THE KASBAH CHRONICLES
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Let’s try to emulate Theo Van Gogh.
We all need to find beauty in this new and off-kilter world of ours.
May 2022 be the year we all find it!
A Whirl of a Visit with Van Gogh
Are you as exhausted as I am from dancing to Omicron’s tune?
More Human Contact Please!
What did you do during the pandemic?
Tagine for a Rainy Day
Do you have any travel plans for 2022?
Links of interest en français and in English
Kitty in the media: Snow in Baja?
A Shout out to Friends and Fellow Authors
I LOVE FEEDBACK! Do write to me!
Kitty is selling
I am culling my collection of cookbooks, some I authored, others not.
I can offer no apology for being, once again, late in publishing the Kasbah Chronicles as it enters its13th year–thanks in great part to you, the reader. How can that be? What makes it worthwhile for me is the feedback I receive in exchange. A wave of the hand. A short sentence. A simple “hiI!!” fills my heart with joy. Someone is reading this! Merci and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I LOVE FEEDBACK! That is why I continue writing these chronicles. Mercy, thank you so much for staying in touch.
“Happy Loving New Year!!! With gratitude for your wonderful loving joyful chronicles.”
January flew by, as has each month during the pandemic. January was no exception, as I tested the final recipes for my upcoming memoir/ cookbook. So, daily routine for several months: Select a recipe from one of my great-grandmother’s handwritten notebooks (dated 1920 and 1925).
sample Blanche photo here
. . .make a shopping list, go to the store, return home, organize a mise-en place with the necessary ingredients, adapt metric weights and measures for the American kitchen, test the dish (3 or 4 times if necessary), plate the food, and let my photographer husband go at it. My husband and resident food photographer then sets sup a makeshift studio, wherever he finds the best light, indoor sor out. Who said writing a cookbook is a breeze? Two years on, I am finally seeing the end of my journey, and I believe my French great-grandparents would be proud of
Bitter Sweet: A Wartime Journal and Heirloom Recipes from Occupied France
(More about the extraordinary cache of family documents my mother left me after her death in a next edition of the Chronicles.)
A Whirl of a Visit with Van Gogh
In the meantime, in need of a break (YES!) we visited the total immersion Van Gogh exhibit in Del Mar (CA). I purchased tickets back in October, thinking it would be a mob scene. It turns out, it will become a permanent exhibit, with various artists, . So no need to rush to our world-famous Del Mar racetrack. I loved the surround sound and light feel of Van Gogh’s paintings. Everyone around me had their eyes glued to their iPhones to take pictures of pictures! How funny.
Are you as exhausted as I am from dancing to Omicron’s tune? How did you keep creative during the pandemic?
The constant change in mandates makes my head spin. Not only in the US, but overseas.
I craved Human Contact! I missed my peeps, my friends, my shopping expeditions to resale shops (a favorite pastime of mine), and taking deeeeep breaths without a mask on. I never knew how tiring it can be to constantly inhale one’s recycled breath.
A Meatless Tagine to warm your tummy on a Rainy Day
Kitty’s Baked Kefta with Eggs in Cumin Tomato Sauce
minutes Serves: 4 to 6
This traditional Moroccan recipe has been adapted to use “no-meat” balls made of ground walnuts. You can serve this dish with lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce, or else, use it as a topping for cooked rice.
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
6 eggs, divided use
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomato sauce, chopped cilantro, half the diced onion, tomato paste, cinnamon, sugar, half the salt, and half the pepper. Stir to blend. Cook covered, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Meanwhile, to make walnut balls, in blender or food processor, process the remaining onion, parsley, 2 of the eggs, and the walnut pieces. Process until i turns to a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in bread crumbs, olive oil, cumin, and remaining salt and pepper.
- Bring tomato sauce to a strong simmer. Drop walnut mixture by tablespoons into the simmering sauce. Cook until fairly firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer sauce and the nut balls to a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Carefully break the remaining eggs atop the nut balls. Bake until eggs are cooked, yet still runny, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately with lots of crusty bread!
Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse (HarperCollins)
Do you have any travel plans for 2022?
Kitty in the media: Snow in Baja in the January 2022 issue
Links of interest en français and in English:
Johnny Jet published one of the most useful travel newsletters on the web. I read him religiously for updates on travel:
This is a cautionary tale: https://www.johnnyjet.com/bet-you-dont-know-what-an-atm-skimmer-looks-like/?
French language update. Le français est une langue qui evolue!
One of my many pet peeves! Stepping in dog poops when we go for a walk: My mother’s hometown of Châlons-en-Champagne seems to have solved the problem! A new way to check on “public” dog poops.
Expand your French gastronomic vocabulary!
Kitty is selling:
The Vegetarian Table: North Africa by Kitty Morse.
New, hard cover. $25.00 (signed to you, and plus $5 shipping in US only)
Rezepte aus der Kasbah:
New. Hard cover. German edition: $30.00
(signed to you, plus $5 shipping in US only)
Fuddalat al Khiwan, Les délices de la Table et le meilleur des mets. ecrit entre 1238 et 1266 par Ibn Razin el Tujibi (Arab scholar)Reprint of ancient cookbook. Purchased in Casablanca.
Brand new: USD40.00 plus $5 shipping in the US only.
Would a rare book collector or a library be interested in purchasing these rare books from my father’s estate?
In English. The items weigh close to 14 pounds. USD1200 for the pair plus shipping.
- Traditional Islamic Craft in Moroccan Architecture. Two volumes Hardcover – 1980 by Andre Paccard
- Publisher: Editions Atelier 74 1980 (1980)
- ASIN: B00S9ZF81Y
- TWO volume set. Tome 1 and 2. Excellent condition. Some jacket and shelf wear.
- English edition with appendices.
The most complete documentation on Moroccan arts, calligraphy and decoration. Hundreds of color illustrations. These are extremely rare and unusual books by one of Morocco’s most famous architects. Each volume contains templates for traditional tiles and Moroccan handicrafts in stone, wood, metal, water and light. These are slightly used but in excellent condition. All tile templates are in pristine condition.
Weight: close to fourteen pounds for both volumes.
Shipped media mail in the US. International buyers pls contact me for shipping rate.
“Deux volumes fort in-4 pleine toile de l’éditeur sous jaquettes illustrées en couleurs, 516 + 508 pages, plus de 12000 illustrations en couleurs. Bibliographie, glossaire.
Ouvrage fondamental offrant la documentation la plus complète jamais réunie sur l’art décoratif marocain.
I. Introduction, habitations, lieux de prières, les tracés régulateurs, la calligraphie, la terre.
II. La pierre, le gebs, le bois, le métal, l’eau et la lumière, appendices.
Comme toujours, as always,
Bismillah and Bon Appétit,