Monday, December 1, 2008


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving wherever you celebrated!

Of course, I was determined to bring Thanksgiving to Morocco, and I feel pretty good about the results. On Thursday I cooked a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, turkey breasts (not a whole turkey), and green beans for a house full of people--all from scratch! Many thanks to my host mother who helped me with a lot of the grunt work in the kitchen. It all turned out fairly American, except that I didn't roast the turkey breasts, I cooked them in the pressure-cooker with rosemary and they came out nice and tender.

My host family loved the food, even the strange dessert made from squash. Pictured are the leftovers,

On Saturday I turned around and did it again for volunteers in town, cooking more pumpkin pie, green bean casserole (without the convenience of a can of mushroom soup), mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet-potato puree, and stuffing. We bought roasted chickens that time around, and someone brought along a can of cranberry sauce (which you can't buy here...oh how I miss cranberries) and delicious pumpkin cheesecake (very dangerous!) to round our our calories for the evening. The company almost made it feel like I was back home in the US.

Another moment of being back in the US was when I stepped into the new "Label Vie" store, which is something like a walmart (although not quite as big as they get in the US). It is the biggest store I've been in for going on three months. It was exciting to find out a big store was opening in my town since it means I will have access to a large variety of food (still no cranberries or brown sugar). It is a cooking paradise. However, after the initial excitement of such convenience at my fingertips, I felt the familiar distaste of the box-store. Right now I love the little harnuts, the corner stores that sell fresh bread and milk, nuts and candy, and the vegetable market bursting with fresh seasonable produce. It was strange to be walking through the store holding my host-mothers hand with my host-brother in tow. It was as though I had brought them out of the Morocco I had started to form into my mind and into the America of stereotype.

Considering big stores were often the subject of my artwork in the US, it might be interesting to be a part of this town in the next two years. I came in right as this store opened, I'm interested to see if it has any effect on the hundreds of smaller corner-shops. The Label Vie is just inconvenient enough, requiring either a short taxi or bike-ride, that I doubt I will frequent it like I do the walkable vegetable market and the little harnuts.

Then again, I'm the type to prefer the inconvenience of making Thanksgiving dinner from scratch.


barbie said...

Lisa: So glad your Thanksgiving meals turned out well. The dried cranberries are in the mail--went to TJ on Friday and picked some up. Enjoy! Love, M

Claire Berman said...

Lisa, your meal looks wonderful! I'm sure they loved it. I'm glad you could celebrate Thanksgiving from afar and with new perspective. Much love to you,

PS Did my letter ever get there?

Lisa said...

Mom- Ooo! Dried cranberries! They will be savored!

Claire- Your meal looked/sounded wonderful as well! I think Thanksgiving was a success here, but I can't wait to celebrate with friends and family back home again.

PS. I haven't checked my mailbox in a couple of days, but I hadn't received it last I checked.

KyleD said...

Oh I'm SOO glad to hear that you found a WalMart-esque store to quench your US shopping needs. :)

Loda said...

Hey, thats really cool that you made thanksgiving dinner for them. Did you explain the magical story of the pilgrims and the indians and how we later gave them all small pox? Maybe you should leave the small pox part out of the story. Did you know that the original Thanksgiving Feast lasted for 9 days? I heard that on the radio. So what kind of "misunderstandings and harassments" do the people in Morocco do to you?

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