Monthly Archives: November 2020

The Kasbah Chronicles 2020:Thanksgiving—covid go away!

In English and en français
Les Chroniques de la Kasbah
The Kasbah Chronicles

When we could travel:
Kitty in Tien An Men square (1984)

When we could entertain:
My husband built and decorated our Moroccan tent so we could throw our diffas (Moroccan feasts):
Yes, that is our camel, handcrafted in Safi, Morocco

VISTA SUNSET  from our terrace

How can one NOT be struck with awe?

News of Morocco and beyond
Links of interest
COUSCOUS for Thanksgiving, BIEN SUR
Moroccan items for sale: Christmas gifts on your mind? I ship!

MUSINGS:

HORRORS! I woke up this morning with Thanksgiving looming. How can that be? Life began on an even keel 11 months ago and we are still navigating choppy COVID waters. Incroyable.

I wish you all a HAPPY AND SAFE Thanksgiving. Ours will be an intimate affair: a walk on the beach, and for me, a roasted Turkey leg.  I don’t know why I don’t make turkey more often during the year—it’s as if I find it sacrilegious to eat it except at Thanksgiving. Le Jour de Merci Donnant, as comic Art Buchwald used to call it, is my favorite celebration of the year. It’s a time to be grateful for what I have, for what I have accomplished, for my friends, and for living in this amazing (though a little muddled) country. So from me to the universe, MERCI. (But enough of COVID already.)
As for turkey, I  include a recipe for an Alsatian-style Medallions of Turkey with Cherries (Escalopes de Dinde aux Cerises) in my upcoming book, BITTER SWEET (more on the subject as things evolve!)

Once again, my maternal great-grandmother’s cassolita

:

Baked Pumpkin with Caramelized Onions, Cinnamon, and Almonds

Serves 6

My maternal great-grandmother who lived in Casablanca, served cassolita as a topping for couscous. Perfect Thanksgiving side-dish as well.

2 pounds butternut squash
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup seedless raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the squash in an ovenproof dish. Add the water and cover tightly. Bake until tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool. Peel and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and sauté the onions until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the almonds, the raisins, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to the onions. Cook, stirring, until the onions are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the onion mixture evenly over the peeled squash. Return to the oven and heat through, 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds and serve.
From Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen by Kitty Morse
Bon appétit!

If you cook à la française, this COOKING VOCABULARY is for you
https://frenchtogether.com/french-cooking-vocabulary/

“Whether you’re a budding chef, enthusiastic foodie, or just trying to expand your knowledge of the French language and culture, there are two main kinds of French cooking vocabulary you need to know: cooking words commonly used in French recipes, and French cooking words that have been borrowed into English.”

Links of interest:

Well, knock me down with a feather: Did you know that cuscus is an animal? And a prehistoric one at that? https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-was-first-domesticated-animal?

How much do you know about the origins of pumpkin pie?
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/thanksgiving-pumpkin-pie-culture-war?utm_s
“Thanksgiving an Act of Northern Aggression.
In the 19th century, pumpkin pie ignited a culture war.” by Ariel Knoebel

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/statue-of-liberty-menorah
A Menorah That Honors an Immigrant’s Story.
After escaping the Holocaust, Manfred Anson paid tribute to his new home. .

Morocco to the rescue:
https://www.wired.com/story/these-rare-seeds-escaped-syrias-war-to-help-feed-the-world/

“This real life story honestly feels like it’s straight out of the pages of a KSR novel. In 2014, Syrian scientists managed to get the seeds of some of the most important crops on Earth into a vault in the Arctic before war destroyed everything. Years later, against all odds, they’ve regrown 25-30 heirloom species in Morocco and Lebanon with the goal of eventually returning them to their homelands.”

 En français and in English, a quandary for translators: TRUMPISMS! https://france-amerique.com/fr/translating-trump-mission-impossible/?ct=t(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018_COPY_01) Traduire Trump: mission impossible ? par Claire Levenson
Depuis la campagne et l’élection de Donald Trump en 2016, les traducteurs et journalistes du monde entier sont confrontés à un dilemme inédit : rendre intelligible le discours trumpien. . .»

An Ethiopian pop up restaurant in Orange County (CA):
My longtime family friend, professor and art historian Peri Klem is an expert on the culture of the Oromo in Ethiopia. I wanted to share her link: https://www.tiyya.org/who-we-are
“ Tiyya is a non-profit in Orange County that was started by an Oromo woman and her daughter. They help refugee families with meals and after school programs and I have been supporting them for a number of years.  They now have a restaurant called Flavors of Afar that serves food from Djibouti and Eritrea.  If you have friends in LA or Orange County please tell them about it.
Done Peri..

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/prison-de-kara?utm_source
Prison de Kara, Meknès, Morocco. Designed as a labyrinth, this subterranean prison was crafted without bars or doors (and now serves as a movie set) You may have visited it on one of my tours.

and beautiful French gardens:
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-most-beautiful-french-gardens-in-the-united-states

NEED A LAST MINUTE MOROCCAN GIFT?
I have a few copies of my own books left, including The Vegetarian Table: North Africa in hard copy (USD30.00) plus shipping, and two copies of Cooking at the Kasbah in GERMAN ($45 each.) My first book, Come with me to the Kasbah illustrated by 12 Moroccan artists in 1989, is now considered a classic. You can probably find used copies on Amazon.com (I haven’t checked!) but if you want a signed copy, let me know.

MOROCCAN ITEMS  FOR SALE:
I have many more items that I haven’t posted. Send me an email if you are interested in more pictures.
https://www.kittymorse.com/the-kasbah-chronicles/moroccan-items-for-sale-updated-regularly

Thank you for the feedback!
“Dear Kitty,
Thank you for what I consider your best ‘Chronicle’. (October 2020)
So interesting throughout – reminded me of the wonderful trips to Morocco.
I can’t wait to try the recipes included herein…All the best from South Africa!”
Kind regards, Kathleen

and

“Your recipes sounded so mouth-watering that I can’t wait to make them.”
Tom W, Escondido, CA.

FYI: For fun:
Music of the Maghreb:
https://gallica.bnf.fr/blog/13022019/les-playlists-de-gallica-la-musique-andalouse-du-maghreb

And comme toujours, as always:
Bismillah
and Bon Appétit
KEEP COVID AT BAY