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Our Apartment in Marrakech

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I mentioned before how much I loved our Marrakech apartment. It was really too much space for us, with three bedrooms surrounding a kitchen. But we got such a deal that it was irresistible, and the extra space did allow us to have a friend visit without feeling cramped.

I probably enjoyed the patio most. I tend to wake up a little earlier than Pallavi, so I could start my mornings with a cup of coffee out on the patio, checking my mail and getting a little bit of writing done. Coffee time ended once the sun had risen high enough to shine directly onto the table and, more importantly, my head. Two more months of this and I could have finished entire novels.

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Likewise, the combination of a simple kitchen and fresh, fragrant vegetables made for easy culinary experimentation. In truth, I know very little about cooking with spices. But Pallavi would come back from the market with a little bit of this and some of that, and one or the two of us would whip up lunch or dinner by spicing some meat or legume and heating it up in a huge wok. And given the quality of the ingredients, it was really hard to screw anything up too badly.

The fruit and the mint were best of all. Oranges the size of softballs made a mess of my hands when I tried to peel them, and I picked up the Moroccan habit of glazing them with a bit of cinnamon and sugar. One morning I broiled grapefruit in the toaster oven, covering the half-globes with the same cinnamon sugar mix, and the sweet/tart taste turned out surprisingly well.

Then there's the mint. Moroccan mint has more flavor than any I've tasted. Combine with juice from the tart, fragrant limes, and you have the makings of a wonderful mojito. And if you happen to be in the country for Cinco de Excuse To Drink Margaritas, they make this too.

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Our apartment's only downside: no freezer, and thus no ice

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