Tag Archives: tagine

The Kasbah Chronicles: October November 2020

These seals at Oceanside Harbor have the right idea: Wake me up when COVID is over…

MUSINGS

The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

In English and en français

Musings

Notes on my next cookbook

A new twist on a Moroccan classic

Links of interest

News of Morocco and beyond

Improve your spoken French!

Moroccan items for sale

Musings:

In this, the ninth month of the COVID pandemic, I am at a loss for words. I cannot complain, since our Vista Kasbah is the best place for me to be sequestered—but boy, am I getting itchy feet. Yet, the idea of getting on an airplane still does not appeal to me.

Actually, the pandemic has served an exciting purpose: I have been hard at work on my next book, Bitter Sweet: legacy from my Alsatian ancestors (working title). Beautiful food photography included too!

I received an email blast from the High Atlas Foundation, a most worthy NGO in Morocco :

https://mailchi.mp/highatlasfoundation/article-reviving-a-monastery-for-community-development?e=4GUbJ49kBE. Unpublished article on Tioumliline by Lamia Radi, Rabat, Morocco.

Toumliline remains a magical name in my mind. Toum as we all called it, was a refuge for Catholic nuns in the Middle Atlas Mountains. It was a popular destination and Catholic retreat for many of my Catholic friends, especially at Easter:

“On part a Toum….” they would announce… each year.

Those among you who accompanied me to Morocco will remember the longest day of the trip as we crossed the Atlas Mountains from Fez to the oasis of Tinehrir. Half way up, Tioum hides among the forest of cedar trees not far from the snow slopes of the Mishliffen. Macaques on the way to Toum…

The very first avocado from our very own tree..

 

Let’s head to the kitchen

 new twist on egg tagine with lox

Morocco meets Brooklyn

(variations in Cooking at the Kasbah, The Vegetarian Table: North Africa and Mint Tea and Minarets.)

do you get the idea I love this egg dish?!!

Egg Tagine with Olives and lox

Serves 4

Make the tomato chermoula sauce ahead of time:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, very finely diced

1 (14¼-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

10 green or purple olives, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

¼ cup minced cilantro

In a tagine or medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, olives, garlic, and bay leaf. Mash lightly with a fork. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes thicken somewhat, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add cilantro.

Adapted from Mint Tea and  Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories.

For ONE person:

One egg, beaten

1 or 2 slices of lox, diced

Pour the egg in a small oiled skillet. Swirl around as for an omelet. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with 2 tablespoons of the chermoula, and diced salmon.

Copyright Kitty Morse 2020

More: The French are crazy about “crumbles” savory or sweet. Who knew that “crumbles” (and biscuits d’Halloween) would make such an impact?

Crumble de courgettes  au Parmesan

Serves 4

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 T bread crumbs (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 4 slices of ham or prosciutto (optional), cut into ribbons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the oil to medium heat in a pan or skillet. Saute the zucchini slices until soft. Drain and set aside.

For the crumble, combine the flour, bread crumbs, parmesan, and salt. Add the softened butter and mix with your fingertips. Alternate layers of zucchini, and ham (if using) in a medium baking dish. Top with the crumble mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

My friend Stephenie Coug

hlin, owner of Seabreeze Farm in Del Mar (CA) a mere 2 or 3 miles from the ocean, grows and delivers her own GORGEOUS produce. Heck her out!

https://csa.farmigo.com/store/seabreezed

News of Morocco, France, and beyond:

Casablanca is undergoing a renewal, and hopefully a getting a good coat of paint. We lived on Avenue Hassan II, across from the park, one the city’s main arteries. This is what our building looked like in the earl 1920s…a beautiful Moorish art deco structure. it needs a new coat of paint in this century. Local casablancais have finally realized what an architectural treasure they have in downtown Casablanca..

https://aujourdhui.ma/culture/un-programme-de-mise-a-niveau-du-centre-ville-historique-de-casablanca-voit-le-jourIl+s’articule+autour+de+quatre+projets+Dans+le+cadre+du+plan+de+sauvegarde+et+de+valorisation+du+patrimoine+de+Casablanca,+la+Société+de+développement+local+Cas :

MOROCCAN ITEMS FOR SALE:
PLEASE VIEW DEDICATED PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE

Bellows, camel leather, copper and wood. ABout 48 years old.. Works fine.

 

All these will appear on my dedicated page.

These lithographs were produced by he same printer who printed my first book, Come with me to the Kasbah. Printer and publishing house are long gone

I am asking USD70 a piece. Shipped in a tube. About 23.5 by 15. 5 inches.

,

The Kasbah Chronicles: AUGUST 2019 (Morocco and more)

AUGUST 2019

The Kasbah Chronicles
Les Chroniques de la Kasbah
en anglais et en français

Now in its tenth year! Dixième année!

Greetings from the oasis of Tinerhir,on Morocco’sKasbah Trail

 

MUSINGS:

Revisiting the Kasbah Trail (cont.)
Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Essaouira and the Oualidia lagoon
Fig tales encore
My LONG YELLOW fig tree grown from a cutting, is bearing fruit!

Kitty in the mediaon A Growing Passionon KPBS
What to make with all those lemons?
Lemon syrup OR limoncello…

Food: Get ready for Mars!
Only in California

 
News of Morocco and beyond

JOIN ME! Become a docent
The California Center for the Arts needs docents and ushers
Profs: Programmez une visite du musée en français

The MOON in literature

Kitty is selling Moroccan artifacts and more

Thank you to those who “LIKED” the Facebook page for Dar Zitoun Riad. View our historic home and keep checking the LIKE button! Spread it around! Merci!!
https://www.facebook.com/Dar-Zitoun-Riad-571764203267186/

And thank you to the ones who have taken the time to write a review of Mint Tea and Minaretson Amazon.com. Every little word helps.
 https://www.amazon.com/Mint-Tea-Minarets-Moroccan-Memories-ebook

The Kasbah Trail (cont.)

I first travelled this mythical trail when I was 7 or 8, when my father, the co-founder of what has become Morocco’s annual national folklore festival, combed the Atlas Mountains to invite Berber tribal leaders to perform on the Marrakech stage. The task took much persuasion on his part, but the fact that this English expat spoke bad French and hardly any Arabic may have played in his favor. Just another “eccentric” Englishman! And the folklore festival, now an annual event, lives on! In my last Chronicles I described our excursion to the sand dunes of Merzouga on camel back—memorable.

From Erfoud, the northernmost oasis on the trail, a narrow, two-lane road winds past dozens of fortified Berber villages, called ksour, nestled among the oases of the Dadès Valley. The Kasbah of Tinerhir, featured in such films as The Wind and the Lionand The Jewel of the Nileguards the entrance to the imposing Todra Gorges. Past the market town of Boumalne, at El Kaala des Mgouna, Damascene roses grow in profusion, and women-owned co-ops have revitalized the region thanks to the manufacture of rose-infused beauty products. Fabled Ouarzazate, once home to the French Foreign legion, has gone “Bollywood”. Golf (yes!) aficionados play on verdant desert courses (yes, and what about the water table?) and foreign film crews locate an iconic background. The Berbère Palace Hotel and its manicured grounds provide a refuge from achergui(or sirocco, hot wind), as does its vast swimming pool. Much of the lobby’s decor comes from left-over movie sets at the local Atlas movie studios.

The drive across the High Atlas mountains is always exciting—the road is quite narrow at times, and hairpin curves might make your hair stand on end (on one memorable childhood trip our car’s brakes failed, and my father rode the clutch all the way down the highest mountain in North Africa ). Stop for a selfie at the Tizi n’Tichka pass(Col du Tichka in French) at an elevation of 7,410 ft, with the mountain panorama as a backdrop. Or indulge in a freshly grilled brochette or two such as these (don’t forget to dip them in ground cumin!}

  (recipe below)

A spine tingling ride down the mountain culminates at La Ville Rose, the Pink City, Marrakech, no over a million strong. My perspective on this once glorious town has dramatically changed. The city has turned into a destination for the jet set, with all that entails: expensive lodgings, expensive food, peak traffic times leading to complete gridlock, and overrated restaurants and stores. In the rapidly dwindling palm grove, palm trees are getting scarcer as multi-million dollar holiday homes take their place. I admit, I am biased: I used to go to Marrakech as a 7-year old, and help my mother gather the Seville oranges that fell from the trees lining the streets so she could make REAL English marmalade. That Marrakech is no more—even the Jardins Majorelle –a botanic garden created in the last century by one of Morocco’s most notable painters, were taken over by Yves St Laurent.


Did you know that this iconic blue, in French called Bleu Majorelle, was first concocted by Jacques Majorelle himself?
Yves St Laurent boutique

Leave Marrakech behind to head for the Atlantic and Essaouira, a tourist destination that works hard at maintaining its soul. The town  attained its worldwide reputation as an art colony thanks to André Azoulay, an Essaouira native and once an advisor to the King. Azoulay created a gathering place for international artists and musicians such as the Gnawas, descendants of African slaves who perform with the likes of Mick Jagger and other famed musicians. The medina and its Portuguese ramparts retain their authenticity (although most riads are owned by foreigners and turned into Air B and Bs). A word to the wise: the beach is TERRIBLY windy (good for windsurfing.)

Essaouira and environs is where argan trees grow wild: this is the only natural argan forest in the world. Therefore, another word to the wise about ARGAN: READ THE LABEL:You may find that the “organic” “natural” product you purchased contains a variety of chemicals—as one passenger realized when we visited an argan oil cooperative in the heart of argan country. If you purchase the product outside Morocco, check how far down argan oil is on the list of ingredients. If it’s inexpensive, it is NOT true argan oil!


argan “nuts”and harvesters:

goats LOVE argan drupes. . .

From Essaouira, I like to head north along the most picturesque coastal drive in the country, and stop for lunch at L’Hippocampe restaurant (French for The Seahorse), on the Oualidia lagoon. When I was growing up, Oualidia is where casablancaisand marrakchiswent to escape the city heat. You too, will be seduced by the panoramic view, flower-filled gardens, and fresh seafood. A second generation of family owners has upgraded the menu but still relies on oysters fresh from nearby oyster beds, sea urchins, and mounds of fresh mussels and clams. In May 2019, a new road was being built to link up with the freeway, and the detour was quite long and bumpy. Brace yourself, and stay the course: you will not regret it.  I wish I could have attended this festival!

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2019/07/279007/oualidia-to-hold-oyster-festival-from-july-26-to-august-4/

 
Oualidia Lagoon
and some of the local seafood:

Next issue: Back to Dar Zitoun and Azemmour

Grilling?
Kitty’sBrochettes
Makes about 10 skewers

In Morocco, beef or lamb (or chicken, or fish) is cut into 3/4-inch cubes maximum, unlike the large chunks served in the Middle East. Smaller pieces make it easier to slip the meat off the skewer with a piece of bread. Slip 5 or 6 cubes on the same stick (don’t forget a piece of lamb fat!) Dip each cube in cumin for an authentic Moroccan experience.

1 pound boned leg of lamb, trimmed of fat (reserve the fat)
1 tablespoon preserved lemon pulp
½ onion, grated
15 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
10 sprigs fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Extra cumin, for dipping
Harissa, hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Combine meat with preserved lemon pulp, onion, cilantro, parsley, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix with the cubes of meat. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.
Heat coals or grill to the red hot stage, or preheat a broiler. Grill to desired doneness. Serve with cumin and harissaon the side.
adapted from Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen by Kitty Morse.

Kitty in the media:
Watch for my article on The Kasbah Trail Revisitedin Wine, Dine, and Travel, a beautiful, online, travel magazine.
http://www.winedineandtravel.com

Again, thank you to Nan Sterman host of A Growing Passionon KPBS:  A rerun of the show is always a lovely surprise: need a refresher on how to preserve lemons?
https://agrowingpassion.com/episode-304-preserve-the-harvest/

FIG TALES (redux);
We had to cut down our first fig tree because it was so prolific that the tree bent over under the weight of the fruit! We planted a cutting in another location: My Long Yellow is thriving, and I am awaiting a new crop to make raspberry fig jam. I kid you not, the first fig was as large as an orange:

LEMONS:
I am trying to find use for all the Meyer lemons still hanging from my tree: preserved lemons; marmalade, lemon syrup, and now, LIMONCELLO! Anyone have other ideas?

Edible Book Festival: A hoot!
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/edible-book-festival

Have you discovered Run for Cover bookstore in Ocean Beach (San Diego)
Located two blocks from Sunset Cliffs. Marianne, the owner, speaks French, and promises personalized service. Pay her a visit then take a walk along Sunset Cliffs.
http://www.runforcoverbookstore.com

Speaking of Sunset Cliffs:
These cliffs are brittle, and disintegrate regularly. Signs abound warning how dangerous that is: So, what do visitors do? Step over the warning fences to take selfies on the edge of the cliffs. Will I feel sorry for them if they tumble into the sea? I don’t think so:

Only in California:
A woman led Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies on a brief chase, hit a utility pole and then did a series of yoga poses in the road after exiting her vehicle. Willits News

The California Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA. needs docents and ushers
Profs de français,
cette visite peut être programmée pour  tous niveaux,  même les tous petits : Encouragez vos élèves à pratiquer la langue parlée. Rendez-nous nous visite pour l’expo de dessins d’Edgar Degaset de ses contemporains.

Edgar Degas etchings are on exhibit  this month. And if you haven’t experienced one of the county’s art treasures, now is the time: Queen Calafia’s Magic Circle is a world-renowned installation in Escondido (CA). Scale model of the Magic Circle on display at the Niki de St Phalle retrospective.

Become a Museum Docent! It’s fun, educational, and you can do it on your own time.
The California Center for the Arts, Escondidomuseum seeks to provide North County San Diego with wide-ranging exhibitions that highlight contemporary artwork. Each show is accompanied by a dedicated Student Gallery Wall as a commitment to supporting young artists in the community. Tours are scheduled on demand  for all ages. Please contact Mikee Ferran, Museum Program Coordinator, at mferran@artcenter.org. Would your group like to practice speaking French? I will be happy to accommodate with a tour en français.  Email Mikee to schedule.

News of Morocco and beyond:
Amine Kabaj is trying to push a conservative Arab society forward by showcasing contemporary artists. https://www.ozy.com/provocateurs/the-man-modernizing-morocco-through-art/81268

A Legacy of the Arab occupation in Spain: Water conservation
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/aug/15/the-rain-in-spain-how-an-ancient-arabic-technique-saves-alicante-from-floods

La Normandie et le débarquement recréé en OHIO!
Normandy landings and Recreating D-Day in Ohio. AUG 15 to 17, 2019
www.ddayohio.us
https://france-amerique.com/fr/conneaut-hosts-d-day-in-ohio

How we are faked out on Food ads
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD-a6Xy8dog&feature=youtu.beFor WW: https://www.independent.com/2019/07/17/betty-fussell-is-fierce-funny-and-frank/

A new twist on the French version of The Amazing Race: La Carte aux Trésors en Amérique
https://france-amerique.com/fr/la-carte-aux-tresors-is-coming-to-america

A good question: Pourquoi les Americains sont-ils si généreux avec Notre Dame?
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/aug/08/notre-dame-paris-why-have-americans-given-so-much-money-to-restore

SAY FROMAGE:Now, that’s a tour I would LOVE to take!
https://france-amerique.com/fr/a-tour-of-france-in-45-cheeses

TRAVELERS AND READERS REJOICE!Airport bookstores are seeing the light:
Good news for travelers: a number of airport bookstores have a “read and return” program that will give you a 50% refund on a book purchased at one of their stores within six months.
https://lifehacker.com/read-and-return-books-to-the-airport-bookstore

SPACE SPACE AND MORE SPACE: 
As you know, I played at being an astronaut at SPACE CAMP (www.spacecamp.com) in Huntsville, AL, last Valentine’s weekend.

Moon, Mars, orSan Carlos, CA??? Are you ready for food grown by robots?
https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/california-robot-farm-produce?

The Kasbah Chronicles: August 2018

The Kasbah Chronicles
August 2018


Carlsbad Beach: 7:30AM

 

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

 

 

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

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

Contents

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

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

Musings:

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

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

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


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

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

Kitty’s Ginger and lemongrass tea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Links of interest in English and en français:

Another French culinary icon leaves us: Adieu Joel Robuchon

https://france-amerique.com/fr

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

It takes all kinds, n’est-ce pas?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • I am personally selling: $595.00

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hardcover: 348 pages

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

  • Language: French

  • ISBN-13: 978-2867701672

  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 9.8 inches

  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds

Thanks for reading!

I love Feedback!
As always:

Bismillah
and
Bon Appétit

 

The Kasbah Chronicles: May 2018, Vietnam (Part 1), Morocco, and more

The Kasbah Chronicles
(now in its 10th year!)
My Most Excellent Vietnam Adventure: Part 1

Has it really been 3 months since I last published The Kasbah Chronicles? You will soon understand why.

Contents:
On a “roll” in Vietnam
Dining à la Hitchcock
Feasting à la Marocaine in Oceanside (CA)
Presentations and book signings
My “mentee” graduates!
Links of interest
Morocco and beyond
BOOK CLUB BINGO IN SAN DIEGO!
Get a special discount and come meet 22 nationally known authors.

Shopping in Hanoi

 Musings:
Yes, I have been on a roll. . .A Vietnamese egg roll that is..
This will explain my tardiness: I spent 3 weeks in Vietnam in April. Thus, March was spent preparing for the trip, in April I ATE MY WAY THROUGH VIETNAM from North to South, and May finds me roaming the aisles of local Asian markets to locate the ingredients with which to prepare my newly acquired recipes!

My travels will take up at least two editions of The Kasbah Chronicles. .. so please stay tuned for Part 2.

At a zillion dongs (actually 22,000 to the dollar)

how could we go wrong? Vietnam is fascinating, welcoming, and affordable. As I did when went I travelled to Chile two years ago, I planned my own tour using Asiatica.com,a Hanoi-based tour operator found on the Internet. China Southern Airlines(discovered while perusing Trip Advisor) flew Amy and me (a most compatible roommate), in cocooned comfort (business class), from LAX to Hanoi and return. As I mentioned above, my requests to our dedicated agent, Phoebe, of Asiatica, was to forego war memorials, tunnels, and war museums. All we wanted were cooking classes, markets, and local eateries… Boy, did she deliver! If you want suggestions for our itinerary, shoot me an email.(oops, I almost forgot to mention we also spent 2 days in Angkor Watt.…)

My photos tell part of the story:
Hanoi:Hectic, fun, historic, and better yet, food, food, food… Great cooking class with a local instructor in her home, a farm house outside Hanoi. Mandy (www.cookinginhanoi.wordpress.com) taught us all about crab soup and la lotleaves. Can’t wait to find some here!

 

la lot leaves eggrolls:


and an exquisite salad of fresh banana blossom

Hanoi has a mosque!

We soldiered on under a warmish rain through the insanely busy narrow streets of Old Hanoi, past dozens of pocket-sized shops. Shades of a Moroccan souk came to mind. The merchandise was quite different however. When saturation set in signaling an empty stomach, we dashed into a stall to sit in child-sized plastic chairs (they are everywhere and adults usually occupy them…) While a trio of Hanoi teens fingered their cell phones, out came a young woman bearing a hotpot, the local version of French pot-au-feu. We were wrapped in a cloud of star anise, cinnamon, lemon grass, and cilantro, and dipped into the pot with chopsticks to retrieve butter-tender pork shoulder, vegetables and bits of fresh pineapple. And, to cap it off, an addictive blend of salt, lime juice, and chili (I think).

Ha Long Bay: Phoebe asked if we wanted to cruise on Halong Bay. Why not? She booked us onto into a Jr suite with Signature Halong Bay Cruise. Our young cruise manager, Mr. Cuong, fretted over us like a mother hen:

Our bathroom came complete with a JACCUZI! For close to 24 hours (I wish it had been 48) we cruised among the dozens of tree-capped islands of Halong Bay,

and dined on dishes worthy of an A list restaurant.

Sara, the on-board hostess, doubled as our cooking teacher to demonstrate nems, REAL Vietnamese eggrolls. Les vrais!

Hue:
The next day, a short flight out of Hanoi landed us in Hue, site of Vietnam’s historic Imperial City. Upon landing, our driver took us straight to Eco Garden,so we could experience life on a farm.
Have you ever tried to grind rice? It ain’t easy! We tilled the earth for sweet potatoes and enjoyed the fruits of our labor during an al fresco cooking class held under a riverfront cabana. Cycling among the lush banana and pumelo groves surrounding the Eco Garden really increased our appetite.

We were pointed to Hanh restaurant near our hotel. Our lunch encompassed such an array of local specialties, that Amy and I coined a new logo for them, When in Hue, head for Hanh’s, a strictly local hang out, where we joined the cook in the open kitchen to watch her prepare eggrolls, dumplings,  pho… and my very favorite rice pancakes: you get the idea.

Our four hour drive from Hue toHoi Antook us along the Mandarin Road, and past Danang’s bayfront. This industrial city caters mainly to foreign sun-worshippers who stay in the resorts out of town.

Hoi An and its centuries of Chinese occupation beckoned an hour south. The town’s architecture still reflects this influence.

he pedestrian friendly city center is jammed with stores and restaurants, including the most unusual Reaching Out Tea House, run by a deaf staff. It was heavenly sitting overlooking a tiny patio without any auditory distractions. (Yes, they have WI FI.)

Hoin An holds other attractions, including eating a superb banh misandwich at Mme Phuong(like Anthony Bourdain). I am happy to say, however, North San Diego County now has a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants to choose from, many of which make mouth-watering banh mis.

Ah, that cooking class at Mme. Vy’s: UNFORGETTABLE (https://tastevietnam.asia/vietnamese-cooking-classes). 5 hours of culinary bliss, instructed by a professional chef, and her numerous assistants. This extraordinary establishment holds much more than a state of the art culinary center. Street level holds a huge dining area surrounded by tasting stations… so many samplings, so little time (read more about them on my website www.kittymorse.com)from a guided boat ride and market excursion, to a variety of samplings too numerous to name: snails, banh mi, freshly made noodles, breads and pastries. My head still swims. We were told that Mme Vy is in the process of exporting her concept to Melbourne! Dear Australians, DO NOT MISS IT!
. . . . suite au prochain numéro.
Read the next edition of The Kasbah Chronicles for more on my Vietnamese experience.

My instructor at Mme Vy’s:

 

I already mentioned that we have a well-stocked Vietnamese market in the North County, in Escondido (CA). San Diego cooks will head to the enormous Zion supermarket on Convoy Street, but we live further north. La Sorpresa Barata(asianmarketescondido.com) has morphed into The Asian Marketbetween Fig and Date streets(. . .and that’s the story of immigrants…) Next door is an excellent little Vietnamese take out restaurant.

How cool is this request?!

When I was growing up in Casablanca we couldn’t wait for Hitchcock’s films to be screened in English at cinema Rialto. One of my favorites was The Man Who Knew Too much.

“New comment on my post “Kitty’s Bio”
Author: merri mullaney

“Hi, I have just purchased a tagine, can’t wait to start cooking. There is one recipe I have searched for, sounds crazy, but in the movie “the man who knew too much” there is one scene that takes place in a restaurant in Casablanca (K: it was Marrakech, I think). The chicken and olives and other ingredients looked absolutely delicious and beautiful. Is there a recipe for this dish, and also the bread served with it?”

-I think the restaurant Merri is referring to was Dar Es Salam in Marrakech where my annual tours used to dine in the mid 1980s, (http://www.daressalam.com) average food and very, very touristy) but the scene where James Stewart struggles to fit his long legs under the low table is priceless. I haven’t seen the film in years, but if they featured a Moroccan dish, it had to be Chicken with Preserved Lemons! Does anyone know??”

Presentations and book signings:
I will be happy to plan a presentation on Moroccan cuisine or edible flowers, for your book club or garden club. Just send me an email.

May: Private book club/dinner in Oceanside, CA.
I was flattered to be asked to speak to this Oceanside book club, one that has been meeting for 20 years. This time, rather than gather at someone’s house, the group planned a Moroccan dinner based on the recipes in Mint Tea and Minarets and Cooking at the Kasbah, at one of North County’s BEST patisseries, Petite Madeline(sic), (www.petitemadelinebakery.com) just about as far north as you can drive on the Coast Highway in San Diego County. I knew I was in good hands when Chef Marc Mialo said he obtained his culinary training in Australia, where, I hasten to add, they SELL MOROCCAN PRESERVED lemons in every deli! Australians love Morocco’s cuisine, something I found out when I visited over 15 years ago.
La Petite Madelinereopened for us past their 3PM closing to welcome the book club. Once dinner began, we were treated to mouth-watering renditions of a trio of cooked and fresh salads,

 Chakchouka

kefta(ground beef) kabobs seasoned just right, baraniyaeggplant and tomato tagine, with dates stuffed with almond paste, orange slices in orange blossom water ( all found in Mint Tea and Minaretsand Cooking at the Kasbah) AND ice cream bestila for dessert filled with the chef’s own lemon mousse (WOW!) I demonstrated how to make traditional Moroccan mint tea. At this writing, I am lobbying for this gifted and imaginative young chef, and for the restaurant’s owner, Christine, to add a couple of these dishes to their regular menu. . . Chef Marc would probably duplicate the menu if Morocco’s cuisine (and Mint Tea and Minarets!!!) figure on your reading list.(www.petitemadelinebakery.com) and I’ll be happy to come and chat!

Saturday, June 10: 9-5PM.
Book Club Bingo
San Diego’s spectacular central library
300 Park Blvd.,
Special Events Room, 9th Floor
San Diego 92101
MENTION THE KASBAH CHRONICLES OR KITTY MORSE FOR A SPECIAL DISCOUNT.
Call Adventures by the Book at 619-300-2532 and mention
KITTY’s name and you will obtain  a $25 discount
Book Club Bingo, a day-long LITERARY EVENT takes place at San Diego’s spectacular central library. All proceeds from book sales go to the library. 22 authors from around the country, all of whom are excited to connect with book clubs, will participate in seminars, panels, and book signing opportunities.
http://adventuresbythebook.com/autherevent/book-club-bingo-adventure
and
https://novelnetwork.com/home-author-connect

Saturday, July 7th: 11-1PM
A Taste of Morocco. Free and open to the public
Poway Branch Library
13137 Poway Rd, Poway, CA 92064
(858) 513-2900
contact: karen.baluyot@sdcounty.ca.gov

A GRADUATION:

My mentee, Laura, graduated from Cal State University San Marcos, where, last Fall, I had the honor of being selected as a mentor. Last week, Laura gave the commencement address to 600 grads in the college of Humanities, Art and Behavioral and Social Sciences! I had attended the opening of this latest Cal State campus in 1992 with 2000 students. . . It now counts 45,000 alumni. Go Laura! If you live in San Diego County and you want to know more about this fabulous mentoring program, shoot me an email.

Links of interest about Morocco and beyond:
VIDEO:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180215-the-north-african-breakfast-that-ended-a-war?
To makebaghrir, semolina flour pancakes, one of my favorite Moroccan breakfast foods, see Mint Tea and Minarets page 246. Serve with honey or apricot jam!

Moroccan oudmusic in San Diego:
I hired this duo for a party, and I can recommend them Alexi Rabay . (619) 250-4531.alexicanhelpyou@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIMAEflWPq8

Who “invented” couscous?”: A diplomatic quandary
https://lepetitjournal.com/maghreb-une-labellisation-du-couscous-moins-anodine-quil-ny-parait-223227
“Slimane Hachi, directeur du Centre algérien de recherches préhistoriques, anthropologiques et historiques (CNRPAH) et promoteur du projet, a précisé à la radio algérienne que l’initiative devrait réunir Algérie, Maroc, Tunisie, Libye, Mauritanie et même Mali,.. . »

Tangia:See Mint Tea and MInarets, page 124
http://www.bbc.com/travel/gallery/20170811-the-moroccan-dish-heated-by-a-hammam
Yes, it’s true, many families (including me, when I am in Azemmour) cook tangiain the glowing coals of the baker’s oven which is usually adjacent to the hammam. Tangiais great for entertaining, as it can be made the day before (I use a slow cooker.) Sorry, I haven’t practiced with the Instant Pot yet! View my recipe in Mint Tea and Minaretspage 124.

Your Next Serving of Truffles Should Be From Oregon
https://www.ozy.com/good-sht/your-next-serving-of-truffles-should-be-from-oregon/85111
Of course: We have it all, right here, in the US. The Beaver State is serving up fancy fungi that might be just as good as the imported varieties.

“Food for thought” à la française:
https://france-amerique.com/fr/is-francophonie-part-of-france-colonial-heritage/?ct=t(FA_Hebdo_du_5_octobre_2017)

Concerned about California’s Water history?
Rita Schmidt Sudman’sis an expert on the subject.
and a long time observer of the California water scene. She led the Water Education Foundation for over 30 years. Her insight into the historic and current water conflicts provides context for the past and solutions and answers for the future. Hers is an anthology in art, history and story. https://watermoreorless.com
 
Les alligators en Louisianne:
https://france-amerique.com/fr/the-last-cajun/?ct=t(FA_Hebdo_du_5_octobre_2017
« Voilà un gros », lance-t-il en français. « Lui, il a plus que trois mètres. » Dans la direction qu’il désigne, sur un tronc d’arbre à demi-submergé, sommeille un alligator. Tous les jours, de février à octobre, il emmène jusqu’à 66 personnes en excursion sur le lac . . .

Need a graduation gift? I ship books!

As always,
Bismillah
and
Bon Appétit..

Tune in next time for Vietnam edition, #2…

Winter 2016 Classes and Presentations

Classes and presentations:

A handful of kids participated in the Taste of Morocco at the Newport Beach Central Library. Future chefs aged 5 to 11 learned how make a Moroccan carrot salad, couscous with buttermilk and a watermelon and smoothie. https://www.nbplfoundation.org/content/Making-Memories-for-Children.html

YOU ARE INVITED (reservations needed)

Let’s Party at Le Creuset Outlet Store in Carlsbad!

Friday, November 18. 6:30-8:00PM.

A Special evening for Le Creuset VIPs and guests.

Le Creuset, Carlsbad Company Stores

5600 Paseo del Norte, Suite 125

Carlsbad, CA , 92008

Phone: (760)931-6868

Free and open to the public. Reservations a must. Demonstration and sampling of Moroccan “tapas, food entertainment and prizes. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY! Prizes! Entertainment! CALL NOW TO RESERVE A SPACE!!

Saturday, November 19th. 10:30AM to noon.

Central Library, 330 Park Blvd, San Diego.

Info at www.CulinaryHistoriansofSanDiego.com

The Edible Gold Rush, featuring Ernest Miller, who will explain how the fruit industry brought lasting prosperity. Miller is a chef, historian, educator, consultant and speaker who teaches throughout Southern California.

 

Thursday, December 8th. 7PM

A Vegetarian Holiday Meal from Morocco

The Spice Way

Intimate classes, space is limited

Debbie Kornberg

(858) 967-1364

260-B N. El Camino Real Encinitas, CA 92024

Info at dkdspices@gmail.com