Tag Archives: kasbah

The Kasbah Chronicles: Sept/Oct 2018: My Next tour to Morocco

BIG NEWS!! JOIN ME IN MOROCCO
After a twelve-year hiatus
I will  go “home again” and join forces with
ADVENTURES BY THE BOOK

Adventures by the Book is pleased to invite you to join us on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to experience the culture and cuisine of Morocco with world-renowned chef and author Kitty Morse!

Coming out of retirement after 12 years, Kitty has graciously offered to escort us on an Adventure to her breathtaking country of birth for perhaps the very last time. For 10 days and 9 nights, we will visit 7 different cities on excursions such as a winery lunch, camping in the Sahara under the stars, a camel ride, visiting local markets, a special tea at Kitty’s family’s riad, and so much more!

We aim to provide intimate and unique Adventures, so this trip is limited in size, and we expect it to sell out quickly! To learn more, or to download a Registration Agreement and reserve your space on this amazing trip, visit OUR WEBSITE
http://adventuresbythebook.com

We’ll see you in Morocco, Adventurers! 

Adventures by the Book 

[P.O. Box 421472, San Diego, CA 92142]

 [(619) 300-2532]

MUSINGS:
In my backyard
OH! NO! FIGS AGAIN!

Catalina Island Rediscovered
Merci, Mr. Wrigley

Overheard
At the beach

San Diego Book Fair
Lobster Taco=WOW!

Vive le bilinguisme :
Pourriel?? (YOU MUST read the explanation)

From Morocco and beyond

Kitty in the media:
Paella a la Californiana

California Center for the Arts: New Show!

MUSINGS:
Figs again . . .

Many of you have followed the saga of my fig tree over the last two years. It became so prolific, and so heavy we had to chop it down. But we made cuttings. Now, they are reaching for the heavens. This summer, they produced just enough figs to share with birds, rabbits, and possums…but not enough to make jam or chutney. I’ll wait. LONG YELLOW figs developed specifically for our San Diego County micro-climate, are still the best I have ever tasted.

Kitty 2 for 2
The blue jay got there first!

Once the handful of figs harvested, we headed out of town for a return trip to Catalina Island off the coast of Long Beach (CA). I have written about Mr. Wrigley’s utopia before. Each time I set foot in Avalon, I am struck by the chewing gum magnate’s vision: He conceived the island as a holiday destination for everyman, nurturing the environment and excluding cars. The anchor remains its extraordinary art deco Casino, still the principal attraction.
Since we had explored Avalon on previous occasions, we decided to take a boat ride to Two Harbors, a diminutive beach nestled on a sandy crescent 50 mn up the coast. I can’t recommend this boat ride highly enough, especially on a sunny day. Two Harbors is also the narrowest point on the island, and you can walk from one side to another in about 20 minutes. We faced a small flotilla of sailboats bobbing in the emerald water during lunch on the beach, in an atmosphere reminiscent of a Mediterranean hideaway.

I announced the San Diego Book Fair in my last Chronicles. This is an event well-worth attending with dozens of authors from San Diego and beyond, and a wide-ranging children’s book section. Adventures by the Book (tour to Morocco organizer!)and Novel Network, my hosts for the event, had secured a prime spot at Liberty Station.

Kitty with Selina of ABTB
Shamefully, I had never set foot at this San Diego landmark located on the grounds of an old military base. No wonder Old Town San Diego has fallen into the doldrums. Its “authentic” depiction of the first settlement in the state is dusty and somewhat drab. Liberty Station, on the other hand, vibrates with activity, houses a couple of museums (New Immigrants Museum and a Museum of Comedy, I think?)..dance studios, stores, restaurants, and vast expanses of lawn for picnics and other events. A fun place in spite of planes landing and leaving Lindbergh Field. https://libertystation.com/directory/all
My main goal after signing a few books was to look for the FOOD! And the Liberty Public Market offered something for every palate: Lobster tacos anyone? https://libertystation.com/go/liberty-public-market.


Kitty in the media:
Coronado, CA (another utopia!) the “island” in the middle of San Diego Bay,  now ranks its own  Crown City Magazine. See Paella Perfection
https://www.crowncitymagazine.com/
and my recipe for Paella Californiana
(It works!)

Overheard at Carlsbad beach:
Two, fifty something women, walking and chatting:
I need to find a different way to express my love. . . . I guess!”

on the beach walk

Overheard in Avalon:
9AM.. group of 10 20-something men and women in tight fitting sports gear.
“Yeah. We just didthe Alps!”

New show at California Center for the Arts in Escondido (CA)
Call ahead for a docent-led tour.
DesEscondido/No Longer Hidden: Public Address Art Exhibition
September 29 – November 18, 2018
artcenter.org

LE FRANCAIS A l’HONNEUR : FRENCH IS IN!

Vive le bilinguisme :
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-boom-in-dual-language-classes-in-new-york-2-3-demand-is-high-enough-to-open-50-more-schools/?

word: https://www.hopper.com/fr/corp/about.html

Who says French is moribund?
What is POURRIEL ?  C’est pas joli ca ?
Let me break the word down for English speakers:
Courriel=e-mail
Pourri= rotten
Pourriel= rotten emails (I surmise?) = SPAM !!!!!!!!!!
And you can reserve your plane ticket while doing so!
https://www.hopper.com/fr/corp/about.html

De Marrakech à l’ONU, la quête d’empowerment de trois jeunes Marocains

News from Morocco:
A new museum in Marrakech dedicated to WATER
https://lepetitjournal.com/rabat/lun-des-joyaux-de-marrakech-le-musee-pour-la-civilisation-de-leau-240269

Moroccans and water conservation:
https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-03-29/these-moroccans-are-turning-foggy-days-solution-their-water-crisis

A TECH CAMP FOR GIRLS!
PRI’s The World: Morocco and women’s career dreams
https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-09-11/these-girls-morocco-tech-camp-presents-rare-opportunity-pursue-their-career?

For these girls in Morocco, a tech camp presents a rare opportunity to pursue their career dreams

PRACTICE FRENCH IN THE US:
Practice your French in Louisiana : On parle français en Louisiane
https://france-amerique.com/en/louisianas-application-to-la-francophonie-to-be-determined-in-october/

Brush up on your provençal:
https://lepetitjournal.com/culture/labecedaire-des-expressions-provencales-225937

Provence: Les Romanichels (gypsies)
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/world/europe/catalan-gypsies-perpignan-france.html

Book news:
Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories
Ebook out soon on Amazon.com
NEXT:
Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued (French version)

Comme toujours,  as always:

Bismillah
and Bon Appétit!

The Kasbah Chronicles July 2018: More Vietnam and more Morocco!

 

June and July 2018
LA VACHE QUI RIT IS EVERYWHERE!

A Vietnamese snack…

MUSINGS
. . . more Vietnam adventures
When in Hue, head for Han’s
You missed a good one: Book Club Bingo and Novel Network
California Center for the Arts: Watercolor Show
Got art? Need frames?
Very, very cool: radio stations around the world
Cookbook collectors: get organized
Talks and presentations
Lots of interesting links en français
and in English
Tipping remains a mystery? Here’s help.

Matisha thrives!


Spanish Potato Tortilla..with tomatoes

Musings:

As I write, the 12 young soccer players and their coach have been extricated from that ghastly Thai cave. Thank Goodness the divers succeeded. The far away drama took our minds of dramatic political events closer to home. And then the peripatetic Anthony Bourdain decided to take his own life. I don’t know about you, but my brain is exhausted. What else is there to do but carry on!

Last month,  I left you in Hanoi.. Today, let me take you to Hue:

This former Imperial City and now a World Heritage Site, lies midway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon.) Its imposing Chinese Citadel suffered major damage during the “American War” and is undergoing extensive Unesco-funded restoration. Less known to the outside world, is that Hue is renowned for its cuisine. When in Hue, head for Han’s and sit down among the locals for a memorable lunch:

Then take part in Being like a farmer at Eco Garden. We began with a leisurely bicycle ride among orchards of pumelos and rice paddies of Thyu Bieu village a few miles outside of town.

After our bike escapade, we donned the outfits of a Vietnamese farmer, complete with brown baggy pants, loose shirt, and coolie hat, before trying our hands at milling rice. I tried in vain to manipulate the grindstone and sift the rice meal. . . not possible. Before long, we were hard at work digging for sweet potatoes along the banks of the Perfume River. Later, we savored the fruits of our labor at dinner served under a thatched-roof hut and a cacophony of cicadas.

The next morning a mini cruise on the Perfume River was capped with a cooking class at the Hue EcoLodge.

Clad in EcoLodge aprons, and inspired by the scent of grilling pork kabobs marinated in lemongrass and stir-fried green beans fresh from the lodge’s garden plots, we followed the instructions of our young instructor. As I bit into a warm bite of the sweet potato we had just dug up, it occurred to me that the Hue Ecolodge may be riding the crest of a new food trend: Farm-to-Chopsticks

 Suite au prochain numéro (next time): low-key, historic Hoi An..

I came across this site par hasard earlier a few weeks ago. In case you missed their review of Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories, a couple of years ago, here it is. FYI: Alimentum is one of the best sites for food literature on the web. Thank you Alimentum

http://www.alimentumjournal.com/review-of-mint-tea-minarets-b/#.Wxfu04plCfA

Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories

“… But if you don’t cook Moroccan at home, are not near a Moroccan restaurant, and are nowhere near Morocco, you can still smell the aromas, feel the air and atmosphere, hear the languages of both Arabic and French, by opening a book: Kitty Morse’s Mint Tea and Minarets.

Ms. Morse was born in Casablanca and spent her growing-up years there. Her father was English, her mother French. So her perspective straddles both Western and North African customs. Her newest book (she’s written many) is an exotic yet personal memoir festooned with spectacular recipes.

Ms. Morse journeys back to her family’s home just outside Casablanca. She has a mission: to sprinkle her father’s ashes in the river near Dar Zitoun (the name of her family home) and to transfer the title of the property from her father to herself. Both activities come with a full set of red tape that puts Ms. Morse through an obstacle course filled with cultural antiquity and modern day greed. The true colors and characters of Morocco emerge. This is at once familiar, frustrating, and endearing to Ms. Morse. Her endeavors bring her back in contact with a large part of her identity—a part she treasures and needs. The longer she stays, the more she is drawn back into this unique lifestyle. And its food. ..”

New this month: My editor and I are hard at work turning Mint Tea and Minarets into an eBook downloadable on Kindle and all other platforms. I am very excited since I only have 120 hard copies left.. with no thought of reprint. .

Stay tuned! Use your KINDLE!
Kitty in the media:

Seasonal Pantry: How to make a Middle Eastern feast

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

This one is inspired by a recipe in “Cooking At the Kasbah: Recipes From My Moroccan Kitchen” by Kitty Morse (Chronicle Books, 1998, $22.95). NOW IN ITSTENTH PRINTING!

Kitty’s next presentation:

I love our local libraries. They serve as community centers for all age groups rather than as just a depository for books. And librarians are models of patience. Last week, I was invited by the Poway Public library. Thank you for the lovely welcome!

On July 25th, at 1PM, catch me at the San Marcos Public library for a talk (and food samplings) on Mint Tea and Minarets. It’s fun, educational, and air conditioned! And need I add, FREE of charge!

For information:

2 Civic Center Drive

San Marcos, CA 92069

(760) 891-3000

New art exhibit in Escondido:

The California Center for the Arts in Escondido (I am a docent there, book a private tour!)is holding its upcoming exhibition beginning July 14 to August 26th.

The American Watercolor Society 151st Traveling exhibition and local color.http://artcenter.org/museum/

Amis français, le saviez-vous:

French school named for North County D-Day veteran

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/columnists/logan-jenkins/sd-me-jenkins-france-20180601-story.html

“…. une école a mon nom. . . ..from our own North San Diego County….who knew??

Book clubs: Have you checked out Novel Network? In the last Chronicles, I announced that I participated, along with 22 other writers, in Book Club Bingo, an event organized by the newly formed Novel Network and Adventures by the Book. You missed a good one! Close to 100 participants gathered on the top floor of San Diego’s architectural wonder, our Central Library, for a day of seminars, meet and greets with authors, a luscious box lunch, and networking galore. This is the brilliant concept: Book clubs register for free on the Novel Network website, look for an author (now at 45 and increasing) and book their favorite. Voila… I can also conduct SKYPE interviews no matter where your club meets!    Ever thought of writing a family cookbook? I can help you with that too!


Got Art? Need frames?

Just to let you know we have a wonderful frame shop right here, in Vista. The gifted Gina of Art and Frame Studio, 610 E. Vista Way (760)806-7777 (same parking lot as Chin’s restaurant) carries a wide assortment of frames. She just reframed a half-dozen pictures for me, and I am thrilled.

Links of interest about Morocco and elsewhere:

An addictive site: Live music streaming from stations around the world

http://radio.garden/live/vancouver and elsewhere

For a laugh and an education! Accents around the world

https://localingual.com/?ISO=FR

Cookbook collectors may find this of interest: Organize your collection. . .  I have always wondered how to do that…

https://www.aspentimes.com/news/weekly/modern-familycookbook-collections-get-user-friendly-thanks-to-tech
 
CELL PHONES IN CLASSROOMS? What do you think?? Teachers, especially?
 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/07/french-school-students-to-be-banned-from-using-mobile-phones?CMP=share_btn_link

The Beat Generation in Tangier:

Vous les connaissez ces messieurs-dames?

Sooooo condescending from my point of view. Didn’t they have anything better to do, surrounded by maids, cooks, drivers, and who knows what other kind of help, but smoke, drink, get high, and criticize the “natives”? Is that what makes a literary icon?

https://lepetitjournal.com/casablanca/le-saviez-vous-quand-tanger-accueillait-la-beat-generation-231531

Les courses automobiles à Casa dans les années 50,

When I was growing up in Casablanca, my father helped organize car races. Remember Sterling Moss? I recall the cars roaring along the Corniche and meeting the famed racer: who does these days?

https://lepetitjournal.com/casablanca/le-saviez-vous-quand-le-maroc-organisait-son-grand-prix-de-formule-1-231372

 Zagora, in the Moroccan Sahara. We hunted far and low for medfouna (meaning: hidden) which I managed to track down (this was in 1970), and adapt for my first cookbook, Come with me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s tour of Morocco. Sort of a cross between stuffed pizza and calzone. . .

http://www.bbc.com/travel/gallery/20180122-madfouna-moroccos-surprising-take-on-pizza

IS the US a visa free country?

https://www.passportindex.org/?country=us

Incroyable mais vrai? Et honteux….And I thought being bilingual was an advantage:

https://www.theguardian.com/us/news/2018/may/22/speaking-spanish-dangerous-america-aaron-schlossberg-ice?

France: Dommage, les bons petits bistros disparaissent. . .

Les petits bistros de quartier disparaissent : https://france-amerique.com/fr/parisian-bistros-appeal-for-unesco-world-heritage-status/?

Meanwhile in Tunisia, where I spent many weeks researching recipes for my book,The Vegetarian Table: North Africa (Chronicle Books)

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2018/may/02/return-to-tunis-why-now-is-the-time-to-visit-this-historic-city? (Actually, Tunis looks much like Casablanca, a treasure trove of Moorish Art deco architecture. Sidi Bou Said, on the sea, is charming! It is VERY VERY hot in Tunis in the summer)

And in 2016, Tunisia ranked 62nd on the Global Entrepreneurship Index. Today it ranks 40th worldwide and is No. 1 in Africa for entrepreneurs.

https://www.ozy.com/acumen/the-unlikely-hotbed-for-african-entrepreneurs/86977

Bravo to Khaled Bouchoucha who started his career working on planes – now he’s running a startup that optimizes the health of hives. https://www.ozy.com/rising-stars/the-data-engineer-on-a-mission-to-save-tunisias-bees/87037

 Confused about tipping? I am. Here is a possible guide.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-confusing-tipping-situations_us

Has anyone cooked with this? I haven’t tried it yet. I have to laugh though: you have to purchase most ingredients to take advantage of the barley inside the packet?





To keep you cool, a Vietnamese drink!

Bismillah
and Bon appétit.

Kitty