Easter in the Middle East is a big deal, so we decided to fuse our modern style with age old traditions!
Easter in the Middle East tablescapes are the best way to celebrate the coming of spring! That glorious time of year that brings us so much joy…and great weather! It also brings us Easter! During our parents youth in the Middle East, in this case, more specifically Syria, the Christians prepared by fully embracing Spring. They purchased pastel colored dresses, white shoes and beautiful spring hats to wear to church. They bought dozens of eggs, which they would dye using natural ingredients like onion skins and spinach to get this perfect light tan and pastel green colors. They would also buy dozens of chicks and give them out to the children to play with. Umm wow, now it all makes sense how eggs became such an Easter staple! It’s the chicks! They’re not only adorable, they signify new life.
Of course what is a holiday without friends and family! So on the Saturday before Easter, they would go visit one another and would even visit the resting place of those who passed. Later that night, they would walk to church to signify Jesus’ walk to the cross. When Easter Sunday rolled around the following morning, that is when the grand feast began!
As we know, most holidays come equipped with a huge celebratory meal, but this one comes after a hard earned 40 days of Lent. Trust me, after 40 days, that So trust me, that Easter feast is beyond exciting and well deserved!
For our Easter table, we created the classic dish Shakreeyeh. We updated the brioche by making individual servings instead of a loaf, and used black eggs and pastel sprinkles to have some fun. We even made some Arabic coffee infused pancakes with a rose water maple syrup featured below.
As far as decor is concerned, Nadia and I went crazy at Target! They have the greatest things, so it was our one-stop shop! We chose to go with a black, white and gold theme and pop some traditional Syrian pastel colors. We got great placemats and serveware too! Oh, and what beautiful table would be complete without flowers!? And please tell me, what is more Easter than tulips!
So now you know how we do Easter! How do you and your family do Easter?? What traditions do you have, foods you make, tables you set? We want to hear it all!
Easter in the Middle East tablescapes can be customized anyway you like! Let your imagination run wild!
- choosing different flowers and not the traditional pink and pastel colors
- if you want to add some pizazz to your brioche, try adding in jam or zaa’tar while braiding the dough together
- if you’re not a huge fan of coffee, try subbing in your favorite tea!
- use another bold yet neutral and not so traditional color placemat such as gray or blue
Coffee Pancakes with Rose Water Maple Syrup
Ground coffee adds a subtle pop of flavor with the unique tones of rose water in the syrup to make these traditional pancakes not so traditional.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
Rose Water Maple Syrup
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (pure if possible)
- 1-2 tsp rose water
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and coffee.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, milk, and butter.
Slowly mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Whisk together until combined but do not over whisk, some lumps are normal.
Let batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a skillet or griddle to medium heat.
Lightly grease the skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Using a 1/4 cup to measure out the pancake batter, add it to the skillet, pouring in a centered stream so it forms a circle. Repeat with remaining batter 2 at a time so as not to crowd the pan for flipping purposes.
Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes on each side, or flip once you see bubbles begin to form.
Once pancakes are a perfect golden brown serve hot with a dab of butter and rose water maple syrup.
Rose Water Maple Syrup
Combine the 1/3 cup maple syrup with 1-2 teaspoons of rose water in a small bowl and serve.
- Feel free to add more or less coffee depending on how much flavor you would like your pancakes to have.
- Rose water has a very strong and distinct flavor, so start with a teaspoon and work your way up.
- The use of 100% pure maple syrup is ideal, but any kind will do.