The Mama Posts: Hanging out with My Mother | Jonell Galloway

The Mama Posts: Hanging out with My Mother

By Friday, December 28, 2012 Permalink

 

 

Yes, you might have noted my absence over the last month. I’ve been hanging out with my mother in Kentucky.

She is still hanging in there. Her body may be shrunken and “miniature”, like the workings of a fine Swiss watch, but her heart beats strong like an ox. I’m not sure she was aware when the clock struck Christmas this year. She had already stepped far into another world where one speaks in the King James Version. She talks to God all day. “God, please help me. God, I doeth love thee. ”

Often I climb into her bed and hold her, talking of the old days and saying, “You’re the best Mommy in the whole wide world.” She strokes my cheek, and says, “I love thee,” and stops talking to God for a short while.

I’ll see you soon. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jonell Galloway, Editor

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A Summary of All the Top 10 Cookbook 2012 lists in the U.S.

By Saturday, December 22, 2012 Permalink

Kathleen Finn pointed out this roundup of 2012’s Best Cookbooks: A Meta List of Listicles. It’s a nice, brief overview, so I thought I’d share it.

Kathleen Flinn

Kathleen Flinn (Photo credit: NCBrian)

 

 

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The Art of Tasting Wine with James Flewellen: Top 10 Wines of 2012

By Saturday, December 22, 2012 Permalink

by James Flewellen

recent post by my friend Tom Parker on his top wines of the last year inspired me to go through my notes to consider the same question. Wine tasting being the highly subjective and opinionated business that it is, it is nigh on impossible to narrow down a list of the best wines one has tasted in a year. Thus, I’ll go for the most enjoyable wines I can recall from the past 12 months to create my list of the top 10 wines of 2012.

Enjoyment of wine is predicated on many things other than the quality of the wine itself – the situation, the company, your frame of mind, for instance. And I’ve found that tasting great wines in a sterile, academic or commercial setting doesn’t really do justice to the mystic and sublime essence of a magical beverage. I’ve tried to take these factors into account in my list, as well as reflecting a range of styles and the locations I’ve visited throughout the year.

So, in no particular order:

Pewsey Vale vineyard, Eden Valley.

1. Pewsey Vale ‘The Contours’ Riesling 2006. Eden Valley, South Australia.

A beautiful wine from a beautiful place. ‘The Contours’ is made from the best fruit in one tiny sub-plot from the Pewsey Vale vineyard high above the Eden Valley floor. 2006 was the most recent release at the time. Lively lime,  blossom and tertiary notes developing. Refreshing and elegant.

2. Bollinger Grande Année 2002. Champagne, France.

I love rich champagne styles and Bollinger is always a sure performer for me in this regard. The superb 2002 vintage brings even more leanness and length to this wine. Still a baby in drinking terms but very hard to resist!

3. Brokenwood ‘The Graveyard’ Shiraz 2001. Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

Hunter Valley Shiraz is so unlike the jammy Barossan ‘fruit bombs’ that most outside of Sydney associate with Aussie Shiraz. It can be wonderfully complex, earthy and Hermitage-esque. ‘The Graveyard’ is one of the best, and it was a rare privilege to taste such a great wine at an age it deserved to be drunk.

4. Langmeil ‘The Freedom 1843’ Shiraz 2009. Barossa, South Australia.

Tiny amounts of this wine are made from one of the oldest plots of vines remaining in the world. 1843 refers to the year of planting. This wine is nothing like any Barossa Shiraz I’ve ever tasted. Incredibly concentrated and animally. Far too young at three years old, but an amazing wine to experience nonetheless.

Ancient Shiraz vine in Langmeil's 1843 Freedom vineyard.

5. Cornas, Les Grandes Terrasses, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2001, Northern Rhône, France.

Rounding out a trio of Shiraz/Syrah: I showed this wine at a recent tasting in Oxford and was mightily impressed by its length, complexity and great value for money. Drinking very well now.

6. Moss Wood Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2010 (barrel sample). Margaret River, Western Australia.

The most enjoyable barrel sample I’ve ever tasted. The wine had been blended from the individually-aged parcels and was into its second round of oaking. Incredibly taut, balanced and complex. Brimming with potential.

7. Phélan Ségur 1996. St Estèphe, Bordeaux, France.

During a trip to Bordeaux over the summer, Phélan stood out for their hospitality, their obvious attention to detail in the winery, and their delicious wines. We were so impressed that a friend hosted a mini-vertical of Phélan later in the year. The ’96 was the most mature, complex and enjoyable of these, although many of the other vintages will get there in time.

With David Ling at Hugel following a portfolio tasting.

8. Hugel Pinot Gris Sélection de Grains Nobles 1976. Alsace, France.

One of the most astonishing dessert wines I’ve ever had. Pulled completely out of the bag during a visit to the charming Hugel property in Riquewihr. Endless length and complexity and a beautiful balance between sweetness, acidity and the perceived dryness all great dessert wines get with age.

9. Pirinoa Road Reserve Pinot Noir 2008. Martinborough, New Zealand.

A brilliant pretender to the Burgundian crown of Pinot supremacy. Great balance between lively red fruit, floral overtones and meaty depths. Still young but starting to develop delicious tertiary character.

10. Marie-Thèrese Chappaz Grain d’Or 2010. Valais, Switzerland.

A fascinating and unusual wine. Marie-Thèrese Chappaz makes extraordinary wines from her vantage point in some of the world’s steepest vineyards overlooking the Rhône River in Switzerland. This wine is mostly Marsanne, from gnarly 90-year-old vines (with a good claim to being the oldest in Switzerland), and spends 18 months in barrel. Still too young, but it’s so hard to get your hands on a mature example of these wines — they are all sold in person every year in May at the winery!

Grain d'Or at the Chappaz vineyard in Valais.

Commended

Jansz Traditional Method Sparkling. Tasmania, Australia. When my budget won’t extend to champagne or English Sparkling, Jansz is my delicious, great value fallback option.

Three Choirs Midsummer Hill, 2011. Gloucestershire, England. Brilliant value, light, fruity English offering.

Macrocarpa Pinot Gris, 2011. Marlborough, New Zealand. Lovely single vineyard expression of Pinot Gris firmly in the Alsatian mould.

The Lane Chardonnay 2009. Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Delicious Chardonnay with judicious and balanced use of oak. Went with a delicious lunch at the winery.

McGuigan Semillon Bin 9000 1997. Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. Hunter Valley Semillon is certainly one of Australia’s great gifts to the world of wine. Lovely to taste one with significant bottle age to bring out the subtle tarragon and nutty notes.

Duas Pedras 2009. Alentejo, Portugal. Touriga Nacional blended with Syrah, this is a powerful, rewarding wine that needs decanting in advance and has become one of my staple reds.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season with plenty of good cheer and fine bottles. I’m not yet sure what I’ll be drinking on Christmas Day, but I have a feeling I’ll stick to my favourites: something French, something Kiwi, something sparkling, something Pinot…

__________________

James Flewellen is The Rambling Epicure wine columnist. James is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford. Originally from New Zealand, the huge range of wine James discovered in Europe spurred his interest in all things vinous. He became involved in the University’s Blind Wine Tasting Society and has recently completed a two-year term as its President. During this time he represented the University in a number of domestic and international wine tasting competitions, winning several awards. He is currently completing the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits. James has a passion for wine communication and education and runs the Oxford Wine Blog and the Oxford Wine Academy.

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Last-minute Christmas Gift Idea: Food Styling and Photography Workshop with Meeta K. Wolff

By Friday, December 21, 2012 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

The Perfect Last-minute Gift for the Foodies in your Life

Meeta Khurana Wolff, a professional food photographer and stylist, and ongoing contributor to this site, will be holding a Supperclub food styling and photography workshop in London in the U.K. from February 15-16, 2013, along with Sumayya Jamil, and special guest Jeanne Horak-Druiff, at the Central Street Cookery School. Click here for more details and to reserve. Only 12 places available.

 

 

 

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Switzerland: A Geneva Christmas: Longeole Sausage

By Friday, December 21, 2012 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

From the archives

Christmas traditions in Switzerland

One should never think that everybody in Switzerland eats the same thing for Christmas dinner. With four languages and a multitude of “mini-cultures” tucked away its various mountain niches, and with a huge international population, Switzerland may well have more Christmas menus than any other country in the world.

In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Geneva’s traditions are quite apart from the Vaud, for example, due to the late date Geneva finally decided to become part of Switzerland. Geneva traditions are often more influenced by their Savoyard and French neighbors, since they share about 100 km of border with them and only 5 km with canton Vaud.

What’s so special about a Longeole?

Many Genevois eat a sausage specific to Geneva called longeole. Every region and many villages have their own sausage recipes, but the longeole is quite apart from the others for several reasons.

Longeole sausage and potatoes cooked in white wine, a Geneva Christmas specialty.

Longeole sausage and potatoes cooked in
white wine, a Geneva Christmas specialty.

 

For one thing, it contains not only ground pork, but also ground pork rind. This keeps it from drying out and gives it fuller flavor. The other, and quite major, difference is that that it is speckled with fennel seeds, probably a Savoyard influence.

Any good local butcher makes his own longeole. If not, it is advisable to find one who does. It’s Christmas, so you want to be certain it’s of good quality.

Cooking Longeole

Longeole is easy to cook, but you must allow yourself enough time. It takes longer to cook than other cooking sausages because of the addition of the pork rind, which is harder than simple ground pork.

Use a soup pot tall enough to hold your sausage. Fill with water and bring water to boil. Add a touch of salt. Drop in sausage, lower heat, and let it simmer for 2 hours 45 minutes or 3 hours. The water should be just on the verge of boiling during the whole cooking time. It is then ready to slice and eat.

Some cooks prick the Longeole with a fork before cooking, but purist that I am, I think you risk losing some of the juices, which would take away from the flavor and make the sausage less succulent in the mouth. It is also important not to let it boil, because this too will dry it out.

What do Genevois eat with Longeole?

Like everywhere, different families have different traditions, different favorites, but the most common accompaniments are potatoes cooked in white wine, lentil stew and cardoon gratin, all Geneva specialties as well.

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Switzerland: A Geneva Christmas: White Wine Potatoes Recipe

By Friday, December 21, 2012 Permalink

A Geneva Christmas: White Wine Potatoes Recipe

by Jonell Galloway

From the archives

English: Jet d'Eau, Geneva

In A Geneva Christmas: Longeole sausage, I think I got your mouth watering talking about longeole, or fennel seed sausage. But did you see the potatoes in the photo? That’s THE essential side dish: potatoes cooked in broth and white wine.

I translated and adapted this recipe from A la mode de chez nous, Plaisirs de la table romande, a book on cooking in French-speaking Switzerland, by M. Vidoudez and J. Grangier.

Recipe

A Geneva Christmas-white wine potatoes-Longeole-recipe-Switzerland-the rambling epicure-jonell galloway-genevalunch-traditional dish

Longeole sausage served with
potatoes cooked in white wine and broth

Ingredients

1 kg / 2.2 lbs type 2 all-purpose potatoes
Olive oil, just enough to lightly coat potatoes
1 tablespoon spelt flour (farine d’épeautre), or otherwise whole wheat
5 dl / 1 cup chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 laurel leaf
3 whole cloves
3 dl / 1 1/4 cup dry white wine
1 bouquet garni
Fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Fennel-flavored Longeole sausages for Christmas, made by Jacky Bula butcher in Geneva

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Scrub potatoes. If you really don’t like potato peels, or your potatoes have lots of black spots on them, peel them. Just remember: all the fiber and vitamins are in the peel.
  2. Chop potatoes into large cubes. Put potatoes in a large saucepan. Coat lightly with olive oil and mix well.
  3. Sautée for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Heat broth. Pour hot broth over potatoes. Add chopped onion, laurel, cloves, salt, pepper and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil. Cover, then lower heat and let it boil gently.
  5. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the kind of potato and the kind of pan.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, mix flour and olive oil in a small utility bowl, until it becomes a smooth paste. Add a couple tablespoons of the hot broth from the potatoes to paste, and beat with wire whip until smooth.
  7. Add paste to potatoes, and beat gently with a wire whip. When smooth, add white wine.
  8. Continue cooking, stirring often so that it doesn’t stick, and gently boiling until the sauce starts to thicken.
  9. Taste. Add salt and pepper if required.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley when serving. Traditionally, in Geneva this is served with longeole sausage at Christmas, but it goes well with many dishes, for example a smoked cooking sausage from the canton of Vaud.

Cooking notes:  I use a Kuhn Rikon Durotherm to maintain the vitamins and decrease cooking time. This also allows you to use less liquid, which gives a more intense flavor. In this case, you would use just enough broth to cover the potatoes.

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What we’re reading: bread pots, bad cooking myths, how the French Revolution changed food history, gourmet vegetarian

By Thursday, December 20, 2012 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

Click here to find the best in current food news and trends in the world of real food, Slow Food and mindful eating.

 

 

 

 

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Food Art: In the Raw, a food photography exhibit by Sihi

By Thursday, December 20, 2012 Permalink

Interview with Sihi of food blog

blackberries_sihi_wl-copy

Picture 1 of 15

I am dreamer. I love food.  I love photography. I love food photography.

I am a complete amateur when it comes to food and photography. I am learning! And each day has gone by learning something new, thus far.

My entry into the world of food blogging was when I started documenting recipes at my pint-sized food blog. After blogging on and off for about two and half years, I took a break to enjoy time being a new mom.

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Food Art: Bread Pot, food photography by Sandeea

By Thursday, December 20, 2012 Permalink

Sandeea is our latest food photography discovery. A woman of many talents, she is also author of the Food Play column. She writes in both English and Spanish and runs the Spanish food blog La Receta de la Felicidad.

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The Big Apple on a Budget: Celeste, a New York Restaurant Review

By Wednesday, December 19, 2012 Permalink

The Big Apple on a Budget: Celeste, a New York Restaurant Review

by Leonor White

Celeste, located on Amsterdam Avenue between 84th and 85th, in New York, is one of my favorite places when I’m facing a cash squeeze. Thanks to the excellent value it offers, as well as the authentic Italian food it serves, it has deservedly become a popular fixture in the neighborhood.

After being greeted by the owner, you are taken to your table and presented with fantastic Italian bread and extra-virgin olive oil. The antipasti range from Fegatini Di Pollo (chicken livers) to Saute Di Cozze (sautéed clams) to Crostini Con Alici (breadsticks wrapped in anchovies), and my personal favorite, the Involtini De Melanzane, consisting of eggplant rolls stuffed with prosciutto and pecorino cheese baked with tomato sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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