dimanche 31 juillet 2011

Lazy Sunday

I just read this blog post and am sharing with all you other bloggers out there. It's inciteful. Hopefully it makes you think a little, as it does me.

In my lazy Sunday, I have been looking at some great stuff on Etsy, making a treasury of Woodland Splendors and getting ready to put more stock in the shop. I'm practically drowing in ephemera right now! I've found some great pieces. It will just take time to get them all prepared, photographed and viewable. What's your lazy Sunday like?

Etsy Blog Team: Blog Etiquette and How to Get the Most from Your Blog Work

Etsy Blog Team: Blog Etiquette and How to Get the Most from Your Blog Work

dimanche 24 juillet 2011

What is an aioli?

From reveriefrance
An aioli that most will encounter will be closely resembling a mayonaise with garlic. However,depending on which area of France you are in, you may get a different answer. In each village and town in the South of France, they have their own recipe, and each recipe is the real one. In fact, using mayonaise and aioli in the same sentence can be dangerous for your health, unless you find wars healthy.

Aioli, in French l'aïoli originally was a sauce composed of olive oil and garlic that are emulsified together with a mortar and pestle. A mortar is a bowl that generally has ridges inside of it that aid in grinding spices or herbs. A pestle is a shaped like a miniature baseball bat that is used to strike inside the bowl, will release the juices from the garlic and emuslify them with the olive oil. This is a tedius process that requires a lot of practice and patience. A true aioli is a labor of love. The end results are supposed to be rich, subtle and aluring.

I know you are dying to jump in there are start on your first aioli. I suggest you start with making a homemade mayonaise first. I realised I had been in France too long when I reached for the mayonaise in the fridge, didn't have enough and decided to make some more instead of running to the store. I'm glad I did. I don't know if i will ever buy maynaise again. It's so easy. I'll share my recipe with you. Maybe in about twenty years when I have a beach cottage in south of France, I'll get cracking on my aioli.

Here is my recipe and a photo of the end result.

2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (you can use whatever salt you have)
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 lemon (juice of one lemon)
pinch of sugar
1 clove garlic (peel and chop)
Fresh ground pepper

I use a handheld stick blender, but you could use a regular blender or beat by hand but be prepared for a workout!

Put the two egg yolks in your mixing bowl. Add the salt,lemon juice, garlic, sugar and blend in light pulses. When that is all incorporated and a little foamy, slowly drizzle in the olive oil a little at a time. You can drizzle some olive oil in, stop pouring until it's well incorporated, then drizzle some more. You will notice it getting thicker and increase in volume. When it begins to look thick like a mayonaise, you can begin to taste it to see if you need to ajust it to your taste by adding salt or something else. You can also add fresh herbs if you like, but wait until the last minute for that.

lundi 4 juillet 2011

Life in the dark ages

When I moved to France, I was aware that it was full of history and often called the Museum City. It never occurred to me that I'd be living IN history!

My hot water heater broke a few weeks ago. It feels like forever and such a painful reality, I am trying really hard not to remember the actual day. I must say that I fully understand what life must have been like for those oh so many ages ago in France, boiling water just to take a bath, wash your hair, do dishes, etc. It's a nightmare! The best part is when my back went into full spasms after trying to wash my hair upside down. Is it legal that our whole building has no hot water for so long? I don't think so! However, good luck getting someone to do something about it. Living in Paris is much like living in New York City for that. Sure, there are laws to protect people, but who says the city has enough employees to police all of the offenders. There is such a housing shortage in Paris too, much like New York, that people have little choice other than to manage. The owners of the building have said that they fired the old repair company and have enlisted a new one. Some people in the building seem enraged posting notes on the lobby wall, but most just walk by with a simple, bonsoir, and nothing more. I feel perplexed, being American. Are they not disturbed? Or are they just in shock like me?