Step 1: Search all over for macarons, in several different stores. Decide that since the book is split up into sections according to type of biscuits used ("spoon" biscuits, madeleines, rose biscuits of Reims, gingerbread, macarons, and other biscuits) it would be okay to substitute madeleines for the macarons.
Step 2: Laugh at the directions which say total preparation time: 5 minutes. Are they joking? I can't even assemble all of the ingredients in my kitchen and put the water on to boil in 5 minutes.
Step 3: Attempt to make the raspberry syrup with frozen raspberries and watch as it comes out way too liquidy.
Step 4: Mix together the mascarpone (which was found at the third store) with the three egg yolks and cream. Beat it together and marvel at how it doesn't become firm like the book says it will.
Step 5: Layer everything in the pan. Instead of being nice defined layers, it all just kinda mushes together.
Step 6: Sigh and vow to do better next week.
(Total time: about 45 minutes)
Lessons learned: Try not to substitute stuff. Use the correct cream.
Week 2: Attempt to make "Belle-Hélène Tiramisu" (chocolate and pears)
Step 1: Search all over creation for Amaretto. Shopkeepers have no idea what you are talking about. Amaretto! Amaretto! The Italian liqueur for Tiramisu! Heck, I am American and even I have heard of it before!
Step 2: Search for a different recipe that doesn't require Amaretto.
Step 3: Buy the ingredients for "Bananas and Passion Fruit Tiramisu".
Step 4: What the heck is passion fruit nectar? Syrup? Liqueur? Extract? No clue. Decide to skip the passion fruit.
Step 5: Finally find Amaretto (hint: Disarrono) at the 4th store. Go back to original plan.
Step 6: Haul all the ingredients over to in-laws because you are having dinner there.
Step 7: Forget all about that solemn vow you made last time that you would always try a recipe out on CMH before serving it to others.
Step 8: With MIL's help, finally make something resembling the recipe. It helps to have the right cream too. However, cream is still not firm and is yellow instead of white.
(Total time: again, about 45 minutes, with two of us working)
Lessons learned: It is very hard to cook in someone else's kitchen. Just use whipped cream next time. (Forgetting solemn vow made previous week to not substitute ingredients).
Result: Turned out not too bad. Think next time I will use pear liqueur.
Picture below: What it is supposed to look like. Now, I know that pictures in recipe books are 99.5% unreproducable, but I would like to think that one day I might be able to get my Tiramisu's to be less runny and more layered.
Up next week: Banana Tiramisu, with or without nectar de fruit de la passion.
Can someone please share with me the secret to getting the crème liquid to do what it is supposed to do?
Why? because the new president, Sarkozy, wants to pass a law mandating a minimum service for commuters when the public transportation is on strike, and require that they give 48 hour advance notice that they will strike? So the SNCFs response? STRIKE!
I was coming back home on Tuesday evening, and at the first stop the train just sits there for about 30 minutes. No explanations. No announcements. No "We are sorry, but we are experiencing technical difficulties" or "We have to wait while the track up ahead clears." Nothing. I was so frustrated and hot and tired after a long day of work, I just started crying on the train. Not big boohoos, but a quiet sniffling in my corner (nobody else in my area). I probably would have cried more, but I didn't want to look too pathetic.
Crying BECAUSE of public transportation is a new and exciting experience. Crying ON public transportation I have done before. Just broke up with a guy, or don't want to go back to a certain military school after vacation, things like that. But tears of frustration are new.
The news said that they have been on strike 40 days in the past 3 months. Fantastic. So now I am back to getting up even earlier to take an earlier train. The train to come back at night, which is supposed to leave at 6:49 is now often 30 minutes late. Thanks for adding an extra hour to my 12 hour days SNCF! Still lovin' ya and so glad I paid for a monthly pass!
(Top picture, Marseille Blancarde station. Notice the time)
(Middle picture, tried to take a picture of the board with all the Trains Supprimé)
(Bottom picture, Aubagne station 7 a.m.)
Boursin cheese was first produced in 1957 by François Boursin in Normandy. Boursin is a trademark - Boursin cheese is produced exclusively by the Boursin company, a subsidiary of Unilever."
Boursin Fig, Raisin & Nut
Boursin Light Garlic & Fine Herbs
Our neighbor next door told us that one of our neighbors (she didn't specify who but I am guessing it is the ones that live beneath us) mentioned to her in passing that he will be glad when we finish our bathroom. Really? What a shocker! Because I for one LOVE spending every weekend on it and going for four months without a shower and now without a sink. In fact, I wish it would take longer, I love it so much. And while we are on the topic, I can't wait for your dog to die, but we all have crosses that we must bear.
This one is covered in Herbs de Provence (from Wikipedia)
Herbes de Provence (Provençal herbs) are a mixture of dried herbs from
Provence invented in the 1970's.
The mixture typically contains rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender flowers and other herbs. The proportions vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture.
Herbes de Provence are mostly used to flavour grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews. The mixture can be added to foods before or during cooking
or mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavour into the cooked food. They are rarely added after cooking is complete.
Herbes de Provence are often sold in larger bags than other herbs, and the price in
Provence is considerably lower than other herbs.
Provençal cuisine has traditionally used many herbs, which were often characterized collectively as "herbes de Provence", but not in standard combinations, and not sold as a mixture:
...the famous mixtures of herbes de Provence... were unknown to my Provençal grandmothers, who used, individually and with discernment, thyme, rosemary and savory gathered in the countryside.
I didn't really like the cheese as much as I thought I would. Sorry for the blurry picture, it was before I discovered Macro mode. Anyway, if you want cheese that tastes like a mouthful of grass, go right ahead. I normally like Herbs de Provence, but they should be an added oomph, not a WHOA! We have a large bag of them that I use occasionally, mostly on meat. It was a present from his grandmother, who insists on telling me things like how to make my own pasta and tomato sauce, like I am really going to do that. I am sure that it tastes much better and that you can tell the difference, but for me, it just isn't worth the time and burnt tomatos. Anyway, back to the cheese- I give it one Cheese.
I tried taking karate for about six months. I was whiter than white belt, and didn't much like being in the 6 year old division. Doing the katas (series of movements) was okay, but I didn't like the competitions. Had enough of that doing boxing and wrestling at VMI thanks. Also, Alain didn't appreciate that every time he got punched in the stomach, I shrieked. Here is a little video clip of Alain doing turn jump kicks. (yes, that is the official Japanese name).
This (bang) is (bang) payback (bang) for (bang) your (bang) damn (bang) dog (bang)!
So next we have to finish removing the tiles. Redo the wall where the radiator was. Build the small wall to cover the pipes. Build the piece of furniture for the sink. Put the new floor tiles we bought. Tile everything. Put the sink in place. Repaint. Replace light switches (move it to the outside of the bathroom), plugs, and light fixture.
No problem. Should be done by Christmas. Until then, brushing our teeth in the kitchen sink. Below, picture of the sink we bought (bowl only, not the rest of the furniture).
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