Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Kasbah Chronicles: January 2019: Mint Tea and Minarets: eBook LIVE!!!

December sunset in Vista CA

Footsteps in the sand, Oceanside, CA

CONTENTS:

Mint Tea and Minarets is now downloadable for Kindle
(more eplatforms coming soon)

Please help me spread the word!

Just send
https://www.amazon.com/Mint-Tea-Minarets-Moroccan-Memories-ebook/dp/
If you are inclined to download the book, a review would be much appreciated. I am told I need ten reviews to get the ball rolling.

 

MUSINGS:
It’s raining: Time to make soup!
Kitty in the media: a fun surprise 
Queen Califia’s Magic Circle reopens
Escondido (CA): Manzanar as seen through the lens of Ansel Adams
 French Conversation for Dummies (not MY students!)
La Fête des Rois (in time for 2020)
 In English and en français: Notable Links  
News from Morocco and beyond

Do you have the same feeling I do, that 2018 was only 6 months long? I can’t get used to the head-spinning speed of “as time goes by.” So much to explore, so little time!

Like many of you, I was shocked at the tragic events that befell the two young Norwegian women trekkers in the Atlas Mountains last December. Many Moroccans gathered spontaneously at the embassies involved, to offer condolences and apologies, feelings shared by many of their compatriots. That said, I have to admit that I sometimes feel safer walking around a medina than I do walking across some US parking lots after dark (I was mugged in broad daylight in the parking lot of Target in Vista 20 years ago…)
 
Kitty in the media: A fun surprise for me:
Edible San Diego, Nov-Dec 2018: http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/digital-editions
Couscous with Pomegranate and Buttermilk.. a recipe of mine from 2008!  pp 38 and 39. Pick up a FREE copy of this mouth-watering magazine at any San Diego County farmer’s market.  We planted a pomegranate tree specially so my husband could enjoy one of his favorite fruits. This year, it produced fruit weighing over ONE pound each!

It’s raining! Soup’s on

My Pavlovian response to a blessed rainy day is always  to make soup:
Here is a favorite from The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco, co-authored with Danielle Mamane.

Dodie’s Bean Soup with Preserved Lemons 
Serves 6 

Thank you to Dodie Hazan, a transplanted Fassia (Fez native), who now resides in Montreal, and who provided the recipe for my book.
 
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dried baby lima beans, soaked and drained 
2 bay leaves
5 cups broth 
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 to 3/4 of a preserved lemon MAKE YOUR OWN! WATCH ME ON YOUTUBE!!!
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
2 teaspoons salt

Loubia de Dodie

In a small bowl, blend the paprika with the olive oil. Mix to a paste.  In a large pot over medium high heat, cook the paprika paste, stirring  until it darkens slightly.Add the beans, bay leaves, and broth. Stir to blend. Cover and bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Cook until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Discard the bay leaves. Add the garlic, cumin, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir to blend. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. 
Scrape the pulp from the preserved lemon, and reserve for another use. Dice the rind and add it to the beans, along with the pepper, and salt. Heat through and serve with plenty of crusty bread.

Kitty’s Preserved Lemons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGcBPRYKd-4

News close to home: Niki de St Phalle/Queen Califia update:
https://www.thecoastnews.com/artist-niki-de-saint-phalles-queen-califias-magical-circle/ 

I have mentioned this local art treasure before: Queen Califia’s Magic Circle, created by Niki de St Phalle, specially for San Diego residents (mainly children). Vandals disfigured this world-renowned landmark, and it has taken many months to restore. I am happy to say that Queen Califia has reopened on special days, at certain times, so docents can keep an eye on things. This is the perfect destination on a sunny day (behind North County Mall in Escondido).

Meanwhile, a most moving exhibit at the California Center for the Arts(http://artcenter.org/event/manzanar-the-wartime-photographs-of-ansel-adams-wendy-maruyama) in Escondido, a new show at the Center (where you can book a private, docented tour for a minimum of four people, with yours truly, upon reservation)  
“Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams:
A most moving show, and, unfortunately, very topical.

“An intimate look through the lens of celebrated photographer, Ansel Adams, at daily life in Manzanar, one of ten Japanese-American incarceration camps in the US during World War II. His work in Manzanar … providing a glimpse into the lives of the thousands of Japanese-Americans that were interned during one of the darkest moments in US history.” 

From Morocco and beyond:

Yes, Virginia, even though most Moroccans are carnivores, and celebrate by roasting a WHOLE lamb on a spit (I can’t wait to dig into a meltingly-tender lamb mechoui during our tour to Morocco in April!!) THERE IS A BURGEONING VEGAN movement:
https://mobile.telquel.ma/2018/12/14/phenomene-le-troupeau-clairseme-des-vegans-marocains

The Pope visits Morocco in March:

Le pape François se rendra en visite au Maroc, à Rabat et à Casablanca, les 30 et 31 mars 2019, près de 34 ans après la visite de Jean Paul II dans ce royaume, a annoncé mardi le Vatican.
 My father (who lived in Morocco 50 years) long recalled a papal visit to Casablanca decades ago. Throngs of Moroccans turned out to welcome the religious leader, so much so, that the Pope had to conduct mass in the sports stadium.

Heart-stopping video of Morocco seen from the air: take a few minutes to search for this on YouTube. 
 Le Maroc vu du Ciel(Morocco from the air). Look for the English translation
https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hsimp

Casablanca reborn: My hometown is becoming famous not only for its vintage Moorish Art Deco architecture but also for its modern profile: Casablanca is known as the Paris of Africa!

https://telquel.ma/2018/08/25/ces-chantiers-a-casablanca-qui-devraient-voir-le-jour-avant-2019

VALENTINE’S:  A Moroccan mail-order gift for your Valentine:
Meska Sweets specializes in authentic Moroccan pastries, and was Featured in the NY Times in 2018:
team@meskasweets.com. Authentic and lovely packaging too!

Francophones et francophiles : La Fete des Rois, January 6th
(Feast of the Kings)  Better late than never:

When I grew up in Morocco, my mother purchased our galette des rois from our favorite pâtisserie (La Normande, the one I wrote about in Mint Tea and Minarets.) We savored each buttery bite of puff pastry oozing ambrosial almond paste careful not no break a tooth on the tiny ceramic “fève” (literally, fava bean) hidden among the feathery layers—If we found it, one of us would be crowned a king or queen!  Would you believe I walked into a 99 cent store a few years back, and purchased 10 embossed, golden cardboard crowns, PERFECT for le jour des rois. The tradition lives on: some fèves are still made in France!
https://france-amerique.com/en/king-cake-a-french-tradition-little-known-in-the-u-s/

“This golden, frangipane-filled puff pastry appears in boulangeries and patisseries at the end of December. King cake or la galette des rois, is traditionally eaten with the family on the first Sunday after New Year’s Day, but many enjoy it from December 31 and throughout the whole month of January . . . Most figurines are now mass-produced in China and Vietnam. But one company, Colas, is resisting this relocation. Based in Clamecy in the Nièvre département, it is one of the last pottery works that still makes its figurines by hand. The recent models include sailing knots, French presidents, and Japanese manga characters. More than 500,000 figurines will be produced this year, some of which will be sent to the United States. The family-run business supplies Maison Kayser in New York and Washington D.C., Mademoiselle Colette in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, and the Normandie bakery in Los Angeles. . . “
“. . . The fève is part of French tradition,” says Fabienne Souliès. “Some customers order a cake with four figurines inside — one for each of their grandchildren — and come back every year to continue their collection.” Far from being a simple trinket, the figurines actually help bakeries to sell more and are highly sought-after by the “fabophiles” who collect them. These enthusiasts meet up every year for an international fair held in Paris.” Bonne Fête! 

Just because: French Conversation for Dummies (I have no clue about this method!!)
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-art-of-french-conversation-for-dummies/?ct=t(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018_COPY_01)

or practice French in Louisiana:
https://france-amerique.com/en/a-documentary-depicts-the-rebirth-of-french-in-louisiana/
 
Anyone headed to Cape Cod? Check out this blog for the best restaurants in the area:
https://www.capecodrestaurants.com/blog

And because I am a fan of anything Australian, be it people, landscape, sandwiches. . .  
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/world/australia/sausage-onion-bunnings-warehouse.html
 
As always, Bismillah and Bon Appétit