Skip to content

Recent Articles

18
Jul

#Paris In July Madeleines

Musée Carnavalet:

Un voyage dans le Paris de la Belle Époque sur les pas de Marcel Proust, à la recherche d’un temps perdu…

What is the first thing you think of when you say Marcel Proust?

  • Yes…and that is what I am going to try to make!
  • Recipe is in La Petite Cuisine à Paris, page 88
  • Madeleines à la crème de citron

 

Preparation:

Batter:

In three easy steps:

  1. Kitchen Aid (…if you have one) : mix eggs and sugar until frothy and pale yellow
  2. Bowl nr 1: sieve flour and baking powder then add the zest of 1 lemon
  3. Large bowl nr 2:  mix milk with cooled melted butter then
  4. …add flour mixture is 2 parts.
  5. Let batter cool if fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  6. The recipe is in La Peitie Cuisine à Paris by R. Khoo, pg 88.
  7. I was up early this morning and baked the little cakes.
  8. Just 1 level tablespoon is enough batter in each form.
  9. You have to stay near the oven because these delicacies
  10. …bake quickly and you don’t want to burn them!
  11. Makes: 42 madeleines
  12. NOTE:  this is the strangest recipe because you have to ‘manipulate the oven’.
  13. 190 C  (375 F) – bake madeleines for 5 minutes
  14. turn OFF oven for 1 minute
  15. turn oven ON reduce temp to 160 C (320 F) – bake for 5  min

 

I made some French Strawberry Shortcake with a mixture of

Fraises  au basilic et au citron

  • 500 gr strawberries
  • 1 TB lemon juice + zest of 1 lemon
  • Sugar  (..to your own taste)
  • 6 chopped 6 basil leaves
  • twist of the peppermill!

 

 

 

 

 

 

15
Jul

#Paris In July Kir Royale

Medici Fountain, Jardin du Luxembourg

  1. If there is one cocktail that has a
  2. special place in my heart….it is Kir Royale.
  3. It was my first cocktail.
  4. I was 18  and studying in  Paris for two months.
  5. One evening I went to  La Comédie française.
  6. It was Molière Le Misanthrope and
  7. honestly…I didn’t understand much of it.
  8. But later I  went to a café with friends and met ‘Kir Royale’ !

Kir Royale:  sparkling wine (or champagne) + crème de cassis liqueur

  1. The Kir Royale—is named after Félix Kir.
  2. He was the mayor of Dijon who helped popularize the white-wine version of the drink.
  3. I’m using  Joseph Cartron Crème de Cassis de Bourgogne.
  4. Crème de Cassis was one of Hercule Poirot’s favorite drinks!

  1. I’m using sparkling wine:  Blanquette de Limoux instead of champagne.
  2. Blanquette de Limoux was first  made in a Benedictine Abbey in SW France.
  3. This wine  predates champagne and
  4. ….is in fact France’s oldest sparkling wine.
  5. Thomas Jefferson loved it, and served it to guests when he was president.
  6. Jefferson was America’s first oenophile.
  7. At his home at Monticello, his household consumed about 400 bottles of wine  per year.
  8. All came from Europe, because in the early 19th century
  9. …wine grapes couldn’t yet be grown in North America.

Blanquette de Limoux:

  1. Limoux is the birthplace of high-quality sparkling wine production in France.
  2. Grape: 100% Mauzac known as blanquette due to the white coating on its leaves.
  3. Taste: beautiful dryness matched up with a zing of apples.
  4. It is a  lovely glass of sparkling that’s much
  5. ….more interesting than any cava or prosecco.

Trivia:

  1. Jefferson insisted the wine be delivered in  bottles, not casks.
  2. In this way the bottles were at least secure and c
  3. couldn’t be watered down or filched by unscrupulous merchants or
  4. thirsty crew members.

 

N@ncy’s bar:

  • 2/3 c  sparkling wine (160 ml)
  • 1 TB crème de cassis  (15 ml)
  • There are also those that prefer…
  • 2 TB crème de cassis (30 ml)  to
  • 1/2 c sparkling wine (120 ml)
  • ...too rich for me…but you may like it.
  • Glass: champagne flute or champagne coupe
  • Garnish: optional….strawberry or black berry on the rim of glass!

 

France’s best kept secret…wines from Languedoc!

Conclusion:

  1. Elegant and easy….with just 2 ingredients.
  2. Taste: this Blanquette de Limoux tastes much more tart
  3. ..than my trusty Martini prosecco!
  4. It is also twice as expensive.
  5. The black current liqueur balances perfectly to
  6. …produce a  unforgettable  cocktail!
  7. I feel 18 again!
  8. If you have a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge
  9. …you are always ready for a celebration!
  10. Excellent choice for a festive cocktail for
  11. …birthday, Christmas
  12. …or New Year!

 

 

 

 

11
Jul

The Sun Also Rises

 

Introduction:

  1. Hemingway was part of what is called the Lost Generation.
  2. It was a group of expatriate writers
  3. ….who found real meaning in nothing.
  4. They spent their time reveling while living in Europe.

 

Title:

  1. The title comes from the epigraph.
  2. Despite the despair this ‘lost generation’ feels….there is hope.
  3. Ecclesiastes 1:5
  4. “Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
  5. And hastening to its place it rises there again.”

 

Publication:

  1. When published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises
  2. caused a bit of a stir
  3. among the Montparnasse expatriate crowd.
  4. Many of its characters were based on real people.
  5. Donald Ogden Stewart   (character Bill Gorton )
  6. Harold Loeb   (character Robert Cohn)
  7. Lady Duff Twysden   (character Lady Brett Ashley)

 

Alcohol:

  1. This book is held together by
  2. …the buying, mixing, having, spilling and pouring out drinks.
  3. In O. Laing’s book The Trip to Echo Spring she mentions
  4. that “Hemingway, who’d been drunk since he was fifteen
  5. …had put more faith in rum than conversation.” (pg 92)
  6. Hemingway used alcohol to
  7. …blot out feelings that are otherwise unbearable.
  8. ”A bottle of wine was good company” (pg 236)
  9. Drinking reflects the characters attitude.
  10. Brett drinks for psychological/physical pleasure.
  11. The Count is a connoisseur.
  12. Brett:  “Let’s enjoy a little more of this,”
  13. Brett pushed her glass forward (pg 66)
  14. Count: The count poured very carefully.
  15. “There, my dear. Now you enjoy that slowly,
  16. and then you can get drunk (pg 66)

 

Hemingway code:

  1. Bullfighting fascinates Hemingway.
  2. He describes in great detail Pedro Romero’s
  3. …killing of the bull.
  4. He faces danger with understanding and dignity
  5. …undaunted, grace under pressure.
  6. FEELINGS fascinate Hemingway.
  7. Everyone in that time had feelings, as they called them,
  8. just as everyone has “feelings” now.
  9. Whether Jake leaned in a cab against Georgette or
  10. leaned in a cab against Brett
  11. ….Hemingway was searching where his feelings lay!
  12. Georgette?  Brett?

 

Last thoughts:

  1. This book is considered a classic.
  2. The book didn’t interest me as a whole.
  3. Others may swear by it and Hemingway
  4. …but I just like The Old Man and the Sea. 🙂
  5. Advice: the book should be read
  6. …so you can form an opinion about it.
  7. It is on Modern Library’s Best 100 Novels List.
  8. Perhaps they  could have selected a book written
  9. later in Hemingway’s life….his writing matured.
  10. I can agree with Hemingway……just once!
  11. You´re always drinking my dear.
  12. Why don´t you just talk?” (pg 65)
  13. The Lost Generation–living in Paris during the 1920s
  14. …was lost on me.
  15. Finished: 11.07.2018
  16. Genre: novel
  17. Rating: D
  18. Conclusion:
    I think I’m done with Hemingway.
    I don’t care if he won the Nobel Prize or not!
    There are better classics waiting to be read.

 

9
Jul

Short stories: Like a House on Fire

 

Notes:

Flexionexcellent – great last sentence  – wife-husband relationship.

Ashes –  excellent – great last sentence –  son-mother and recently deceased father relationship.

Laminex and Mirrors wonderful….very funny yet touching.
Narrator is an 18 yr cleaning girl in hospital who establishes a connection  with an old dying man.  The matron keeps a close eye on our young girl when she lingers too long with her new friend: ”matron calls her in a tone of permafrost…she snaps in an  enraged whisper.” The old man is whisked away by the girl for a surprise  hot steaming bath. ” Haven’t felt this way in years…weightless.” The old man also gets at the desired but forbidden cigarette from this young cleaner…he’s elated and says “Your blood is worth bottling.”

Tender – Honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life with the backdrop of an approaching appointment for the mother’s biopsy. She remains the Rock of Gibraltar for her family despite her fears.

Like a House on Fire – Hilarious description of father who is chief child-care provider (…suffering from lower back pain)…while he gets the Christmas decorations from the attic…puts the tree in the bucket with bricks to anchor it. The children are not in the Xmas mood but Dad says: “TV of off until every piece of tinsel is on the tree!” Family life and on Christmas eve and relationship with wife endearing and told in details we all see around the house!Absolutely terrific!! It seems every story gets better and better! Bravo Cate Kennedy,  this was the BEST story!

 

Conclusion:

  1. These are the notes I made about the first five short stories.
  2. It seem every story got increasingly better!
  3. Unfortunately….the rest of the stories failed to dazzle me.
  4. The first 5 stories tasted like a sparking glass of champagne
  5. ….they went straight to my head!
  6. The last 10 stories tasted like sparkling water
  7. … refreshing but without the ‘bubble buzz’.
8
Jul

#Paris in July Biscuits Breton

  • Biscuits Breton with Lemon Curd
  • …topped with whipped cream
  • ..meringue in photo but I prefer crème chantilly

 

  1. After dieting for 5 months
  2. ….it is time to bend over the saddle…and let go of the reins!
  3. This month during #ParisInJuly
  4. …I want either to
  5. bake, broil, braise,’buver’ (drink wine or cocktail)
  6. something French  every day!
  7. I’m using La Petite Cuisine à Paris by R. Khoo. (see Amazon).
  8. It is time to celebrate the summer and its fruit and fresh veggies
  9. …..before you know it it will be winter here!
  10. This is a delightful cake to enjoy
  11. …as a special treat for 14 juillet!
  12. I made the lemon curd ( see post July 3)
  13. Now it is time to make the basic biscuits Breton.
  14. To assemble, place a generous tablespoon of the lemon curd
  15. on top of the biscuits, followed by the whipped cream.
  16. Oven: 170 C (330 F) – 12-15 min

 

Biscuits Breton

  • 3 egg yolks ( in photo 2 yolks…but you must use 3!)
  • 125 gr softened butter
  • 200 gr flour
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. WHISK  butter, sugar, salt and zest  until a pale yellow color
  2. … add yolks and continue to WHISK.
  3. CHANGE  to DOUGH utensil
  4. …add flour and baking powder into batter —> MIX
  5. Wrap dough in cling foil.
  6. Chill 4 hrs or overnight
  7. Roll dough out to a 1/2 inch thickness
  8. ….and use  culinary circle forms to make a perfect round biscuit!
  9. Don’t remove the biscuit out of the form.
  10. Bake the biscuit in the form on a cookie sheet
  11. 170 C (330 F)  12-15 min  until golden.
  12. Ready to roll…!

 

Notes:

  1. Conclusion: this recipe will make shortcakes.
  2. I used a biscuit cutter  to make the rounds
  3. I cooked the biscuit in the cutter.
  4. Later I used the cutter again to help me layer the cake with
  5. lemon curd….topped with whipped cream
  6. If you let the cake stand…(see photo) the curd will ooze
  7. and cover the cake giving it an elegant look!

Preparation:

 

Bon appétit!

 

Still  very hot in The Netherlands..

…enjoying a Crème de Cassis Spritzer!

 

6
Jul

#Paris In July French Wine

 

This wine is a real treat!

  1. Blanquette de Limoux is considered to be
  2. …the first sparkling white wine produced in France.
  3. It was created long before the Champagne region
  4. …became world-renowned for the sparkling wine Champagne.
  5. The first textual mention of “blanquette”,
  6. ….from the Occitan expression for “the small white”
  7. appeared in 1531 in papers written by
  8. …Benedictine monks at an abbey in Saint-Hilaire.
  9. No one can say it better than the French:
  10. “Cette blanquette or pâle libère des bulles fines et régulières,
  11. ainsi que (as well as) des parfums intenses de
  12. poire williams et de chèvrefeuille.” (honeysuckle)

 

  • I enjoyed this wine with Camembert cheese as aperitif and
  • …later with my gratin dauphinois. (La Petite Cuisine à Paris, R. Khoo, pg 34)
  • I’m trying to make as many recipes as I can from this cookbook during
  • #ParisInJuly.

 

Preparation:

 

Bon appétit!

4
Jul

Classic: James Fenimore Cooper

  • No, Daniel Day-Lewis did not appear in the movie version of Deerslayer
  • …but IMO he  is the best visual image I could find for
  • the main character….a  white scout who was raised by the Mohicans.

 

 

Introduction:

  1. I had to read this book in high school  English class.
  2. You luckily were spared this torment, I hope.
  3. I never shrink from a challenge and pledged Brona’s Books
  4. …I would try to re-read a book.
  5. Re-reading is against my literary religion.
  6. So I choose the only book I have actively blocked out of my memory.
  7. Now I will try to see what in heaven’s name made Mr Hughs
  8. select this book for my senior English exam.
  9. I graduated….so I must have read the book somehow!

 

Plot:

  1. Deerslayer and his Mohican blood-brother, Chingachgook
  2. stumble onto an old trapper Tom Hutter who asks for their help in
  3. ..protecting a crazy old man and  his two daughters from a Huron assault.
  4. Deerslayer reluctantly agrees and  meets the old
  5. …man on his floating fort in the middle of the river.
  6. The crazy codger hates Indians.
  7. This has brought the wrath of the Hurons down on him.
  8. Hutter flatters his oldest daughter (Judith) while
  9. …telling his youngest (Hetty)  that she’s feeble-minded.
  10. Deerslayer has suspicions about the whole set-up.
  11. (no spoilers)
  12. There is a love triangle:
  13. Deerslayer – Harry March – Judith Hutter

 

Setting:    Lake Otsego = Lake Glimmerglass in the book

 

Weak point:   class distinction (pg 30) – not a weak point…but hard to read.

  1. This is what people thought in 1846:
  2. White is the highest color and therefore the best man.
  3. Black is put to live in the neighborhood of the white man
  4. …and fit to be made use of.
  5. Red comes last…those that made them never
  6. …expected the Indian to be accounted as more than half human.

 

Notes:

28.06.2018 – #20BooksOfSummer #ReReadChallenge
If you buy the E-book version only choose Penguin Classic edition. Design and fonts are so important The cheaper books use a font that is ugly and embedded.

29.06.2018 – #20BooksOfSummer #ReReadChallenge
I need a good glass of Cru Bourgeois Chateau La Tour de Bessan Margaux 2010 to start The Deerslayer by J.F. Cooper. #ReReadChallenge.
Deerslayer must choose between uprightness of heart vs false pride and frontier boastfulness.

30.06.2018 – #20BooksOfSummer #ReReadChallenge
Making good progress and must read 5 chapters a day.
Busy morning in canoe with Chingachgook and Deerslayer on Glimmerglass Lake (Lake Otsego in upstate New York).

01.07.2018 – #20BooksOfSummer #ReReadChallenge
The book reflects the styles and attitudes of another time. Cooper wants his message of Christian morals to pervade. Revenge should be avoided and we should forgive…”turn the other cheek”. Who ever heard of a young girl (Hetty) fleeing from wild savages Huron Indians…stop after gathering dried leaves for a bed…and kneel to say The Lord’s Prayer. #HardToBelieve

03.07.2018 – #20BooksOfSummer #ReReadChallenge
Busy night: Mysterious floating moccasin found, Tom Hutter is scalped and left to die, Judith Hutter refuses Harry March’s proposal of marriage, Hetty Hutter is still reading the bible, Deerslayer is held captive by the Huron braves
…and England finally won a penalty shoot-out in World Championship Soccer 2018.
ENG-SWEDEN   1/4 final!  is this Saturday, don’t miss it!

 

Conclusion:

  1. This is a classic about the early America era.
  2. It is filled with adventures, violence and clever escapes
  3. …but most importantly a few dirty secrets emerges.
  4. Did I like the book after RE-READING it after  50 years?

 

Last Thoughts:
This book has stalked me for 50 years.
I had to read it for high school English.
I have wondered why Mr Hughes assigned
this book to a giddy group of teen-age girls.
Is there a message in this book that
will help us starting our lives?

I think it is in chapter 30:

  • “It’s true that you being female will most likely
  • save you from torments but it will not save your
  • liberty and may not save your scalp.”


James Fenimore Cooper was an enlightend man.
I am indebted to him
….because I still have my scalp!

3
Jul

#Paris In July Crème de citron

 

  1. This is the first step on my quest to make  tarte au citron.
  2. I found this recipe in La Petite Cuisine à Paris by R. Khoo.
  3. I was looking for the right tangy  taste.
  4. This recipe makes about 1 cup of  crème de citron.
  5. When I make the tart I will make dubble or triple this amount.
  6. You can make this and save it in the fridge for a few days.
  7. Crème de citron is an elegant touch for a any special desert!

 

Lemon Curd:

In three easy steps:

  1. Large bowl: mix zest and juice of one lemon,
  2. pinch of salt, 40gr sugar,  45 gr butter and
  3. 2 egg yolks.
  4. Optional:  adding 1/2 tsp cornstarch.
  5. I want the curd thick to use tarts.
  6. Warm slowly …keep stirring all the time!
  7. I warmed the mixture au bain maire.
  8. For velvety perfection: pour cooked  mixture through a sieve.
  9. Photo: I bought this fine mesh professional cooking sieve years ago
  10. I use it all the time to sift flour….and sauces
  11. Important!  use a culinary ring to keep the curd in one
  12. …place otherwise it will be a mess.
  13. Believe me, I know.
  14. Cover mixture with thin, clingy plastic wrap
  15. …and make sure wrap adheres to sauce.
  16. You want to avoid  the formation of a ‘skin’ on the lemon curd.
  17. Cool in fridge for a few hours or overnight
  18. Here are the photo’s of all the steps!

 

 

1
Jul

#Paris In July Food Journal

01.07.2018  Paris In July!

  1. I took this photo in front of a pâtisserie on L’ile St.Louis.
  2. This is my first stop whenever I visit Paris.

 

 

  1. Everything is so delicious but I always choose (lower right)
  2. …the mini tarte au citron!
  3. This month is all about Paris and anything French.
  4. My pâtisserie challenge this week: 
  5. ….bake these little pies and post my results!
  6. What is your cooking challenge this week?

 

Bloody hot today  in The Netherlands…time for refreshment!

Bénédictine Spritzer!

  • Bénédictine is an herbal liqueur beverage
  • developed by Alexandre Le Grand in the 19th century and produced in France.
  • The recipe is a closely guarded trade secret,
  • purportedly known to only three people at any given time. #ParisInJuly.

 

 

 

29
Jun

Paris in July 2018

  • Oh, is it July already?
  • Let’s have a glass of wine and
  • think of some things to do for…

 

Paris in July

  1. Paris in July is a French themed blogging
  2. …experience running from the 1st – 31st July this year.
  3. The aim of the month is to celebrate our French experiences through
  4. actual visits, or through reading, watching, listening,
  5. observing, cooking and eating all things French!
  6. For more instructions how to share your posts go to Thyme for Tea.

 

  1. There will be no rules or targets …just blog about anything French
  2. …and you can join in! Some ideas might include;
  3. reading a French themed book – fiction or non-fiction,
  4. watching a French movie,
  5. listening to French music,
  6. cooking French food,
  7. experiencing French, art, architecture and travel.
  8. #ParisInJuly2018

 

What are my plans?

  1. Book:  Et Soudain, La Liberté  by É. Laurent winner Prix Marguerite Duras 2017
  2. Book: Comment Baptiste est mort by A. Blottière  winner Prix Jean Giono 2016
  3. Cocktails: make, drink, review a  surprise French iconic cocktail
  4. …and on 19th July is National Daiquiri Day….try a French Daiquiri!
  5. Cooking: Gratin Dauphinois (pg 34)  La Petite Cuisine à Paris by R. Khoo.
  6. Movie:  Frantz won Best Actor Pierre Niney César Awards, France 2017.
  7. Netflix:  Dix Pour Cent  Season 1 series – nominee International Emmy Awards 2016.
  8. Art: Berthe Morisot by D. Bona winner Prix Goncourt de la biographie 2000.