Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
|The oldest vine in the world in Maribor, Slovenia|
There is no tasty recipe to describe...
There are no travelling experiences to share...
There is no book review nor an ashtray to tell its story...
Just an unstoppable need to write a few crude lines...
I have been away for far too long a time...
But in two weeks I will be finishing what I started back in November.
Two more weeks and then I will be back to my life, my home, my husband, my kitchen
and that part of myself, my Box of Stolen Socks, which I have so unfairly allowed to wither all these months.
Just two weeks. And then hopefully I could find some balance again.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The battle of all battles and I am loosing; big time! I haven't been able to post for more than a month.
Ideas I have, a lot! There has been a lot of wine; events I attended and loved; even food I cooked, ate and enjoyed alone or with friends!
What I'm lacking is TIME and maybe a whole lot of discipline. The first, I can't fight; I don't think anyone can. The second...no comment... Discipline and I are complete strangers; I could not describe how it feels, tastes or smells even if my life depended on it!
My posts are getting fewer and fewer every month and despite my best intentions it seems I'm going to have to settle. I hate "settling" as much as I hate change - a bit of a contradiction here, I know. Yet another issue to be discussed by me and an army of licensed professionals!! Come to think of it, though, settling seems to be the devil child of the ever-hating change. Does it make any sense No? OK! I won't argue any more. Too much precious energy wasted on "could have-beens and-dones". I admit defeat and move on. One to two posts per month until things change .... again...oooof does it ever stop??
To sweeten the pill and make you forget my previous ramblings I am going to share with you a very special recipe.
I am not sure if it is still Quince season where you live (if not, you can pin it and make it when you get your hands on some nice quinces!!). Here in Athens we seem to have a lot available at the moment. For the past few weeks my M-I-L has been making this extra special desert for us.
Pay attention please. Quince, cooked long and slow in sugar and spices. It simply does not get better than this... The texture of the fruit is smooth and so comforting! Such a transformation from its angry, raw, astringent personality. The long and slow cooking appeases it, alleviating its harsh character; the spices, blessed by time, infuse the fruit with sweet, soothing, aromas and flavours. In less than 90 minutes the perfect transformation occurs.
You gotta love quince; they respond to change admirably
Long & Slow Sweet and Spice Quince
Serves 4 - 6
Cooking time 60 - 90 minutes
3 quince, washed, peeled and cut into large pieces *keep the seeds*
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup water
5 cinnamon sticks
15 - 20 cloves
Put the water, sugar, quince seeds (they are the ones that have all the pectin which will give us a nice light syrup), cloves and cinnamon sticks in a large, deep pan or pot (that has a cover) on medium to high heat. Add the quince. Make sure that the pot or pan is large enough so that the majority of the fruit pieces come into some contact with its bottom.
Turn every piece of fruit two times and then lower the heat! Be careful, when I say low I mean low. It should be just above or the minimum possible depending on your stove!!
Cover then and let them alone for about one (1) hour. Your kitchen is going to smell wonderfully!
Check to see if they are done by carefully inserting a fork, if they are tender and bright red, then they are ready. If not, don't blame them; they just need some more time and maybe some warm water, if you see that they are struggling in the heat without any liquid left!
After they finish their transformation in the pan they can stand on their own as the dessert du jour or accompanied with a bowl of Greek yoghurt for an even more tantalizing and refreshing flavour experience.
Enjoy, learn from their transformation and forgive my powerlessness against Time.....
Saturday, January 12, 2013
A few months ago, when I wrote my first post for the French Fridays with Dorie online cooking group, I was definitely very excited, a bit scared and to tell you the truth did not expect very much. It sure sounded like a very nice way to promote my infant blog, get traffic and hopefully, comments and cook some delicious sounding French recipes from Dorie Greenspans' "Around my French Table" which by the way is the biggest, heaviest cookbook I own!!
As the Fridays came and went my shy fascination with the group grow bigger and bolder! I started reading the other participants' blogs regularly and commented on their posts not just to get their reciprocal comment. I was eager and see how they prepared the dish, their thoughts about the recipe and how they might have adapted it to suit their and their family's pallets.
I must confess my feelings where not always on the noble side (I'm only human and a highly flawed one as a matter of fact...). I envied the beautiful photographs, the inspired writing and ability to manage a household full of people and pets and still be able to cook, photograph and post about it. Some people are blessed and born with special talents but still have to work really hard like the rest of us do to get to a place above our current self. If this is done for something that you love then the process is not as difficult as it sounds but really very fulfilling. And anyway this was not a race nor a contest. It was an opportunity to meet people who shared the same passion, learn from their experiences, their mistakes, and mine, without judgement and if anything with a lot of encouragement and positive energy.
I studied Liz's, Patty's, Andrea's, Trevor's, Paula's, Maya's, Elaine's mouthwatering photographs. I got inspired by Mardi's, Mary's, Maggie's, Betsy's, Sara's beautiful writing. I related and laughed with Cher's, Alice's, Kathy's, Candy's, Guyla's, Nana's & Tricia's, Jora's, Teresa's everyday cooking adventures. I know I'm only mentioning a few of the wonderful people who participate in this cooking adventure. You have to forgive me, my literary skills are not advanced enough to mention every one without making this post look like a directory page.
This Christmas time something really magical happened. Thanks to Alice's idea and flawless organisation (I have already proposed to her to move to Greece and have a go in organising our government!) cards started flying in from all over the world. Christmas cards with wishes and messages and favourite recipes from the members of our wonderful little online kitchen. It felt like Christmas morning every time I received a new one. A surge of excitement to see who it was from, and then gratitude and affection when I read the joyful messages full of wishes and words of encouragement. I just hope that my cards brought them the same joy and "childish" excitement, their's brought me!
Thank you all for making this past Christmas season a very special one!!!
As for this Friday's recipe, I have yet to see how my Long and Slow Apples look like! They have been stewing in the oven there for the past 3 hours! But I don't worry. As with many, if not all of Dorie's recipes, I am sure they will turn out tasting delicious. If their appearance is somewhat funny then this is completely my fault! I am going to enjoy them any way!
Please visit our French Fridays with Dorie homepage to see how my online cooking friends have prepared this extra special recipe!