A full menu with recipes, ingredients to buy and material to bring was sent to the participants last week.
Today, 7 young girls showed up with their groceries, aprons, positive attitude to learn and cases of beer and ciders to start the party at the class.
And full four hours of fun begun.
First of all, birthday hats came out (including one for the instructor/chef - moi). The birthday girl had her own special handmade hat (but that did not prevent her from working hard throughout the class).
Arabic dance music blasting, drinks poured and gulped, making 8 vegetarian Lebanese dishes, with each girl choosing a dish to lead its preparation, was on its way.
Mehshi Warak Ateh was the kickoff. The leader delegated stuffing prep then they were shown how to roll the leaves.
They were amazing - they picked up on the skill of rolling grapevine leaves in 3 seconds and within less than 15 minutes a large pot of vegetarian stuffed vine leaves was ready to start cooking.
Then they all got busy making Loubieh and Bamieh bi Zeit (green beans and okra cooked with onions, garlic and tomatoes) Moudardara, and Eggplant Fatteh.
Once those got cooking on the stove, we moved to making authentic humus, followed by the salads of Fatoush and Tabouleh.
The most fun these participants had, believe it or not, was learning how to grill pita bread for the Fatoush and Fatteh.
I got them paranoid about how quickly it may burn so they watched the oven like hawks. And they were so proud of how perfect their grilling was.
Four hours later, everything was packed, final questions answered, and they took the food back to the party house for four more hours of drinking and feasting.
Here is their feedback
"you are such a gracious host, it was a lot of fun. The food was absolutely amazing and you know everyone enjoyed it when all went home with doggie bags".
For information about such events for your upcoming birthday, office or holiday party, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.