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 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 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. You will find the Save the Date for our events 2020 in the attached documents, as well as information for the Winners certificate and stickers.
Congratulations and best wishes for 2020.”

Edouard Cointreau
President

 

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!

 

The Kasbah Chronicles: November 2019: Musings on Le Riad au Bord de ‘lOued on Amazon.com, Tapas, and Manzanar

MUSINGS

Enfin! Version française. . .
Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued
en livre electronique sur Amazon.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Le+Riad+au+bord+de+
Lisez 40 pages

Visitez ma page Facebook pour en lire un extrait
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued
ou

in English
https://www.amazon.com/Mint-Tea-Minarets-Moroccan-Memories
How I met Jacques Chirac
J’ai rencontré M. Chirac aux J.O. de Los Angeles

Barcelona’s tapas heaven La Boqueria
L’Ampolla’s oysters…
Les huîtres de l’Ampolla.. à déguster

California’s Historic highway 395
US395: Route historique de Californie
Manzanar Japanese Relocation Camp

A new neighbor: A Family Farm
Nouveaux voisins: une ferme…

Les touristes francais sont partout!
Un bistro français sur la route de Death Valley

News of Morocco and beyond
Links of interest in English and en français:

Homage à Jacques Chirac:
https://france-amerique.com/fr/on-the-road-to-the-elysee-jacques-chirac-in-america/?ct=t(France-Amerique-newsletter-28-june-2018_COPY_01)

I got to shake the hand of this noted head of state during the summer of 1984 when I was hired as an interpreter/escort for the French Olympic team at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I was fortunate to work for the French Olympic Committee in the Olympic Village at USC. That glimpse into the world of athletics made me appreciate the dedication of young men and women from all over the world, whose sole goal was to stand on the podium and represent their country. . As a thank you for my help, the French team allowed me to march in the closing ceremonies, and provided me with the  French Olympic Uniform. What a thrill! When the flying saucer bearing Lionel Ritchie landed a few feet from where I stood, I was already on another planet with excitement! His hit “All Night Long” rang out over the stadium and into the night as we danced around the “flying saucer.”

J’ai rencontré M. Chirac aux J.O. de Los Angeles en 1984 quand il est venu saluer les athlètes français Je leur servais d’interprète. Ils m’ont invitée à participer à la cérémonie de clôture…mémorable.. lorsque qu’une soucoupe volante a atteri devant nous, avec, comme “pilote” Lionel Ritchie qui chantait “All Night Long.”  Avec tous les J.O., il se passe un festival artistique international. J’ai eu la chance de travailler avec Ariane Mnouchkine du Théatre du Soleil qui donnait une de ses premières représentations aux Etats Unis..Nous avons parcouru tout Los Angeles pour trouver des kilomètres de soie naturelle pour leur toile de fond. J’ai hérité de bouteilles de vin olympique.

Few realize that along with the Olympic games comes a gathering of artists, actors, musicians, from around the globe. In 1984, that meant more than 400 performances by 145 theater, dance and music companies, representing every continent and 18 countries. That year I discovered the  Theatre du Soleil, a French kabuki theater company who needed hundreds of yards of pure silk for their backdrop. The French team left me with cases of their very own Olympic wine (they were the only ones to bring their own crémant label (champagne). I still have stacks of stationery bearing the COQ SPORTIF logo!

After escorting members of the media around LA, and watching them at “work”, I decided to pursue writing as a career. 1984 was a turning point.
Apres avoir servi d’interprète aux membres de la presse internationale, j’ai décidé de me lancer dans le journalisme. Et voilà comment tout a commencé pour moi.

Speaking of the Olympics, I have a collection of French pins, all bearing the COQ SPORTIF logo.
Does anyone know of a collector interested in French Olympic pins?.
E-Mail me for details if you are interested.

Je voudrais vendre des pins olympiques français qui datent de 1984. Connaitriez-vous un collectionneur?
Deux examples. J’en ai plus…

 

Barcelona (suite et fin): La Boqueria
Heavenly tapas; paradis des tapas

 

I spent 2 delicious days in Barcelona on my way back from Morocco last May.
NO wonder the city is one of the most visited in the world.  And the food! … Be forewarned upon entering La Boqueria, Barcelona’s binge-inducing public market: Go hungry, zip up your pockets, and hang on to your iPhone. In spite of the masses of people, La Boqueria proved to be a highlight of my brief visit. The entrance to this city landmark is just off Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s renowned tree-shaded pedestrian thoroughfare. Smoothies, chocolate covered strawberries, jamon serrano, Manchego cheese, fried calamari, and tapas galore… need I say more?

Can you smell the garlic?

I was headed to l’Ampolla, two hours to the south,  to visit a friend of mine. (Les vacanciers français connaissent bien l’Ampolla) I couldn’t even find mention of this diminutive Catalonian beach town in guidebooks. Immediately after landing, I took a taxi to Barcelona’s main train station, to hop on the train to Tarragona, as advised: “You will see the stops listed on the overhead electronic billboard,” said the ticket vendor…Really? After 2 or 3 stations, I realized the electronic loop was stuck: the same station came up time and again! So, fellow travelers were kind enough to tell me when I should get off. Ah! The delights of Spanish trains… memorize your itinerary and your stop beforehand.

L’Ampolla:

So tiny is the town that it merits barely a 3 mn stop on the train (to Tarragona). (Attention, à l’Ampolla, le train ne s’arrête que 3 minutes. Pas de taxis ni de bus) No taxis, no buses, but a lovely waterfront. It is also the gateway to the Rio Ebre estuary, home to pink  flamingoes and famous OYSTERBEDS: Les parcs à huitres de l’Ampolla sont connus de toute l’Europe, et surtout, des français. L’Ampolla is Catalan for ”cruet” and so, my friend and I headed for the far reaches of the “cruet” to the oyster and mussel farm of Mirador de la badia
( http://miradorbadia.com) at the mouth of the Rio Ebre. Here, the mingling of waters from the Rio EBRO (in Spanish) and the warm Mediterranean create the mellow environment for l’Ampolla’s claim to fame. The shellfish’s mild flavor derives from the unique combination of salt water with the nutrient-rich fresh waters of the river.


Heaven= freshly shucked oysters and a LITER of cava (Spanish champagne)

This is also home to one of Spain’s largest rice growing regions (L’embouchure du Rio Ebre est aussi le pays des rizières) where paddies attract flocks of migrating PINK FLAMINGOES on their way to Africa: Bird Watchers, take note!

CLOSER TO HOME:  Une route historique en Californie. La route US 395 longe le côté est des sierras (vers Death Valley et Yosemite) avec touristes français en abondance. .

We recently took a drive up highway 395, the historic road that hugs the Eastern sierras (past Mt Whitney, the highest summit of the Sierra Nevada, and the contiguous United States.) I wanted to see Fall foliage, and leaves turning, a rare sight in the southern part of the state. We did find a few gold-colored leaves, but more exciting was discovering the historic sites along the way: from the ghost town of Randsburg (Ville fantôme extra) east of Los Angeles, to Ridgecrest, home to the famed China Lake military base and the Maturango Museum (https://maturango.org/ ) featuring Coso petroglyphs of the Northern Mojave Desert Tour. Here too, you will find the Death Valley Tourist Center. The most moving national park/museum came a little farther north at Manzanar National Historic Site (https://www.nps.gov/manz/index) , a couple of miles south of Independence. My interest in the site was parked by an exhibit at the California Center for the Arts last year, which commemorated the history of this American tragedy along with exhibits and photographs of Manzanar by Ansel Adams. More than 10,000 internees were summarily ordered to leave Southern California.

From the Manzanar website: “Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps at which Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during World War II.” Located at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada in eastern California’s Owens Valley, Manzanar has been identified as the best preserved of these camps…We elected to explore the park (about 1 square mile) on foot, so

we could step inside reconstructed barracks where families shared a few square feet of living space, view the remnants of an episcopal church and a Buddhist temple, traces of a baseball diamond, and the elaborate Japanese gardens created by internees. The experience was at once soul-enriching and heart-wrenching—an episode of 20th century American history that is often overlooked.

A few miles up the road, we came upon Independence, CA. Mind you, I had never heard of the town until a few weeks ago. Misled by Google maps which labels it as the “entrance” to Mt Whitney National Park, I delved a little further: As the crow flies, Independence is about 15 miles from Mt Whitney.. but, no way can you enter the park from the east. A 5 hour detour will lead you back to the “real” entrance, north of Bakersfield. I had already made a reservation based on TripAdvisor reviews at the historic 1927 vintage, ghost-ridden Winnedumah Hotel that once welcomed the likes of John Wayne and Bing Crosby, directly across from the old courthouse/library where Charles Manson was arraigned.

Built in 1927, the Winnedumah Hotel is under new ownership and management, and undergoing a revitalization while staying true to its origins. We were there at the start of the renovations, and many kinks remain to be worked out with the plumbing, electricity, and structure. But that doesn’t deflect from the lobby filled with authentic 1920s furniture, the period artwork, and the original grand piano. Perhaps the most surprising of all, for me, was that we kept running into French tourists. Go figure. We dined at the ONLY establishment in town, the Still Life Café, an authentic French bistro (www.facebook.com/StillLifeCafe) ½ block away, also French-owned. Another surprise. Indeed, the menu lists such classics as boeuf bourguignon and endives braisées (my favorite), French onion soup (the REAL thing) and other cuisine bourgeoise classics. The owner, Malika, who hails from Algeria and relocated here  from further south on 395, prepares everything to order. And she COOKS wearing A KAFTAN. Too much. Maman, daughter, grandchild, and grand-père all work the tiny dining room. They open when they feel like it so be sure to call ahead. Again, go figure..
Still Life Cafe 

Nos nouveaux voisins:
A new neighbor
: SandnStraw farm, Vista, CA (https://www.sandnstraw.com)

Those who have been following me for a while know of my interest in California agriculture. The California Farm Cookbook is now over 20 years old (YIKES) but my interest in family farms hasn’t waned. So I was thrilled to find a new farm down the street. This delightful venue sells garden fresh produce, and shelters a petting zoo, and homes for Stormy the Pig, goats, ducks, and sheep. For now, SandnStraw is only open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays (Check their website) There is plenty of parking, and even a picnic area.

Have you tasted this? Let me know! I haven’t made the leap!

Kitty is selling: Pls spread the word:

For STAMP COLLECTORS: This seems so archaic—collecting stamps, but I was an avid collector when I was young. These were bought in Morocco: four packets containing eight Moroccan stamps apiece were purchased in Morocco. Each set is under cellophane and holds a combination of out of circulation and contemporary stamps (some cancelled, some not). Dates range from French Protectorate days (1912 to 1956) to contemporary.

Need a gift? I’ll sign and send one of my books!
FREE SHIPPING in the US FOR EDIBLE FLOWERS ($15.95)
and
MINT TEA AND MINARETS: ($27). I only have 50 hard copies left. You can also get it as an eBook on Amazon.com.
Just send me a check or pay via Paypal. I will sign and ship the book in the US only.

Kitty is selling: I have many Moroccan handicrafs for sale. Send me an emakil, amd I will send you photo:
–brass mirrors, kaftans, vintage brass and copper plates, costume jewelry, and much more..

This pair of matching door knockers were made to order for me in Marrakech, Morocco about 30 years ago. FOR A BIG FRONT DOOR.
I thought we would use them for our front door, but my husband decided otherwise.
Very traditional design. Two separate mounts, one for each door knock. All handmade, brass, similar to the ones you see on the doors of the Royal Palace in Fez, and created by local artisans. I have never polished them, but if you do, they will shine like gold.
SOLD AS A PAIR: USD250.00
Height of Knocker: 17”
Diameter of lattice part: 8 ½ “ to 9”
Wall Mount: 7”
Small round attachment to hit:
5 “ in diameter
Brass screw: 5” long
Weight:
About 6 lbs APIECE
I will send via cheapest rate possible, OR a local pick up can be arranged upon request.

 

Voici le lien sur Amazon.com pour Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued. Vous pouvez le télécharger sur votre tablette ou votre ordi.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Le+Riad+au+bord+de+l%27oued&qid=1570749667&s

Si vous avez une petite minute, cochez le “J’aime” sur facebook. Aidez moi à faire de la pub.
Ecrivez un message sur la page Facebook du llivre. https://www.facebook.com/Le-Riad-au-Bord-de-lOued-110970043646415

News of Morocco and beyond:
Paris à bicylcette; cycle around Paris: https://www.ozy.com/acumen/biking-in-paris-is-booming-but-why/227290/?utm_term=OZY&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DD_2019_11_05&utm_content=Final

Morocco travelers! New direct flights to Morocco: Vols directs vers le Maroc à partir de Miami
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/travel/nonstop-flights-africa.html
In spring 2019, Royal Air Maroc offered the first Miami-to-Africa nonstop route in two decades, a direct route from Miami to Casablanca. And by next summer, fliers will be able to go nonstop from Philadelphia to Casablanca, on American Airlines’ new route (Also three times a week, but only 7 1/2 hours). In the American Airlines announcement of the new route, the Casablanca route is intended to link up with Royal Air Maroc, which will be joining the OneWorld alliance in 2020.

Français en Amerique: les immigrants français aux USA
https://france-amerique.com/fr/on-the-trail-of-french-speaking-migrants-in-north-america/

Explication de Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving/Le Jour de Merci Donnant.. pour les francophones..
Art Buchwald’ s classic explanation of Le Jour de Merci Donnant to French speakers:
lhttps://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/27/opinion/IHT-meanwhile-the-dinde-is-dandy-so-lets-give-thanks.html

All that remains is for me to wish you HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Voici le lien sur Amazon.com pour Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued. Vous pouvez le télécharger sur votre tablette ou votre ordi.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YYLJX2K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Le+Riad+au+bord+de+l%27oued&qid=1570749667&s

Kitty