SEPTEMBER 17-20, 2015, DURING AUTUMN EQUINOX AND LIGHT FESTIVAL IN CHARTRES, FRANCE
Award-winning wine writer James Flewellen and Cordon Bleu-educated cook and food journalist Jonell Galloway present food and wine tasting masterclasses in the historic French city of Chartres. Comprising dedicated wine tastings, sumptuous meals made from local ingredients paired with regional Loire Valley wines and a unique, “sense-awakening” taste experience, our food and wine holiday courses will help unlock your taste buds and introduce the richness of aromas, flavours and textures present in food and wine. A music festival, with live music in the streets, restaurants, theatres, churches and bars, is held to celebrate the Autumn Equinox and to mark the end of the Festival of Lights. To sign up, please click here or fill in the contact form below.
11 x 7 x 2 in. (28 x 18 x 5 cm) baking dish or deep pie tin 1 box Speculoos ginger cookies Mixed summer fruit, washed and chopped into fat chunks such as apricots and blueberries + banana Cinnamon to taste 1 1/2T – 2 T. dark brown cane sugar 1 1/2 – 2 T. maple syrup, depending on sweetness of fruit Dried chili pepper flakes 500 g Quark* or Séré cheese
Line baking dish with Speculoos to form a crust, covering sides as well as bottom of pan.
Chop apricots, blueberries and banana into large bite-size pieces. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Add 1 1/2 – 2 T. of dark brown sugar, 1 1/2 – 2 T. of maple syrup and a sprinkle of dried chili peppers. Mix well. Marinate for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Mix fruit with one large yogurt-size tub Quark (500 g). Leave to marinate for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Pour quark and fruit mixture into pie pan. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
*Quark is a fresh cheese made in the Germanic countries. It is not the same as cottage cheese or cream cheese, since it is made by warming soured milk fermented with mesophile bacteria until it coagulates. It can be replaced by labneh, ricotta, mascarpone, thick fromage blanc or strained yogurt, although the flavor and texture will not be exactly the same.
The Concise Guide to Wine & Blind Tasting is destined to become a modern classic. Written by Neel Burton, psychiatrist and Oxford professor, and James Flewellen, biophysicist at Oxford – together founders of the Oxford Wine Academy — the book is well stocked with vital information about all aspects of wine, from soil and vine to drinking for pleasure and blind tasting.
Its clear, detailed information will appeal to serious amateurs and experienced professionals alike. The first three chapters tackle the history of wine as well as the principles of viticulture and winemaking, using an approach unique to the authors, reflecting their methodical way of thinking and scientific backgrounds. This section serves as a comprehensive, accessible introduction for less seasoned wine drinkers, giving them a firm technical basis and the curiosity to want to continue learning.
The ensuing twenty-three chapters address the world’s geographic regions, including three dedicated to notable French appellations, sparkling wine and fortified wine, respectively. Chapters are well structured, dealing with the lie of the land, climate, soil, grape varieties, appellations, and wine styles, and give thorough attention to each of these components. The authors explain how to differentiate wines based on the interplay of these factors, and address the effect of appearance, palate and nose and how these interact with one’s senses and perceptions. This section serves as a reference for even the most seasoned wine drinker.
For those interested in blind tasting, the appendices explain how to set up a blind tasting, and include crib sheets by grape and terroir — a most useful reference for those interested in honing their skills — along with international classification systems and food and wine matching.
This is both a user’s manual and a connoisseur’s guide, and its clear and fluent exposition sets it apart from other guides. You’ll keep this reference book on your shelf; its pages will yellow (and possibly purple) and show their wear and tear. You might even pass it on to your grandchildren. That’s how good it is.
A charlotte is traditionally fruit sautéed in butter which is then placed in a mold lined with bread. In our day, the bread is usually ladyfingers, but I’ve used financier, a dense almond flour cake made with beurre noisette, giving it a distinctive flavor.
Insteading of sautéing the strawberries, I’ve marinated them in rum and used the marinade to “wet” the cake, similar to the way the British make trifle.
600 g strawberries 2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon 4 T. rum 3/4 c. water 4 financier cakes, individual size (or other type of soft, but dense, almond cakes) 200 g thick cream 1/2 vanilla bean 2 T. brown sugar
4 parfait dishes
Top strawberries and cut in half. Place in mixing bowl.
Mix in 2 T. brown sugar and cinnamon.
Add rum and water. Mix gently.
Leave for 30 minutes, mixing gently from time to time. A natural sauce should form. If it doesn’t, add a little more water and rum.
Meanwhile, mix cream with vanilla from vanilla bean and brown sugar.
Break up 1/3 of each financier into each parfait cup. Spoon in 1/9th of strawberries into each cup, pouring some juice onto the cake to moisten it.
Cover with 1/9 of cream.
Add two more layers of financier, strawberries and cream, in the same proportions, ending with cream.
Decorate top with bits of strawberry, mint, or dark chocolate.
1 kilogram or 2 pounds veal shoulder, cut into 2″ x 2″ pieces 12 pearl onions, or the white of 12 small spring onions, peeled and whole 1 apple, chopped 4 carrots, cut into large chunks crosswise Apple juice Veal or chicken broth 6 small new potatoes in jacket 4-5 tablespoons flour 2-3tablespoons butter 1/2 liter or 1 quart milk Italian or flat parsley, chopped Salt Pepper
Dutch oven or similar large pan
Put the veal pieces in Dutch oven.
Add the onions, apple and carrots.
Cover with half apple juice and half veal broth. Salt and pepper.
Simmer gently for 1 hour, then add the whole potatoes.
Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
Drain broth from meat and reserve it to make white sauce.
Melt butter in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan. When melted, gradually whisk in 3-4 tablespoons of flour, stirring constantly until the roux starts to gently brown.
Gradually whip in the milk until sauce starts to thicken. Continue whipping until all the milk is absorbed. It should be extra thick. If not, put one more tablespoon of flour into a ladle and add white sauce to ladle. Mix well to form a smooth paste, then whip this into white sauce.
Gradually whip the broth from the stew into the white sauce. When smooth and thick, pour this back into the stew.
Gently mix, turning the meat and vegetables over in white sauce.
Simmer very gently for 5 minutes, stirring carefully so that meat and vegetables don’t fall apart.
Serve, sprinkling with chopped parsley.
Note: This is often served with rice. If you prefer rice, leave out the potatoes. Small turnips can also be added at the beginning, as well as other vegetables, according to taste.
Most writers want and need to concentrate on the words, not the computer. Computers, by definition, require technical acumen, and many of us have neither the skills nor the desire to learn. The fact is, in today’s world, we must; it will make our lives easier if we do.
Food writers and bloggers do not need extremely powerful computer hardware if they are posting mainly text files. Working with images, however, requires more powerful equipment. Each publisher will require different software and applications.
Software and Applications
If you’re preparing a book in manuscript format, you don’t need a huge desktop publishing package, though that’s what most people seem to end up using. Many authors use Microsoft Word, others swear by a variety of less-common options.
For those writing for print, if at all affordable, I suggest buying Microsoft Word Professional or its equivalent. It offers stricter spelling and grammar checkers and has more complete dictionaries and thesauri for a long list of languages, if you indeed need the language option. Even if you’re doing content writing for online publications, this version of Word will give you a maximum of tools.
If you’re using Windows or another Microsoft operating system, I’d suggest taking a class in how to maneuver it and problem-solve. Whether you’re using Microsoft or Apple, a class in Word is a time-saver in the long run, and it will save you hours of frustration. Learn to use the Format, Insert, View and Tools options, and how to create and use a style sheet. I’ll be giving a summer class in Word for Writers. Fill in the form below to sign up for the class.
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To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd.
Please choose a color:
— Wendell Berry
Meet Jonell Galloway, a freelance writer and editor specialized in French cuisine.