mélange
copyright 2013 - 2018 TGG
“...having bowed to the inevitability of the dictum that we must eat to live, we should ignore it and live to eat...” ― M.F.K. Fisher, An Alphabet for Gourmets
Alchemy
Never eat more than you can lift.      Miss Piggy
Classico indicates that the wine comes from a restricted area-Colli means hilly area Chianti must contain at least 70% Sangiovese to be considered Chianti. Chianti is always an excellent choice because of its smooth taste and it pairs well with tomato based dishes such as pizza, lasagna and even tomato soup and yes it pairs well with a fondue too.   
                                  20th Sangria Day……… For it to be authentic sangria it must come from Spain or Portugal (or the recipe at least).  And don’t skimp on the fruit, use what is in season and fresh, apples, oranges or lemons. In the summer berries are wonderful. Skip the egg nog this season and make your own sangria.
Before sitting down to dinner the Italians take a “passeggiata” evening stroll. And then they enjoy the meal sometimes for hours. Americans spend less time cooking than people from any other country……… We need to get cooking!! It is truly one of the greatest joys in life!!
Cacao   is   the   bean,   cocoa   is   the   product   made   from   it.   Every stage   of   cocoa   production   is   done   by   hand;   planting,   irrigation, harvesting,   fermenting   and   drying.   So   paying   for   the   best   quality is   worth   it.   The   trees   need   to   be   planted   next   to   taller   trees   so that   they   are   protected   from   direct   sunlight.   Cacao   is   the   purist form of chocolate that can be consumed.  Cocoa   is   derived   from   the   Aztec   word   cacabuatl.   Legend   has   it the   cacao   tree   was   the   most   beautiful   tree   the   Aztecs   had   ever seen.   They   believed   it   could   appease   hunger   and   thirst,   give people   universal   knowledge   and   even   cure   sickness. The Aztecs also used cocoa beans as currency. For    authentic    European    hot    chocolate    you    need    whole    milk, cream   and   at   least   70%   chocolate.   It   takes   longer   to   make   and you   can’t   zap   it   in   the   microwave   but   it’s   worth   the   effort.   Real   is always better than fake.  
A sampling of culinary terms to celebrate being a culinarian…… A la grecque-served in Greek style such as with olive oil, lemon juice and seasonings….. Effiler-  to remove the string from a bean or to thinly slice almonds…. Mise en place- the preparation of ingredients before you begin cooking; such as dicing vegetables or measuring spices… Oeuf- French for egg…….
A simple but delicious recipe……. Blend 3 cups of Kalamata olives (or any olive really) with about ½ of a cup of good olive oil; process till you reach the consistency you want; serve on some crusty bread and pour a glass of wine and it’s all good…
December 12th Cocoa Day……