Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Making Cheese in Mongolia ~Nomadic Style

Fresh milk ready for the fire.
There are always a few rare opportunites to learn different methods of cooking when you travel.  For instance, like making cheese........it worked! With this family's help, their cow milk was turned into cheese. I probably would not have this on my list of favorites, but then again I have not acquired a taste for this particular kind of cheese. Sort of chewy, a tad flavorless, but fresh! I am sure it was perfect and very suitable for this nomadic family lifestyle.





                                                           The Cheesemaker








                                                           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

Yak Herding and Tea Time.



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.




Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bread Store ~ Mongolian Style

Situated close to the Siberian border in one of Mongolia's most picturesque destination is Khovsgol. The surrounding area is home to camels of the Gobi and reindeer of the taigan (coniferous forest) as well as several Mongolian ethnic groups. These groups include the Buriat, Khalk, Darhat and the Tsaatan. The next few photos were taken at a local bakery close to Khovsgol Lake, a pristine alpine lake stretching out almost 100 miles long. The owner of this bakery also was the local ice cream producer and seamstress. All three businesses were located in one building.


                               Breads displayed on shelving for sale. Store open 6 days a week.



                                    Whole wheat and sourdough breads were also available for sale.


                     Bread molds were placed in long tubular shaped oven for baking two loaves at a time.









                                                             Bread kneading machine


                                         Oil and brush prep table for oven equipment.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Canneles ~ Baking Chez Moi,Dori Greenspan


The name "canneles", as Dori Greenspan describes in her fabulous cookbook, Baking Chez Moi, refers to the shape of the small ridged  mold used to bake these little gems, meaning "channeled"or "crenelated". Copper molds are traditionally used  to produce that flat and slightly indented top and rounded side. As the price of the copper molds are expensive, I chose another route: silicone. This mold,with 8 cups, worked perfectly and I do believe my heart skipped a beat as the cakes fell so easily from the mold when I flipped it over.  I found the silicone mold in Seattle at "Sur La Table", costing $20.00.



I made only one change in Dorie's recipe. I turned down the temperature from 450 degrees to 400 degrees. I noticed that my first batch was a little darker on the top and the little cakes had blistered from the intense heat. Simple remedy; I ate most of those, so there are no pictures! These cakes are so sweet, moist and chewy along with their rich, dark caramel color, you can't stop at one!

The recipe can be found on page 222. I found it a very easy recipe to duplicate  in my little Florida kitchen, so far away from France.



     


Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Culinary Photo Event ~For Black and White Wednesday

A few photos for the Culinary Photo Event which was created by Susan of the Well -Seasoned Cook.


Cheese puffs

Fresh grapes and pear

Extra virgin olive oil for soup



Cabbage

Fresh pears



Monday, December 22, 2014

Handmade Holidays


          A few days ago my hubby and I decided to have a neighborhood dinner......a get-together after the main event just to relax and reflect. I have been baking for the past few weeks and before I put that mammoth mixer under the cabinet, I decided one more bowl full of goodness into the oven!
    
          Simona, from Briciole is hosting a handmade gift idea page and this is my contribution. Inside the wrapped packages, banana-nut bread. The recipe is one from Martha Stewarts "Baking Handbook" I received as a gift years ago. This recipe never fails, loaded with goodness and is the perfect sweet bread this time of year. On the back of the Merry, Merry cards I wrote our invitation to the dinner. The bread was baked early enough in the day so I could deliver these packages for my guests to enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot tea!

           "Happy Holidays" to my blogger friends and your family~I wish we lived closer so I could have delivered a treat to you!



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Scenes from our Simply French Tour ~ 2014

 
 As many of you already know, I own a boutique touring company that caters to women only. Not that I have anything against men, but occasionally gals just want to travel by themselves or with close friends. We are unique as we only take six guests on each trip. All one has to do is show up and the rest is taken care of..... It is a Four Star trip all the way! These are photos from the October trip to Paris and into the countryside, south of Paris ~

                                                     
                                                           A walk down the Champs Elysees


                                             A lovely drive in the countryside~yes, flowers blooming in the fall!

                            Beautiful drives through the countryside and lots of history lessons!

                                                                 French garden touring

                                            Visiting as many Chateaux as we possible can!


                             You are looking at fresh celery.......huge stalks and luscious color!


                           This is one of the rooms where my guests stay ~simply enchanting!



                              We were able to do wine tastings and get into the vineyards for a first hand look!



 And then we did a little cooking~hoping to remember all the special techniques we were taught!











 Nothing as breathtaking as French floral arrangements!


We spent time at local markets, enjoying the crowds, the flowers, foods and the little critters! Ahhh!