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The Kasbah Chronicles-March 2016. My travels to Chile


Llamas 1

LLamas in the Lago Andino District town of Peulla, CHILE, on the way to Bariloche, Argentina.

I would like to set Morocco aside, to tell you about my latest travels. In March, I headed south instead to CHILE, a country that has fascinated me since childhood. I have always wanted to see fist-hand my hometown’s namesake Valle de Casablanca, home to dozens of Chileans wineries. Geography classes at Casablanca’s Lycée de Jeunes Filles nourished my dreams with exotic names like Antofagasta, Valparaiso, and the Atacama Desert (even though the Sahara dunes were a mere day’s drive away from where I sat.) I must not have been alone in my imaginary wanderings, for practically every tourist I encountered during two and a half weeks in CHILE was a native FRENCH-speaker! Hardly a gringo in sight.

Casa CHILe 3

My husband doesn’t think that spending the day (or night) on a plane is a way to have fun, and thus chose to remain home. But I had itchy feet! I cashed in my miles, organized my itinerary with a delightful travel agent in Santiago (over the Internet), and finally, decided to give the Air B and B experience a try (over the Internet.) Success on all counts.

My charming Air B and B hosts, Loreto and Federico, a couple of young journalists, live in the center of Santiago in a residential area called Providencia. My room, adjoining bath, and kitchen privileges cost about USD35 a night. A concierge kept watch over the multi-storied apartment building day and night. Gladys of devised my custom itinerary: 6 days in Santiago, 4 days in the Altiplano desert (how exotic is that?!) and San Pedro de Atacama, and 5 days in the Lake District. I d

ecided to forego glaciers, since I had seen glaciers in Alaska last year. I headed instead to the Region de los Lagos Andinos, the Lake District, of Northern Patagonia. I even spent a day cruising one lake, Lago de Todos Santos, the first in a series of seven that eventually end up at Bariloche, Argentina.

Salt flats CHI

Suffice it to say that I met lovely people everywhere (in how many countries does your taxi driver drop you off, but not before giving you a friendly kiss????) travelled through scenery reminiscent of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite (in the south), hiked the slope of volcanoes as striking as Mt Fuji, explored the Atacama desert, the

driest place on earth and home to the Valley of the Moon, gushing geysers, lagoons filled with pink flamingoes, and a vast plateau dotted with herds of wild vicuñas.

Already familiar with Pablo Neruda’s food poems, I wanted to visit La Chasco

na, his house in Santiago. And, thanks to my Chilean friends Humberto and Yoli, I got to have lunch at El Meson Nerudiano, Neruda’s favorite restaurant. Friends took me to the gorgeous Casas del Bosque winery in the Valle de Casablanca, where I sampled the famed “Carménère” wine, one with origins in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, and thought to have gone extinct, and “rediscovered” in Chile in 1994.

But the place that remains foremost in my mind is the Island of Chiloé.  This  mystical island, where fairies and spirits abound, produces out-of-this world seafood including mussels the size of a medium banana, and lies just a short ferry ride from Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, two of the main departure points for the Lagos Andinos.

To be continued . . .

Pebre, Chile’s counterpart to Pico de Gallo

Pebre 1

Kitty in the media:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

San Diego’s CW, Channel 6

San Diego Living

Having fun with edible flowers!

Laura Groch, former food editor of the North County Times, has a (what else??) food-focused blog. Subscribe at

Edible Flowers in the San Diego Union Tribune Food Section

In the San Diego Union Tribune

Dec. 16, 2015

Lavender Shortbread cookies

View the recipe and a mouth watering photo here:

Shortbread blossoms with lavender


Le Creuset’s stainless steel 3 1/5quart casserole

. . . which I will call a cocotte basse. I am so excited to be able to use this LIGHT and fabulous 3-ply stainless steel cocotte . I LOVE Le Creuset cookware, but some days I need help lifting the cast iron enamel cookware off the stove. Very thoughtful of them to think of aging boomers like me, with neck and back issues like me. This cocotte is the ideal size for 4.

I couldn’t find the description for the cocotte on a US site for Le  Creuset, so here it is in French. Insert the link on your browser. I don’t know why it doesn’t show up on my page. Sorry.

I can tell you that it came from a Le Creuset Outlet store in Carlsbad, CA. It is a gorgeous piece of cookware.



A recipe for summer: Tahini with a Moroccan Twist

Especially goodmade with the FRESH tahini from The Spice Way spice store, in Encinitas, CA. Tahini ground on the premises!

Kitty’s Tahini with Grilled Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

with a Moroccan twist

Makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice (or to taste)

1/4 cup cold water (or to taste)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 slices grilled eggplant

3 halves sun-dried tomatoes

2 teaspoons ground cumin


In a small bowl, combine tahini with lemon juice. Stir until well blended. Add water and garlic. Stir briskly until smooth. Add remaining lemon juice if needed, and a little extra water if sauce is too thick.

     Transfer to a food processor and blend with the grilled eggplant and the tomatoes until fairly smooth. Add cumin. Serve at room temperature with pita chips.

copyright Kitty Morse 2015

Morocco Travel Links August 2015

I am always available for a phone consultation anytime. Simply contact me, and we can set up an interview after you go through Paypal to pay the fee.

I recently came across these links that provide the very latest and HIPPEST information on what’s happening in Morocco:

Here they are:

Travelling to Morocco?

The very latest news from Morocco now comes to you via Find them on Facebook

You know you are a Casablancaise when:

Vivre à Casablanca: Tu sais que tu es Casablancais quand…


Links of Interest:

When will Moroccan fast food reach Southern California?

Le concept marocain de fast-food Fine “Lalla” va ouvrir un deuxième restaurant en France:

Videos of Morocco:

I watch the videos on Morocco this company produces and found them very interesting.

Bon voyage: