Category Archives: My Moroccan Preserved Lemons: a family recipe

I have opened every class I have taught on Moroccan cooking for the past 20-odd years with a demonstration on how to make your own. The condiment that typifies “MOROCCAN CUISINE” is today a “darling” of the gastronomic world. In all this time, I have found no good commercial source in the US for this luscious Moroccan flavoring. So make your own! It’s so simple: All you need are golf ball size lemons, salt, and a glass jar. Meyer lemons or Eurekas work just as well, provided they are organically grown. Now is the time to think about making preserved lemons to give away for the holiday season!

for additional help, visit my YouTube video:
Cooking at the Kasbah Preserved Lemons YouTube
Cookbook author Kitty Morse shows you how to make Moroccan preserved lemons.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=boW_el5VZiY

Kitty’s Preserved Lemons
I learned to make these from my great-aunt Tita, in Casablanca.

a dozen golf ball size, unblemished lemons (Meyer or Eureka)
Kosher or table salt
a clean jar (quart or more), preferably with a plastic-lined lid.

Wash and dry the lemons. Cut off a dime-sized slice off at both poles. Set each lemon on end, and slice almost all the way through, leaving a small portion at the bottom uncut. Give the lemon a 90 degree turn, and turn it upside down. Cut the other side as you did the first. In this fashion, the lemon will be sliced open, but will remain attached at the base. Stuff the openings with as much salt as they will hold. Set each lemon carefully in the jar. Proceed in the same manner with the remaining lemons, filling the jar until no space is left. Seal and set aside. In a couple of hours, the lemons will have settled and juice will rise. Add another lemon or two, as directed. Continue filling the jar with lemons until the juice of the lemons rises to the top of the jar. This could take a couple of days. Turn the jar upside down and shake periodically to dissolve the salt. Make sure the lemons bathe in their own juice at all times. This will prevent mold from forming.

Set jar aside on the kitchen counter for 4 to 6 weeks, or until the rinds are tender enough to prick with a fork and the brine attains a syrupy consistency. Only then do you refrigerate them . They will keep for up to 6 months.

Voila!
A jar of preserved lemons and a recipe on how to use them makes a great gift for a cook!

The Kasbah Chronicles: August 2018

The Kasbah Chronicles
August 2018


Carlsbad Beach: 7:30AM

 

Why travel in the summer when we can take an early morning walk along one of the most photogenic beaches in Southern CA? With the dramatic Orange County fires a mere 50 miles to our northeast, I can only count my blessings when wading through arcs of receding ocean foam as intricate as Belgian lace.

 

 

Photo courtesy Jeff and Sigrid Stillman
I was so excited to view this photo of a formerly endangered species making a comeback on our  North County beaches.

My friend Roger, an avid bird watcher, enlightened me as to this species of birds: “”The terns . .  are almost certainly Royal Terns, a species of large tern that occurs along much of the East Coast and also along the California Coast as far north, I’d guess, as San Francisco.  They have to be distinguished from two other large terns, Caspian and Elegant Terns, both of which do breed in your area. . . “

Contents

End of my Vietnam gastronomic adventure: Historic Hoi An and Vietnamese banh mis
Three Art institutions not to miss in San Diego County
Stay cool with ginger and lemon grass tea. . .
So retro: Gin and Tonic
San Diego Festival of Books
Presentations and book signings
Links of interests in English and in French
The MERCI Train; Le Train de la Reconnaissance
in  North Dakota

Kitty’s books
A Biblical Feast
and
Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion are available as eBooks on Amazon.com.

Musings:

Hoi An, Vietnam’s cultural capital:
One thing I didn’t expect upon visiting Hoi An’s ancient UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE city center was The Reach Out Teahouse’s (https://reachingoutvietnam.com) divine quietude and its charming cadre of speech or hearing-impaired young staff. Whispering is de rigueur in this oasis of serenity where the only way to communicate is by sign language or post-it notes. Patrons lost in solitary contemplation recline on hassocks in the cool penumbra sipping ginger and lemongrass tea. (Recipe below)

The blissful tea house is far removed from the supercharged atmosphere at Mme Phuong’s, a world-renowned sandwich shop, which, according to former globe-trotting author Anthony Bourdain serves the world’s best banh mi, Vietnamese sandwich. (https://www.facebook.com/Bánh-Mì-Phượng-Hội-An). I almost missed the sliver of an entrance to Mme Phuong’s, had it not been for the swarm of foreign patrons slinking past an assembly line of uniformed sandwich makers making banh mis in metronomic precision.

My food forays didn’t stop there:  at Mme Vy’s Cooking School (https://tastevietnam.asia/vietnamese-cooking-classes-hoi-an)I uncovered a Pandora’s box of culinary specialties. This brilliant establishment combines a vast food hall cum market place, and an up-to-the-minute cooking school staffed by a trained instructor. Six hours later, I was privy to the secrets of making pho (Vietnamese soup), crispy eggrolls, Vietnamese beef stew, shrimp soup, and their special nuoc mam sauce. Thank you Phoebe, agent for Asiatica (http://www.asiatica.com), a Hanoi-based travel company, for creating our private, food-centric itinerary.


There is water, water everywhere around Hoi An, and you can’t access certain areas without a short boat ride, or crossing a well-travelled bridge. We accessed Tra Que Island in this manner to spend time at a local farm, and lunch al fresco. Later, we embarked in a “basket boat” or coracle, for a leisurely mini-cruise on the Thu Bon River. . .at 2PM, many waterways were overrun with a cacophony of Korean vacationers with boomboxes, each boat practicing its own karaoke skills in view of a prize for who could sing (screech?) loudest. Interesting.

Yes, I did learn how to make Vietnamese Rice Pancakes, but I have found equally good ones at Sontra Restaurant, between Fig and Date, on Valley Parkway  in Escondido (CA). I have mentioned the take-out establishment before, but it bears repeating that SonTra’s banh mis are just about as good as Mme Phuong’s!

Kitty’s Ginger and lemongrass tea

In Hoi An, where the April heat proved almost debilitating, downing several glasses of iced ginger and lemongrass tea at breakfast energized me for ensuing hours of sightseeing. I have planted lemongrass at home (though you will find lemongrass in all well-stocked supermarkets) and I can reproduce this elixir in my kitchen in Vista. It’s a great alternative to iced tea.

1 stem fresh lemongrass, trimmed of dead leaves
4 thick pieces fresh ginger (be generous)
4 cups water
Sugar or honey to taste

Trim a stem of lemongrass where the leaves meet the bulb. Discard the tops. Smash the bulbous part with a rolling pin. Do the same for the ginger. Bring the water to a boil and add the lemongrass and the ginger. Simmer 15 to 20 mns. Remove from the heat. Sweeten to taste. Serve iced.

The old-fashioned pleasure of a gin and tonic:
I am not a drinker. Neither is my husband. I sip a glass of wine now and then, but cannot abide the flavor of beer. Lately, however, the crushing heat inspired me to make a retro drink, a drink that for me, defined my parents’ generation . . . But I am a baby boomer and I have acquired a new taste for old flavors, such as a gin and tonic in all its retro goodness – from the bitterness of the tonic to the surprising smoothness of the gin, and a squeeze of lime from our ever bearing Bearss lime tree.

Presentations and book signings:
From the Poway Library: Thank you!
Hi Kitty,
Thank you for your wonderful presentation at the Poway Library this past Saturday!  It was much enjoyed by all the participants and the food and tea samples were excellent.  I also received my first issue of your electronic newsletter- thank you!  . . .
I think you also mentioned that you do presentations on your Edible Flowers book.  I would love to book you for that in the future!
Sincerely,
Karen Baluyot, Poway Library

Come one! Come all!
San Diego Festival of Books: http://www.sdfestivalofbooks.com
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018.  10AM to 5PM.
Liberty Station, San Diego
Kitty will be there from 1 to 2PM. Look for a table hosted by Adventures by the Book and Novel Network
http://www.adventuresbythebook.com
http://www.novelnetwork.com

Still the best cultural Enewsletter for San Diego County!
http://parobs.org

“The City of San Diego is home to one of the most vital and culturally diverse populations to be found anywhere in America. The Participant Observer is a web magazine dedicated to discovering and showcasing the wide variety of culturally interesting events, people, places and organizations our city has to offer. . . In addition to covering local events, The Participant Observer publishes features and articles about cultural events and phenomena happening around the world. . . “

Have you visited these San Diego art institutions lately?
The California Center for the Arts in Escondido (CA):
http://artcenter.org

I am a docent here.  The American Watercolor Society 151st Traveling Exhibition & Local Color, showcases the best of the best among American watercolor artists: Do not miss! ENDS August 26, 2018

. . . Each year the AWS holds a juried exhibition that draws thousands of entries from artists throughout the world. . .
Featured local artists include: Janice Cipriani-Willis, Pat Dispenziere, Linda Doll, Robin Erickson, Ken Goldman, Elaine Harvey, Carol Mansfield, Chuck McPherson (I LOVE his humorous self-portrait!), Charles Rouse, and Keiko Tanabe (plein air artist.)

San Diego Art Institute
1439 El Prado
Balboa Park
San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park is a local and vibrant art venue sometimes overlooked. View the exciting upcoming exhibits
https://www.sandiego-art.org/

Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, CA. 15 mns from my house, and located across the street from LEGOLAND! https://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/events
I have just discovered this terrific “museum”. Shame on me for not having done so sooner. This hive of musical activity features an ongoing array of artists from California and beyond. I was so taken by the museum that I joined a chorus class. I have absolutely NO musical training… but I am learning how to read music (sort of, though it remains pretty much like Chinese to me), and better still, I am exercising my untrained vocal chords as part of a chorus. A HOOT!

 

Links of interest in English and en français:

Another French culinary icon leaves us: Adieu Joel Robuchon

https://france-amerique.com/fr

Quel fromage??! En quelle saison? Eat cheese, but eat it in season ??
https://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2018/08/02/manger-du-reblochon-l-ete-du-mont-d-or-l-hiver-quelle-saisonnalite-pour-les-fromages

It takes all kinds, n’est-ce pas?

https://france-amerique.com/fr/on-the-usefulness-of-french-classes-in-the-united-states Thus declares the governor of KY:

https://france-amerique.com/en/kentucky-governor-says-no-to-french/

Did you know this governor? Milwaukee (WI) has one of the largest Bastille Day celebrations in the US. So does Santa Barbara (CA)

https://france-amerique.com/fr/what-do-we-celebrate-on-bastille-day/?ct=t(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018_COPY_01)

Did you know about the French Gratitude Train and museum in North Dakota? http://www.mercitrain.org/
“. . .The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948 . . . “
Traduction: Le saviez-vous ?
« . . . Le Train de la reconnaissance comptait 49 wagons remplis de plusieurs dizaines de milliers de cadeaux, témoignages de la gratitude d’au moins autant de citoyens Français. Ces derniers exprimaient ainsi leur reconnaissance aux Américains qui, en 1948, leur avaient envoyé plus de 700 wagons pleins de denrées essentielles, données en grande partie par de simples citoyens. Le Train de la reconnaissance arriva dans le port de New York le 3 février 1949, et chacun des 48 États américains reçu un des wagons chargés de cadeaux. Washington D.C. et le territoire d’Hawaii se partagèrent le contenu du 49e. . . » My cousin, on a trip through North Dakota, sent me these pictures:

ON the other hand: Hey, KY governor: Did you realize?
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20180808-what-is-the-future-of-english-in-the-us
“The combination of being American and a native English speaker is one that affords huge economic privilege to swathes of the United States population. Those of us who speak English from the cradle forget how easy we have it . . . despite being a racially diverse country where over 350 languages are spoken – Generation Z – loosely defined as those born after the year 2000 – is set to be the most racially diverse generation in US history . . .”
online here.

From Morocco and beyond:
Alcohol is banned in Morocco as in all Muslim countries: Wrong.. We have the Romans and Phoenicians to thank for giving birth to Morocco’s thriving wine industry. The Doukkala, the region where our riad, Dar Zitoun is located, produces an array of wines, as does the area around Meknes. . .
https://telquel.ma/2018/07/20/le-vin-marocain-2500-ans-dhistoire_

Sephardic places of worship experiencing a revival in Marrakech:
http://www.highatlasfoundation.org/blogs

If you are traveling to Morocco in the summer: Be careful of vendors along Moroccan beaches: Anarchie sur les plages
https://dimabladna.gbp.ma

Kitty is selling:
I have mentioned previously that I brought back items from my father’s estate in Morocco. Two of these happen to be antique lamps. I will not ship them, thus they have to be picked up in North San Diego County. This chandelier was part of my father’s estate in Casablanca, Morocco. I obtained it in 1994, when I brought some of his personal items to the US. The arms all are movable; the chandelier can hold candles but is also electrified. No breakage, all hanging parts are in excellent shape, and I have a few spares. It might be an original Louis 16th chandelier, or made in the style, in France, and brought to Morocco at the onset of the French Protectorate in 1912.
It is on display at TAP Lighting in Hillcrest in SD.
3690 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest
(619)692-0065
info: taplighting@aol.com

  • I am personally selling: $595.00

  • AUTHENTIC EARLY 20th CENTURY ANTIQUE HANGING LAMP IN EXECELLENT CONDITION.

  • Antique pull-down Victorian hanging glass oil lamp.My father originally purchased this lamp in Casablanca. It probably dates to the beginning of the twentieth century. Might be English or French (the French occupied Morocco from 1912 to 1956.)

  • This stunning lamp hangs from the ceiling from an adjustable, brass, double-jack, chain-driven manual pulley attached to an ornate cap. Beveled (pressed?) blue glass is in excellent condition with four decorative, raised detailing, painted bouquets, and diamond patterns all around. The small oil burner at the base pulls down, and needs a wick. Some corrosion to metal parts commensurate with age. This is its natural state. In 2002 I took it to the Antiques Road Show in San Diego to have it appraised. Price at auction was set at $800.00

Measures:
Height of glass section: about 12 inches
Circumference at widest point: about 29 inches
Length of chain and pulleys: about 17 inches with 3 ornate brass pulleys and 6 chain “link” pulleys that can be lengthened or shortened

And this very special Moroccan cookbook written by a well-know chef in Marrakech:
New. Gorgeous photos. With matching slip cover.
USD60.00
plus shipping if necessary

  • Hardcover: 348 pages

  • Publisher: Art Creation Realisation (April 1, 2004)

  • Language: French

  • ISBN-13: 978-2867701672

  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.8 inches

  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds

Thanks for reading!

I love Feedback!
As always:

Bismillah
and
Bon Appétit

 

The Kasbah Chronicles Feb 2018 edition: It’s the process

The Kasbah Chronicles
February 2018 edition

 Happy Valentine’s DayCONTENTS:
Musings:
Note to self: It’s the process. . . .stoopid….

Last call for Niki de St Phalle
at the Escondido Center for the Arts.

I am off to Vietnam in April:
any insights or special addresses to share?

It’s happening!  Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion is now an eBook.
Download through Amazon.com

Kitty’s presentations and bookings:
LIFE, Mira Costa College
Poway Library
Does your club or group need a speaker this summer? Call me!

Bravo to my creative colleagues: Nan, Susan and Naz

Travel: News of Morocco and beyond

A world of local food from Peru to Mexico and Vietnam
Pisco Restaurant Review

A reader’s insights on the InstantPot pressure cooker.

Musings:

As I muse…. and sifted through eFiles, I realized with a start that The Kasbah Chronicles is now entering its tenth year. Pas croyable. Ten years of sharing news of San Diego County, Morocco, and beyond. Whatever made me think, à l’origine, that anyone would read it? And read it some of you do, judging from your encouraging feedback. For me, a great part of sharing this information comes down to . . . It’s the process….stoopid...: Why am I compelled to jot words on “paper,” electronic or otherwise. I can’t explain! Neck ache, backache and all, typing standing up… I love sharing my musings with all of you. So merci and thank you for reading.

Last call for Niki de St Phalle exhibit!!
I have been going on and on about the Niki de St Phalle exhibit at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, a milestone for the center. The show celebrates the 15th year of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle (www.queencalifia.org) the only public park of its kind in the US. The show ends on March 4th, so hurry and call up to make a reservation for a docent-led tour. The exhibit is paired with A Mosaic Invitational, featuring masterful mosaic works by local artists. Speaking of mosaics, did you know: San Diego Historic Tile and Ceramics Self Guided Tour map showcases mosaics from Balboa Park and Downtown with sites from the House of Hospitality to Little Italy.
It was my pleasure to introduce Niki and her nanas to high school students from La Jolla Country Day last week… best of all EN FRANCAIS!!
View the video here:
 https://www.facebook.com/theCCAE/videos/10155444625709370/
Instagram :  https://www.instagram.com/theccae/
To book a tour contact Arts Education Program Supervisor, Kirsten Barrientes at 760-839-4176 or kbarrientes@artcenter.org

Eva Struble, a professor in the school of Art and Design at San Diego State, was invited to show her work in conjunction with the exhibit. Cover Crops reflects her interest in San Diego County farms. Eva’s talk, free and open to the public, was co-sponsored by Edible San Diego magazine http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com. The show reflects two of my own passions: one for art (food of course) and the other for California farms. Coastal Roots, Solidarity, and Terra Madre farms were her inspiration.

Visit Edible San Diego magazine’s excellent website for up to date information on San Diego’s food scene: http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/drink/guide-wineries-san-diego-county

Please share with your friends:
Exciting news on the book front: Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion is now an eBook, easily downloaded on Amazon. If the book isn’t up yet, please try again. I am dealing with a national distributor in Chicago. https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Flowers-Companion-Kitty-Morse-ebook

Classes and presentations;
Do you know about L.I.F.E, LEARNING IS FOR EVERYONE, a program of lifelong learning at Mira Costa College? If not, here is their site http://www.miracosta.edu/community/LIFE. I will be the featured speaker on edible flowers, on Friday, Match 16th. Free and open to the public

I will be at the Poway Library in July…I am available for speaking engagements throughout the summer from May 2018 on (after my trip to Vietnam.)

About Morocco and beyond:
An encouraging economic update for Morocco:
http://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/the-new-emerging-african-power-morocco/83279

The fastest train in Africa zips through the Moroccan countryside.
http://fr.le360.ma/economie/video-le-maroc-bat-le-record-de-vitesse-sur-rail-en-afrique-154175

Should couscous be classified as a World Heritage item? Mais oui, bien sûr.
https://lepetitjournal.com/casablanca/actualites/couscous-bientot-au-patrimoine-mondial-de-lunesco-222918

GOOD news for travelers. US State Dept says  Morocco is among the safest, alongside Canada, Norway etc, . . . https://lepetitjournal.com/casablanca/actualites/voyage-le-maroc-parmi-les-pays-surs-des-americains-222934

Pour les voyageurs américains, le gouvernement de Washington a classé les pays du monde en quatre catégories : ‘‘Pays considérés comme sûrs’’, ‘‘Pays où la prudence est recommandée’’, ‘‘Etes-vous sûrs de vouloir visiter ce pays’’ et ‘‘Vous allez dans ce pays à vos risques et périls’’. Et le Maroc figure dans le 1ère catégorie en compagnie de pays comme le Canada, Islande, Norvège, Suède, Finlande, Irlande, Monaco, Suisse, Liechtenstein… Quant aux voisins algériens, tunisiens et égyptiens, ils figurent dans la catégorie ‘‘Pays où la prudence est recommandée’’.

Why I LOVE love Spain! It’s almost HOME!! And their manchego? The cheese in Spain stays mainly in the . . . .
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/15/spain-mexico-trade-deal-manchego-cheese-dispute?

Meawhile, camels (really dromedaries) take part in a Saudi beauty contest:
https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-01-26/what-camel-beauty-contest-can-tell-us-about-future-saudi-arabia?

and in Hollywood, les français et les Oscars: La French touch aux Oscars, NINE French-inspired nominations. . .
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-french-touch-at-the-oscars/?ct=t(FA_Hebdo_du_5_octobre_2017)
and
Bessie Coleman: les ailes noires en France
https://france-amerique.com/fr/bessie-coleman-black-wings-over-france/

Ca alors, what next for the French language??
https://lepetitjournal.com/leila-slimani-mme-francophonie-de-macron-veut-deringardiser-le-francais-220888
Leïla Slimani, “Mme Francophonie” de Macron, veut “déringardiser le français” (wants to update the French language), and make it one of the top three languages in the world. .
‘Le français “pourrait” en effet devenir la deuxième langue internationale, derrière l’anglais. Elle est la quatrième aujourd’hui, devancée par l’espagnol et l’arabe. Mais cela ne pourra être que “si les efforts en faveur de l’éducation des pays francophones sont suffisants”,

Ever wonder about air kissing? Pourquoi se fait-on la bise ?
https://lepetitjournal.com/shanghai/communaute/bise-pourquoi-france
La bise est une coutume typiquement française ( a French custom). . . .

Anthony Bourdain’s reading list is eclectic!

Check out my creative colleagues:
Sally Bernstein and her newsletter:
http://www.sallybernstein.com/food/chefs-corner/mailorder_books.htm

Nan Sterman, host of A Growing Passion (http://agrowingpassion.com) on KPBS holds classes around the county to help you jump start your spring plantings. Join Nan for a hands-on workshop where you will plant your entire summer vegetable garden in just two hours. Nan provides the supplies – you take home the plants seeded and ready to sprout info@PlantSoup.com

Susan McBeth, the brainchild behind Adventures by the Book, whose mission is to link authors and readers, launches a nationwide adventure: NovelNetwork… https://novelnetwork.com/author-membership/
Book clubs, register to find an author/speaker. Authors, register to let book clubs know you are available as a speaker.

After founding a company that paired consumers with farmers around the county, Naz Athina Kallel, is launching a “Craigs List” for food lovers. Save Good Food http://savegoodfood.com is San Diego’s Food & Beverages Classifieds for Farms, Chefs, Brewers, Winemakers and Artisan Food Makers. Chefs, farmers, fishermen, ranchers, restaurant owners, artisan food & beverage makers, brewers, wine makers, event planners, purveyors will find a powerful social platform for buying, selling, collaborating and investing in local food. First 3 months free and then only $10 per month for unlimited ads for sellers. Buyers always free.

My new favorite snack:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts


One restaurant  Happy Hour featured these addictive sprouts, all for the unbelievably “low price” of $7.99. $7.99? I decided to make them myself:
Buy Brussels Sprouts
Trim outer leaves
Cut sprouts in half
Parboil in boiling water 1 to 2 mns
Drain
Pour into a large baking dish
Sprinkle with olive oil and garlic
Roast for 25 minutes, turning once.
Snack. (Better than chocolate truffles, and lo-cal)

San Diego’s multicultural North County:
No need to drive down to San Diego’s Asian shopping district on Convoy Street. Just head to 840 East Valley Parkway to find Cho Viet Nam (aka: The Asian Market and formerly La Sorpresa Barata, don’t you love it) a large market stocking Asian specialties. The adjoining take out, So’n Tra, offers excellent banh mi sandwiches, authentic and flavorful eggrolls much like the “nem” I grew up on in Casablanca (there is a thriving French speaking Vietnamese community in Morocco.)

And for good measure, a new Peruvian restaurant opened in the North County, off Palomar Airport Road, close to Legoland CA. Pisco took over the space Sammy’s Pizza occupied, and has the same owner. I have never met Sammy Ladecky but that man has a palate that never misses. The first time I tasted his roast chicken, I knew the flavorings were Middle Eastern. This time, he heads south: Pisco is named for the national drink of Peru (and Chile, depending upon who you talk to), and Peruvian flavors fill the menu. From excellent Chicken Empanadas, and leche de Tigre… an excellent ceviche, though, in my view, lacking in the bolder flavors of “our” Mexican ceviches. I sampled a Peruvian ceviche in Chile (where Peruvian cuisine is considered “haute”) and noticed the same thing. I loved Pisco’s papas a la huancaina, and the classic drink of Pisco Sour with crème de banane and strawberry puree tastes like dessert. A riot of a treat for anyone having a birthday is a MOUNTAIN of cotton candy. Definitely a place to try. However, I will not abandon the old Sammy’s and its terrific thin-crusted pizzas. www.piscorotisserie.com

Aren’t we cosmopolitan?!
Egypt comes to Quail Botanic Gardens: UNTIL MARCH 31, 2018 at the San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
For the second year, the tapestries from the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Egypt will be on display. The Egyptian artists vividly celebrate the flowers of the desert, villages, and Nile River in their work . . . Fifteen wool tapestries and twenty cotton weavings will be on display in the Ecke Building at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Admission/Cost: $14

Reprinted with permission:
Joy, a longtime Kasbah Chronicle reader allowed me to reprint this letter. She is an advocate of the new Instant pot, an implement which I have not even SEEN yet! Some of you may find her input of interest. This is a SERIOUS cook who makes her OWN MOROCCAN OUARKA dough!

Date: Mon, January 01, 2018 9:55 am
To: info@mintteaandminarets.com
Happy New Year, Kitty! Thanks for another wonderful year of Moroccan email goodies.
 I am now the owner of 2 electric pressure cookers, a Power Pressure Cooker 10 quart for the last year or so, and an Instant Pot 8 quart (for this Christmas). A most wonderful 7+ vegetable Berber Tagine recipe I saw on YouTube comes out perfect in about 5 minutes or less. For the chicken variation I brown the chicken first so it is at least half cooked because raw chicken pieces cook in 10 minutes and I don’t want the veggies to be over done, so if I brown them first it is all finished in 5 minutes or less. Yum!!!
You have mentioned in the past that modern Moroccan cooks often resort to their pressure cookers. Perhaps this year on Kasbah Chronicles you could share some recipes using that technique as it is done in Morocco. Of course the Moroccan cookers are probably stovetop versions, but the new electric cookers are amazing doing things that stovetop cookers can’t do because stovetops take more water to run them and the pressures are higher than an electric cooker. For the electric cookers, think “baked” ziti put in dry out of the box and yummy cheesy goodness after an 8 minute cycle (also lasagna with normal noodles dry out of the box), perfect hard boiled eggs on a 6 minute cycle, soups in 10-15 minutes, dry beans without soaking in 15-40 minutes, steamed flans in 15-20 min etc etc. 5 minutes was a little too long for my pre-browned chicken tagine, 4 minutes would have been better.
If you don’t have one of these yet, it will revolutionize your life in the kitchen. I would suggest the Instant Pot or the Power Pressure Cooker (“PPXL”), both run at the same psi pressure ranges 10.2-11.6 and around 7.2. but the PPXL also has a 3.2 psi slow cooker cycle. The Instant Pots default to the higher pressure settings for their presets, and the PPXL defaults to the lower pressure settings for their presets which I like better, but either can be done with either. All the presets are just different times for the default psi’s. High pressure on the PPXL is the “Canning cycle”, the Instant Pot allows to choose high or low pressure with a pressure toggle button, but the result is the same.  Many other electric cookers default to 5psi and 10 psi which is not as versatile and takes lots longer. If you already have one, share with us some Moroccan pressure cooker faves!
J.

Make preserved lemons with me on YOUTUBE

If you have ever wondered how to make REAL Moroccan preserved lemons, or if you still have questions after attending one of my in-person demonstrations, this video will show you exactly how to prepare this uniquely Moroccan condiment: 

 Cooking at the KasbahPreserved Lemons YouTube

Cookbook author Kitty Morse shows you how to make Moroccan preserved lemons.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=boW_el5VZiY

Encore preserved lemons

This is why I get such a kick out of teaching Moroccan cuisine:

 

“I still think about the class I attended at Vista Jazzercise!  I enjoyed the

evening so much! In fact, I decided to make "Preserved Lemons" as Christmas

gifts this year. I currently have 26 jars in the garage!  They will be ready

just in time for Christmas. I chose five recipes from your cookbook (all of

which call for preserved lemons), made recipe cards, and slid them into little

pocket folders – so when my family and friends receive this homemade gift, they

can experiment with the lemons and get introduced to Moroccan cuisine!”

 

G.A., Vista, CA.

 

Preserved Lemons:

 My favorite condiment is making waves in classy kitchens: From Top Chef to Food TV stars, and fans on Facebook, preserved lemons are in.  Drop by my new Facebook page, Kitty Morse Moroccan Cuisine, and start a discussion! I would love to hear how YOU use preserved lemons.

 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kitty-Morse-Moroccan-Cuisine/115440281841373?ref=sgm

It’s raining limes! (Again)

 

 I feel so sorry for my citrus trees. The weather has been so mercurial that they can’t tell if it’s summer, Fall, or spring. We have had several heat waves at the oddest times, which has spurred fruit to ripen prematurely perhaps, and in doing so, splitting before falling to the ground. A Google search yielded nothing much in the way of combatting the situation. I just hope this isn’t permanent.

I would suggest, if you have YELLOW limes (such as Bearss or Key limes) or lemons, to preserve them for future use, or to give away. I have made preserved lemon addicts in my own circle of friends, many of whom requested a jar! That certainly made Christmas shopping easier!

Marketing my reprint of A Biblical feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table occupies most of my time (no citrus existed in Biblical Times, save for the Etrog citron, perhaps), instead of lemon juice, I use a touch of vinegar or a spoonful of pomegranate molasses to impart a fruity, citric flavor to some of the biblically-inspired dishes. 

A  new decade, and a new project:  I have tested many of the recipes for my preserved lemon book. Time to harvest today’s pickings.

 

A bientot,

 

Kitty