Sadly, a cyber breakfast only. I'd like nothing more than to be hanging out in Morocco with Maryam. I can only imagine my day. I think the moment I awoke I would
walk lazily rush to the window to look gaze dreamingly at the peacocks under the olive trees in the grounds of the Peacock Pavilions. Perhaps I would shower and dress, perhaps I would feel very relaxed and wander out in my nightie, to sit in the morning sun and eat my breakfast off Maryam's pretty blue and white dishes . I'm sure I'd feel relaxed with Maryam as my hostess.
How I found Maryam shows the power of the internet. Reading Brett one day I came across a comment from Jennifer . I surfed in and enjoyed the writing and so another blog was added to my reader. Back in July 2007 Jennifer mentioned Maryam on her blog. I remember leaving the comment "I want Maryam as my best friend" - she lives in Morocco, she is building a guest house and she loves to shop.
....and yet another blog was added to my reader. Now it feels as if I have known Maryam forever.
When she asked so nicely for breakfast suggestions I was more than happy to help. She is a very busy blogger girl and she'd rather be shopping than spending the day in the kitchen so this menu can be prepared beforehand and assembled in the morning.
Breakfast At Peacock Pavilions
Yogurt Cheese with Macerated Apricots and Almond Ma'amoul with Mint Tea
Yogurt Cheese is also known as labnah.
Line a sieve with a layer of clean muslin . Pour a 1kg pot of plain yogurt into sieve and leave in fridge for 48 hours. Liquid will drain away leaving a soft cheese.
Variations: For this recipe leave plain but it can be flavoured with herbs and garlic or cinnamon and honey. Some recipes stir in a teaspoonful of salt before draining. I don't bother.
Place 150 grams dried apricots in a wide bowl with 1/2 cup sugar and cover with cold water.
Leave on bench for 48 hours. Apricots will absorb water and plump up. Strain apricots and reserve.
Put apricot liquid into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil making sure all sugar crystals have dissolved. Increase temperature and boil until syrupy and reduced.
Pour back over reserved apricots.
Variations: add other dried fruits as desired. Add more sugar for a sweeter version.Or for a softer fruit you could stew the apricots.
150 grams plain flour
125 grams soft butter
2 tablespoons rosewater
50 grams flaked almonds
Place flour in bowl, add butter and rosewater and mix to a paste.
Take teaspoonfuls of dough and roll into a round ball.
Flatten between palms and dip one side into flaked almonds.
Place on tray lined with baking paper.
Bake at 180C for 12 minutes.
Leave on tray for 2 minutes before removing to cool on rack.
These can be stored in the freezer and brought to room temperature before serving.
Variations : replace flaked almonds with chopped pistachios or pine nuts. Because there is no sugar in the dough these taste rather nice with a glass of beer.
To serve - spoon yogurt cheese into bowls and spoon apricots on top. Alongside add the Almond Ma'amoul.
For extra sweetness and crunch serve with honey and roasted pine nuts.
I tasted my first real mint tea at L'Institut de Mondu Arabe in Paris. The real thing is so much nicer than the teabag variety we buy in our shops.
1 1/2 tablespoons green tea
a handful of fresh mint (mentha viridis variety)
150 - 180 grams lump sugar
Heat the teapot. Add the tea leaves and pour a little boiling water over them. Swirl around and quickly pour the water out again, taking care not to lose the tea leaves. Add mint and sugar, and pour in about 1 litre of boiling water. Allow to infuse for 5 - 8 minutes, then skim off the mint that has risen to the surface. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
Of course you do know I have peacocks in my yard too. Well in the park next to our apartment building actually. This one played dead when he heard my camera.
The park fence is designed with a peacock theme.
I think the blogger girl would like the peacock shadows.
Maryam did a little shopping for me recently. Come back in a few days to see what she bought. Please hurry Mr Postman.