Friday, March 31, 2017
“TREE POTS AND MOROCCAN MINT TEA”
My Tea Inspiration From Trip To Morocco-"Tree Pots."
As many of you know, I just got back from Morocco a few weeks ago. There were so many levels in which I was inspired to create and I actually didn't think the mint tea would be my first inspiration. The Moroccan's favorite drink is mint tea. There were men and women selling mint at all the souks in the Medinas along the highways. One Moroccan told me that mint tea is a Moroccan’s scotch. They drink it at any time of day but especially love it after dinner to help prevent indigestion.
Tea Preparation-45 Minutes Required For A Good Tea
I learned that for a good tea, the Moroccans take 45 minutes to prepare. I had tea prepared for me several times and have to admit, they did take their time in getting it just right. The tea is brewed on a charcoal grill, allowed to steep for quite some time, strained and presented. Sometimes they even use bellows to keep the charcoal at just the right temperature.
Here Our Host Has Finished Pouring and Now Serves the Tea
After the Ceremony, The Tea Pot and Charcoal Burner are Placed Outside to Cool
As I Leave the Tinehir Oasis and Walk Along the Todra Gorge, I Notice Someone Has Placed A Small Rug and Tea Service for A Cool Respite at Foot of the Gorge. Tea Ceremonies Are an Important Part of Moroccan Life.
My first inspiration in creating art after being in Morocco are my new ‘Tree pots.” I have made several tea pots over the last few years. When my good customer, Alicea, asked me to create a teapot for her for a friend who loves trees, I immediately thought of making a ‘Tree-tea pot” Tea pots are difficult to do in the first place so in making one resembling a tree, I knew the challenge was on. It took quite a bit of time but I am very pleased with the way they turned out. I made 2 so that Alicea would have a choice, plus, I am never sure how tea pots will emerge from kiln. It could be Christmas or Halloween! In this case, it was Christmas. With spring and summer on the way, I know I will have plenty of mint and plan to brew some refreshing mint tea soon, although I don’t think I’ll brew for 45 minutes.
Tree Pot number 1-She is Approx 7"wide x 4" deep and 10" High. I Used Stoneware Clay and Fired Twice-Glaze is Food Safe. She is $110. I Am Pleased With Her Branch Handle.
Tree Pot number 2- Unique with Raku Candle Holder on Lid. She is approx 7" wide x 4" deep and 6" high. Also priced at $110.
One of my 'tree pots' will be for sale. If you are interested in either one, please e-mail me and I will let you know if she is still available. Alicea gets first choice.
Posted by Healing Woman at 4:20 PM
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
MOROCCO-THE TAUREGS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS
This is The Road We Traveled Which Went On For Many Hours. We Climbed To 7,414 Toward the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass, Which is The Heart Of The Atlas Mountains. Please click once on pictures to enlarge
Highlight number 3. Visit to the Taureg tribe or the Blue People and a long ride through the Atlas Mountains to get to them! They are named Blue people because of the indigo blue scarves worn by the men to cover the faces and bodies. The women actually do not wear the scarves. Sometimes the blue stains their skin and creates an eerie effect. We were given a bit of information on this tribe of Berbers before entering their small villages located just beyond the middle Atlas Mountain range.
Entering the villages was like going back in time-kind of like walking through an old wild western desert town. The people were friendly and so kind. One little lady followed me around. She was shy of having a pic of her face taken but didn’t mind the pictures otherwise. They learn from the time they are children to greet the tour buses as we arrive to their desolate area. The air was filled with the smoke and scent of the tagines on the charcoal flames. The restaurant owners are actually preparing for the ‘chicken buses’ to arrive and bring Moraccans from the area into town. The chicken buses are aptly named because they are old retired tour buses, used now to transport people and livestock.
We Passed All Sorts Of Livestock Trucks Along The Way. Sometimes I had To Cover My Eyes When One Of Them Came Toward Us From The Opposite Side Of The Road. There Were No Security Rails!
Each Valley Was More Beautiful Than The One Before and Was Ever Changing
There Was Greenery
And Snow Capped Mountains
There Were Crystals Ready to be Plucked Out of The Ground
And Then There Were the Tuaregs. One of Our Taureg Guides
Berber's With Scarves for Sale Seemed to Pop Up From Nowhere in This Desolate Area
The Curves Continued
Shops Were Built into The Rocks
We Stopped in A Small Village and Met the Most Wonderful Berber People. This Little Woman Saw My Scarf Around My Neck and Motioned for Me to Put it Around My Head. I Followed Her Instructions and She Smiled at Me and Hugged Me and Then She Was My Friend for Life-Or Until We Left The Village Anyway.
This Village Was a Stopping Point for the Notorious 'Chicken Bus.' The Bus Stops For Travelers to Barter, Trade, and Have Lunch. The Tagines Were Fired Up at Every Corner (2)
Zack Made Friends with This 'Blue Man' Earlier But I Thought it Worthy A Picture Here.
Here is Another Younger Woman I Met In The Village
A Few Hours Later, And More Steep Highway, We Finally Came to the Film Capital of Morocco-Quarzazate. We Passed the Now Defunct Hollywood Set.
Next, Ait Benhaddou, a kasbah famous for it's filming of Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator. This Was My All Time Favorite Place in Morocco (Outside of the Dunes)
A Stream Separated Part of The Village
This Picture Was Taken by Zack. He Was Shooting From Inside One of The Rock Crevices
While Zack Was Taking Pictures Elsewhere, I was Welcomed by Mohammad. He Couldn't Pronounce My Name So He Called Me Fatima-A Common Female Name Here
Mohammad Invited Me Up To His Home Within The Rocks-And I Went! (Kind Of Like-Let Me Show You My Kasbah- style) It Was A Very Trecherous Path Leading Up and Up
Along the Way, He Let Me Take A Picture of His Pointy Shoes. They Reminded Me of Aladdin and The Magic Carpet.
Upon the Path I Met An Interesting German Man Who Came Into The Village Via A Motorcycle-He Was A Stunt Man. He Was Having Trouble Climbing Up The Stone Pathway and Said to Me "These Boots Are NOT Made For Walking." He, Mohammad and I All Had A Good Laugh At His Sense Of Humor
From Another Angle
Mohammad and His Wise Words, Sweet Smile and Kind Manners
One of the Berbers Said to Me- "You Have The Beautiful Watches That You Wear, But WE have the time.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Every Spice Imaginable Is Sold In The Medinas. I Love The Way They Are Piled High
Second on my list of highlights during my trip to Morocco are the Medinas. What are Medinas exactly? Many of the cities in Morocco have a wall that surrounds the interior of the city, It is where the market vendors from time untold sell and sold their goods. We visited a goat market where goats are bartered and sold, a sheep and donkey area as well. (one of the female members of our group was offered 5,000 camels to her family if she would marry him!) Even before we entered the gates of each medina, we could smell the aroma of all of the meats, herbs, spices, leather and many unfamiliar scents as well. Zack and I visited the medinas of Rabat-capital of Morocco which lies on the Atlantic ocean-It is a fortified site. Tea leaves are a specialty there. ‘Mint tea is the Moroccan scotch’ as one Moroccan told me.
We walked through the Medina of Marrakesh-the ‘red city’ and Djemia El-Fna square. Fez had a large open market as did Casablanca, which means the ‘white house.’ We entered by the clock tower. Casablanca has the tallest mosque in the world which can be seen from the medina. This Certainly helps those who are lost find their way back out. So, sit back and enjoy your walk through ancient and present Moroccan Medinas. You will feel like you have gone back in time.
This Is A More Elaborate Way Some Of The Spices Are Sold
These Are The Largest Strawberries I Have Ever Seen
Goat Market Where Moroccans Barter and Buy Goats. There Are Sheep and Donkey Markets As Well
Zack and Friend, Sammi, Try Out A Popular Donut. It Tastes Like A Combination Donut and Pretzel
Camel Heads-I Could Not Even Look At That Booth But Zack Took Picture.
If You Felt Sorry For The Camels On The Dunes-Don't. They Have A Good Life Compared To This
Work Donkeys Were Passing Us Constantly As we Strolled Through The Medina. When They Come Through, Someone Will Yell 'Balam'So We Know To Move To The Side
This Shows How Narrow and Crowded the Aisles Are-Not For The Claustrophobic
Herb Shop Within The Medina
Work Bike-One of Many Seen
Herbs Are Sold Everywhere-Especially Mint
Metal Lamps Are Very Popular In Homes and Hotels
Orange Cart-The Best Oranges I Have Ever Tasted-So Sweet
Here Some Moroccan Woman Rest From Shopping
I Found The Moroccan Woman To Have A Wonderful Sense Of Humor. This Woman Is Selling Her Peacocks
This Pretty Donkey Doesn't Look Like It Has Done A Days Work In Its Life
They Make A Special Sweet Bread And Set Up Work Stands Everywhere
Meat Sales Are Everywhere
This Man Is Washing Clothes
The Olives Were Absolutely Delicious!
This Is A Passageway To Homes Within The Medina. The Exterior Walls Are Painted Blue Because We Were Told It Repells Mosquitoes
Almonds Are Grown and Very Popular In Almond Delights Like The Almond Cookies We Ate. Very Rich
Soaps Sold For Dishes, Clothes and Skin
Food Is Cooked In Traditional Tagines-Many Are For Sale Everywhere
Zack Standing By Copper Booth
And Yet More Spices
Each Medina Has A Unique Gate Entrance
We Had A Nice Lunch On Rooftop Restaurant at Medina in Marrakesh With Our Newfound Friends, Sammi and Her Mother Julie From England
Horse and Cart Ride Back To Hotel
Very Scenic and Peaceful Ride Back
Posted by Healing Woman at 12:42 PM