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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

French-style grainy mustard

Filed under: food & drink — ejm @ 19:06 EDT

summary: homemade grainy mustard; treasured memory of mustard from Charroux; (click on image(s) to see larger views and more photos)

When we visited a moutarderie in Dijon in 1996, I was amazed to discover that the mustard seeds used were grown in Canada! We decided not to buy mustard to take home as a souvenir….

On one of our bicycle holidays in France in the last century, we blundered into the town of Charroux, only to discover truly spectacular mustard there.

If you get happen to be in the Vichy area, the Charroux Moutarderie is well worth the visit. Make sure to sample some of the mustards and in spite of the high prices, buy at least one jar. You won’t be sorry!

But. Almost equally brilliant is home-made mustard.

Not long before that wonderful bicycle holiday in France in 1998, we went to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto and tasted the best mustard we’d had in a long time. The woman at the stand had made it and was handing out recipes. We learned from her that prepared mustard has a shelf life and tastes much better if it is freshly made.

She was right!! Do make some mustard today. Like us, you too will never buy Grey Poupon or Maille mustard again.

mustard (continue reading…)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

O la la! C’est magnifique!

Filed under: equipment and techniques,food & drink — ejm @ 08:53 EDT

Butter DishI’ve been meaning to post about this for eons! Since last summer, actually….

summary: a French butter dish is fabulous (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

In winter, we almost don’t have to keep butter in the fridge. It’s pretty much the same on the counter as in the fridge; the butter is hard. (heh heh, I cannot help but think of Grandpa’s favourite response: it’s harder where there’s none!)
me, blog from OUR kitchen, annual Scrabble clout and cake fest

Butter Dish To stop the furry black fiend from sneaking onto the counter to eat butter, we have to put a hat on it. We put the butter on a saucer with a custard bowl inverted overtop.

For about 10 months of the year, the standard phrase (spoken through chattering teeth) in our house is “The butter’s hard…”. Then, for about 2 weeks or so, when left out on the counter on a butter plate, it softens a little and then stays at exactly the right softness.

But for the rest of the time, when summer hits with a vengeance, it turns into a semi-liquid greasy mess. In the past, we didn’t dare to leave the butter out. Unless we wanted rancid butter…. :stomp: (continue reading…)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mmmm! Tuscan Rosemary Bread – with salt!! (BBB July 2014)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get BakingPanmarino - rosemary bread summary: recipe for Tuscan Rosemary Bread; a Bread Baking Babes project; submission for YeastSpotting and Bake Your Own Bread; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) July 2014

Rosemary… j’adore rosemary!


In that blessed climate [of British Columbia] — not unlike its native Provence — rosemary can be left outside year-round. Gardeners in the rest of Canada are not so fortunate and must take their tender rosemary bush indoors when heavy frosts threaten. But the effort is worth it, if for no other reason than the pleasure of running your hand over the needles [...] releasing essence of rosemary into the air. It is an antidote to the weariness with the world.
Turid Forsyth and Merilyn Simonds Mohr, “The Harrowsmith Salad Garden”, p. 61

Cathy (Bread Experience) is this month’s host; she has just come back from a wonderful time in Tuscany and decided that we should make Tuscan bread.

I have to admit I was a bit afraid that we were going to have to tackle saltless bread. Thank goodness, no.

Her choice, a variation of a recipe in Carol Field’s “The Italian Baker”, sounded fabulous! Especially that it has a crust that “sparkle[s] with diamonds”. Not to mention the addition of rosemary!

One of my favourite breads that we had when we did a walking tour of Tuscany (in the last century) was a flat crisp rosemary bread. It was the best! (continue reading…)

Monday, 30 June 2014

Wordless Not-Wednesday: Cherries! …sweeeeeet!

Filed under: food & drink,Wordless and/or Black & White Wednesdays — ejm @ 12:45 EDT
<o>cherries !!

sweet cherries


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Cherry Season = Cherries Jubilee

Filed under: dessert,food & drink,posts with recipes — ejm @ 19:47 EDT

go directly to the recipe

Not Far From the Tree summary: recipe for Cherries Jubilee; information about Not Far From the Tree and Plated Stories; (click on images for more photos and larger views)

I was reading “Cherries” on Jamie and Ilva’s blog, Plated Stories, surprised that there was no mention of Cherries Jubilee. I came back here and was amazed to see that I too had neglected to post about this ultimate way to serve cherries.

Classic cherries jubilee [...] flambeed with brandy is a great, refreshing dessert especially after a hearty meal., Classic Cherries Jubilee

cherries There’s nothing so thrilling as blue flames for dessert!

We were riding our bikes through the neighbourhood the other day and in one of the front yards, I saw the most beautiful cherry tree, laden with beautiful white and rose coloured cherries! And I suddenly wondered if I would get to pick cherries for NotFarfromtheTree this year.

I hope so!! I hope so!!! (I’m on a waiting list to be chosen for the first cherry picks of the season this Saturday…).

Pick me! Pick me!! (continue reading…)

Friday, 20 June 2014

Eleven Years? Can that be right??

Filed under: food & drink — ejm @ 11:23 EDT

summary: marking anniversaries; commenting; changes to blogging; spice rubs;

Over the past couple of days, I have been tidying broken links and came across the following:

[I]t’s finally come to pass that my time is this space is over. [...] [W]hen it’s clear that no one is listening any longer, it becomes so much harder to think about what to say.

- Kate, Kate in the Kitchen, a bittersweet good-bye

I was already feeling just a little sad and forlorn that it seems as though there are fewer readers and fewer and fewer comments here too. And then I realized that I don’t comment on others’ blogs as much as I used to either.

I blame FaceBook! It has sucked away my time on the internet, getting me to look at pictures, skim with glazed eyes over anything longer than one sentence and blindly click “like” without fully paying attention to what is there.

Then I realized. It’s not too late to make a new year’s resolution to visit favourite blogs and leave comments from time to time. So I began.

One of the blogs I visited was Jeanne’s (Cook Sister) to see that she was celebrating ten years of blogging (continue reading…)

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