Otherwise, the evening was swell. We made my two favorite dishes from Arabesque thus far:
-Lamb Tagine with Dates and Almonds. The first time I read this recipe I knew I was going to love it: Rich, tender meat stewed with sticky dates and topped with crunchy fried almonds, all of it bound together with a honey-flavored sauce. Claudia Roden suggests omitting the traditional honey, as she thinks it makes the tagine too sweet, but I went for the full measure and did not regret it. This tagine is not just the best dish I've made from Arabesque, but one of the best I've made since starting Tipsy Baker, right up there with Niloufer Ichaporia King's cardamom cake.
-Almond Pastries in Honey Syrup. Honey and almonds again, in a very different format. This was a baklava-style sweet, but instead of building up several dozen layers of nuts, butter and filo you roll your lovely nut filling -- which is flavored with orange flower water -- into a long filo tube, bake, slice, and drench in syrup. Not tricky at all, and wonderful.
Unfortunately, I was so distracted by our political argument that I forgot to send my mother home with any leftovers. Something else I'm sorry about.