Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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A generous man was asked, "When you bestow your lavish gifts upon the poor, doesn't your heart fill with vanity? He answered: "This is my philosophy of giving: like a strainer in the hands of a cook, whatever the cook pours in passes through it, but the strainer lays no claim to any merit of its own.
Albanian Sweet Raisin Pilaf
Total time: 1 hour
4 cups rice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
7 cups chicken stock
3 cups golden raisins
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

Rinse the rice in cold water, then drain. Melt the butter in a heavy, tight-lidded pot over medium heat. Add the rice and sauté for about 10 minutes, until it is translucent and golden. In a separate pot, bring the stock to a boil, then add the boiling stock to the rice. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then add the raisins, return to a simmer, cover the pot, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes. Fluff up the rice, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Serve hot with chicken.