Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Provencal Bouquet for Northern Italy

This is the bouquet I would want for any special occasion.  Squash blossoms, just picked,
They last only for a few hours so time is of the essence........ The product of Zucchini and Pumpkin plantings, these are as precious as Saffron to me........

In Provence they fry them in a batter, you could, I imagine maybe do a tempura like thing.  The French call them Beignets like the fried doughnuts but they are not sweet.  Tomorrow Robes has permission to go pick as many of these babies as he wants from some local people who have tons of them. If they stay on the vine they turn into zucchini or pumpkins. You only have a window of a few weeks the blossoms are blooming.  Once thy bloom they last only a day or so......
Once picked, they start to wiltlasting just a few hours.
You would think they were truffles.  If they get to the supermarket they are all wilty......Yuck.
These fabulous images from http://www.zoebakes.com/ from her July 26th 2010 post and you may want to check out the golden tomato Gazpacho she has the recipe for.

Here's how I do it. From Provence the beautiful cookbook by Richard Olney
For the batter:
1 cup AP Flour
2 egg yolks reserve the whites for later
salt and pepper
1Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 cup warm beer
Sift the flower into a mixing bowland add everything but the every thing but the egg whites.
Whisk only long enough to produce a smooth batter. Cover with a plate and let sit for two hours.

Just before using (I like Peanut Oil for this)heat your oil for fryingthese  Whisk the eggwhites into limp peaks and gently fold into the batter. Fry intil crisp and light golden brown.  Dip in your favorite sauce.  Fresh Marinara or Salsas, anything you like.  This is also good for squid, mushrooms. red peppers, and artichokes.
Oh and DON'T RINSE the fresh blossoms just carefully wipe off... Later we tried with tempura batter..... Much lighter if you prefer that........

This is what you are looking for..... I am providing the recipe I use..and I like to dip in icy cold fresh marinara....
I also recommend if you have access to Trader Joe's their marinara out of a can chilled.......DEE Lish.

Look! There's one!  Grab it Robes!

Our Friends Garden: Dale and his lovely wife Dorothy have a business here in Brenham and you can get great kolaches, doughnuts, coffee..... Just a family run business for a great breakfast fix.

Robe's  bounty.

Frying it up in Peanut oil......

La Plate, with icey cold Dry Rose from France and some fresh Marinara sauce with herbs from our own potager.

This is with the Tempura batter...... From a box....... We liked it too!!!!!!! Lighter....
Also did some fresh picked green beans with it........ Might have been good with Ponzu sauce and Sake......I am having font issues......... It is not me I hope........

I would like to say on my previous post I mentioned the earthquakes in Northern Italy.... Well they had three more early this morning.......... Much more damage..... We are thinking of you .....xo

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Northern Italy Quake, Thinking of our Friends at Arte Pura

Three earthquakes occurred in the Emilia Romagna Region of Northern Italy.
The first was 22miles North of Bologna. At least 6 people were killed in Bologna it hit at 4AM.   This damage was from the  small town of Finale Emila from
the 5'1 After shock 12 hours later.

The third was a 4.1 aftershock.......

This is a Cathedral in Carpi, Italy" DUOMO".  Carpi is the home of of our Dear Friends at Arte Pura
 and it's headquarters the Company Greda in the region very close to the quakes hit.
 This picture was taken before the quakes.
We don't know what the situation is there. 
 We do know a lot of damage has been done to ancient historic buildings in the region.

They make beautiful things like this.  We hope our Familia at Arte Pura and Greda and their families are ok. 
We have called and emailed  not heard anything yet. They are in our prayers. 
Thanks to Daniella, Stephania,Betty, Enrico, Michaelo, Angelo, Luisita, and Azzalea.xo

We heard from them this AM! Everything A Ok but lots of damage all around.  And the clock in the first picture? It came down completely in the third aftershock.
Built in the 12th century they say they will try to rebuild it...... Hope so.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Wonder of Arte Pura

As you know, when we get in a shipment of Arte Pura it is like xmas around here......
Here is the Magia bedspread /duvet unironed right out of it's beautiful bag.

This customer designed it with the Elegant lace on the border... And no center crochet.

When we get a bedspread in we undo it so we can check it out and also photograph it.
See the organza wrapped around the volante?

We left the same pillows from the bed on our floor that go with the lilac that was underneath this spread.
 This spread/duvet was simply placed over it......

Sooo Pretty!

They make curtains too..... Sometimes I think this is a great alternative to a headboard.
I am not a tabtop girl but these big pearls make the curtains so elegant!  The lace can be in the center like this or on the side.  The lace is the same as on the spread.

THIS is what was underneath.... Same Bedspread/duvet different options. 
Amazing..... What so you think???????

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Beer, Margaritas or Mint Juleps??? Take your Pick!

There is a dilema here in Brenham..
(Image from austinbeertown.com)

Culture Clash!!!!!!
In this little village of Brenham, Texas some things are considered sacrosanct..... Blue Bell Ice Cream, Sausage, and especially the German tradition Maifest which Brenham has been celebrating since 1881.

This is a two day event Friday (Junior Maifest) the litttle kids, and Saturday (Senior Maifest) high school age. Each has their own parade and a King and Queen is crowned at two seperate coronations or pageants  with German music, sausage and lots of beer and Blue Bell Ice Cream, which lasts until the wee hours of the morning......At the end of the "Coronations" each child is announced alphabetically and if your name begins with a "W" like Winkleman you're in for a long nite.

As you can see the costumes are amazing, they are incorporated with very long trains consisting of thousands of beads depicting the theme of that year's fest. Isn't she cute?

This was the Blue Bell Float in 1925.
This was the stage for the 2010 Maifest. See the Macy's sign???????

They have stepped it up a little from earlier times.....

The "Rockettes" from 2010.
Brenham we have a problem......

: Cinco de Mayo is ON THE SAME DAY!

Isn't She cute?????????

The Mexican Holiday everyone across the country celebrates. Mariachi or Tejano Music, Mexican food, and Margaritas......(image from thepartydress.net)

SOOOOOOO Do I wear My Sombrero or my Leiderhozen??????

It's Derby Day too!(image fromkentuckyderbyonline.com)

Hats and Mint Juleps in silver cups are the tradition here. (image from hatatitude.com)

Big Hats!!!!! (image from thewifehatessports.com) Great Photo by Cindy Pierson Dulay.


Enjoy your day in your outfit of choice and start with a beer, follow with a margarita and at 5:00 Central time
Don a Sombrero, your leiderhozen and watch the Kentucky Derby with a Mint Julep. Enjoy!