1 I decorated the green parlor with a big vase of fragrant trumpet lilies from the garden. Their aroma filled the house.
2 Begonias from my greenhouse collection graced these antique pedestals.
3 More begonias in another corner
4 The chartreuse blossoms of lady's mantle filled this vase.
5 A giant fern sat upon another pedestal.
6 Maidenhair ferns and another begonia on the green marble table in the entrance hall
7 Two beautiful flowering orchids
8 The table in the canary room was set with lusterware china and had flowering succulents as centerpieces.
9 The party was to begin with cocktails on the terrace, but a late afternoon thunderstorm changed that plan.
10 When the thunder and lightening passed, I conducted a garden tour.
11 Guests included Lisa Wagner and Michael Morrison from my television team.
12 After touring around, I led the group back to the house for drinks and hors d'oeuvres. My outfit was in keeping with the Moroccan theme.
13 With music by Khaled playing in the background, guests were treated to shots of Chef Pierre's fresh pea and mint soup from the garden and sweet corn velouté. Pierre's soups are always so creamy without any cream added at all.
14 There were also corn cilantro and ras el hanout pancakes topped with poached quail eggs. Ras el hanout is a complex, aromatic Moroccan spice blend, that usually includes cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric, but 30 or more ingredients may be used.
15 Khanh Phan, Project Manager, Station Relations for WETA, enjoying soup and a glass of pomegranate punch
16 The dinner menu: Bisteeya - Couscous Royal with Chicken, Lamb, Merguez, and Vegetables - Tagine of Lamb and Eggplant - Assorted Citrus Sorbets - Coffee and Tea
17 Pierre was assisted in the kitchen by Sarah Mastracco, from my television show kitchen staff. Here they are slicing the flaky bisteeya for the first course.
18 This is the tagine of lamb and eggplant, which slow roasted in the oven under the cone-shaped dome of the tagine.
19 Pierre garnishing platters of Couscous Royale
20 The Couscous Royale was made with Chicken, Lamb, Merguez & Vegetables. Merguez is a spicy sausage used in North African cuisine.
21 There were also Moroccan potatoes cooked with fragrant spices.
22 A fluffy couscous was steamed with plump raisins.
23 Pierre also made a beautiful and colorful vegetable stew to ladle over the couscous.
24 The main course was set up as a buffet in my kitchen and guests could help themselves to this spectacular meal.
25 Greta Anthony from my television show was quite happy with the menu.
26 I sat with my guests at the long dining table in the brown room. There was much merriment.
27 The group that ate in the canary room
28 It's berry season at the farm and all of these beauties were picked that day - gooseberries, white currants, black currants, and red currants.
29 Dessert was homemade assorted citrus sorbets and Pierre lined each dish with colorful fresh citrus segments.
30 He then place a scoop each of lemon, blood orange, and grapefruit sorbet and garnished the dish with fresh red and white currants. Beautiful and delicious!
31 With Michael Murphy, Chief Content Officer at KCPT in Kansas City, MO
32 With Karen Fritz - VP Program Development & Syndication at WETA
33 A photo with Donald Thoms - VP of Lifestyle Programming, PBS
34 Suzanne Masri - Senior Director, Station Relations at WETA, Sarah Carey of Everyday Food, and Karen Fritz
35 Gary Nardilla and Lisa Wagner