Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hosting with Pink Bougainvilla: a plant common to Oman

Pink bougainvilla is a plant so common in Muscat it is probably hanging all over your yard. Because it is so common, people take it for granted, and rarely use it for entertaining or decorative purposes. I remember my first roommate here when I moved back to Oman being so delighted when we'd have guests over because a. I'd actually do the dishes, and b. I'd go for an early morning walk picking fresh flowers in our MQ neighborhood. When I got home I'd arrange them, turn the majlis cushions out, and scent the room with bukhoor. Pink bougainvilla evokes those early days (of being broke but utterly free and having a good time with the girls).

If you were cheapo like us you could stencil the table cloth with fabric paints, wrap an old Al Amarai cream cheese jar in mirrored ethnic ribbon and toss in a bouquet of pink bougainvilla (add oranges for flourish). Guacamole in shot glasses with cheese stick straws. Oh Yum.
Chai hindi (but with cinnamon and cardamom).
....& Persian Love Cakes with candied rose petals. All recipes can be found at

I know I was the crazy one. Hope you girls forgive me for the wild ups and downs, and that a flash of pink bougainvilla and the scent of incense is all that lingers.


Maymunah said...

The last sentence was very poignant. Lovely, and a little sad.

People here call it crazy flower, because it grows like crazy. It comes in several colours, one of my favourites.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Maymunah: I am told since I was the 2nd craziest 1 so I feel better lol.

Really, that is it's Jordanian nickname? Omanis have a nickname for it that comes from the word "Jahanum" but I don't use that of course.