Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Kasbah Chronicles

The Kasbah Chronicles
Another sad good bye
this time to our sweet Olive McMorse.

View this email in your browser

This has been a summer of good-byes. Thank you to those who honored my mother’s memory last month.

Olive left us on the first day of Fall. She was a rescue dog and the best scottie we ever owned (we have had four.)

CONTENTS
Musings
The last of my Paris discoveries
Restaurants of Nantucket and MONTANA
Literary tours of Paris
Tagine of Shrimp in Chermoula
NEW  Yves St Laurent Museum in Marrakech
News of Morocco and beyond
Les Galeries Lafayette
Yves St Laurent Villa

OVERHEARD


 KITTY IS headed FOR NEW YORK in October. Any suggestions for food and favorite markets, please share!

Need a gift?
Send me an email, and I’ll sign and send one of my books. Free shipping in the US for one book before November 15th. Mint Tea and Minarets, A Biblical Feast, and Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion.

Time to downsize: I am selling a Victorian style living room, a queen size brass bed and much more. I can send you pictures if you are interested.


MUSINGS:

 
LET ME FIRST TAKE YOU BACK TO PARIS:
I promised to share more of my Paris adventures (3 editions of the Kasbah Chronicles on the subject is enough!) I told you about the historic Les Passages de Paris a couple of months ago. And about my reunions with childhood friends from Morocco, in Caen, Nice, and Toulouse. Yet I had more rediscoveries in store upon my return to Paris. No Louvre! No Musée d’Orsay!! Unfortunately no time to go to Giverny. With a bus ride through the streets of Paris as a fun substitute, I was on the road to the road to the Galeries Lafayette, France’s version of Sack’s Fifth (and a branch at the Morocco Mall in Casablanca.) The Galeries is a bit like Macy’s in New York: rendez-vous for the world . . .  with a section called “les must-have” AND across the street from the art deco main store, one solely dedicated to kitchen and home. https://www.galerieslafayette.com/c/maison-cuisine+et+arts+de+la+table-arts+de+la+table I lost my mind among the THREE floors offering sushi bar, Vietnamese bistro, a Moroccan-style spice market, pâtisserie, chocolatier, boulangerie, fromages, and table ware to die for:

A spice market to emulate one in Fez:
 

 

Flor de Jamaica! HIbiscus tea.
The very same we find in Mexican supermarkets.
(See my recipe in Edible Flowers)
Rose petals

Salts of various colors

 
Oh non! A Michelin starred chef wants to give up his stars!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/world/europe/sebastien-bras-michelin-star.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Feurope&_r=0
 And these refugee chefs are cooking to build a new life (bien sûr!)
https://www.buzzfeed.com/kassycho/uber-den-tellerrand?
 
Where do you go to have tea and pastries in Paris on a Sunday afternoon? At La Grande Mosquée de Paris (tucked away in a corner of the Latin Quarter (http://parisianavores.paris/un-gouter-au-cafe-d-la-mosquee-de-paris/,) a short distance from the  of natural history museum. Inside the (extremely) crowded atrium, a fountain gurgles, as do conversations rising from dozens of multi-lingual patrons seated around the café tables. Order a glass of steaming mint tea, a Moroccan gazelle horn, shop at the “souk”, or  people watch a crowd as colorful as the mosque’s zillige mosaics.


If you have time, follow Lisa Pasold on one of her literary tours, www.Improbablewalks.com in French or English. This writer, journalist, literary storyteller, and comedian grew up in Montreal but has made Paris her home for years. This engagingly tall and exuberant “amazonne” bills herself as a literary storyteller, and takes you on literary tours of Paris. Tell her I said BONJOUR!! E-mail: improbablewalks@gmail.com

More Paris stores:
Monoprix: This sort of JC Penney’s style store is full of wonderful surprises and great prices. Check out the paper goods, the umbrellas, and the food displays.
Darty: I made their iPhone experts  my friends when I went back 3 times to cry on their shoulder to help me comprehend my cell phone. I almost threw mine in the Seine. . . but Darty saved me.
LE CREUSET IS GOING CHINOIS!!!  Sales people have to speak Chinese and French in many department stores.

France is the top travel destination in the world! I can vouch for that after witnessing the anthills of visitors at the Louvre and Notre Dame. https://france-amerique.com/fr/deserving-tourists/?ct=t%28FA_Hebdo_du_10_août_2017%29

This is the result: Encore une fois l’Amerique a la rescousse! Notre Dame is crumbling. America to the rescue please.
https://france-amerique.com/fr/notre-dame-des-americains/?ct=t(FA_Hebdo_du_7_septembre_2017)
 
Restaurant recommendation: Le Reminet (www.lereminet.fr) sits a few steps from the incontournableShakespeare and Co. bookstore across the river from Notre Dame on the Left bank. This isn’t a bookstore, it is a windmill! One can hardly catch glimpse of the shelves over the heads of visitors from the four corners of the universe. Oh, for such incessant foot traffic at indie bookstore in the US.

FIN of my PARIS experiences!

favorite sign 1

and 2
  In  Paris you live on love and fresh water

And in Morocco you live on
Shrimp tagine with chermoula sauce
Sorry, no photo, I ate it!

You can probably relate: You peruse the meat aisle, nothing appeals to you, or, like me, you are bored with the usual cuts. So I look to seafood. I purchase fresh, unshelled shrimp ( or firm fish), make a court-bouillon of water or broth, bay leaf, white wine, or fines herbes. Bring this to a boil. Cook the shrimp (shells on) for 3 minutes. Drain them (reserving the broth), shell them, and RETURN the shells to the broth for about 20 mns. (I make this a day or two ahead). You can of course, freeze a court bouillon. Great broth for paella.

Prepare the chermoula :

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
15 fresh parsley sprigs, minced
10 fresh cilantro sprigs, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
If ripe tomatoes are not available, use a good brand of canned, diced tomatoes (S and W is my favorite.) Make the chermoula, and reheat the shrimp in the sauce for 3 or 4 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous. . .  or simply with bread. VOILA. Dinner is ready.
 
News of Morocco and beyond:
If you read the last Kasbah Chronicles, you may have noted that Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, is a fan of museums, and has opened a slew of them around the country. The latest, and probably flashiest, is Pierre Bergé’s gift to the people of Marrakech, the fabled villa of his former partner, Yves St Laurent.
 http://madame.lefigaro.fr/evasion/voyage-dans-les-annees-marrakech-dans-les-pas-pierre-berge-et-yves-saint-laurent-120917-134027
 Christophe Martin, the designer of the St Laurent updated villa and gardens, happens to be our neighbor at Dar Zitoun, in Azemmour.
I have not visited the St Laurent villa itself (always off limits), but I have frequented the gardens since childhood. My father knew Jacques Majorelle (the original owner and a noted orientalist painter), and every Xmas, he used to rent Majorelle’s gardens, a tangle of exotic plants, water features and secrets hideaways. My brother and I would host the American children whose parents were stationed on the nearby American airbase at Ben Guerir (where I got to see my first B-52 bomber.) The base has long been turned over to the Moroccan military, but, in my time, we couldn’t wait to gain access to the chicken in a basket and corn flakes!
The Jardins Majorelle bring to mind a smaller version of the Huntington in San Marino (CA) but don’t expect to see any original Majorelle paintings there . . . those are kept under lock and key I am sure, in various collections and palaces, in Morocco and France. And another Moroccan museum of note:

The Moroccan Jewish Museum was established in Casablanca in 1997. It is the only museum devoted to Judaism in the Arab world.
 
From museums to movies:  Too hip and chichi for words . . . Morocco’s Ouallywood, Ouarzazate, the desert oasis where my husband and I spent our honeymoon, now awash in movie studios, golf courses, and kasbahs built on demand: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/September-2017/Morocco-s-Cinema-City

Though I complain about the tyranny of social media, it is always fun to reconnect electronically. Linked In recently nformed me that Stella Fong, a longtime friend who lives in Billings (MT) writes a beautiful blog and hosts a radio show. If you head to BIG SKY country, listen to her on http://ypradio.org/programs/flavors-under-big-sky. And if you land on the opposite coast, in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and region, catch up on local events with my friend, MaryLynn’s, website, http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/

OVERHEARD on the streets of New York (where else?) A friend of mine, very youthful still, is walking down the street: A man coming from the opposite direction looks at her and exclaims: “WOW! You still have a nice face!!” That’s NY for you.

I AM HEADED TO THE BIG APPLE 
to proclaim my gratitude to the

T


This has been a summer of good-byes. Thank you to those who honored my mother’s memory last month.

Olive left us on the first day of Fall. She was a rescue dog and the best scottie we ever owned (we have had four.)

CONTENTS
Musings
The last of my Paris discoveries
Restaurants of Nantucket and MONTANA
Literary tours of Paris
Tagine of Shrimp in Chermoula
NEW  Yves St Laurent Museum in Marrakech
News of Morocco and beyond
Les Galeries Lafayette
Yves St Laurent Villa

OVERHEARD


 KITTY IS headed FOR NEW YORK in October. Any suggestions for food and favorite markets, please share!

Need a gift?
Send me an email, and I’ll sign and send one of my books. Free shipping in the US for one book before November 15th. Mint Tea and Minarets, A Biblical Feast, and Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion.

Time to downsize: I am selling a Victorian style living room, a queen size brass bed and much more. I can send you pictures if you are interested.


MUSINGS:

 
LET ME FIRST TAKE YOU BACK TO PARIS:
I promised to share more of my Paris adventures (3 editions of the Kasbah Chronicles on the subject is enough!) I told you about the historic Les Passages de Paris a couple of months ago. And about my reunions with childhood friends from Morocco, in Caen, Nice, and Toulouse. Yet I had more rediscoveries in store upon my return to Paris. No Louvre! No Musée d’Orsay!! Unfortunately no time to go to Giverny. With a bus ride through the streets of Paris as a fun substitute, I was on the road to the road to the Galeries Lafayette, France’s version of Sack’s Fifth (and a branch at the Morocco Mall in Casablanca.) The Galeries is a bit like Macy’s in New York: rendez-vous for the world . . .  with a section called “les must-have” AND across the street from the art deco main store, one solely dedicated to kitchen and home. https://www.galerieslafayette.com/c/maison-cuisine+et+arts+de+la+table-arts+de+la+table I lost my mind among the THREE floors offering sushi bar, Vietnamese bistro, a Moroccan-style spice market, pâtisserie, chocolatier, boulangerie, fromages, and table ware to die for:

A spice market to emulate one in Fez:
 

 

Flor de Jamaica! HIbiscus tea.
The very same we find in Mexican supermarkets.
(See my recipe in Edible Flowers)
Rose petals

Salts of various colors

 
Oh non! A Michelin starred chef wants to give up his stars!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/world/europe/sebastien-bras-michelin-star.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Feurope&_r=0
 And these refugee chefs are cooking to build a new life (bien sûr!)
https://www.buzzfeed.com/kassycho/uber-den-tellerrand?
 
Where do you go to have tea and pastries in Paris on a Sunday afternoon? At La Grande Mosquée de Paris (tucked away in a corner of the Latin Quarter (http://parisianavores.paris/un-gouter-au-cafe-d-la-mosquee-de-paris/,) a short distance from the  of natural history museum. Inside the (extremely) crowded atrium, a fountain gurgles, as do conversations rising from dozens of multi-lingual patrons seated around the café tables. Order a glass of steaming mint tea, a Moroccan gazelle horn, shop at the “souk”, or  people watch a crowd as colorful as the mosque’s zillige mosaics.


If you have time, follow Lisa Pasold on one of her literary tours, www.Improbablewalks.com in French or English. This writer, journalist, literary storyteller, and comedian grew up in Montreal but has made Paris her home for years. This engagingly tall and exuberant “amazonne” bills herself as a literary storyteller, and takes you on literary tours of Paris. Tell her I said BONJOUR!! E-mail: improbablewalks@gmail.com

More Paris stores:
Monoprix: This sort of JC Penney’s style store is full of wonderful surprises and great prices. Check out the paper goods, the umbrellas, and the food displays.
Darty: I made their iPhone experts  my friends when I went back 3 times to cry on their shoulder to help me comprehend my cell phone. I almost threw mine in the Seine. . . but Darty saved me.
LE CREUSET IS GOING CHINOIS!!!  Sales people have to speak Chinese and French in many department stores.

France is the top travel destination in the world! I can vouch for that after witnessing the anthills of visitors at the Louvre and Notre Dame. https://france-amerique.com/fr/deserving-tourists/?ct=t%28FA_Hebdo_du_10_août_2017%29

This is the result: Encore une fois l’Amerique a la rescousse! Notre Dame is crumbling. America to the rescue please.
https://france-amerique.com/fr/notre-dame-des-americains/?ct=t(FA_Hebdo_du_7_septembre_2017)
 
Restaurant recommendation: Le Reminet (www.lereminet.fr) sits a few steps from the incontournableShakespeare and Co. bookstore across the river from Notre Dame on the Left bank. This isn’t a bookstore, it is a windmill! One can hardly catch glimpse of the shelves over the heads of visitors from the four corners of the universe. Oh, for such incessant foot traffic at indie bookstore in the US.

FIN of my PARIS experiences!

favorite sign 1

and 2
  In  Paris you live on love and fresh water

And in Morocco you live on
Shrimp tagine with chermoula sauce
Sorry, no photo, I ate it!

You can probably relate: You peruse the meat aisle, nothing appeals to you, or, like me, you are bored with the usual cuts. So I look to seafood. I purchase fresh, unshelled shrimp ( or firm fish), make a court-bouillon of water or broth, bay leaf, white wine, or fines herbes. Bring this to a boil. Cook the shrimp (shells on) for 3 minutes. Drain them (reserving the broth), shell them, and RETURN the shells to the broth for about 20 mns. (I make this a day or two ahead). You can of course, freeze a court bouillon. Great broth for paella.

Prepare the chermoula :

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
5 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
15 fresh parsley sprigs, minced
10 fresh cilantro sprigs, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
If ripe tomatoes are not available, use a good brand of canned, diced tomatoes (S and W is my favorite.) Make the chermoula, and reheat the shrimp in the sauce for 3 or 4 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous. . .  or simply with bread. VOILA. Dinner is ready.
 
News of Morocco and beyond:
If you read the last Kasbah Chronicles, you may have noted that Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, is a fan of museums, and has opened a slew of them around the country. The latest, and probably flashiest, is Pierre Bergé’s gift to the people of Marrakech, the fabled villa of his former partner, Yves St Laurent.
 http://madame.lefigaro.fr/evasion/voyage-dans-les-annees-marrakech-dans-les-pas-pierre-berge-et-yves-saint-laurent-120917-134027
 Christophe Martin, the designer of the St Laurent updated villa and gardens, happens to be our neighbor at Dar Zitoun, in Azemmour.
I have not visited the St Laurent villa itself (always off limits), but I have frequented the gardens since childhood. My father knew Jacques Majorelle (the original owner and a noted orientalist painter), and every Xmas, he used to rent Majorelle’s gardens, a tangle of exotic plants, water features and secrets hideaways. My brother and I would host the American children whose parents were stationed on the nearby American airbase at Ben Guerir (where I got to see my first B-52 bomber.) The base has long been turned over to the Moroccan military, but, in my time, we couldn’t wait to gain access to the chicken in a basket and corn flakes!
The Jardins Majorelle bring to mind a smaller version of the Huntington in San Marino (CA) but don’t expect to see any original Majorelle paintings there . . . those are kept under lock and key I am sure, in various collections and palaces, in Morocco and France. And another Moroccan museum of note:

The Moroccan Jewish Museum was established in Casablanca in 1997. It is the only museum devoted to Judaism in the Arab world.
 
From museums to movies:  Too hip and chichi for words . . . Morocco’s Ouallywood, Ouarzazate, the desert oasis where my husband and I spent our honeymoon, now awash in movie studios, golf courses, and kasbahs built on demand: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/September-2017/Morocco-s-Cinema-City

Though I complain about the tyranny of social media, it is always fun to reconnect electronically. Linked In recently nformed me that Stella Fong, a longtime friend who lives in Billings (MT) writes a beautiful blog and hosts a radio show. If you head to BIG SKY country, listen to her on http://ypradio.org/programs/flavors-under-big-sky. And if you land on the opposite coast, in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and region, catch up on local events with my friend, MaryLynn’s, website, http://www.capecodrestaurants.com/

OVERHEARD on the streets of New York (where else?) A friend of mine, very youthful still, is walking down the street: A man coming from the opposite direction looks at her and exclaims: “WOW! You still have a nice face!!” That’s NY for you.

I AM HEADED TO THE BIG APPLE 
to proclaim my gratitude to the
STATUE OF LIBERTY!

( She tugs at my heartstrings each time I land at Kennedy airport. There she is in all her glory, assuring me that I am back in America.)

As always,
Bismillah and Bon Appetit,
Kitty