One of the lesser known Jewish holidays is called Sukkot. If you remember your Old Testament, the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years after they escaped from Egypt. Sukkot is the holiday that remembers how Hashem (what we call G-d) created “clouds of glory” which protected the Jews as they slept. To “remember G-d‘s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence” we build little huts, called Sukkuhs, and live in them for seven days. If you live in a heavily populated Jewish area like Los Angeles or New York, you might have noticed some rickety looking shacks going up and wondered what they were all about. Those shacks are sukkuhs and are part of how we celebrate our religion!
Because the sukkah is sort of rustic I thought it might be fun to hold a Moroccan themed party to celebrate the holiday. So instead of a full sized table and chairs, I decided to have a short table with cushions. Nothing you see was purchased for the dinner! Everything was already in my home and some items, like the cushions, were just repurposed for the sukkah. Fo example the navy and white patterned cushions are actually my outdoor furniture cushions which I scattered around the table. Then the rest of the seating was set with throw pillows from my couches and eating nook.
To continue with the Moroccan theme, I added our everyday plates (purchased years ago at Anthropologie) and topped with finger bowls filled with floating marigolds. I wanted my guests use their fingers for eating instead of utensils, so finger bowls were important to the table.
The centerpiece is just bougainvillea from my yard which I placed down the center of the table and then scattered marigold blossoms. I adore the contrast of the bright fuscia and orange with the cooler tones of the greens and blues.
You can’t see it in the pictures, but the roof of the sukkah was strung with fairly lights that give off a magical glow when the sun sets.
An outdoor Moroccan inspired dinner might not be very practical for most people, but there are definitely tricks here that you can use in your own home.
First of all, consider a new place to eat dinner. Maybe you have your guests sit around the coffee table instead of the dining room. Maybe you serve a different course in each of the main rooms of your home. Maybe you clear the furniture out altogether and have an indoor picnic! Being creative about where you eat can be just as much fun as what you eat.
Second, make use of what you have in your home. There is no need to constantly be buying new dishes or glassware to go with whatever you decide is your dinner theme. Sometimes it is better to have the theme work around what you already own.
Finally, have fun when planning dinners for your guests! You don’t always have to serve the same tried and true recipes or invite the same friends all the time. Breaking out of your entertaining rut can be a lot of fun. So why not consider throwing a Moroccan inspired dinner the next time you decide to have a party?