Friday, July 04, 2008


I have finally unpacked everything after my 5-week trip to Singapore, France, Morocc and London. In doing so, I reflected that you can know a lot about a person by the contents of their suitcase, especially the goodies they have brought back from a trip.
From our idyllic travels in Morocco (11 days which we wish could have been more) I brought back:
• A typical mat made by a tribe from the High Atlas mountains, south of Marrakesh. The carpet shop was great (see photo), the mint tea routine reminded me of buying donkey bags in an Afghan bazaar 35 years ago, and the rug itself I find charming: simple, unassuming, a colour which goes well in our bedroom and cheap too!

• An old silver pot for making mint tea, bought in the souk in Fes. Lacking wine and beer during our stay, we became addicted to this drink and the heavenly aroma of mint permeating the vegetable souks.
• A simple blue and white bowl bought at the pottery of Tamegroute, way south near the start of the Sahara.
• Alas, I couldn’t add a heavy pottery tagine to my luggage, so bought (in the same pottery at Tamegroute) a turquoise-coloured mini-tagine which holds a tea light.
• Purple olives bought from an old man in the Fes souk; he assures me they’re the best type to add to tajines.
• A wooden spoon for scooping the olives out of their liquid.
• Several beautiful brass and copper spoons and cookie cutters from the medina where we stayed in Marrakesh.
• A hand-crafted wooden water mug with brass bands bought from the artisan in one of the souks in Fes.
• Ras el Hanout, the ultimate spice blend, bought with the help of Jamilah from our gorgeous riad in Marrakesh. The whole spices were weighed out then ground in front of me. Can’t wait to cook with them!

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