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Plantes Vertes

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  1. Plantes Vertes

    Cheese (2008– )

    Potatoes feature large in tomme recipes. People like it in gratins and also in a recipe called aligot, which is buttery mashed potatoes with cheese and garlic. There's also tourte à la tomme de Savoie, which is an enclosed puff pastry tart with eggs, cheese, potatoes and ham inside. Not really hot weather stuff... a lighter option would be a souffle or an open-faced tart with sharp apples and the cheese, or you could use it in a Waldorf-type salad with apples.
  2. Plantes Vertes

    Steel cut oats and baking

    You can use oats as a topping for a crumble. Combine flour and cold butter with your fingers until it forms crumbs, with sugar for a fruit crumble or without for vegetables, then add oats, nuts/seeds and some seasoning, herbs and maybe cheese for vegetables. Put it on top of stewed fruit or else cooked vegetables in a béchamel/cream sauce and bake until golden.
  3. Plantes Vertes

    Nutmeg and mace

    I like nutmeg with spinach. Mace is traditional in potted seafood.
  4. French people are munching un sandwich for their brunch and enjoying a cocktail quite regularly as well.
  5. Plantes Vertes

    Dinner! 2014 (Part 3)

    When you have written in situ I have always assumed you meant in with the rice; that's what I've done the few times I've made fried rice, with rather poor results. Did you scramble the eggs and then add the rice to the same pan, or do them separately and then add to the rice at the end?
  6. Plantes Vertes

    Drinks! 2014 (Part 2)

    A problem that solves itself
  7. Plantes Vertes

    Cooking from "Jerusalem: A Cookbook"

    They say denial is the first stage of acceptance
  8. Plantes Vertes

    Literary Lunch (or Dinner)

    George Orwell also wrote extensively about food in his essays and novels, in both loving and revolting vein. The description of oily gin from Nineteen Eighty-Four lodged in my mind and deterred me from drink for several years before peer pressure and an interest in intoxication overrode it. In The Road to Wigan Pier he reflects: A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; the other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion....Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market gardeners. This essay, In Defence of English Cooking, marries the author's activism, his patriotism and his nostalgia; his views seem rather more attenuated in British Cookery, while he treats restaurant life and hunger in Down and Out in Paris and London after a stressful period of 'work experience' in French bistros. I particularly remember the part where he spends his last centimes on garlic to chew, to fool his mouth into believing he had eaten.
  9. Plantes Vertes

    Literary Lunch (or Dinner)

    The madeleines from Du côté de chez Swann by Proust must be among the most frequently invoked. II y avait déjà bien des années que, de Combray, tout ce qui n'était pas le théâtre et le drame de mon coucher, n'existait plus pour moi, quand un jour d'hiver, comme je rentrais à la maison, ma mère, voyant que j'avais froid, me proposa de me faire prendre, contre mon habitude, un peu de thé. Je refusai d'abord et, je ne sais pourquoi, me ravisai. Elle envoya chercher un de ces gâteaux courts et dodus appelés Petites Madeleines qui semblent avoir été moulés dans la valve rainurée d'une coquille de Saint-Jacques. Et bientôt, machinalement, accablé par la morne journée et la perspective d'un triste lendemain, je portai à mes lèvres une cuillerée du thé où j'avais laissé s'amollir un morceau de madeleine. Mais à l'instant même où la gorgée mêlée des miettes du gâteau toucha mon palais, je tressaillis, attentif à ce qui se passait d'extraordinaire en moi. Un plaisir délicieux m'avait envahi, isolé, sans la notion de sa cause. II m'avait aussitôt rendu les vicissitudes de la vie indifférentes, ses désastres inoffensifs, sa brièveté illusoire, de la même façon qu'opère l'amour, en me remplissant d'une essence précieuse : ou plutôt cette essence n'était pas en moi, elle était moi. J'avais cessé de me sentir médiocre, contingent, mortel. D'où avait pu me venir cette puissante joie ? Je sentais qu'elle était liée au goût du thé et du gâteau, mais qu'elle le dépassait infiniment, ne devait pas être de même nature. D'où venait-elle ? Que signifiait-elle ? Où l'appréhender ? Je bois une seconde gorgée où je ne trouve rien de plus que dans la première, une troisième qui m'apporte un peu moins que la seconde. II est temps que je m'arrête, la vertu du breuvage semble diminuer. Il est clair que la vérité que je cherche n'est pas en lui, mais en moi. [...] Je pose la tasse et me tourne vers mon esprit. C'est à lui de trouver la vérité. Mais comment ? Grave incertitude, toutes les fois que l'esprit se sent dépassé par lui-même ; quand lui, le chercheur, est tout ensemble le pays obscur où il doit chercher et où tout son bagage ne lui sera de rien. Chercher ? pas seulement : créer. II est en face de quelque chose qui n'est pas encore et que seul il peut réaliser, puis faire entrer dans sa lumière. Et je recommence à me demander quel pouvait être cet état inconnu, qui n'apportait aucune preuve logique, mais l'évidence, de sa félicité, de sa réalité devant laquelle les autres s'évanouissaient. Je veux essayer de le faire réapparaître. Je rétrograde par la pensée au moment où je pris la première cuillerée de thé. Je retrouve le même état, sans une clarté nouvelle. Je demande à mon esprit un effort de plus, de ramener encore une fois la sensation qui s'enfuit. Et, pour que rien ne brise l'élan dont il va tâcher de la ressaisir, j'écarte tout obstacle, toute idée étrangère, j'abrite mes oreilles et mon attention contre les bruits de la chambre voisine. Mais sentant mon esprit qui se fatigue sans réussir, je le force au contraire à prendre cette distraction que je lui refusais, à penser à autre chose, à se refaire avant une tentative suprême. Puis une deuxième fois, je fais le vide devant lui, je remets en face de lui la saveur encore récente de cette première gorgée et je sens tressaillir en moi quelque chose qui se déplace, voudrait s'élever, quelque chose qu'on aurait désancré, à une grande profondeur ; je ne sais ce que c'est, mais cela monte lentement ; j'éprouve la résistance et j'entends la rumeur des distances traversées. Certes, ce qui palpite ainsi au fond de moi, ce doit être l'image, le souvenir visuel, qui, lié à cette saveur, tente de la suivre jusqu'à moi. Mais il se débat trop loin, trop confusément ; à peine si je perçois le reflet neutre où se confond l'insaisissable tourbillon des couleurs remuées ; mais je ne peux distinguer la forme, lui demander, comme au seul interprète possible, de me traduire le témoignage de sa contemporaine, de son inséparable compagne, la saveur, lui demander de m'apprendre de quelle circonstance particulière, de quelle époque du passé il s'agit. Arrivera-t-il jusqu'à la surface de ma claire conscience, ce souvenir, l'instant ancien que l'attraction d'un instant identique est venue de si loin solliciter, émouvoir, soulever tout au fond de moi ? Je ne sais. Maintenant je ne sens plus rien, il est arrêté, redescendu peut-être ; qui sait s'il remontera jamais de sa nuit ? Dix fois il me faut recommencer, me pencher vers lui. Et chaque fois la lâcheté qui nous détourne de toute tâche difficile, de toute oeuvre importante, m'a conseillé de laisser cela, de boire mon thé en pensant simplement à mes ennuis d'aujourd'hui, à mes désirs de demain qui se laissent remâcher sans peine. Et tout d'un coup le souvenir m'est apparu. Ce goût, c'était celui du petit morceau de madeleine que le dimanche matin à Combray (parce que ce jour-là je ne sortais pas avant l'heure de la messe), quand j'allais lui dire bonjour dans sa chambre, ma tante Léonie m'offrait après l'avoir trempé dans son infusion de thé ou de tilleul. La vue de la petite madeleine ne m'avait rien rappelé avant que je n'y eusse goûté ; peut-être parce que, en ayant souvent aperçu depuis, sans en manger, sur les tablettes des pâtissiers, leur image avait quitté ces jours de Combray pour se lier à d'autres plus récents ; peut-être parce que, de ces souvenirs abandonnés si longtemps hors de la mémoire, rien ne survivait, tout s'était désagrégé ; les formes - et celle aussi du petit coquillage de pâtisserie, si grassement sensuel sous son plissage sévère et dévot - s'étaient abolies, ou, ensommeillées, avaient perdu la force d'expansion qui leur eût permis de rejoindre la conscience. Mais, quand d'un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l'odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l'édifice immense du souvenir. Here in English translation. In this famous passage the narrator recounts the evocative power of the morning tea and cake he used to share with his aunt Léonie; when he tastes a madeleine in later life the full experience of his childhood with this relative is resurrected. This reveals his idea of involuntary (sensory) memory: Mais, quand d'un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l'odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l'édifice immense du souvenir. But when nothing remains of a far-off past, after its beings are dead, after its objects destroyed, alone and more delicate, yet more vivid, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, smell and taste remain long still, like souls, to remember, to wait, to hope, on the ruins of all the rest, to transport without relenting, on their almost impalpable droplets, the immense edifice of memory. Throughout the work, food serves as a nexus of manners, etiquette and snobbery, social mores, sensuality and sensation, family life, ritual and habit, history, desire, disgust, aesthetic pleasure and many of Proust's other themes, and represents a route to different dimensions of experience. Gluttony and literary virtuousity seem to spring from the same impulse... I wrote about Proust's food descriptions in relation to the classical concept of ekphrasis in my first-year exams at university. I was very strung-out during revision, so these passages have a rather hallucinatory quality in my memory, but at least I passed
  10. Plantes Vertes

    Flirtini losing all the fizz

    Serious answer Perhaps you are using colder ice than the bar does and getting little ice shards in your drink when you shake. This would produce a lot of rough surfaces and smash the bubbles. Or, if your drink tastes awful but you enjoy the bar version your ingredients may differ in some important aspect eg the sugar content of the raspberry puree, and whatever the difference is could also explain the bubbles problem. I wouldn't really expect either of those to totally flatten the Champagne on impact, though. Facaetious answer Your Champagne has seen its fate and simply lost the will to live
  11. Plantes Vertes

    Drinks! 2014 (Part 2)

    Even yuppies must brunch
  12. Plantes Vertes

    Drinks! 2014 (Part 2)

    Glad you liked it! It's next door to an art school, which could explain the extraneous avant guardistes, but God, prams Uncalled-for.
  13. Plantes Vertes

    Cooking from "Jerusalem: A Cookbook"

    There's one on Jerusalem in the cookbooks forum, (plus one about Ottolenghi) but it's not a 'cooking from'.
  14. Plantes Vertes

    Smoked fish appetizer ideas

    If you didn't mind swapping the octopus salad you could try this smoked eel and potato salad. There's also this smoked eel canape, although it does contain creme fraiche, bearing in mind what Liuzhou has said. You can also add smoked eel to a salade frisee aux lardons, or you could use smoked mussels for the bruschetta with greens posted above.
  15. Plantes Vertes

    Picnic Foods

    Cold meat pies are a classic British picnic food (pork pie, egg and bacon pie, game pies, Cornish pasties, sausage rolls) - in fact cold meat generally; roast beef with horseradish, ham and Piccalilli, roast chicken, pate, potted meat, terrines, coronation chicken. Scotch eggs, plain boiled eggs and quiche are also popular. Asparagus, celery, lettuce, cucumber, radishes and watercress for salads. For dessert fruit, fruit salad, strawberries and cream, fruit or sponge cake. To drink, ginger beer, elderflower cordial, lemonade, Champagne, punch or Pimm's. Here is Mrs Beeton's impressive Bill of Fare for a 40-person picnic. .
  16. Plantes Vertes

    Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

    Could you be more specific about the problem, eg: Do your kids dislike/refuse healthy food?Does the household lack knowledge about healthy diet?Do they eat erratically (random snacks, eating out of boredom, strange mealtimes)?Do they buy unhealthy food when you aren't there or make bad choices at school?Do they pester you to about food?
  17. Plantes Vertes

    Dinner! 2014 (Part 3)

    How much and with what do you smack the cucumber? I think I would like this salad too.
  18. Plantes Vertes

    Food Songs

    A song called Stand up for Good Food by David Ogden and Anna Farthing was performed by a choir at the BBC Food and Farming Awards recently (you can hear its composition discussed and listen to part of it from 14mins here if you have access).
  19. Plantes Vertes

    Potato mystery

    Do you think some of the slices could have become stuck together and so been out of contact with the liquid on the stuck side?
  20. Plantes Vertes

    What Wine Are You Drinking Today?

    Over the last few days I've been to some London Wine Week events. I tasted a new grape, the Greek Malagousia, which has been resurrected from near extinction over the last 30-40 years. The wine was the Kitma Gerovassiliou 2013 from an Epanomi vineyard; I enjoyed it. It's reminiscent of a Chardonnay in terms of concentration of fruit, with apple as the dominant element and some notes of elderflower and even dried exotic fruit or candied peel, without excessive sweetness. A refreshing golden wine with medium acid and an orchard aroma. I also attended a tasting of the Rothschild International Portfolio single-grape wines (I could not find any reference to these online from the company itself so am not sure that such a thing exists outside the material marketing the event...). I think it's fair to say that Rothschild did not bring out the big vintages for this free tasting - we tried a French Viognier, a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, an Argentinian Malbec, a Pinot Noir, a Merlot, and a Cabernet Sauvignon. They were from 2008-13 and few were especially distinctive for me. What was remarkable, however, was that the organisers poured us each six full glasses of wine rather than six normal tasting measures! Perhaps they were aware that their wines were somewhat ordinary and hoped to make us all forget...
  21. Plantes Vertes

    Pineapple and Pineapple Juice

    I endeavour to eschew reduplication
  22. Plantes Vertes

    Pineapple and Pineapple Juice

    I also have a centrifugal juicer that makes short work of a pineapple. That is, after you wrestle the leaves off with your knife, slash off the skin, painstakingly remove the eyes, hack the thing open, hew into wedges...
  23. Plantes Vertes

    Blacklisting Culturally Bad Tippers

    You can't ban someone for their place of origin. You can't ban someone for low tipping. You can't ban someone for irritating a waitress. You could ban someone for abusing a waitress, and serving him yourself next time might give you an indication of whether he is just annoying or is really vindictive; the change might also communicate the message that his behaviour is disturbing or provide you with the chance to discuss his concerns and explain what you can provide. Certainly banning someone without trying to work through the problem first would lose you business and attract bad reputation.
  24. Plantes Vertes

    Pangrammatic cocktail recipes

    I'm not saying I'd like it, but I'd go as far as no 7 if drinking sequentially
  25. Plantes Vertes

    The Salmon Croquette

    Onion
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