Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Domestic Lessons

My laundry set-up: Large basin for washing, green
for rinse, black bucket for bleach items. Yes, there’s
Tide here. In fact, it’s become the
generic word, 
teed, for laundry detergent.

I’ve been fighting a cold for a couple of days. Sunday, I spent most of the day sleeping and reading – though I was glued to my computer for about half an hour following the windup to the thrilling Women’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Brazil on FIFA’s Gametracker. Go U.S.!

Yesterday, I dragged myself out of bed to go to my Berber lesson in Kalaa. I came right home and went back to bed for a while. But in the afternoon, I got up and felt really great. I decided I would do my laundry and cook up some food. I’d bought some kefta (ground meat) on Friday, and knew I needed to cook it before it went bad. You may recall that in my last post I said that whenever you move into a new place, it takes a while to learn how to live in. Well, I learned a few lessons yesterday.

Even a line between the open columns wouldn’t
have given me enough space.
This is the first batch I’ve done since I moved into my own house. In truth, it’s the first batch I’ve done entirely on my own since I’ve been in Morocco. My host family would never let me do my laundry by myself, since it’s “women’s work.” I did it at the faucet in my own courtyard, rather than at a well. And I feel some gratification, because I think I did a pretty good job of it, though it probably took me twice as much time to do it as it would have them. I also appreciate the tips I learned from them about handwashing, especially how to get tough blue-jean fabric clean (with a brush and lots of elbow grease).

Lessons learned: I need more clothesline, and I need to do my laundry in the morning, so that I can get it all hung up and dried in one day (I was taking dry laundry off the line and hanging new clothes to dry at 11:30 last night).

The top of my couscousier worked as a serviceable
colander for the pasta. Don’t ask me if I’m
planning to try my hand at couscous soon.
Since I didn’t buy any real food till Friday, and then got sick, I hadn’t done much more in the kitchen than fry a couple of eggs and make tea and coffee. I decided to make meatballs and pasta and a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers in vinegar and oil. I didn’t have any tomato sauce or paste, so I made a sauce of onions, tomatoes, green and red olives, and mustard, which was really good. And I felt like I needed to cook all of the meat, so I ended up with 15 meatballs. What does that mean? Leftovers!

Lessons learned: The oven does work, though who knows what the temperature is? I need an oven thermometer. I need garlic! I need to make meatballs smaller, so they cook faster and more evenly. I need an apron and hot pads. And I needTupperware-type containers for those leftovers.


  1. Jim are you close to Kaala Seraghna? I love your blog, keep up the good work!


  2. Good post, Jim. it's good to know some of these tips. And your meal looks delicious!