Category Archives: For Sale, Kitty is Selling Moroccan antiques and vintage items, AUGUST 2021 update

August 2021

I am downsizing, and am listing Moroccan items for sale.
Contact me if you would like to view these items.
info@mintteaandminarets.com

I am selling a number of Moroccan artifacts from my father’s estate.
-antique books on the history of Morocco
-antique silver decorative daggers
-antique rugs of various sizes and styles (I will send photos)
-Authentic hanging Victorian oil lamp
-Moroccan clothing: women’s kaftans, Moroccan men’s shirts with traditional embroidery
-small and mini tagines: single servings, great for salt, pepper, butter, condiments…
-textiles:

-Hand made traditional carved plaster ceiling fixture with colored glass inserts, called a “plafonnier” in French.

Inlaid wooden box typical of the work of artisans in Essaouira, 120 miles south of Casablanca. The triangular shape is quite unusual. The hinged box is carved from the root of the Thuya tree (a sort of ironwood) endemic to southern Morocco. The unusual triangular shape and the excellent craftsmanship caught my eye when I purchased it in Essaouira over 25 years ago. The hinged box measures 14-inches on each side, and is 4 ¾-inches deep. It has never been used for anything but display, and bears a few shelf marks on the base. It still emits its unique thuya wood fragrance (keeps away moths too) ! The star-like inlays on the lid and along the edges are made of lemon wood.

Ornate brass and copper mirrors from Casablanca
I like the patinad look so have not polished it regularly.
Diameter: 17 inches

Some antiques, many vintage from my family’s estate.
Copper trays and mirrors
Copper cauldrons
Mini tagines
Kaftans
Old books on Morocco
Brass lamps
Some textiles
Small rugs
ceramic plates..

and much more…Please contact me at info@mintteaandminarets.com for details.

photos COMING SOON

THE KASBAH CHRONICLES: SEPTEMBER 2021

View this email in your browserThe Kasbah Chronicles: September 2021
Back again!

THIS POST IS A COPY OF MY NEWSLETTER, THE KASBAH CHRONICLES. FOR  a FULL VIEW WITH PHOTOS OF THE NEWSLETTER PLS CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE. MERCI

End of Summer 2021
Lightning in Carlsbad CA.during a rare summer shower
From Instagram.

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

 Please don’t give up on The Kasbah Chronicles!
Ne m’abandonnez-pas!

MUSINGS

Safe splashdown of Spacex capsule as I write. Exciting

Recipe:
Kitty’s Salmon Spinach Bestila
Links of interest in English and en français
More Moroccan items for sale

MUSINGS:

Here I go again, making amends for being weeks late in publishing my newsletter. Please don’t give up on me. This has been such a strange summer, and, fortunately for us in Southern California, quite cool though California is in dire need of rain. We watch in horror as fires consume millions of acres in the north, and are now threatening our beloved giant redwoods. It cannot be possible that these 2,500-year-old natural icons are in the path of a raging monster fire. Let’s hope tiny sprinkles come down in the next few days. That said, I looked on, equally horrified at the hurricanes drowning the south. And I cried all over again during the 20 year remembrances of 9/11. How our lives have changed since the

If we are on our way to sending human colonizers to Mars (poor Mars,) is there no way to divert water from one end of the country to another, here on earth? I know…Money is always involved.

Throughout these events, my working hours appear to zip past. I feel I am playing catch up most of the time. I  keep my nose to the grindstone with my next book. Writing is rewriting, as all writers know. And I do keep rewriting! The challenge is what motivates me. Suffice to say that my research has led from the Belle Epoque (remember Midnight in Paris??), through the cataclysmic events of World War 1 and World War 2, delving into family documents and mounds of historical research, and testing family recipes. Stay tuned!

Next week, I will shed my skittish COVID persona (doubly vaxxed, and hoping for a 3rd), to rejoin the human race for a literary tour of New England with my friend Susan McBeth of Adventures by the Book. (www.adventuresbythebook.com.) I am looking forward to revisiting Boston where I was invited to cook at the Ritz thirty years ago (yikes!!)and visiting points north during the changing of the leaves. AND EATING LOBSTER ROLLS!! Next year, Inch Allah, I will head overseas again.

PS: I travel on my stomach.Does anyone have recommendations for lobster rolls and seafood eateries in Boston secrets spots, Portland, or Kennebunkport?

In the meantime, part of my days is spent in the kitchen, which for me is a creative form of relaxation. Here is an updated salmon bestila you might enjoy. DO NOT be intimidated by phyllo dough: remember, YOU are the boss and rips are easily corrected by pasting a patch of phyllo painted with melted butter them.

 

Kitty Morse’s Salmon Spinach Bestila
Adapted from
Cooking at the Kasbah: recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books)
Copyright 2021

Serves 6

10 green onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound boned salmon fillets
12 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 sprigs fresh cilantro, minced (about 1/4 cup, loosely packed)
1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or almond meal
2 tablespoons (or more) diced preserved lemon rind
1 teaspoon salt
8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Finely dice the green onions. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onions, paprika, and ground cumin, stirring until spices begin to foam, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salmon fillets and cook through. Discard the skin and shred the salmon with a fork. Add the drained spinach and preserved lemon. Stir fry until spinach is hot. Cool a few minutes and combine with the cilantro and half the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Stack 8 sheets the phyllo on a work surface lined with a damp towel. (Rewrap remaining phyllo, and refrigerate for future use.) Cover with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.

With a pastry brush, paint a pie plate with melted butter. Stack 4 sheets of phyllo on the bottom, painting each one with butter, and dusting the 4th sheet with the remaining bread crumbs. Top with the cooled filling, leaving at least an inch free around the sides.  Use the remaining buttered sheets to enclose the pie. Carefully fold the bottom sheets over the filling. Then, carefully tuck the top sheets under the pie. (At this point, the pie can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated, or frozen.)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake on the middle rack until the pie turns golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve hot.
Bon appétit!

And to top it off, our friend Ron Baker’s GRILLED PEACH SUNDAE..YUM!
Ron is also a professional photographer. View his food and travel shots at
ronbakerpix.com

One of my rare ventures out this past month was to visit Zion Market. This giant supermarket in the Clairemont Mesa area of San Diego combines foodstuffs from Korea and most of Asia, live seafood, and acres of frozen specialties which I could not even decipher. And dozens of varieties of kimchee!!

Asian mushrooms galore…

and frozen gizzards

and every Asian vegetable under the sun

and especially
PARIS BAGUETTE

In the same space is one of the BEST French bakeries I have come across in San Diego, Paris Baguette—a South Korean chain now conquering the US.. https://www.parisbaguette.com/
The French pastries with an Asian twist are worth the detour.
Who knew???: “Born from a love of bread and a passion for quality, we are an international bakery founded in 1988, specializing in French-inspired goods. In addition to chef-inspired cakes, pastries, sandwiches, salads, and signature coffee and tea, we offer a unique experience to thousands of guests daily. Today we have over 4,000 locations worldwide, satisfying cravings and taste buds of all ages and backgrounds.”

Sandwiches just like in Paris.. 

Kitty in the media:
My most excellent Whale adventure in Baja California.
A trip I hope to repeat one day.
https://winedineandtravelmagazine.com/wdt/santafe/index.html#p=216

Links of interest:
My absolute favorite American food writer, and my longtime inspiration:
 https://lithub.com/in-celebration-of-laurie-colwins-lost-manhattan/
Laurie was a writer for Gourmet magazine (remember?!) and has written a series of brilliant books about food and cooking. May you cook up a storm wherever you are, Laurie…

GoodNeighborGardens.com
San Diego County residents: A wonderful CSA, Good Neighbor Gardens…I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had attended a farm to table dinner at Sage Hill Ranch Gardens in Escondido, CA. https://sagehillranchgardens.squarespace.com, in Escondido, CA. At the time, I met Mia Vaughnes, the charming founder of this local CSA. Check out their website.

Urban Sharecrop.com
goodneighborgardens.com

San Diego, CA
858.375.6121
goodneighborgardens@gmail.com
From their website:
“We farm yards and schools in San Diego homes to deliver organic, locally grown, pesticide-free produce through a CSA model. Good Neighbor Gardens provides garden installation and consistent maintenance for interested homeowners, affectionately known as The Gracious Neighbor. Our skilled crew will assess your land, develop detailed design proposals and work with you to create your ideal back yard farm. The harvest team gathers surplus crops from all Good Neighbor Gardens across the county to assemble weekly produce packages, deliver them to our Harvest Share subscribers… “

Nouvelles en français (the following links are in French and in English.)

https://france-amerique.com/la-haute-culture-fait-rayonner-arles/?utm_source=Weekly+Newsletter+ LA HAUTE CULTURE FAIT RAYONNER ARLES
Haute Culture Illuminates Arles

« ÊTRE FRANCOPHILE, C’EST UNE PASSION À VIE »
“Being a Francophile Is a Life Sentence”
https://france-amerique.com/roger-cohen-etre-francophile-est-une-passion-a-vie

Roger Cohen, le plus francophile des journalistes américains, dirige le bureau du New York Times à Paris, ville dans laquelle il a débuté sa carrière de correspondant il y a bientôt trente ans. > Lire la suite

Roger Cohen, the most Francophile of all American journalists, heads up the New York Times bureau in Paris, where he began his career as a correspondent almost 30 years ago. > Read more

SPARE ME !!!!
LE FRENCH TACOS ET LE SENSCACHÉ DE NOTRE ALIMENTATION
https://france-amerique.com/en/le-french-tacos-and-the-hidden-meanings-of-what-we-eat/?utm_
Le French Tacos and the Hidden Meanings of What We Eat

« Un monstre gras sans véritables racines culinaire » : c’est ainsi que notre correspondant à Paris décrit le French tacos, la déclinaison française du traditionnel taco mexicain. > Lire la suite

“A fattening Franken-food without genuine culinary roots.” This is how our Paris correspondent describes le French tacos, the Gallic take on the traditional Mexican taco. > Read more

Kitty is downsizing (again and toujours)
The holidays are looming!
I am selling Moroccan artifacts from my father’s estate in Morocco, as well as Moroccan handicrafts, throw rugs, lithographs, baskets, hand woven textiles, hand embroidered kaftan, vintage ceramics, pottery, ginger jars, a gorgeous large hand-made tagine (serves at least 12) made in the US, vintage brass copper trays and Moroccan copper cauldron, antique Victorian glass hanging lamp, brass boxes, antique Moroccan daggers, brass Moroccan floor lamps, unusual vintage hand carved thuya (ironwood) box from Essaouira, Moroccan costume jewelry,
as well as various pieces of antique French silverware.

Should you wish to see them in person, just email me and we can schedule a masked and vaccinated private visit.
e-mail: info@mintteaandminarets.com
Just to give you an idea:
  and a matching pair of antique stained glass windows from a Victorian home in Wisconsin (We acquired them in Milwaukee.) They are stunning!As always
Bismillah
Bon Appetit
and keep COVID and its variants at bay.

THE KASBAH CHRONICLES MAY-JUNE 2021

MAY/JUNE 2021

again, better late than never

PS: My computer crashed towards the end of July 2021 forcing a complete overhaul of this site–thus these late postings

MUSINGS

The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

In English and en français

On the cusp of July

It has been a long time..

Notes on my next cookbook

News from Champagne

Miller Beer: The Champagne of Beers. Really?

Recipe: Rice grits

Kitty’s Moroccan items for sale

A request from a reader

MUSINGS:

Travel? Dare we? Dare we not? That is the question.

I am holding France and Châlons-en-Champagne, my mother’s birthplace, in my sights for September but who knows if I can be lured onto an overseas flight and face the ever-changing travel restrictions/rules overseas? I can’t seem to make up my mind. CANCELLED! The stress of following daily updates about the pandemic in France and other destinations discouraged me.. Next year in Champagne, Inch Allah¡

In the meantime, I remain glued to my computer adding finishing touches to my book. Refining the manuscript like adding dabs of color to a painting, adding little touches here and there to brighten a scene or an image.

Researching the era my great-grandfather served as a surgeon in the French army in WW1, then translating his memoir of WWII, when he kept a journal detailing the advance of German forces in the Champagne region, led me down innumerable rabbit holes overflowing with “la petite histoire.” In writer’s parlance, I succumbed to “research rapture,” a “dis-ease” for which I have found no cure.

Fun discovery: I have started to read the newsletter published in my mother’s birthplace, Chalons en Champagne, l’Hebdo du Vendredi. And this was my FIRST click on the site: Milwaukee (WI) is my family “home” in the US, and I went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. What do I find on the Hebdo site but a reference to Miller Beer and a Milwaukee street I know well! How dare does Miller Beer refer to its brew as “The Champagne of Beers!”  Ooops…

http://www.lhebdoduvendredi.com/article/40384/une-region-champagne-dans-le-wisconsin

But all research must come to an end…and now the “real” work begins!

A RICE Realization

Speaking of research…I explored the contents of my kitchen cupboards to “rediscover” a container filled with “rice couscous”…a product I had brought back from Morocco to test as a gluten free alternative. I forgot it at the back of said cupboard until last week when I woke up with a start and it came to me that “rice couscous” was the Moroccan name for rice grits.

I prepared the rice grits as I would “instant” couscous (many recipes in my Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes) made my traditional couscous “stew” and voilà: RICE COUSCOUS. You can substitute rice grits for couscous in most couscous recipes. They are a fantastic alternative to polenta as well.

1 3/4 cups water or broth

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup rice grits

— In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water or broth and the butter to a boil. Add the grits in a stream. Stir once. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand until the grits are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Topping of your choice.

To make your own: Simply place whole rice in a blender or food processor and process into coarse grits. Cook like rice, “steam” or prepare in the “instant manner” as you would medium grain couscous. This is not a pudding like congee, the rice grits must absorb all the liquid and remain dry, as it should for rice.

A reader is looking for a painted Moroccan table. Can you help? If so, e-mail me, and I will forward your message to her.

I AM  selling vintage items and antiques from Morocco: decorative objects, textiles, Berber jewelry, brass, hand painted plates, authentic tagine pots, copper bestila pan, and other Moroccan cooking implements. Pls send me an email if you are interested, and I can send you pictures.

Mint Tea and Minarets is available in hard copy and as an e-book. So is Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion.

Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories

https://www.amazon.com/Mint-Tea-Minarets-Moroccan-Memories/

Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued : souvenirs et saveurs de Dar Zitoun (French translation by Kitty Morse)

https://www.amazon.com/Riad-Bord-lOued-souvenirs-saveurs-ebook/

 

Until next time,

Kitty

THE KASBAH CHRONICLES: APRIL 2021

Posted in August 2021..sorry….

APRIL 2021

The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

In English and en français

Musings

Kitty in the media

Classes and presentations

Notes on my next cookbook

Links of interest

News of Morocco and beyond

Moroccan items for sale

MUSINGS:

March 2021 slipped away like the neighbor’s cat that slinks out of sight at my approach. No matter, I have always preferred APRIL. Sunny, clear, and warm. Very warm, with California facing another drought. Though in France, you keep your umbralla at hand for “En avril, ne te decouvre pas d’un fil.” (In April, do not take one thread off!”)

Ooh la la—quel soulagement! Who would have thought that a simple jab in the arm could provide such relief. Funny how it lifted the cloud of COVID off our shoulders, yet whisps of it do remain. My mask now feels like a necessary appendage. And shaking hands has morphed into a faux pas. My husband and I have decided to adopt new ways of greeting others: Right hand on our heart with a slight bow of the head, Middle Eastern style: as salaam aleikum, or in Moroccan darija dialect, Labbas ahlik. We also like the Thai custom of joining hands as if in prayer with a little bow of the head. Sawwadee khaa (fem.)?? Sawwadee khrap (yep—masc.!!)

Apart from figuring out how to interact socially, I am immersed in writing, editing, and indulging in a good amount of “research rapture.” I had forgotten the amount of work it takes to write a cookbook/memoir: first, the story, then, selecting the recipes in French, translating them and adapting grams to US cups and tablespoons, then, recipe testing. All that and my husband’s gorgeous food photography. Sixteen months and counting! It’ll be done when it is done.

Days and weeks slip by at such speed, it leaves me breathless. The rest of my time is spent at bi-weekly Jazzercise classes, masked, socially distanced and IN PERSON! And in private sessions with an Italian instructor based in Guanajuato, MEX. The wonders of the Internet!

That doesn’t mean I have given up on the Kasbah Chronicles, or on you lovely readers who contact me throughout the year: Bienvenue once again!

Please don’t give up on me..

Check “Kitty is selling ” link for updates on the Moroccan antiques and artifacts I am selling..

A bientot,

 

The Kasbah Chronicles: Valentine’s edition 2021

MUSINGS

The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

 

Happy Valentine’s DAY

Bonne Fête de Saint Valentin

In Praise of CENTENARIANS

Kitty in the media:

WineDineandTravel magazine: California’s historic HIGHWAY 395

Podcast with Kitty: Moroccan cuisine: an overview

Classes and presentations

 

Links of interest

News of Morocco and beyond

Moroccan items for sale

 

MUSINGS:

     I perch on the edge of another momentous birthday, I need to salute two centenarians in my life: Flor, my mother’s first cousin, who reached this milestone last August—and whose voice sounds as lively today as that of an 18-year-old’s; and Irene, who has reached 103 and was one of the very first passengers to join me on my gastronomic tour along the Kasbah Trail three decades ago. What role models!

Covid and confined — with a BIG difference: My husband and I got our first dose of the vaccine. Funny how a weight has been lifted from our shoulders—even though we need a second dose.

The confinement has not put halt to my work. I am knee-deep in family history spanning WWI and WWII—recipes from Alsace-Lorraine included, bien sûr.

My thoughts return to last year at this time: I was in heaven petting the whales in Baja California and making snowballs in Baja’s sierra. That trip has kept my wanderlust at bay for the past 12 months, but enough already!

Je voudrais saluer deux amies centenaires : cousine Flor, qui a passé le cap en août dernier, et Irene, qui va avoir 103 ans! Toutes deux dignes de ma profonde admiration.

GROSSE différence entre ce mois de confinement et mes dernières Chroniques : mon mari et moi avons finalement obtenu la première dose du vaccin. Si vous regardez les nouvelles, vous savez que les USA ont été lents à démarrer. J’espère que les choses se sont mieux passées chez vous. On respire mieux, mais à 6 pieds de distance! Heureusement que l’an dernier à cette date, j’ai pu aller au Mexique, en Californie du Sud caresser les baleines !

Virtual presentations:

Spices in Moroccan cooking

Friday, Feb. 26, 2021

2-3:30PM

FREE

Registration required

Coronado Public Library (and it is a beautiful one!)

The use of cumin in tagines and other Moroccan dishes. This is a great program sponsored by the library called Spice it Up, Coronado! FREE! But you need to register.

https://live-coronado.pantheonsite.io/events/february-spice-it-coronado

Facebook and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/CoronadoPublicLibrary/

Kitty in the media:

WineDineandTravelmagazine.com

Looking for a sort of STAYCATION (nouveau mot à la mode: en vacances près de chez soi.)

Un autre voyage très sympa en janvier 2020.

Here is my article on California’s Highway 395—a slice of historic California

https://winedineandtravelmagazine.com/wdt/calcoast/

Kitty and a Podcast:

Moroccan cuisine: influences and history

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX-WfB9r00U.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC7_bInxIfE.

Apricots in Silicon Valley even rate their own museum: Abricots de Silicon Valley.

https://heritageparkmuseum.org/sample-page/orchard-heritage-park

Il ne faut pas oublier qu’avant de devenir le paradis des techies, Silicon Valley était couverte d’arbres fruitiers notamment des meilleurs abricotiers du pays.

I was thrilled to read the article on apricots, and had to share my apricot adventures in Silicon Valley. I visited several farmers in late 1999—among them the famous Mariani orchards in Morgan Hill, CA. Andy Mariani, who is still in business, is one of this country most knowledgeable stone fruit experts (https://andysorchard.com.) (They ship!) He shared a recipe for The California Farm Cookbook (Kitty Morse, Pelican Publishing).

CALIFORNIA APRICOTS: A History (and a recipe)

Mariani Orchards’ Apricot-Amaretto Sandwiches

“On our family farm,” says Andy Mariani of Mariani Orchards, “autumn is a favorite time of the year.”  The tall, dark-haired, and soft-spoken Andy is proud to carry on the family tradition–one begun by his forefathers who originated in Vis, an island off the Dalmatian Coast.  The senior Mariani began farming in California in 1932, finally settling in the idyllic Morgan Hill area of the Santa Clara Valley–the perfect location to grow plump apricots and sweet cherries.   Andy’s brothers and sisters help in the running of the orchard as well as in the ever-expanding mail-order business.  “Fruit grown elsewhere in California doesn’t seem to have the sweetness ours do,” says Andy, who credits the high quality of the Mariani fruit to the proximity of the ocean, and to a cool growing season.  The delicious result of the Mariani’s labors is evident when biting into the oversized, dried Blenheim apricots which they use to make their superb Apricot Amaretto-Sandwiches.

Marzipan OR almond paste (available in supermarkets or specialty food stores)

Almond extract or Amaretto liqueur

Jumbo, dried Mariani apricots to suit

Guittard A’peels dipping chocolate (#9760)

If using marzipan, which is sweeter than almond paste, use a few drops of almond extract or Amaretto to cut sweetness.  Roll marzipan or almond paste into a log shape, until it reaches the same diameter as the apricot half.  Cut round patties about 1/4″ in width.  To assemble sandwich, trim apricot half to perfect circle on sheet of wax paper.  Place almond paste patty on top, and cover with second apricot half.  Squeeze slightly so filling adheres to apricot.  Trim to size.  If smaller sandwich is preferred, simply cut in half.  For extra special treat, dip sandwich in melted chocolate.  Let cool on wax paper.  Store in airtight container until ready to eat.

Note:  Almond paste is available in bulk from large bakeries.  Commercial marzipan found in supermarkets tends to be very sweet.  Guittard A’peels dipping chocolate #9760 is specially formulated to stick to dried fruit.  You can order the 2″ wide jumbo apricots directly from the Marianis.

Flashback to Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories, and our historic medina of Azemmour.

Azemmour vu du ciel 2020 Nous vous proposons des vues d’Azemmour comme vous ne les avez jamais vu.

https://youtu.be/CTMLXL2rxg0

Speaking of COVID:

https://laquotidienne.ma/article/actualites-economiques/covid-19-le-premier-scanner-de-depistage-au-maroc-et-en-afrique-installe-a-casablanca United Imaging Healthcare (UIH), grand acteur international dans le domaine des équipements médicaux, a introduit le tout premier système de dépistage Covid-19 en Afrique.

Did you know ?
French in Africa: French is the official language of 21 countries in Africa. (They don’t mention North Africa, but they should!

Nouveau mot de vocabulaire:

New FRENCH WORD: OVER THE TOP !!! I leave it up to you to translate.

Un afterwork au bureau, des amis à la maison, une envie d’Alsace, un match de football, basket ou rugby…

Received from Morocco: I love the spellings…« le nouveau président (djo baidn donc bay bay korona »

Bon appétit! A la prochaine!

Kitty

The Kasbah Chronicles: Last of the decade! Bye Bye COVID…

The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

In English and en français

This book tree looks as if it is created from copies of Mint Tea and Minarets! I wish!

Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année

 Musings

Will COVID soon tiptoe out of the picture?

Covid, va-t-en. On t’a assez vu et entendu

 

Musings:

My fervent wish in jotting down these final Chronicles of 2020, is for everyone to remain in good health. No need to elaborate. We are literally all in the same boat.

So pour yourself a glass of champagne! Drink up on Zoom, Facetime, or Whatsapp, but drink up. Champagne is produced in my mother’s birthplace, Châlons-en Champagne. Or, savor cerises à l’eau de vie, brandied cherries, a potent cherry brandy that my Alsatian ancestors used to make. (YES! My great-grandmother’s recipe is in my next book!)

Repas de Noel:  Is this how one must celebrate in 2020?

Wouldn’t you like to attend this festival?

To savor with many glasses of champagne from Epernay, a champagne-producing town in my mother’s native Champagne

And Christmas cookies galore…like this one from The California Farm Cookbook (by yours truly, Pelican Publishing 1994.) As you know, I travelled around Alta and Baja California interviewing farmers and seeking their recipe for their product. These biscotti are high on my list of favorites:

Tom Cooper’s Molasses Macadamia Nut Biscotti

About 40 biscotti

Make a double batch of these biscotti–the first one is sure to disappear in a flash! At the time, Tom Cooper was a macadamia nut grower in Fallbrook, CA.

3/4 cup butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light molasses

1 egg

2 cups sifted flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted macadamias, crushed

1/2 cup raisins

Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, molasses, and egg, until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and spices. Combine with the butter mixture and mix well. Add nuts and raisins. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Shape each half into log about 2-inches in diameter and 12-inches long. Sprinkle a 14-inch piece of aluminum foil with sugar. Roll each log in sugar until coated. Set them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until crusty, 12 to 14 minutes. Logs will flatten considerably as they bake. Remove from the oven, and cool until soft enough to slice. With a sharp knife cut each log into 1-inch wide diagonal slices. Place on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Copyright Kitty Morse, 1994.

From our stunning San Diego Library downtown:

A poem: “Looking Forward, I Believe”.  

It’s always nice to be included in the San Diego Public Library’s 2019 Local Authors Showcase

San Diego authors penned poems regarding “the issues facing us today, including civic responsibility in a democracy, inequality and discrimination, and the fundamental human right to vote.”

Overheard: Thanks for sharing!

It’s such fun to catch clips of conversation as I walk. Sandy and Sue overheard this in Dana Point, the picturesque harbor south of Laguna Beach, in Orange County (CA.) Thank you for lending me your ears!

“and then they would each get their own sweet potato….” WOW! Must have been a luxury!

“Is Santa older than God?” a child asks her parents.

Overheard near the statue of Santa Claus holding a surfboard.

 

HERE! The theme of my introduction to my book

Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes (Chronicle Books, 1999, copyright Kitty Morse).

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/16/unesco-adds-couscous-to-list-of-intangible-world-heritage

UNESCO’s Inscription of Couscous Traditions, an Example of International Cultural Cooperation

If I may quote myself:

What pasta is to Italians, what rice is to the Chinese, couscous is to the inhabitants of the Maghreb al-Akhsa (“the land where the sun sets”), as the countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are known collectively…”

Why the surprise? From Couscous: Fresh and Flavorful Contemporary Recipes

Former Tunisian president Habib Bourghiba allegedly once said that couscous is the common thread linking the nations of the Maghreb. In other words, North Africa ends at the point where couscous gives way to rice and millet. This unofficial boundary is thought to lie somewhere west of Lybia’s Gulf of Sidra.”

 

Unesco quote: “How heritage brings people together. The registration of “Knowledge, know-how and practices related to the production and consumption of couscous” is the result of a joint application by Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. This joint inscription of a shared heritage illustrates the extent to which intangible cultural heritage can be a subject on which States meet and cooperate.”

 

Morocco resumes diplomatic relations with Israel:

Why is anyone surprised at this? Co-existence is the norm in Morocco.

https://thehill.com/policy/international/529639-trump-says-morocco-to-begin-diplomatic-relations-with-israel

Some of you may have already visited the Jewish Museum in Casablanca. As ground-breaking is the fact that Moroccan schools are incorporating the history of Morocco’s Jews into their curriculum. In Arabic! Not the least of which is their cuisine (as described in The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco)

https://actu.orange.fr/societe/culture/le-maroc-inscrit-la-culture-juive-dans-ses-programmes-scolaires-CNT000001vxyOo/photos/photo-d-archive-fournie-par-le-palais-royal-marocain-le-15-janvier-2020-montrant-le-roi-mohamed-vi-c-lors-d-une-visite-a-la-maison-de-la-memoire-un-musee-dedie-a-la-coexistence-des-juifs-et-des-musulmans-a-essaouira-sud-a1a337017228d5860762047e4cd858f2.html

« Avant même de normaliser ses relations diplomatiques avec Israël, le Maroc a lancé une réforme scolaire décrite par certains comme un “tsunami”: l’histoire et la culture de la communauté juive vont bientôt être enseignées aux élèves de ce pays où l’islam est religion d’Etat.Les premiers cours, en langue arabe, seront dispensés au prochain trimestre en dernière année de primaire, où l’âge des élèves tourne autour de 11 ans, selon le ministère marocain de l’Education nationale.

Cette introduction est une première dans le monde arabe. Elle fait l’effet d’un tsunami”, s’exalte Serge Berdugo, le secrétaire général du Conseil de la communauté israélite du royaume, joint par l’AFP à Casablanca. (M. Berdugo was the minister of tourism at one point).

Présent dans l’architecture, la musique, la cuisine, “l’affluent juif” de la culture marocaine apparaît désormais dans les nouveaux manuels d’éducation sociale du primaire, dans un chapitre consacré au sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah, dit Mohammed III (XVIIIe siècle). Inscrire l’identité juive dans le corpus scolaire “permettra de forger la perception et la construction de futurs citoyens conscients de leur héritage pluriel”, estime Mohammed Hatimi, un professeur d’histoire spécialiste de la question.

https:// afmilwaukee.org/boutique/

As many of you know, my “American roots” are planted in Milwaukee, WI. The city has quite a sizeable francophone population and an active Alliance Française. Check out their online boutique for some unusual French-theme items.

L’Alliance Française de Milwaukee (où j’ai vécu 9 ans) est très active. Vous trouverez des articles amusants à l’accent français dans leur boutique en ligne…

 

Recent French fiction about America.

AH! Cette Amérique, on ne cesse d’essayer de la décrire…

https://france-amerique.com/en/writing-the-states-recent-french-fiction-about-america/?ct=t(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018_COPY_01)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55069048

That’s interesting: Why France may ban discrimination against accents. The French, like the British, immediately categorize you by the way you speak. . .

 

https://frenchly.us/french-holiday-songs/

This is a fun site. Listen with kids or grandkids. I sang them when I was growing up!

All the French favorite Christmas songs with words.

Les chants de Noël. Site sympa, surtout pour les enfants.

 

French word of the month: Did you know Québecois call a podcast a balado?

In Montreal, you don’t say podcast, you say “balado.”

www.linternaute.fr/dictionnaire/fr/definition/balado

Balado, courriel, divulgâcher… Les québécismes au secours de la langue française !

 

« From the verb (se) balader, to walk. C’est l’apocope de baladodiffusion, mot qui équivaut également à l’anglais podcasting. Après le baladeur, qui avait remplacé le walkman. . . Ne dites pas podcast… dites « balado » Le nom balado, né en 2005 au Québec, est entré dans Le Petit Larousse en 2008 et dans Le Petit Robert l’année suivante. » C’est l’apocope de baladodiffusion, mot qui équivaut également à l’anglais podcasting. Après le baladeur, qui avait remplacé le walkman, place au balado ! »

 

The Rare Seeds That Escaped Syria for an Arctic Vault

Formerly stashed at Svalbard, they’ve since sprouted in Morocco and beyond.

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

When I was researching A Bibical Feast: Foods from the Holy Land, I got in touch with ICARDA to make sure I was using lentils similar to varieties grown in biblical times. ICARDA was cataloguing 11,000 (eleven thousand) varieties of lentils. I am so happy they have managed to save their agricultural treasures, some of them in Morocco:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/syria-war-seeds-svalbard?utm_source=Gastro+Obscura+Weekly+E-mail&utm_campaign=cb595b53d1-GASTRO_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_12_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2418498528-cb595b53d1-70078185&mc_cid=cb595b53d1&mc_eid=b65bf497a5

 “This piece was originally published in Wired and appears here as part of our Climate Desk collaboration. In 2014, the remaining staff of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, or ICARDA, fled their beloved gene bank in Tel Hadia, 20 miles south of Aleppo. Syria’s civil war, which had broken out three years earlier, had finally made the staffing of the facility untenable. But the scientists had already shipped off a resource of incalculable value: the seeds of the most important crops on Earth.”

Merci for reading!

Until next year!

Please leave a comment.. I will answer!

 

KM