Category Archives: Home

Home page

The Kasbah Chronicles: Quarantined edition, March/April 2020

When the going gets tough, the tough get cookin’….

The Kasbah Chronicles: now in its 12th year!
Quarantine edition, March/April 2020

(Full disclosure: I started these chronicles 3 weeks ago)
Time flies when you are quarantined.

Diary of a quarantine
Musings
Chard and more recipes available on my website
The 60th anniversary of the Agadir Earthquake of 1960
Kitty’s Whale of an Adventure
Kitty in the media
Links of Interest
On language:
My pet peeves (on  restaurant menus)

My best wishes for
a Happy (virtual?) Passover
and
a Happy (virtual?) Easter

Anyone can subscribe (send me an email) or unsubscribe (you know what to do!)

Musings:
Diary of a quarantine:

I hope these Chronicles find you and yours in good health, albeit perhaps chomping at the bit. I can’t think of a better place to be than at our very own Kasbah, and for that, I am grateful. My heart breaks for all those who do not have a roof over their heads, especially homeless students and San Diegans. I can only hope that most have found food and shelter during this horrible “storm”.

We are quarantined in Vista, as is everyone else around the world. Being stuck at home is no hardship, since I spend most of my days at my computer in any case, but there is a strange aura about. The world is topsy turvy, but plants are thriving; my fig tree is off to a new start, so is the pomegranate bush; rose bushes greet me with a new bud each morning (I thank them profusely). Meyer lemons are just about done (have you made your preserved lemons yet. Check out my website!) My blood oranges fall to the ground by the dozen so I spend hours making marmalade and syrup.

The funny thing is, I feel like cooking. I want comfort food! As I have written on numerous occasions, my favorite comfort food is couscous. The classic dish calls for 7 different kinds of fresh vegetables which I may or may not have on hand. So I added what I find in the recesses of my freezer: frozen broccoli? Frozen artichoke hearts? As long as I have fresh cabbage, I am happy.

Whenever I am uninspired, I fall back on one of my first books, 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian (HarperCollins)  written under duress and edited over the phone during an epic and exhausting Labor Day week-end with a (manic) New York editor. The book sold tens of thousands of copies (not much in it for me), and one day reappeared under a new cover and size on the shelves of Barnes and Noble under the B and N imprint. OOPS, no one had let me know.

The book contains some of my favorite recipes, all meatless (not vegan, though it contains many vegan recipes). 365 is my go to cookbook, the one that contains all sorts of dishes from family and friends (they all get credit!) One of my personal favorites is the Vegetable Lasagna, one given to me by a local farmer.

The other is a super Vegetarian Harira, a meatless take on the Moroccan bean soup served during the month of Ramadan. My new adaptation: HARIRA WITH KALE. And, surprise, I even rediscovered my recipe for Egg Foo Young (remember egg foo young, the fake Chinese special??) Talk about antiquated comfort food!!
I didn’t have all the “Chinese” ingredients, so I chopped up some kale and other left overs, added eggs and Asian flavorings, and BINGO! My off with the virus version wasn’t half bad, and cleared the fridge!

KITTY’S RECIPES: Please visit the link below for MY LATEST TAKE ON Vegetarian Harira with Kale, and others.
https://www.kittymorse.com/recipes-to-fend-…virus-april-2020
I love feedback, let me know if they work for you, or add one of your own!
To fight the virus eat 2 garlic cloves.
It’s of no use
but it’ll keep people away from you!

Week one: March 16 to 21, 2020:
The virus is still at bay, or so we think. I go on what turns out to be last shopping expedition at my favorite supermarket.

Faced with a wall of greens, I purchase chard (which I rarely use) and a very expensive box of baby zucchini. My imagination is at a standstill. I purchase 3 containers of coconut yogurt, and a pound of sliced ham. Two mangos and an indispensable bunch of cilantro.

I head for home, aware that confinement might begin the same week. A light bulb goes off:  I call the family farm down the street to subscribe to a weekly CSA box: I will get farm fresh greens and a dozen eggs beginning Saturday. On the appointed day, I pick up more chard and kale. And the curly kind at that. What will I make with this abundance of curly kale?

It rains the next day: my Pavlovian response is to make soup. How about a sort-of-Tuscan Kale soup (white beans aside, since my husband is off carbs) I fill my crockpot with chard, broth, a sliced carrot, and half a leftover sausage. Relief comes the next morning: We have kale soup for several days. I must use the rest of the kale before next Saturday!

Week two: March 23 to 27, 2020
It is still raining. I need comfort food, and for me, that means couscous. I limit myself to making the meatless couscous stew (from The Vegetarian table: North Africa; I have a handful of new copies, if you are interested.) Used copies on amazon.com. My vegetable bin holds celery, cabbage, one limp zucchini, an onion, and yes: chard. I fill my crock pot with canned tomatoes, vegetables and spices necessary for couscous soup and usually requires 7 different kinds of vegetables, The new chard-laden version warms the cockles of my heart, and I serve it with “instant” couscous on the side. It’s so comforting to inhale the aromas of home: saffron, ginger, cilantro, turmeric. Two days’ worth of meals!

Chronicle Books also made a calendar out of it. It’s way past its sell by date, but has gorgeous pictures and recipes for 12 dishes
Oh NO: More green leaves left: I flip through my own Moroccan cookbooks to “rediscover” Kale a la Chermoula (from Cooking at the Kasbah). Chermoula spices flavor a marinade of cumin, salt, garlic, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Combine that with a little tomato sauce, and you have a killer base for chard. So, I chop (very fine) my curly leaves, and pop them in a pan with olive oil. A good amount of garlic and some diced preserved lemon rind: voila. So much for chard.

I discovered a box of Trader’s Joe’s chakchouka, or shakshuka in English. I had my doubts about a TJ special, but much to my surprise, the flavors are there, though the amount is pitifully small inside a big plastic bowl, so forget TJ and make your own. TJ’s is a pureed of peppers with chermoula spices—in North Africa, the real chakchouka is chunky, made with ROASTED bell peppers and tomatoes, and used as a nest for tiny meatballs or poached eggs.
Make your own!

My freezer held other surprises. I often forget to label left overs. I once gave my mother what I thought was a perfect dinner—whatever it was—and she thanked me the next day for her mystery dessert. I now use masking tape.

My rummaging yielded a large package of frozen scallops (from Costco’s, they are delicious.) That evening my husband, Owen, was inspired. He is more scientist than cook, and shuns common “cooking rules” when it comes to scallops. No quick searing for my guy. He dices them when they are still a little frozen, cooks them in butter, lemon juice and white wine until they are caramelized. He then combines them with diced avocado and sprinkles the dish with chopped cilantro. I even wrote down that recipe so we don’t forget it.

Week 3: March 23 to 28:
We have plenty of food, but I need cilantro (kesbour, coriandre, Chinese parsley)! Je ne peux cuisiner a la marocaine sans kesbour)  s
My closest supermarket offers home deliveries via Instacart. Except deliveries now take over a week.
Thus, 2 ½ weeks into our confinement, I decide to brave the aisles of my favorite food store, Frazier Farms, in Vista (CA). I know the layout by heart, so I plan my “razzia” accordingly. Surprisingly, the store was not busy, hardly anyone was wearing a mask (I was) and kept to their own business.

Life goes on at the farm: First fraises des bois of the year!

It was the disinfecting routine once I got home from the supermarket that exhausted me:
Make a shopping list
Don mask at home and save the gloves for the store
Jump in the car.
My husband drops me off in front of the store.
I tie a bandana over my mask (the bandana soon slips off)
I clean the handle of my market basket.
I enter the store
I avoid human contact
I consult my shopping list and zig zag all over the store to find the items
The store is well stocked, much to my surprise
I check out and have to bag my own items in my own bags
My husband asks me to hop in the back of the car with the purchases
We enter the garden where we had prepared a large container of bleach water
We dip all plastic wrapped items in the mix
Meat goes in a cooler with a large ice pack for 24 hours
I take a shower in our back bathroom and leave my clothes on the floor
I get dressed

I AM EXHAUSTED. I DON’T CARE IF I GET ANOTHER OVERLOAD OF KALE.
Since my shopping expedition, I have learned this:
DO NOT TAKE REUSABLE BAGS TO THE STOR

A friend called me with a query:
She loves my tagine of chicken with prunes (now called dried plums) but she didn’t have prunes.
Could she substitute dried apricots? Bien sûr!! Or dried cherries, or dried cranberries… That’s the beauty of tagines: the meat and fruit combination is up to you. What counts are the spices. Fruit tagines usually call for cinnamon, ginger, ras el hanout, or nutmeg. Many seafood tagines rely on a chermoula blend (see Kale with Chermoula) of cumin and paprika, among others.

UNDER the corona wire: My whale of an adventure:
I had planned a trip in mid-February, before the Covid-19 scare, to pet the whales in Guerrero Negro, Baja California. I thank my lucky stars for being able to go, for this is a trip to remember. What an out-of-this world experience to float alongside friendly cetaceans larger than our panga (boat). I still cannot get over the thrill of seeing a whale pop up next to us (or thump the underside of the panga), and cast a glance at the exhilarated humans trying to make physical contact. The thing is, the animals seemed to like it! Access to the lagoon is limited and regulated by the Mexican government. Thank you, Mike Essary of www.bajacustomtours.com, a San Diego-based Baja expert who leads small expeditions to Guerrero Negro and many other parts of Baja. I will describe my adventure in greater detail in a later issue of the Chronicles.
Kitty in the media:
This is what I have been up to: You can read a few of my travel stories on this link:
https://www.creators.com/search?tag=kitty+morse

Look at what was on display at the San Diego Library: thank you so much, dear readers of the Chronicles, for sending me these pictures and at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park: eBook cover News of Morocco and beyond:
Morocco is under the same total lockdown as we are.

A look back at the Agadir Earthquake of 1960: I was there

February 29 marked the 60th anniversary of the Agadir earthquake, a tragedy for Morocco. On that day in 1960, a horrible earthquake destroyed the port of Agadir (at the time, the world’s leading producer of sardines.) Though we lived in Casablanca, about 300 miles north of the Atlantic fishing port, I still recall the terror we felt living on the fifth floor. The building shook for what seemed forever, to the point where we lost our balance. My parents, as terrified as anyone, herded my brother and me into the lift, an antique wooden “crate” with swinging doors, and by some miracle, we reached the rez de chaussée, or ground floor. We ran across the street into Casablanca’s largest park, now known as Parc de la Ligue Arabe, to join the hundreds of other casablancais escaping swaying buildings. We spent one night in the park, but many erected tents, and remained there for days. We discovered later the earthquake’s terrible toll: the magnitude 5.7 created a tsunami, and flattened the port of Agadir, a town of 47,000 inhabitants. 15,000 (more or less) people perished in 15 seconds.

Did you know? Le saviez-vous?
Pionniers français du Far West!
French pioneers of the American frontier.. who knew..
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-forgotten-french-pioneers-of-the-american-frontier/?
(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018
et ça?
https://www.los-angeles-en-francais.fr/
Los Angeles has a French history
Los Angeles en français, le spécialiste des activités touristiques francophones à Los Angeles.
I can’t wait to take a French tour of LA!

On language: A word issue where I needed correcting:
One day last week, a TV reporter was interviewing an elementary school teacher. She was telling how she “conversates” with her students.
“I conversated with them, and told them that everything was OK,” said she.
Really? Conversate? I laughed, and so did my husband (and so did a couple of friends with whom I happened to “conversate”). A day or two later, said friend and I consulted GOOGLE…
I literally had to EAT MY WORD:
Conversate is a NEW WORD recently added to the American lexicon:
According to grammerly.com is due to “back-formation.” (Never heard of that either!)

  • “The Definition of Conversate. Conversate means to have a conversation. To get to conversate, you’d have to take the noun “conversation,” remove the suffix -ion, add an “e” at the end, and use it as a verb. That process is called back-formation, and the result is often a word that’s considered nonstandard—at least for a while.”

So, let’s keep conversating!!

More on the subject of English: The challenge of irregular verbs
Un cauchemar que les verbes irréguliers anglais.
Heard almost daily on TV:
I should have WENT (Aie aie aie!)
I have went (Yes, I heard this)
I been there
He done that
OUCH….

ANOTHER OF MY PET PEEVES! French words listed on American restaurant menus:
AAARRRGH: gravy “au jus”?? REDUNDANT….
It seems to me that if a patron is spending $80 and up for dinner in a chichi restaurant the equally chichi menu should be FREE of foreign language mistakes: It’s easy to correct: call the nearest French dept at a university or high school. OR SEND ME AN EMAIL!

Overheard a Surfer Dude on TV:
“It was like Amazingly awesome!”
I don’t think I can top that!

Correction: an eagle-eyed reader of these Chronicles brought to my attention that the Queen Mary is NOT moored in Laguna Beach, but in LONG BEACH (CA). Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Can I blame the self-correct feature on the computer (Probably not!)

PS: If you have time on your hands, I always appreciate a LIKE on y Facebook page for Le Riad au Bord le L’Oued or for Mint Tea and Minarets. And a review on the amazon pages for the books.
Si vous avez une liste de correspondants e-mail, vous pouvez faire circuler lien pour Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued sur la page Facebook ou sur Amazon.com
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued-110970043646415/about/?notify_field=blurb&notif_type=page_profile_completion

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Le+Riad+au+bord+de+l%27oued&qid=1570749667&s

Every click helps.

Merci infiniment,
As always

Bismillah
And
Bon Appétit

WEAR YOUR MASK!
EAT COUSCOUS!!!

 

Recipes to Fend off the Coronavirus

Here are recipes I mention in the March/April edition of the Kasbah Chronicles. I hope you enjoy them

I love getting feedback, so if you like them or have a question, please contact me or post a request on the page

A bas le corona virus

Kitty’s Fight the Virus Vegetarian Harira with Kale

Serves 8

I use my crockpot!

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

8 Spanish saffron threads, crushed

½ bunch cilantro

10 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup wheat berries, soaked and preferably, pre-cooked

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans

4 cups chopped kale leaves (or chard)

Wedges of lemon

In a slow cooker or soup pot, heat the oil and cook the onions until wilted.

In a blender or food processor, process in increments until fairly smooth, the tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the broth and wheat berries and cook until tender.

About 20 minutes before serving, add undrained garbanzo beans and kale.

Serve in large soup bowls. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each bowl. Leftover harira freezes very well.

Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse

You will also find variations of this recipe using lamb in Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books 1999) and Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories (La Caravane 2014.)

 

 

Kitty’s  What’s in my Fridge

Kale Soup with zucchini and onion

Leftover roasted zucchini

3 boiled baby potatoes

1 cooked sweet potato

4 to 6 leaves Kale or Swiss chard, broken up

½ onion

Make 2 cups broth with BETTER THAN BOUILLON!

In a small pan, cook all ingredients except bouillon until tender. Let cool.

Blend until smooth, adding bouillon in increments. Salt and pepper to taste

 

Kale with Chermoula:

Serves 2 or 3

Adapted from From Cooking at the Kasbah: recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen, p. 59

I  blanch the leaves for a minute or two. I strain them and let them cool. Using scissors, I chop them into small strips. Then, I am ready for action! Kale ( or chard, or mallow (bokkola in Morocco, or spinach)  with Chermoula. This is a dish dear to Moroccan hearts.

1 bunch baby kale

5 or 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika

Preserved lemon rind, finely diced, to taste (refer to my video on YouTube)

½ cup water

Blanch the kale, and strain. Cut into thin strips.

In a small pan or skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir to blend and do not burn or the spices will turn bitter. Add kale and water. Cover and cook until kale is very tender, 15 to 20 mns. Add diced preserved lemon rind to taste, and a pinch of salt, if necessary. Stir again. Remove from heat. Serve at room temperature.

Easy Overnight Vegetarian Lasagna

Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse

Prep:  35 minutes

 Cook:  1 hour 30 minutes 

Stand: 8 to 24 hours

Serves about 6

You can prepare this the day before and refrigerate until cooking time.

I sometimes spread fresh or creamed spinach or fresh diced tomatoes over the zucchini.

Note: I like to mix red sauce and white sauce. I sometimes add dabs of basil pesto on my layers (Costco has a delicious)

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, and cut into strips

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups prepared spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup red wine

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes

2 cups sliced button mushrooms

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

9 to 10 uncooked lasagne

4 medium (about 4 cups) peeled zucchini, very thinly sliced

Shredded parmesan cheese

  1. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil. Cook onion, pepper, and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add spaghetti sauce, wine, stewed tomatoes, and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium heat, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat. Add parsley and salt and pepper.
  3. Cover bottom of a lightly oiled 9×13-inch baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Arrange 1/3 lasagne over sauce.  Top noodles evenly with zucchini slices.  Cover zucchini with a little sauce.  Repeat procedure in the same order until all ingredients are used. Cover final layer with sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese

You should have 3 layers of lasagna. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring dish to room temperature. Bake, covered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

 

Bon appétit!

 

The Kasbah Chronicles: January/February 2020

LES CHRONIQUES DE LA KASBAH

TWELFTH YEAR

DOUXIEME ANNEE


Palm trees and snow covered mountains:
C’est la Californie du Sud
 The Kasbah Chronicles
Les Chroniques de la Kasbah
Twelfth year
Douxième année
MUSINGS
January/February 2020Travels in Cuba (suite)

A night on the Queen Mary
Une nuit sur le paquebot mythique Queen Mary

The BEST restaurant in the US (according to YELP)
In San Diego!

Kitty in the media

For winter
Boozy Black beans
from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian

Links of interest en français and in English

A new cookbook germinating:
About Champagne, pays de ma mère

Ha Ha and Ha

MUSINGS:
Where to begin? So much to do, so little time. Thus, the Chronicles are a month overdue. NO time to waste!

Cuba is still on my mind, and may call for a return visit in the not too distant future (after petting whales in Baja California, travelling to my mother’s birthplace in Champagne to research my next cookbook, and spending the night on THE, yes THAT, Queen Mary, now a floating hotel moored in Laguna Beach, CA).

Back to Cuba, this most extraordinary island 90 miles off our coast, cut off from the United States, and caught in a 50s time warp. I already mentioned how much Havana reminded me of my hometown of Casablanca in the fifties. Old buildings crying for a coat of paint, intricate and rusted wrought-iron balconies, splashes of original art deco, and a “quartier” named “Fusterlandia” on the outskirts of Havana–an area covering several blocks inspired by the mosaics of Niki de St Phalle and Gaudi. Yes, we rode around in 1950s vintage automobiles, a kick in itself, we pretended to puff on a cigar (I have NEVER smoked), and we listened to musicians playing in the street. We stayed in casas particulares (b and bs), and rode around an eco-farm on HORSEBACK (YIKES!! I don’t even ride, but that was FUN). So much more, you will have to read my upcoming article for the award winning, online, Wine Dine and Travel magazine.

 

What comes to my mind regarding Cuba, is that despite extreme hardship and pervasive poverty, Cubans have such a friendly and open disposition. Amis francophones? Vous rappelez-vous du tube des années 60 : Cuando Sali de Cuba ? Dejé mi vida, mi corazon… He bien, il est inconnu à Cuba, car évidemment, c’est une chanson d’exil. De nos jours, l’accès à l’Internet est strictement règlementé. Une politique irrationnelle de tous côtés il me semble.

Gracias once more to our superb guide, Carlos, and to Karin of www.espiritutravel.com who handled the land arrangements. US citizens can go to Cuba as individual travelers. We purchased our Cuban visas at JFK’s Jet Blue counter, along with retrieving our boarding pass.

This video might give you a little flavor of Havana en fête.
Conga and Carnival in Havana
https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/jan/16/conga-and-carnival-havanas-jazz-festival-in-pictures

Two weeks ago, I spent a night on the Queen Mary, the transatlantic ship now moored in Long Beach.

Le Queen Mary a fait bien des traversées entre les Etats Unis et l’Europe—et a même servi de navire-hôpital pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Saviez-vous que le Queen Mary est plus long que le Titanic ? (Moi non plus!) Long Beach est l’un des plus grands ports des Etats Unis, au sud de Los Angeles. Si vous allez vers le sud, vous suivrez le bord de mer jusqu’à Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, et autres villes mondialement connues des surfers.

 

Did you know that the Queen Mary is longer than the Titanic? I attended an exciting Adventure by the Book event (www.adventuresbythebook.com) on board—20 authors from around the US conducted presentations and book signings. Sign up for the organization’s newsletter to learn about other exciting literary adventures. Would be authors and established authors too—don’t miss next year’s event.

Our Adventure took place in the Queens’ salon, one of the most beautiful ballrooms on board The Queen’s Salon: talk about Art Deco, wooden panels, authentic light fixtures, all restored. Turn a corner to face a picture of Churchill, Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, mafiosi, presidents—and dozens more.

The Queen Mary is worth a visit (skip the food on board, however. A rip off). Our room was an authentic cabin lined in original wood panels, with a vintage armoire, original bathroom fixtures (that worked!) and two portholes.

Another gastronomic adventure awaited in South Park (one of the hippest places in San Diego) in front of a food truck considered as The Best Restaurant in the US according to YELP reviews. It was even mentioned on the CBS Evening News with Nora O’Donnell. The parking lot of a liquor store on the corner 30th and Grape shelters the footprint of The acclaimed Shawarma Guys! So I ordered their freshly made falafel and a marinated wagyu Beef shawarma with homemade garlic paste (to DIE for), wrapped in a toasted pita. One bite of the golf ball sized falafel, and fireworks broke out around me: they are not only HUGE, crispy, and piping hot—they are the BEST falafel I have ever tasted. Go there!

Sit on plastic chairs in the parking lot, and go at off hours because the line can wrap around the block. I asked Brian, one of the Chaldean chef/owners, about the fresh herbs and spices in the falafel: ”It’s a secret!” Bien sûr. They come in a box of 6—and a doggie bag.  (http://www.theshawarmaguys.com/menu)

3012 Grape St, SD
619-857-7373

While you are waiting (a solicitous server will put you on a list and phone you when your name comes up) go across the street to a darling florist/gift shop called Native Poppy (www.nativepoppy.com)

Would you believe the Pope approves of A Biblical Feast?!! Photo taken at the Mission San Luis Rey (Oceanside, CA) gift store:

Kitty in the media:
Crown City magazine, a magazine in Coronado, CA.
Televents of Coronado, first cable TV station in San Diego, was the start of my “brilliant” career!  Read about my reminiscences as a young Navy wife!
(https://issuu.com/crowncitymagazine/docs/ccm_jan2020_150dpi)
pp.46-49

Book club visit booked through Novelnetwork.com:
Thank you Carey fort he lovely welcome from your book club.

Wine Dine and Travel online magazine:
I am now a staff writer at Wine Dine and Travel online travel magazine (www.winedineandtravel.com)
You might enjoy my article on Barcelona’s incredible food:
La Boqueria, Barcelona’s binge-inducing public market
http://online.anyflip.com/dmdy/tzrk/mobile/index.html#p=105

Head spins! What to sample? That is La Boqueria–

As a docent at the CA Center for the Arts in Escondido (CA) I invite you once again to call ahead and request a docent for your private tour. (760) 839-4149.  The present exhibit features artists bringing awareness to our environment. Endangered: Exploring California’s Changing Ecosystems and Finding Heaven in Hellhole Canyon open from Saturday, January 11th through March 8th, 2020. This exhibition focuses on artworks that address the wonder and destruction of local flora and fauna throughout California. An interactive and educational contemporary art exhibition, Endangered, brings greater awareness to the current environmental issues in California. Finding Heaven in Hellhole Canyon (Valley Center) includes the work of 14 local artists advocating for the preservation and enjoyment of California’s natural environment.

FYI: The art scene in Los Angeles:
https://hyperallergic.com/537435/a-map-and-guide-to-art-spaces-across-los-angeles/

Donnez moi des idées !
Je pense à un nouveau livre de cuisine basé sur des recettes familiales. Je me dirige vers la Champagne, pays où est née ma mère, au moi de mai prochain. Pouvez-vous me suggérer des plats traditionnels champenois, et surtout des endroits à ne pas manquer à Châlons en Champagne et dans les environs ?

LINKS OF INTEREST :
NEW! A First in Morocco and North Africa, a public TV channel, à la PBS—
The reason: le “piratage”. There was no way to protect the contents from hackers. Thus, the content is now free for everyone. Brilliant!
https://www.telerama.fr/television/le-documentaire-de-creation-en-premiere-partie-de-soiree-sur-la-chaine-marocaine-2m,n6566806.php

Vive les idées géniales des français :
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/france-passes-landmark-law-to-stop-unsold-goods-being-thrown-away?CMP=share_btn_link

A novel idea to fight hunger à la française.
Les français combattent la faim :
https://www.ozy.com/good-sht/how-french-restaurants-are-feeding-their-neighborhood-for-free/96499/\

et en Amérique, sur beaucoup de campus, les étudiants n’ont ni assez à manger, ni où se loger : CHOQUANT :
One of America’s most serious housing crises isn’t where you would expect it. https://www.ozy.com/the-new-and-the-next/universities-combat-their-next-crisis-homelessness-on-campus/253173/

Tunisie, où les dates manquent d’eau :
I spent a good while in Tunisia, first to study Arabic at the Bourguiba School, and then to research my book, The Vegetarian Table: North Africa (Chronicle, 1998). Climate change? Of course not says our government. . .
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jan/14/the-dates-are-drying-profits-shrivel-for-farmers-as-the-heat-rises-in-tunisia

And from Australia:
I could hardly bear to watch the pictures of Oz burning and magical Kangaroo Island too:
I have visited this extraordinary continent on 3 occasions, twice to participate in food related events. Australians know how to throw a party, and their cuisine is unlike any other thanks to the strong Asian influence. I was fortunate to meet many of Oz’s best-known food tv personalities at the time, including Margaret Fulton, Australia’s counterpart to our Julia Child. Maggie was the one who introduced French cooking to her fellow Australians.

https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/news/the-cookbooks-that-changed-how-australia-cooks-20191129-h1k1ci?nps

PS: Thank you to all those who have taken the time to write a review on the Amazon.com page for Mint Tea and Minarets.

Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued a une page Facebook. Pouvez-vous la « like » ???
Et, si le coeur vous en dit, vous pouvez telecharger Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued sur amazon.com (et non pas Amazon,.FR). et ecrire quelques mots au bas de la page.
Merci.
https://www.facebook.com/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued-110970043646415
Si vous avez une liste de correspondants e-mail, vous pouvez leur envoyer le communique de presse pour Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued ou le lien sur la page Facebook..
https://www.amazon.com/Riad-Bord-lOued-souvenirs-saveurs-ebook/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
Every little bit helps.

Merci infiniment,

As always

Bismillah
And
Bon Appétit

 

sent to me by a reader of these Chronicles! Isn’t this a lovely sight? Spring is around the corner in Oakland CA..

The last Kasbah Chronicles of the decade: CUBA-December 2019 (a little late)

The Kasbah Chronicles (short version)
Entering its 12th year
Entre dans sa douzième année
the last one of the DECADE
MAY YOU LIVE THE NEXT TEN YEARS IN PEACE AND GOOD HEALTH
QUE LES DIX PROCHAINES ANNEES VOUS APPORTENT PAIX ET BONNE SANTE

Mieux vaut tard que jamais
Better late than never

Thank you for still reading my musings after all these years.
So much to do and see! So little time!

IN CUBA
You can RENT A FANTASIA
 
With or without a cigar!

Cookin’ in Havana in a great Italian restaurant. Pizza sampling! The crust is so thin and crispy as to resemble a crackers. These guys know pizza!

 

 with new friends. Hola amigos!

Why do I keep writing The Kasbah Chronicles?

What started as a press release has turned into a selfish pleasure: writing
I love to share information on food and travel and whatever else catches my fancy.
So, I thank you for your feedback: my favorite part!

Pourquoi continuer à publier The Kasbah Chronicles?
Ce qui a commencé comme communiqué de presse s’est mué en plaisir égoiste : écrire. Je suis une accro de cuisine et de voyages et j’aime partager mes découvertes. Donc, chers lecteurs, je vous remercie de m’encourager à continuer.

For that and more, I am fortunate and thankful:
What a year for me: Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, playing at being an astronaut; co-leading a tour to Morocco for Adventures by the Book and taking a memorable dromedary ride at my favorite destination, the Moroccan Sahara; binging on tapas at Barcelona’s famed La Boqueria public market; downing oysters and drinking cava (champagne) at an oyster farm in the middle of the Bay of l’Ampolla (Catalonia); exploring California’s Highway 395 gateway to Death Valley in the Eastern Sierras (now under several feet of snow).
 

2019 fut une année mémorable:

-Jouer à l’astronaute au Space Camp à Huntsville, Alabama (où s’entrainent les vrais astronautes)

-Accompagner un voyage au Maroc, avec randonnée à dos de chameau dans les dunes de Merzouga
-Me farcir de tapas au marché de La Boqueria à Barcelone
-Manger des huitres et boire du cava (champagne) dans le parc à huitres de l’Ampolla
-Explorer la route historique en Californie, la route 395 qui mène à la Vallée de la Mort

 
And in December 2019:  to cap it all off:
Et en décembre: CUBA

My latest adventure took me to CUBA. My travel companion was my friend Susan McBeth, founder of Adventures by the Book. (https://adventuresbythebook.com/events)   

Biggest surprise: US citizens can go to Cuba as individual travelers.It’s the US’s best kept secret: We purchased our Cuban visas at JFK’s Jet Blue counter, along with our boarding pass and flew to Havana on Jetblue. Carlos (more on our trip in the next issue) “driver/guide” par excellence, was waiting for us at the airport in Havana. All thanks to Karin of Espiritutravel.com

Cooking class in Trinidad: our instructor:

and of course, more sampling

yucca, plantains, ropa vieja and more Cuban classics. Too much food!

To cap it all: A day on an eco farm- member of SLOW FOOD…They make award winning own salami and cheese.

Mon dernier voyage, voici quelques semaines, m’a menée à CUBA—île interdite (soit disant) aux citoyens des Etats-Unis. Surprise : une amie et moi avons simplement obtenu nos visas au comptoir de Jet Blue à l’aéroport de Kennedy, avec nos cartes d’embarquement. Et Carlos, notre guide cubain par excellence, nous attendait à La Havane. Je donnerai plus de détails dans les prochaines Chroniques.

 No, I don’t smoke, but I just had to roll my own cigar! A hoot!

 

Cubans are eager to meet Americans—The embargo has practically put an end to tourism from the United States (though the island is very popular with Europeans and Canadians). Imagine: just 90 miles off the coast of Florida.
 Street Food: CUBANO with shredded roasted pork..

Trinidad, Cuba, museum entrance
Cette porte me rappelle la porte d’entrée de Dar Zitoun, notre riad au Maroc
This blue door with Moorish influence reminds me of our front door at Dar Zitoun
 
AND MORE OUTSTANDING NEWS:
Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued, primé
Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued is an award-winner

What a lovely surprise to wake up to this e-mail on December 1, 2019
From M. Edouard Cointreau, founder, World Cookbook Awards:

“Le riad au bord de l´oued  is the Winner for Morocco in the Gourmand World Awards in the category “Translation” .

Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued est gagnant en traduction (MAROC) du Gourmand World Awards, établi par M. Edouard Cointreau.

“You now qualify to compete for Best in the World 2020  with winners from other countries in the same category. This year a total of 225 countries participated in the competition. You can see  the complete list of winners 2020 on www.cookbookfair.com

The following link will give you a General Presentation of the Gourmand Awards, including our Gourmand World Summit 2019 at UNESCO, the International Village of Gastronomy in front of the Eiffel Tower.” (Parisiens, vous pourrez vous rendre au Village de la Gastronomie devant la Tour Eiffel, l’été prochain,

En attendant: Merci d’écrire un commentaire sur la page  Amazon.com ou sur Facebook
Thank you for writing a review on Amazon.com:
Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued available as an ebook on Amazon.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Le+Riad+au+bord+de+
for a 40 page preview . Vous pourrez lire un extrait de 40 pages.
 
Please like Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued on its facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued
Visitez ma page facebook pour Le Riad. Cliquez LIKE!

Et si le coeur vous en dit:
Dar Zitoun Riad: notre riad à Azemmour est toujours à vendre
Our riad for sale in Azemmour. Please continue to help me spread the word.
Merci!
 Si vous avez une petite minute, allez voir le site sur Facebook et faites suivre,….
  https://www.facebook.com/Dar-Zitoun-Riad-571764203267186
 Merci à tous

Bonne Année
Bonne Santé
 
Bismillah
And
Bon Appétit !

Le Riad au Bord de l’oued: winner (translation) Gourmand World awards

What a lovely surprise to wake up to this message on December 1, 2019

Le riad au bord de l´oued  is the Winner for Morocco in the Gourmand World Awards in the category B12 Translation .

You now qualify to compete for Best in the World 2020  with winners from other countries in the same category. This year a total of 225 countries participated in the competition. You can see  the complete list of winners 2020 on www.cookbookfair.com

The following link will give you a General Presentation of the Gourmand Awards, including our Gourmand World Summit 2019 at UNESCO, the International Village of Gastronomy in front of the Eiffel Tower, and the  awards ceremony in Macao. last  July

https://www.cookbookfair.com/images/pdf/Gourmand_Awards_General_Presentation_2019_11.pdf

Your book will be in the events next year. . .”
Congratulations and best wishes for 2020

Edouard Cointreau
President

Onwards!

Please like the Facebook page or the Amazon.com listing. Every little thumbs up helps, I am told!

https://www.facebook.com/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued-110970043646415

Visit Le Riad page on this website.

Merci!