The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!— Henry Ward Beecher, American Congregationalist clergyman
We are celebrating in Switzerland. Last week, we had our first-ever Slow Food market with the big man himself opening the show: Carlo Petrini, the founder, talking about the concept of retour à la nature, or return to nature, one of the basic concepts of Slow Food; “the Terra Madre network of food communities, defined by place of origin; as well as how that all meshes with the values of Swiss artisans and consumers,” says Kerrin Rousset of My Kugelhopf. “Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature.”
Click here to read the rest of Kerrin’s roundup, with a distinct emphasis on the sweets (of course).
Meeta — that’s the name given to me by my dad! I was born back in the summer of 1972, one beautiful day in Bombay, India. I was practically delivered in a hotel! My father has worked most of his life in the hotel business, and that’s what injected the hotelier’s blood into my veins. This hotel lifestyle enabled me to travel the world, get close to many cultures, learn a few languages and experience many great adventures.
Knowing only the hotel life, I decided to follow my dad’s footsteps and studied Hotel Management, specializing in Marketing and Guest Relations. I trained in one of the finest luxury hotels of this world in Doha, Qatar. That is when a tiny spark for food was ignited in my soul.
I now have settled down in Germany, with the two men I adore, Tom my loving partner for almost 10 years and Soeren my adorable son of 7 years.
Hotels are not a part of my life in Germany. After graduating, I came to Germany and worked in an advertising firm, an architecture and design firm and a couple of software firms. Don’t ask how that came about — it just happened. Glad it did too because along this path I bumped into and fell in love with Tom.
We are now in Weimar and you’ll laugh when I tell you this: my traveling feet have begun to itch again! Let’s see where life takes us.
I love photography, always have, but it was with the start of my What’s For Lunch Honey! blog that I discovered the world of Foodography. From that moment on, my passion for photography has taken up a large part of my life, and down a new road, with a completely new angle; it has opened so many exciting doors. I try to capture shots that speak a thousand words, that make one feel as if they were a part of the scene and experience the photo with their senses.
Save money on those pumpkin spice lattes by making your own pumpkin spice with this recipe. Click here to see recipe.
Find variations on this spice recipe here.
And if you get a craving for pumpkin pie spice lattes from time to time, here’s a low-calorie version. For an all-out version, whipped cream and all, you might go for this recipe. For a simple version using fresh pumpkin purée, click here.
Despite the gloom and doom we hear in the financial news, despite the news about obesity and general unhealthy eating in the U.S., there are things to be thankful for, and this week, it’s perhaps more important than anytime in our lifetimes to remember them.
The food world and eating habits were certainly worse 10 years ago than now. Awareness was less. And above all, hard economic times do not necessarily mean bad times for food. People starve during wars, but during hard economic times, they often tend to go back to basics. They raise vegetable gardens and chicken; at the moment we’re witnessing urban gardens popping up all over the country. They think before they buy, before they throw something in the shopping cart, and that often leads to healthier eating. Fresh, simple, healthy food will always be cheaper than processed and junk food. And then we have a Super First Lady in Michelle Obama is going all out for the future of our children, even planting a vegetable garden as a good example for them.
These are things to be thankful for, but once again, Mark Bittman’s list is better than mine, so I suggest you continue reading. Click here to read his heart-warming, thoughtful list.
Bonbons, which we call in English sweets or candy, are a recent enough arrival on the European food scene. The Crusaders brought back sugar cane from the Orient, arriving first in Sicily, where Jewish scientists in Sicily carried out experiments on it in around 1230. Until then, Europeans made their sweets using fruit juice and honey, often flavored with cinnamon.
Candied fruit, fruit confit, one of the first forms of bonbons or candy
Candy instantly became the rage and techniques were refined. During the Renaissance, men of means carried bonbonnières, or candy holders, in their pockets, often decorated with precious stones, and offered ladies candy from them.
Bonbonnière, traditional French
porcelain candy dish
Wikipedia notes that the “Middle English word “candy” began to be used in the late 13th century, coming into English from the Old Frenchçucre candi, derived in turn from PersianQand (=قند) and Qandi (=قندی), ‘cane sugar’.”
Sweet potatoes are a traditional part of a American Thanksgiving dinner. Every family has its own favorite or traditional recipe. Here’s mine, in all its simplicity.
I love sweet potatoes for their natural flavor and texture, so I simply scrub them really well and bake them, with the peeling on, at 200° C / 400° F until they’re soft enough to eat. The time depends on the time and variety of sweet potato. I then cut them crosswise into chunks (still leaving the peel), put them into a serving dish, and slather them with butter with sea salt, which I buy from my cheesemonger.
No marshmallows, no brown sugar, no maple syrup, just au nature.
It’s interesting to watch Europeans’ reactions to them. At first they’re puzzled, but on their second bite, they usually find them interesting and like them.
Note: If you peel them, they will dry out in the oven.
For most of us, the word “fondue” conjures up images of poking those long skinny forks into a piece of bread and dipping it into a Swiss-style melted cheese fondue on the table in front of us, while sitting in a rustic chalet in the mountains with a beautiful view out over the mountains. Fondue certainly can mean that, but it doesn’t always.
The word literally means “melted” in French and should, if all be told, be used as an adjective. Although the name has been twisted a bit from the original meaning over the years, it still strongly retains traces of the original meaning, since it always includes the sense of something solid like cheese or chocolate melting into a sauce or pulp. The one exception to this is Burgundy fondue, which is basically like a smaller version of the medieval boiling pot of oil that was poured over the heads of invaders, and if spilled on you, it may not kill you, but it is highly possible it will leave you with lifetime scars.
The original fondue originated in Switzerland, and consists of a cheese sauce made with cheese, corn flour, kirsch, garlic and sometimes flavorings, such as wild mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots, depending on the canton.
Eighteenth-century French gastronome Brillat-Savarin also used the term in his Physiologie du goût, or Physiology of Taste, considered one of the great classics of all time on French cuisine. His fondue consisted of scrambled eggs and cheese, and the cheese was melted.
Many vegetable preparations also go by the name fondue. When vegetables are cooked slowly in fat for a very long time, they eventually start to “melt” and form a pulp. They can then be used to make sauces or as constituent elements in other dishes, for example fondue of carrots or fondue of onions.