Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Thursday, October 22, 2015
|Tuscany 2015 Tour.|
From the looks of things throughout the countryside, it appears it is going to be a great year for wine and olive oil.
|Unfortunately, we missed most of the grape picking due to an extraordinary hot summer! Sometimes we hit it just right, something we can not predict! Nevertheless, beauty surrounded us!|
|One of our favorite white roads where we are able to enjoy the groves. These tree branches were bursting with weight and promises of liquid gold. Such a gorgeous site as the wind whips the leaves into their silver shimmering state.|
|Just from looking, it is going to be a great year for wines! We wish all our friends a bountiful harvest!|
Monday, August 31, 2015
The fun of preparing a rustic tart is you really can't mess it up! You just pray the crust will hold together! Well, fear not. This is an easy one!
A few years ago I had a class with Susan Hermann Loomis On Rue Tatin in Paris. We have remained friends on FB through the years and recently she posted a video on making the pastry for a tart, similar to what I used. Susan did bake hers in a tart pan and her crust was perfectly executed! She has a great recipe on that video. One thing she mentions several times is how necessary it "is not to handle the dough too much" because you do not want to melt the butter or rather warm it with your hands while kneading the dough. I was so careful in handling the dough. Most likely this was the reason I had such success with this tart. Using the food processor was a lifesaver as well.
CRUST: a very simple butter crust~
1 1/4 cup of flour~a tad more for when rolling it out flat
1 3/4 teaspoons of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons of butter, cut into very small cubes/pieces. My butter was actually frozen.
4 - 6 tablespoons ice cold water
3 large peaches, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon of butter~you will use this to dot the top when all compiled
1 tablespoon of flour
3/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg beaten, and maybe if you desire, course sugar to sprinkle on top.
Using a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients. Add the chilled butter slowly and pulse. Add the water a few tablespoons at a time, pulse until the dough clumps together. Turn out on hard surface, spread a tad of four down first. Form the dough into a disc shape. Do not over- knead the dough. Sprinkle the dough with a little more flour on both sides and wrap in plastic then chill for about one hour.
Place the flour and sugar on the sliced peaches and gently toss to coat. Add the vanilla gently over the peaches and toss again. Mix the egg and have it ready to apply on the crust as a final touch.
After the dough has chilled, roll it out into a 12 inch circle. Carefully remove and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange your peach slices however you like in the center of the dough, using about a 6-7 inch circle area to arrange the peach mixture. Dot the top with the teaspoon of butter.
Fold the outer edges of the dough over the filling all the way around. Use pastry brush to apply the egg wash and now add the course sugar, if desired.
Cook in oven at 425 degrees, 15-25 minutes or until browned. Let cool before cutting.
Friday, July 03, 2015
Racing is and has been a national sport passed down through generations of the Nomadic tribes since the days of Genghis Khan. Children learn to ride horses as soon as they can walk and then spend much of their lives in search of stray horses, as there are almost no fences in the entire country to restrain them.
Several of my most memorable moments while out in the countryside were sitting by the door of our ger and watching the horses pass right in front of me, racing, grazing and sleeping as care free and completely unconcerned about what was around. I have never observed such freedom that horses possess in Mongolia......to be able to roam wherever they wanted, day and night.
Below I have photographed several young jockeys preparing for their local midsummer Naadam, a traditional festival, which young boys age 3 to 15 will compete. We happened to be camped near the grounds where one festival was taking place and also on another occasion, we were able to photograph another group getting ready for their race. Notice the horses are much smaller ......
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
|Fresh milk ready for the fire.|
Straining the curds
Necessary to press out all the moisture.
A weight was placed on top to add extra pressure for releasing all the liquid. This remained on top for about 15 minutes. I have no idea what that weight belonged to ~ maybe part of a vehicle. It was clean.......
There you have it! Ready to slice, serve and taste in under an hours time.
Monday, June 29, 2015
I had the opportunity to meet with a Yak-herding family on the Mongolian steppe. This experience certainly revealed the hard and austere lifestyle of these nomadic families. Here the owner of the house is carrying fresh milk back to her ger which she will serve in a steaming bowl of milk tea.
After the milking of the yaks is complete, they are herded off into the pastures again where they will remain until the next morning.
One side of the ger is organized with all the cooking utensils. A wood stove can be found dead center of the ger.
The nomadic families depend on these long-haired bovines for virtually all of their core needs: milk, shelter and clothing.