Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Green Monster

Okay, so I know deep down that jealousy isn't a pretty thing.  But we all suffer from it.  Don't even try to deny it because you will be lying.  You aren't perfect any more than I am.  Beware of those who act like they are.  You heard it here.  Wise words for a Tuesday morning here in piedmont North Carolina as the long lost sun is trying to finally make an appearance and dry up some of the flood waters we have been experiencing.  The source of this morning's green monster (no, baseball fans, I am not talking about where the Boston Red Sox play their games) raring her head?  Arles Betty's clan is in Paris.  Well, part of them are.  The other part will leave today or tomorrow.  Paris + Dordogne = fun.  I have spent time with Arles Betty and her boys.  They know how to live.  And laugh.  And pop corks.  Another friend, Señor, is a couple of weeks into his month-long stay in Europe.  He posts photos all over Facebook and I was doing okay until he posted photos of foie gras on French bread in Lyon.  I can only take so much before I snap.  I know that some folks won't eat it because of where it comes from, how the geese are raised, etc.  I went to check out a facility back in 2008 in southwest France with Dr. Turkey.

Part of the Arles 6 Reunion group during our day in Saint Émilion.  I think you can figure out who Dr. Turkey is--

That's okay.  More for moi.  My French friends indulged me in January and I ate it several times.
Once with The Best Guide in Paris (my first meal within a couple of hours of landing)- this was just the appetizer...

And chez Mlle de Tavel with Mme P--

With champagne, bien sûr...

And my favorite rosé--

I got all experimental and decided to top one bite of foie gras with Mlle de Tavel's dreamy potato-cèpe mushroom concoction--

The best thing I've ever eaten?  Maybe.
I have spent several hours this week with iPhoto trying to organize, delete, and categorize my (now)  27,952 photos.  Mostly, I have been sighing and drooling and thinking to myself how lucky I am.  I have amazing friends and I have seen and eaten some good stuff.
So, I will now put the monster to rest.
Since she cannot be photographed (kind of like a ghost, you know), I will Skitch her.  (Heaven help me, but last week while strolling the aisles of A.C. Moore, I bought myself a box of oil pastels. )

Arles Lucy, what do I do with these things?!  Attempt Lavender Drawing #3

 or The Leaning Tower of Eiffel #2?

My artist education was stunted in 6th or 7th grade when I tried to draw trees for Mrs. Sproles. In my next life...

This is best I can do with Ms. Monster.  (I got a little carried away with the pink stamp thing... and can't figure out how to erase stuff without spending at least an hour, so they get to stay.)

Bad hair day, huh?
Anyway, I set out to write about the trip to New York City with the Ex-Ex but got seriously distracted.  Next time.  Stay tuned for the riveting story of how I managed to drop a hot dog smothered in ketchup and mustard all over me, the Ex-Ex, and Times Square within two hours of landing at LaGuardia.

How about a way to use some of the blueberries sitting in the refrigerator?  I couldn't bear for mine to go to waste, so I made this.

Bleuberry Clafoutis
(serves 6)
from My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

The original recipe is for cherry clafoutis.  You could use peaches and nectarines, too.
I added lemon zest with the blueberries.  

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the dish
1-1/2 lb. blueberries
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for serving

Heat oven to 350F.  Butter a shallow oven-proof dish.  Spread the berries in the dish.
Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl, mix together, and make a well in the middle.  If using lemon zest, add it in the with flour and sugar and stir.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs; add the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine.
Slowly pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, beating constantly until all the liquid has been added and you have a smooth batter.  Pour over the blueberries.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the batter is firm to the touch and golden on top.  Sift with confectioners' sugar on top and serve just warm.

Bon appétit to all my adventurous friends!  Bon voyage!

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