Another successful PIG project meal, this time Algerian and at Thelma’s house in DC. Unfortunately, the only Algerian restaurant in DC, Couscous Cafe, closed its doors a few years ago. Luckily they still cater. Not willing to give up on a crazy idea Kate and I had Couscous Catering make us one amazing feast. It included a most scrumptious dish called Chicken Basteela Pie that was a pastry stuffed with curried chicken that smelled (and tasted) so good Kate was tempted to give up vegetarianism for the weekend (BTW I am no longer calling myself vegetarian). There was also couscous of course – it had a mild flavor and vegetables and was the only think that June, our niece who we were babysitting that evening, would eat (she called it rice).
We also enjoyed a Algerian Carrot Salad, Cucumber and Tomato Salad and some baklava for dessert. The food was good and of course the company was grand.
Kate’s 2 Cents
Ok, first off, here’s a bonus pic from our babysitting adventures:
After our delicious Algerian meal (I’ll admit that I did not partake in what appeared to be the most delicious part of it! & was on the brink of giving up veg food for good), we set in to watch a movie about Trappist monks in Algeria, Of Gods and Men, but the subtitles were about 90 seconds off (and that is really, really confusing). Luckily, our hostess Thelma had a handy copy of Battle of Algiers on her laptop. This is a 1966 film about the struggle for Independence from the French. The film is extremely realistic and at times you think you may be seeing real newsreel footage from the actual revolution. There is no documentary footage, however, the film was made just 4 years after the 1962 Independence, so the mood must have been very fresh.
The film follows members of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) and their guerrilla campaign against the French occupiers. The FLN in the film use the brutal tactic of bombing popular civilian public places where Europeans gathered. As a result of these tactics, during the Algerian War of Independence, over 800,000 — an overwhelming majority — of those in Algeria of European descent returned to Europe. Today 99 percent of the population is Muslim.
This was a very powerful film to watch because of the side of war it portrays. The violence portrayed is very realistic and shocking, but the portrait of the FLN is intimate and makes you empathize with the dedication of the revolutionaries.
I highly suggest watching this film.
Since I was totally frazzled from a crazy day I accidentally under-paid our caterer Aziz by $100. He came back and politely knocked on the door requesting his full payment. Since the ATM was far away, he ended up taking me to the bank and I grilled him about Algeria. He said that one of the best things there is the lifestyle. He really misses that fact that people in Algeria do not live to work, they live to live. The lifestyle is much slower paced, and people enjoy meals together in Algeria and more time with their families.
Sounds like a place I’d love to visit!