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.

Actuelle informations...New....Neu....

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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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

saving for winter....

...it's getting close to that time of year again. I don't participate any more, I simply don't have the space, it's either the bath for a bath or a shower, or the bath for curing olives!
It's a great shame, because I used to really enjoy my own home cured olives, and now when I look at the price of "specialised" preparations, I'm frightened!
Over 18euros for a kilo of things I used to prepare for a few centimes, and which tasted better anyhow!
The first thing you have to know and accept, is that it is a long process, from picking your olives from the tree and putting them into glass conserving jars to eat over the whole winter.
Somewhere around 2-3 MONTHS, depending on the quality of the product.
Now this would mean for me 2-3 MONTHS with no bath or shower (situation normal....!?) and since starting in September, the weather is still nice and warm, transpiration is still rampant, it may be too much to ask of the people around me. Oh yes - they loved the olives, but....... The first thing to understand is that no particular knowledge is required, just a few supplementary things, and hard work and time.
There are basically only 3 ways of preparing olives, once prepared, there are as many ways of "garnishing" them as there are people making them!
Everyone has his own painstakingly tried and tested recipe - with little pickled onions, just sliced onions, pickled gherkins and so on.......and on....and on....
First, as they say - get your olives.
Now this only really pays if you have access to your own olives, because you choose the moment to pick them, from a ripeness point of view, and from a quality point of view, and of course from a quantity point of view. The procedure isn't worth doing if it's just for a couple of pounds of olives!
Less than 10 kilos (around 20lbs) of olives isn't really worth doing!
 So....pick your olives....avoid the leaves obviously, and avoid the damaged or bruised ones. A few leaves and smaller branches can be picked later for decorative purposes.
Green (unripe) and black (ripe) fruits should be treated seperately, since the state of ripeness changes the style and length of curing them.
I'm going to concentrate on the methods most popularly used, salt cured (brine) and "Lye" cured (that's caustic soda or potash). I propose to deal with both ways in separate articles, apart from the basics....
The procedure in both cases starts the same, washing the olives in cold water, a few times, changing the water 3 to 4 times.
For brine curing (simpler and quicker method but doesn't give as good a taste) the washed and cleaned olives must be submerged in a salt and water solution and left for up to 4 weeks, changing the solution now and then - up to 3-4 times depending on the size and quality of the fruit. To cover them completely, a little trick can be used - a cover (plate or something) slightly smaller than the container should be placed over the olives and the weight of the plate will force the olives under. If, like myself, you're doing it in a specially kept old bath tub, then you'll have to come down and stir them whenever you think of it, but at least once every 2 days. The more often then the more uniform the salting will be.
Some people recommend "slitting" the olive on one side with a sharp knife, to allow the brine to penetrate more fully. This may be the case if the quality of the olive is exceptionally unripe, I personally never had to bother.
I also found that the colour of the fruit changed and was less pleasant to the eye, quite apart from the fact that some of the olives accepted the brine solution more than others, and ended up "over cooked" and somewhat mushy.
Here is a link giving you many types of curing and the instructions regarding salt/water ratio for the brine.
You'll find that you will have to adapt according to your own wishes and the product you're using......
(with thanks to "About.com"):

http://greekfood.about.com/od/greekcookingtips
/qt/cureolives.htm

Once you've done the salting or brining, you can go on to either conserve them in jars, in a weaker brine, or you can "go Greek" and conserve them in olive oil (much nicer and tastier) together with your own concoctions, like onions, garlics, branched herbs etc......
These jars can make quite beautiful little presents, both original in taste and appearance, depending on your artistic ability, but before giving them, make sure the olives are edible , taste nice and aren't poisonously salty.....!
That's the end of this part, the second part will deal with the other, better and real method of curing olives....with drain cleaners..........yep - honestly....!
But once done, you can really go to town, but leave the expensive stalls to one side......

You'll have the same, just better.....at home!
Better not just because you did it yourself, but better because of the price!



A suivre........

iwmpop(mrlemarquis)  -  Vauvert,France  -  Septembre 2011
  

Monday, 22 August 2011

Autumn-Herbst-Automne...

..Autumn is comin' and the goose is getting fat....! Something wrong with that I think, and the goose we'll just leave for a couple of months more.
But.....Autumn most certainly IS coming,  and with it, all those deliciously flavoured, much awaited things, particlar to Autumn. We're all just starting to get fed up (literally) with salads and bbq's, Paella's and "light" meals - all the summer fayre.
Just in time, Autumn arrives and presents us with all those things only available in Autumn. The summer vegetables and fruits can generally almost all be obtained all year around in some form or other, be it frozen, fresh (from the other side of the world) in cans - tins - dried - preserved, but Autumn's offer can only be obtained - in Autumn!
At least, I've never seen pumpkin, or those other gourds (squash) in any other form than fresh. Maybe they do exist, but I don't know where! Of course there are certain items available in other forms all the year round, but true experts (if their still alive after eating them) will tell you that they are "not worth the candle" - the only true way to taste these things is in Autumn and in fresh form. I'm talking, of course, about these things....... ..."funghi" - or more palatable - mushrooms! I somehow always think of "funghi" as "fungus", and the Americans call that in turn "mold" - and it makes you ill!
Well that's true, but then - so do (or can do) "mushrooms" - paricularly this little thing.......seems that it can be mistaken for the "chanterelle" quite simply, and then you don't chant a lot anymore.....Of course, in France, in Germany and probably in other countries, there exist "information centres" or the local Pharmacy should be able to tell you what's edible and what eats you!
All the same, I think I prefer not to bother than to put my life in the hands of a Chemist....!
Even although a lot of "funghi" seem to be trying to tell us something,..amazingly every year there are deaths and serious conditions for live caused by eating something "we found on a walk"....Personally, I limit my purchases to those items I find on the baskets of vegetable shops and other places like that...after all, if I die from eating something they've sold me, I can at least have a gold lined coffin. I mean, would YOU seriously consider preparing something like this in your omelette......? Looks very rude to me, and quite disgusting, although there is of course a certain resemblance to truffle.........
Anyway, even if it spoils your healthy walks in the woods, which you can still do anyway, wsatch out for these little boys.......  ....they can be bad.....!
Again, my personal favourites in Autumn are all those things that can be cooked, even if it takes quite a long time, by vapour, in some butter, and in a sealable bag. Then....they get squashed (maybe that's why a lot of them are so named) and seasoned, and with all the different colours, orange - white - green - red even blue (I adore "blue cabbage") all arranged on a magnificent large platter, they are quite splendid, full of goodness, non-fattening, and they all have their own texture and taste. Simple green cabbage, cooked a la vapeur, is a quite magnificent, healthy and filling dish - cheap as well.Chopped into quarters, with the white hard stalk eliminated, it can be "hashed together with butter and is quite magnificent. Those nasty cabbage odours are avoidable too - if it's cooked in a heat proof plastic bag, well sealed. The same applies to the "red" or "blue" cabbage so much admired in Germany, and an ideal dish to accompany any game dish. Strangely, apart from the red/blue vatiety, is largely ignored in standard or quality restaurants, quite wrongly in my humble opinion.
Even cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts should be considered for inclusion in a beautifully arranged on a colourful platter!
Of course one type of cabbage preperation is NOT ignored in classic cuisine.... "Choucroute" or "Sauerkraut" (pickled cabbage)  which goes from the simple (shown above) pickled cabbage cooked with simple bacon or gammon or ham pieces, to the largely copious dish world renowned as the "Choucroute Royale" - pickled in champagne, served with an amazing arrangement of smoked and otherwise cured meats, hams, sausages and much more....
 of course, steamed potatoes are also included, and the best (again in my humble opinion) drink for this classic dish is:..preferably a German "weizenbier" ....but - at a pinch - the poorer people amongst us will have to content themselves with ..!
The only thing I would mention about Choucroute or Sauerkraut is that it is an "acquired" taste....and the bulk of people who prepare it at home always forget to do the most important thing...steep the pickled cabbage - for some hours - in cold water, changed frequently. Believe me it makes all the difference.....
So - there you are - Autumn is coming - the goose can stay alive until the coming celebrations, and they know it....!

..Bonne Appétit....!

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mrlemarquis (iwmpop)  -   Vauvert, France  -   Aug/Sept 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

It did happen and still does....!

WARNING - CLICKING ON THE LINKS GIVEN MAY LEAD TO "UNPLEASANT" IMAGES BEING SHOWN - IT'S THE READER'S OWN PERSONAL DECISION

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  This is a blog called "Gourmandise", but there are certain occasions when exaggeration and simple bad, disgusting taste and practices come into it as well.
When you've been a professional chef for over 40 years and are now enjoying your retirement, cooking for visitors, then I guess you could tell an awful lot of stories from your experiences through time, but that would be somewhat un-professional, and besides - might put some of you off going to that plush and expensive Restaurant where they have large "fresh" fish tanks, just full to the brim with trout, lobster,crayfish and other delicacies that were never meant to live together, half of them swimming "belly upwards" due to a lack of simple knowledge about keeping them - of course, even the dead ones are sold as "fresh".... I'm sure (in fact I know) that in certain of these plush places, if you look closely, you will actually find out that the so delicious "lapin" or rabbit in mustard sauce is actually nothing other than cat meat - in the same sauce!
Having researched the subject, and from my own experiences in the business, I have seen some pretty horrible images, and I'm not going to show you any, but I'll give you the link to the page concerned....if you DO go to look, it's your own decision!
Personally I don't recommend it, but I suppose we should all really know what goes on in some "highly civilized" countries, and some of them not so far away as you may think!
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&biw=1360&bih=603&gbv=2&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=cat+meat&oq=cat+meat&aq=f&aqi=g4g-m6&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=379366l382734l0l387571l8l8l0l0l0l0l273l1803l0.2.6l8l0
Personally I prefer to think of the domestic animals enjoying themselves searching in OUR places than us searching for food in their places, but there are certain central European countries, amongst others, small - very rich - full of tunnels and mountains -  where dog and cat meat is relished - is even occasionally shown on the menus (mainly OFF the Tourist beaten track).
It actually even goes further than that because the furs from these culinary offerings represent a secondary source of income, and are exported, illegally of course, within Europe, often by the Postal Services, who have a legal obligation to prosecute anyone doing so, but rarely - if ever - do!
With the enormous choice of beasts raised expressly to satisfy our extra ordinary appetite for dead cadavers I can honestly see no requirement for such offers.
I'm carnivore (and people tell me that even a Brussel Sprout screams when you wrench it off the stalk, or a rose screams when you cut it) but I have my limits, and it doesn't seem to me to be quite correct to stroke and caress pussy, before popping her/him into the pot, having skinned and sold the fur as some kind of winter woolly, for people who believe it to be mink or something.
Even that is bad enough, if not worse, because I'm not aware of the cadaver being utilised in the kitchens of the world (and - again I'm not going to show you the images, but if you wear animal furs - look here:
 http://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/fur.html   - this Australian but it's all over the world) Remember...

  and if that doesn't put you off, then ask yourself the following question......




and if you've got an answer, then tell us professional chefs just how you see yourself being presented, both on the menu and on the plate......and what price we should charge.....!

Bonne Appétit.......?
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mrlemarquis(iwmpop)    -   Vauvert,France   -     Aout 2011

Monday, 15 August 2011

Tian.....? Tian.....? Strange goin's on!

http://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_tian-provencal_36194.aspx
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Although on holiday, I'm working away at the building up of a little occupation for myself and for the lady who shares my life, and from the beginning, an arrangement of our names seemed to give a reasonable name for the thing....."Tian Enterprises".....so that's what it's called!

Neither of us were aware that on Google search, there are something around 4,600,000 entries - just for photos/images on the word "Tian"....!

From a simple gratined dish made of simple provençale vegetables to more complicated dishes, to more complicated explanations of what "Tian" is otherwise, such as some kind of "occult" Chinese symbol -with all kinds of meanings....Well we didn't know all that...So I'll take the tian with the duck.. ...and maybe the Tian with the other interesting things like.....this(she's called "Tian Shi" - it says so on the title......)

and TC can have the cultural and vegetable side......she loves all that kinda stuff......!


Well now we know what it means, we'll have to make it damned good - to keep up with the history.........and I guess I'll go figure out how to cook it....here in the Provence I guess it's an obligation!


And then.....


Bet ya NEVER knew this: 





Above is the Chinese Oracle Script for "TIAN" - amazin' really -  never knew it existed when the name was chosen....!
Know what it means?

......"Heaven and Sky" ........ from the Chinese! 

Somebody or somethin' trying to tell us something......?
Bonne Appétit!




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