age, Grandma use to...," her eyes would glaze over and I could actually sense her connecting the dots with her Grandma... and my Mom.
Connecting the two generations is as spellbinding for our children as it is for our parents. For Ava, each family gathering has her confidence glowing - as she can feel the strong roots from where she stems... and blooms...
As the evening slowed down, and the dessert and tea cups were half emptied, we suddenly found ourselves in the center of a free concert, with Mom as lead harmonica player...
Our Family Hosting Dinner Tips:
Unfortunately, we don't get to host family dinners in our home very much - because truth be told, the best meals come from Mom's kitchen. But evenso, we like to give her a break every once in awhile and serve nontraditional foods she hasn't tried making herself.
1. New recipes are daring, but it's worth doing for such occasions because family will honestly tell you whether or not you need to tear this recipe out of your collection.
2. Traditionally, fruit is served after dinner while preparations for the "sweets" and hot tea are being made. Rather than peeling those traditional fruits, I tried this fall fruit medley to spice things up - and could prepare in advance. Use what's in season and coat it with a blend of light brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. To cool some of that spice, serve with a dollop of cool whip on the side.
3. Our musical program was spontaneous - but I'm sure the open basket of musical instruments we keep accessible near the media center in the family room had a big hand in it. It seems to me like the natural place for it - so rather than reaching for the remote control after dinner, we have the opportunity to create live entertainment instead.
4. And speaking of TV, I'll be the first to admit that recording videos is a forgotten pastime for me. But when the opportunity does present itself - I am very grateful. Having a digital camera that does double-duty is helpful - although picture quality of action shots can get frustrating. [Sigh] Here's a quick clip of tonight's live concert home video!