Forests & Fields, Parties & Picnics

We are city folk.

We were both born and raised in various metropolises. When we came here, from one city to another, it was with a sense of relief and disappointment. Although our Moroccan city is a small city in comparison to Seattle (about 1/4 the population), it’s still a city. Definitely not a town or a village.

However, even though we are still city-ing, our little city happens to be surrounded by fields and forests. Unfortunate for our allergies, but very fortunate for our adventures!

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Every Sunday, hundreds of people flock to the outskirts of town to have a humongous picnic party in the forest. It’s amazing. I thought I knew how picnics worked before—but Moroccan picnics are a whole ‘nother world. NEVER AGAIN will I think that a slapped-together sandwich eaten on a blanket is sufficient. Here, everyone lugs full-on kitchens to the forest! Butagas burners, giant trays of hot couscous and veggies, entire tea sets, kaskrut delights like meloui and harcha, and endless sweet bites. I think our group ended up with five or six cakes!

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Look at Baby Issa reaching for that cake. She's determined!

Look at Baby Issa reaching for that cake. She’s determined!

Baby Issa's really going for it....

Baby Issa’s really going for it….

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My sister Amal and I!

Me and my sister Amal.

Amal forced us to sit in this field and hold these flowers for a picture, hhhhh.

Amal forced us to sit in this field and hold these flowers for a picture, hhhhh.

No Moroccan affair is complete without tea. Not even forest picnics!

No Moroccan affair is complete without tea. Not even forest picnics!

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The edges of our site.

The edges of our site.

A different forest excursion on another day: our mudir’s sons took us for a different kind of picnic—but just as awesome. We made a fire and assembled a tagine from scratch.

Starting the fire...

Starting the fire…

Amanda and Robert gathering more firewood!

Amanda and Robert gathering more firewood!

Chef Mehdi doin' his thing.

Chef Mehdi doin’ his thing.

Cutting all the fresh veggies!

Cutting all the fresh veggies!

The first layer--matisha and bsla!

The first layer–matisha and bsla.

It's ready for the fire!

It’s ready for the fire!

Cook, tagine, cook!

Preparing to put the food on our makeshift stove.

Tagine snuggled in the rocks :)

Tagine snuggled in the rocks 🙂

Checking on the tagine impatiently...

Checking on the tagine impatiently…

Oooh la la!

Oooh la la!

Nathan and Mehdi keeping our stove alive.

Nathan and Mehdi keeping our stove alive.

Voila!

Voila!

It was a beautiful day. :)

It was a beautiful day. 🙂

We’re still exploring the edges of our city! We’ve discovered the rolling farm fields, the leafy green forest, and these frolic-able flower meadows:

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And we know there’s so much more to find…

Who knows where we'll run off to next!

Who knows where we’ll run off to next!

Yours Truly,

Robert & Julie

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