What you see above is the Le Creuset Moroccan Tagine. It was a wedding present to two friends for reasons of it being a very cool looking thing and low likelihood of them already having one. As knives are bad luck, finding well established 30 somethings a wedding present is no easy task. Since I liked it† there was a bit of vicarious pleasure to offset the sadness of having to give it away. They were nice enough to invite me to its christening so how could I refuse.††

Tagines are functional to boot, slow cooking, the water rises to the top and cools and then falls back into the dish. You can of course appreciate how this would be important in a desert area. As an added bonus, the very top doesn’t get hot so you can lift it off with bare hands (yes I tried).

Dinner was greatly enjoyed to the fill with a beef and a chicken casserole (forgot to get the official names) and couscous. Worked through a few bottles of Samson Budweisers (round the corner from Budvar); a bottle of 2001 Howard Park Leston Shiraz; and the, must be the zeitgeist that someone else had brought along a couple of bottles of Skuttlebutt Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot .

Finished the evening with cognac and a nasty battle with two engineers in that masterful game of changing conditions, friction and gravity – Jenga.

†something about the tagine that I can’t quit put my finger on

††though due to a scheduling clash I’m now down for 6 dozen fundraising Caramello Koalas to help the fight the forces of darkness.


  1. Robert’s avatar

    Ah yes, the quiz night you missed.

    We came second. Beaten by my boss by one point in the final round. As you know, it’s not The Done Thing to win a competition against your boss, which is why our table decided to throw the last round.

    (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

    ‘Nother quiz next Friday if you’re up for it…

  2. Anonymous’s avatar

    What’s the deal with Congnac? I’ve never tried that.


  3. Anthony’s avatar

    30 million Japanese salarymen nod approvingly of your strategy. I will never be able to do justice to the tale I was told by one British ex-pat working for a Japanese company of “Squid fishing trip with the Boss”.

    Friday’s looking clear although I think I’d stand a better chance of winning at the One Nation quiz night. Then again there’s the Libertarian quiz night next Tuesday and I’ve a strong suspicion every answer might be “the Free Market”.

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    It’s good, you can knock yourself here

    Apart from transporting you to a world of expensive leather lounge chairs and velvet dressing gowns it easily has the best fumes of any liquor – they combine very well with smoke, calling for good cigars and it has been known to cause giddy effects with the ‘erb.

  5. pixelkitty’s avatar

    That is one of the best wedding presents I’ve ever seen. I’m inviting you to my wedding now!

    And cognac. Oh my god. One cannot sing the praises enough. Absolutely delicious.

    I also love Benedictine. Look it up.

  6. FXH’s avatar

    Fess up. How many $$?

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    Cheers but I’ll have to bring along my other 3 chipper innerers though. My friends kindly tell me it’s been a conversation piece.

    Now that would be telling, it was a great wedding so a bargain.

  8. Anonymous’s avatar

    Its David Tiley..

    aaargh.. Benedictine.

    Stop it. I shall have to rob a bank.

    Damn the bad luck knives theory. Once I discovered a source of Japanese cooking knives (as opposed to lopping and stabbing knives) I took to slowly supplying all my friends. They still like me, even if they hide the cutlery if I arrive unexpectedly.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Sigh! Japanese knives, I’m currently dreaming of a set of Global steak knives.

    Good knives really are forever but I’m not sure if it’s so much the superstition that worries me, as finding a gift as Exhibit A in friend’s domestic homicide case.

  10. Jeanne’s avatar

    Bugger. Didn’t know these existed when I got married. OK, let’s make a deal. You and Toni renew you vows and I’ll give you some Global knives, then Nick and I renew our vows and you give us a Le Crueset tagine. Deal?? Failing that, I’ll have to look into which anniversary one is supposed to buy expensive French cookware…

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    It’s a deal. Expensive French cookware – 7th I hope, o/w I’m going to have to do my “well if I can’t have a drumkit” routine.

  12. Anonymous’s avatar

    A beautiful piece of cooking implement, the tagine. Funny I’ve been thinking about couscoussiere and tagine lately. Almost bought them the other day at Sur La Table, in fact, not to mention the three different couscous I bought, a kilo per bag, last weekend in an attempt to find the best couscous! Great minds?


  13. Anthony’s avatar

    I’ll accept your hypothesis on great minds but also hope that Rupert Sheldrake is right and there is some kind of spooky wave based telepathy going on in the world. Go get the couscoussiere and tagine, I’d be happy to hear how the couscous compares cooked traditionally.
    The tagine above is undeniably attractive and would have bought it even if it was an offal smoker or something. The simplicity of the design had me puzzling maybe it follows the golden ratio or something primal and then it dawned on me…our first food instinct. Won’t be telling my friends this though.

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