Somethin' to say? Was zu sagen? Des choses a dire?

Follow mrlemarquis on Twitter If you want to make a comment but can't find the "make a comment" box, which keeps on disappearing, just send it either to twitter, facebook or to me at: iwmpop@gmail.com , and I'll maybe publish it for you....Only said maybe....! Here's the latest one: (Who IS this guy called Keith.....) "I just wanted to leave a comment to say that (from personal experience), although you get a bit stinky for the first few weeks, after that you don't get any stinkier! And those olives do look nice, don't they? All the best" Keith

hungry?Thanks to Tina Concetta Marzocca.

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Due to illhealth I have decided to post my articles here:Just click on the link....


Depuis peu vous pouvez suivre des liens par voie du "Twitter" vers des articles amusantes et/ou intéressantes.......... Allez-y.... essayez. C'est en haut...
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For some time, you can follow links chosen by mr le marquis and presented on "Twitter". These links are intended to inform and amuse you - every day, or nearly, new ones ....Try it out! It's just above...
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Zeit einige Wochen Können Sie interessantes oder amüsantes Verfolgen durch "Twitter"... Fast jeden Tag was neues von mr le marquis ... Versuchen Sie es...Zu finden oben...

here it is....you wanted it....!

somebody (!) wanted to know so here it is...

simple local vegetables

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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Autum tastes...Goût d'Automne.... Herbstgeschmack


 The Autumn  period of "stay home and in comfort", brings "specials" with it...so different to the light meals of summer....
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L'automne amène des goûts spéciale - si différente que ceux de l’été...
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Herbst bringt andere Geschmäcke ins Haus - sehr viel anderes als im Sommer...
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Between Summer with the "lighter" meals, taken over a longer period of the day, and the Winter "heavyweights" taken to sustain us in the cold period, lies Autumn.
Sometimes a period of "Indian Summer" where the temperatures stay quite high, at least during the day, and only at night time does it get quite cool, indeed - cold, and sometimes worse than deepest Winter!
A difficult period to decide what to eat, when to eat....
 The autumn traditionals. No, these (sometimes) enormous vegetables are NOT sent simply to scoop out and decorate to celebrate Halloween! They are nature's way of telling us what is good for us at this time of the year!
Delicious - in all colours you can think of, in all sizes, shapes and taste.
On cold days, made in a soup, the most simple version,  with a decent "dollop" of fresh cream, or clotted cream, it warms up "the cockles of the heart" as some say! A "veloute" soup, basically a very fine puree, enriched with cream, seasoned as you like, and served with crispy triangular fried croutons. What more do you want?
But - cut into chunks, or even just in quarters, peeled (because the outside doesn't like being eaten) cooked, drained and arranged in a grating dish with either some cream or a light sauce made up from something like chicken broth , cream and lightly thickened - just sprinkle some breadcrumbs mixed with grated chees, and push it all into the oven to get that crusty gratin colour, or quite simply peeled, cut into pieces, cooked and then purée'd, with a nut of butter, and a little rasping of nutmeg  -  then ,,,,,enjoy!
Like most of my vegetable preparations, I tend to try to cook all vegetables in special, heat supporting bags, available everywhere inexpensively, properly seasoned, with maybe a nut of butter, by the VAPOUR method.
Yes, it takes longer, but not much longer (for potatoes count around 30 minutes, for a whole chicken around 1 to 1 and a half hours, boiled eggs around 10-15 minutes), and the vitamins, minerals, iron and all the rest is kept within the sealed bag, together with the vegetables. and if you've got a cooker similar to this one, you can do all the things at the same time, saving time and energy, pots and pans - and washing up!
(this is a typical "vapour cooker" - very useful because not only vegetables, but all manners of things can be cooked healthily, without fat, and seperately, thus keeping individual taste. I use it also for potatoes - for salad or to sauter - eggs for hardboiled use in salads etc.. - fish - whole or fillets - meat, in particular chicken, to use as cold meat in summer picnics, or for cold buffets, covered with a "chaud-froid" sauce. Usable also to slowly, carefully "rewarm" dishes).


This method is not expensive, there are so called "rice cookers" or "vapour cookers" with all the necessaries - like automatic cut off when there's no more water creating the necessary vapour, timers, and no problem of running out of gas - they're electric, and not expensive. "Pressure Cooking", although quicker is not, for me, a solution, it tends to destroy most of the goodness in smaller items like vegetables, and microwave is only good for "pre-cooked" dishes, simply to warm them up quickly whilst cooking them very little, and tends to destroy the structure of sauces with a flour basis, making them liquid and no longer sauce!
Try it!
 Really, Autumn is ideal for soups and potages of all types, except the cold ones! They are inexpensive, can be consumed without limit (or almost) they help the stomach to adjust to the new season, are healthy, are quick to prepare, and can be made from just about anything! They can also be "fortified" by adding some sherry or other wine, and they can be made more substantial by adding rice or pasta to them. They can be served with croutons, or simply with good crunchy bread "dunked" and spread all over the tablecloth and your blouse/shirt front!
Of course, salad items can still be consumed, even in Autumn, simply for the nutritional value. Try a green salad with hot fried lardons over it (the sauce vinaigrette is made from the lardon fat, oil - if necessary - lemon juice, mixed directly in the pan used for frying the lardons, and poured directly, hot/warm over the green salad.)
Eat immediately!
Some of us (myself included) do need something substantial to get into, like meat or fish, and even here, Autumn allows us to consume well and plentiful. Slightly "fattier" meats can be permitted, maybe not the period yet of the rich "Cassoulets" or "Choucroute Royale", but we're getting near that time, so - start training your digestive system!
Of course, a high point, THE high point for some is the large availability of MUSHROOMS and other funghi!
 This one recalls to mind somebody I have "occasional" contact with, who seems to have an obsession with "funghi" - amazingly enough, he is still alive! If, however, you are not an   expert ...be careful! I'm not going to give any recipes, there are so many, and that subject will be for a different article....
People asked, not long back, for any ideas to use these things, and although they have probably already looked, I'll give some details anyway....QUINCES (EN) or COINGS (FR)....
 Autumn is also the season for other things, like these "coings". I wouldn't recommend trying to eat them like an apple or a pear - you'll be unwell!
Generally used for the enormous quantities of "pectin" they contain, to make jellies and jams and confitures, even marmelades, they are also used to make a sort of "paste" or pate, very jellified, flavoured often with other fruits, since the coing does not have any particularly strong taste, or really any taste at all, but they do have a very strong odour, almost a "perfume" - depends on your taste whether you like it or not.!
I understand they are also used to concoct small "lozenges" for sucking, to improve breath quality (scent/perfume)
This is what makes it perfect to be flavoured with other fruits.
Certain vegetables can also be used to flavour, particularly carrots.
This jelly pate is used as a side dish to main courses or as a salad/dessert ingredient, or just to snack on!
To know more about the "unfashionable" poor old "coing" click here:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coing   (In French, but you can change the language on the page).......and for images and recipes.....try this:


  1. Images for coings

     - Report images

  2. 18thC Cuisine: Pâte de Coings


    2 Nov 2004 ... I have some lovely large quinces, from which I wish to make quince paste or pâte de coings, also known as fruit cheese, for the winter ...
    18thccuisine.blogspot.com/2004/11/pte-de-coings.html - Cached - Similar
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    A last suggestion for Autumn, which mustn't be forgotten, are CHESTNUTS, and I don't mean "conkers" to play with, I mean the real things for serious purposes - eating....!
    This is their season as well, so have a look here:

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    1. Images for chestnuts

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    2. Chestnut History - Food History


      Chestnuts date back to prehistoric times and are a good source of starch. Learn about the history of Chestnut.
      homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/.../chestnuthistory.htm - Cached - Similar

    3. Chestnuts For Sale. Chestnut Recipes.


      Chestnuts For Sale. A great treat for any holiday or other occasion.
      www.chestnutsforsale.com/ - Cached - Similar
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      Now you are "kitted out" ready for the 3 months or so of Autumn, and getting ready for the big sleep of ........WINTER.....!
      Enjoy it...!

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         But - take care......!


         HAVE A NICE AUTUMN TIME.....!

      (iwmpop - mrlemarquis)        -                Vauvert, France          -         Sept/Oct 2010

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Good God and the philosophy of......

 Bacchus - God of Wine - what I would call a "Good God"!
The subject is so enormous that attempting to write generally about it is .......fruitless!
So - rather than try, I thought I would attempt to generalise around the theme of "philosophy" of wine and alcoholic beverages in general.
Even that is an enormous task, so I'm only going to give a few - of my own - and they are legion as well! For your general purposes, here is a link that may help you with questions about the subject:
http://202wines.com/dictionary.aspx
Do you have any idea of the complex processes involved when an innocous liquid is transformed to what the Germans call "a Geist", what in English is called "Spirit" and what the French generally call "eau de vie"?
Such "spiritual" words for something which eventually makes your head turn, can kill you, can destroy basic body functions, tends to be expensive and ruinous, and turns normal people into raving lunatics in a very short space of time! Of course, over consumed, nothing is good for anyone, but few things work so quickly, and differently on people.
And yet....I have enormous respect for those people who devote their lives to producing such mysteries, putting it into bottles, and allowing us to partake of their discoveries.
I often reflect on the mentality of someone like the Irishman, Alfred HENNESSY, who spent most of his life in France, discovering, perfectioning, and experimenting with such things as Cognac.
Who, nowadays, would ever dream of putting a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of effort into products that are intended to be sealed up for anything up to a century, just to see what changes have happened.
Knowing full well that he would never know the answers, would never taste the changes, he called his creation "Paradise" - with good reason!
I've drunk it, in very small doses, because the price is utterly prohibitive, but I can honestly say that NEVER have I drunk such a nectar, so full of power, history and yet
so full of life. Visiting the storage area in the French town of Cognac, when you enter the enormous place, the first thing that "hits" you is the odour - of Paradise!
I could well imagine taking my final long sleep in such surroundings.
Cognac itself is full of charming legends, one of which speaks of the "Angels share" - a quantity of the liqueur Cognac, evaporating, which passes through the roofs and causes a sort of fungus or mushroom to grow on the roofs. Anything up to one third of every barrel is lost -  This is called the "Angels share" (lucky Angels), but unfortunately turned out to be something else - an assistance for the Law to see, quite simply, from the nearby hill, WHERE illegal spirits were being made and stored!
I have respect also for people like the monk  "Dom Perignon" who did not give up on the local, undrinkable wines of Champagne, until he had found the secret of double or secondary fermentation providing history, the present and us with CHAMPAGNE!
How many times did things explode in the monastery, and how often must he have been suspected of sorcery or even witchcraft, but - he continued.
Respect also for those people who, through history to our present day continue to develop and produce ever better wines, in all sorts of unlikely places.
Someone once said - "There is no such thing as bad wine".
Quite true - there is sour wine ("vin aigre" - vinegar), - sweet wine, dry wine, red, white, rosé wine, sparkling wine, still wine - but "bad wine" doesn't exist.
What does exist are our own personal tastes, and there is a wine for each one of them!
There are wines served badly, there are wines treated badly.....etc., etc., but there is no such thing as "bad wine", even though all wines are made basically from fouled grapes "pourritus noblus" - grapes we would never eat!
Respect also to whoever it may have been who thought he'd try them anyway, and discovered something extra ordinary!
The French author, Guy de Maupassant talks in one of his stories, about the Algerian servant to a French Officer in Algeria. This servant disappeared on a nightly basis and returned, drunk, every morning! Since alcohol was forbidden, everyone wondered where he got it from, then the discovery - in the wild grape area around the fortress - he ripped off grapes, stocks, leaves and all, fouled grapes with natural alcohol content! Thanks to the great names in viniculture and history, we don't have to go so far!
That's another mystery of it all.
Even the Austrians who tried to "upgrade" some of their cheaper wines to a higher category, and to a higher price, discovered that their "pansched wine" was later used (after they had been sent to prison) by the authorities to "de-frost" the frozen roads in the Alpine Republic in Winter, and it worked well, due to the anti-frost liquid they had put in the wine to make it sweeter and more commerciable! No such thing as "bad wine"!
Nowadays, of course, most of the industry is mechanised, automised, far fewer people physically work in the vineyards, and yet there are still the visionaries, who want to know what - if - why and when.
My philosophy is simple - if you don't respect something deserving respect then you are cheating yourself - nobody else!
Buying and storing away the "Grands Crus"  simply shows off your possible wealth, your probable snobbism, and your definate lack of respect for a magical, mystical marvel.
Serving a wine wrongly, badly, incorrectly, without respect for its origins, without respect for its requirements is not only ignorance, but stupid! An expensive stupidity often.
Why serve a wonderful red Burgundy with the fish?
There are wonderful White Burgundies for that.
All you are doing is showing off your financial prowess, and your ignorance, to those you may wish to impress!
If you don't know what you're doing - don't do it - seek help- ask!
Another one of my "philosophies" which counts on the product being treated with respect, is based on the fact that wine is a "living product".
Wine bruises - did you know that?
Wine gets tired, like us, when we travel, and wine, like us, needs a period of rest and recuperation!
How often have you gone and bought a bottle of that so lovely wine - for consumption that very evening - and it was not nice...?
How often have you purchased on holiday, in quantity,  the wine that was so delicious, sitting outside in the setting sun, and - on arrival at home, after anything up to 2 or 3 days in a car boot, tastes horrible.
All you wanted was a quick bottle to round off the holidays, at your own home, in the setting sun - after all - it's back to work tomorrow!
Yes - but you were tired, the wine was tired, the setting sun was on the TV screen, because outside it was pouring down.......
Try again in a couple of weeks time - the wine will be rested, reposed, ready to give of its best, you too, and - who knows - maybe the sun will really be there as well - for real!
 Don't play with fire, appreciate its warmth and good factors, whilst respecting its powers and influence!
It's a tiny start on a massive subject, no doubt extendable, who knows......certainly never exhaustable!
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iwmpop(mrlemarquis)         -       Vauvert, France        -      Sept/Octobre 2010


Thursday, 23 September 2010

In the name..C'est dans le nom.... In namen veritas....

 Often detested, OFFAL is not AWFUL at all, in fact - rather delicious, if you cook it correctly.
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Oft verhöhnt, "Innereien" haben es tatsächlich "Innen" wenn mann weist wie Mann es vorbereiten soll!
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Souvent détestées, les abats ne sont pas "a battre" - si on sait comment les préparer...!
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 Yes - rarely expensive, maybe apart from the specials Lamb or Calf liver,
"offal" (general collective name for just about everything We don't know to put elsewhere!) is generally not liked, or at least is not amongst our most favourite preparations.
This could have something to do with the fact that the very appearance of the items concerned, recalls to us that We are carnivorous, that some poor animal, somewhere, has left it's life on the doorstep - for our pleasure, and that often makes us feel uncomfortable.
Even more reason to know how to prepare these dishes, so no wastage, or as little as possible, occurs to this offering/sacrifice.
Firstly, think about the prices. For a material that provides almost ALL the necessary nourishment for humans, and often for our "animals of compagny" the price is exceptionally low.
Even the humble tripe....  is not at all what its name suggests. Prepared correctly, it is a delight, and I suspect that the reason we don't see it on Restaurant Menus (or rarely see it) is because the people concerned don't know how to do it. It is a long job, yes, but done correctly, the speciality Restaurants, all over the world are always full...! Must prove something. "Tripe and Onions"... By God..what a treat...!
Apart from the well known dishes, some of which, together with some tips, you can find further down the page, WHO can forget some of those absolute specialities.
France and Germany have literally thousands, Italy also has quite a number, and in general they are known and prepared, Worldwide.
Terrines - Pâtés, Leberwurst, in thousands of varieties and in thousands of forms of service. Impossible to be unaware of them!
Since all beasts (the human one included) have "innards" it is theoretically possible to prepare all of these things from any source! The main one for us is our distantly-related cousin - Le porc, the Pig, Das Schwein... (sometimes not so distantly-related!)
Our problem is that we have a sort of "love/hate" relationship with this animal, who resembles us so much.
It's skin is what we use for severe burns, to "skin graft" and to my knowledge there is NOT ONE part of the animal that doesn't have a use, somewhere or other in our lives, apart (possibly) from the faeces produced - rather like the human being, although in the latter, there are many more "bits and pieces" which are unusable!
And yet - we insult it, take its name in vain,  slaughter it,  eat it, use bits of it for "make us look beautiful" cosmetics, for soap, even for antiseptics and medecines!
But...please don't let it LOOK like what it really is - at least, not on our plates!
Hence the common aversion to offal!
Think about that favourite - "Liver & Onions".... probably the WORST prepared dish in cooking history! The British, naturally, add a certain National product to it - Bacon......!    No matter what it is served with, it is generally cooked for so long that it is quite tasteless, powdery and crumbly in the mouth.
Liver - of any type, should be eaten "rose".
I recall in my days as a Civilian Instructor in the British Army, always being presented by "upcoming future Army Chefs" who always told me they could not stand liver.
I always did the same thing with them - I made them eat a small piece of the liver in question, rapidly sealed in oil or butter - just half a minute on each side - still rose on the inside, tender and delicious. They loved it, and from then on, it became usually one of their favourites.
Unfortunately, Army regulations stated that we had to finish it off in the traditional manner - braised in the oven for hours! It then became what they didn't like - inedible!
Try it yourselves - you won't recognize it.
The reason for this long, slow massacring of liver and other offals, goes back to older days, when offal products did not have the protection of chilling in fridges and so on, therefore - as a product which "turns" very quickly, it had to be cooked for a long time for "safety" reasons.
Of course, once again, the Cavemen had it better - they ate it raw! 
The subject is so vast that it is not possible to go into details here, all I can suggest is that you look at the traditional recipes, for ALL offals, and use them, but cut the cooking time by at least half, if not more.
I love my liver, floured and barely sealed on both sides. When you see small patches of blood on the top of the flour, turn it and do the same again on the other side, then - out of the pan - onto the plate, and YUM-YUM....!
At sometime in the future I'll do another article on the subject, dealing with the "exotiques" - like trotters, brains, stomach, tongue - and all the others. Often very time consuming, but always delicious.
If you have an "abattoir" or a "slaughterhouse" near you, try to find out what day of the week offal is delivered to your butcher, the fresher the better, not from health issues, but from TASTE!
In all cases.....ENJOY.......
Even the Russians do....

 

  iwmpop(mrlemarquis)     -     Vauvert, France     -     Septembre 2010

METEO chez moi-Bei mir-my zone

This is what it's doing right now....or nearly! Go with your mouse to the image and click....

Lecker...Tasty... Appétissante

Des bonnes choses - de presque partout...! Leckereien von fast Uberall...! Tasty things from almost everywhere...! *********
European Goodies...! Slideshow: Mr’s trip from France to Europe (near Dieuze, Lorraine) was created by TripAdvisor. See another Dieuze slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.
******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011