They were seated at the table next door in the restaurant. Parents and two children, their heads stooped over, their faces bathed in that unmistakable glow. The daughter flicked through the photos at the speed of light, one after another, one after another. The father typed furiously with his two thumbs, his mouth curled in a scowl. The littlest boy cried Nooooo.....and then Yesssss... as he shot laser after laser. The mother liked and then liked again -- she liked everyone, it seemed.
They didn't speak. They didn't speak to each other. They only spoke to their screens.
It's been quiet here on the blog. I've been working on not being the family at the table next door.
We take our Moroccan cocktails seriously at Peacock Pavilions. When we have guests, a freshly made, craft cocktail is available every day at 5:00 (and we make sure that guests never get the same thing twice). Over the years, we have amassed a repertoire of Marrakech-inspired cocktails, and there is always something new and delicious being stirred, muddled or shaken in the kitchen. Many of the ingredients come straight from our organic garden!
I truly believe that it's the little things, like the occasional cocktail, that make life feel like like a vacation. So once a month for the next several months, I will be sharing a new Peacock Pavilions Moroccan cocktail recipe. I would love for you to try them out and to post a pic on our Facebook page if you do. Let's celebrate a Moroccan Summer all year round:-)
(Notes: In the winter, omit the ice cubes and serve hot. Also, I like my cocktails less sweet. If you feel the same, go easy on the sugar syrup; start with a cup and taste. I often top up with some water when the pot is simmering on the stove, so that I can enjoy 2 or 3 glasses guilt-free. And check out the way we have snipped a glossy fruit leaf from the garden and pinned with a short tooth pick, for an extra decorative touch.)
Prep and styling by Cait Lees and Matt Sanchez-Walker.
My father lived in Cambodia, in Phnom Penh for years. He lived in an old Khmer house with potted orchids hanging from all the eaves. His furniture was dark oiled wood, his bedspreads were silk in inky colors. It was all very dramatic.
I visited him in Cambodia, once and then twice. I was living in Kathmandu at the time and Phnom Penh seemed chaotic and dangerous in comparison. People would whisper about having to run checkpoints late night. There were robberies with complicit guards tied up up in pretend manner. My father once saw a man shot in some brawl over a prostitute. We would listen to the tales of intrigue and betrayal over drinks at the Foreign Correspondents Club where we'd mingle with the regulars.
It was an unusual life, but one suited some how for my father -- a man who was exceedingly mild mannered but yet terribly adventurous at the same time.
I'm back now in Phnom Penh. And I'm alone. At first glance, the city seems to have changed, to have gentrified - the bars less gritty, the streets cleaner.
But perhaps that's just the surface. Let's see what I'll find.
I believe in magic. And so I saved for them. The talismans. I wanted more than one, I wanted several, I wanted many. I wanted so many that I'd know that they'd protect me no matter the circumstances, no matter the situation, no matter the tight bind.
I wanted the old ones, I wanted the real ones, I wanted the kind that had their powers. There were silver ones and Oh, there were gold ones. I wanted them both. I wanted them all.
For four months, I paid for them. Every month I paid some more. And then I paid some more again. Until they were mine....the Moroccan talismans. Bought from the white haired keeper of talismans.
And then she made it for me....the necklace. The necklace of talismans.
With them around my neck....I feel, well, invincible.
In exciting news I am on CNN Go's travel show this month, which airs TODAY on CNN (and will repeat over the course of the month). It was so fun being part of the crazy cast of characters who love the Red City of Marrakech and want to share it with you.
Take a peek at the promo (those are my henna'd hands and that's me in the hot air balloon!:-)):