Friday, December 16, 2016


IMG 3360
Eastside Road, December 15, 2016—
AND NOT JUST ANY couscous: Couscous Royal, with Chermoula, as Cook found it in the newest addition to the bookshelves, Alice Waters's Fanny in France, with marvelous illustrations by the unique Ann Arnold. (Bob Carrau had a hand in the book too: old friends all.)

I haven't read the book yet; only looked into it, to find Ann's illustrations bringing familiar faces and places alive with lots of sparkle and energy. In the book, Fanny is apparently nine years old, She seems to spend the first half of this book knocking around Paris and the south of France with her mother and many familiars from la famille Panisse, cooks and artists and winemakers who've contributed their skills and intelligences and spirit to Alice's restaurant in Berkeley.

The second part of the book contains the recipes. This couscous involved chickpeas cooked with onion, cinnamon, chile, and olive oil; and a brraise of squash, carrots, turnips, onion, and tomatoes, flavored with cumin, coriander, saffron, turmeric, Cayenne pepper, garlic, and ginger. The chermoula, the green sauce on top, is similarly highly flavored: ginger, garlic, chile, cilantro, and lemon juice, along with the parsley.

What a fine thing it all made! The dish is a bit like the family; the constituents keep their individuality, but have much to say to one another, and combine to make a zesty, nourishing stew. We followed it with green salad, of course, this time with a lemon vinaigrette, and then an apple and some chocolate.

I must say: Cook is a marvelous woman, a thoughtful and generous member of a uniquely rewarding family…

A glass of vin de pamplemousse to begin; then rouge du Var, good old Ferme Julien
Fanny in France, by Alice Waters with Bob Carrau,
illustrations by Ann Arnold. New York: Viking Young Readers Group

RESTAURANTS VISITED, with information and rating:  2016   2015

No comments: