Recently in the category : Drank
Hey Peeps! It's that time of year again - July 14th is rapidly approaching and that means it's time for the :
5th Annual k&k Bastille Day Picnic!
What: 5th Annual K&K Bastille Day Picnic
When: July 14th, 2011
Time: 3:00pm - after the fireworks
Where: Esplanade des Invalides (See map below)
Why: To celebrate Bastille Day, make merry, and "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over fireworks.
Join us for an hour or two, or the whole afternoon/evening! Bring a bottle of two of wine, some water and whatever you want to nibble on. Glasses and napkins are a good idea, too. Maybe even a board game or deck of cards? Don't forget blankets to sit on and sunscreen for those that burn easily.
I, for one, am hoping for sun this year!
And Mother Nature is being contrary and it does rain, we'll be putting a contingency plan in place - ie. hanging out in a bar somewhere. We'll tweet and facebook about it all as usual if that happens! )
(click on map for larger view)
Leave a comment about this on the forum
Ate, Did, Drank, Franced, Met, Seen
One of the exciting events of my trip back home this summer was getting to Holland, Michigan where I had the chance to meet up with one of the Empire, Gilbert.
Gilbert was kind enough to spend the afternoon with me and act as tour guide, indulging all of my whims, which included checking out the Gift Shops of Dutch Village.
The first shoppe we stumbled into was the Candlemaking shoppe. The process itself is pretty interesting - the inside of the candle is clear paraffin, so when the candle burns it also glows.
We stood watching the artists cut the candles for awhile - it looks easy, but it takes a year to learn the skills to do this properly. Then we traipsed off to look at all the other treasures :
Aren't they lovely?
Next we found the fashion area, and unfortunately, I didn't find anything in my size.
Well, this sort of fit. Of course, we had to look at the appropriate footwear.
Very fashionable footwear.
I kind of want these...
These shoes, however, were much too big.
After our Dutch Village adventure, Gilbert led me to downtown Holland where we ate at Froggy's.
Of COURSE this is where we ate. How could we resist?
Cheeseburgers, Fries and Root Beer! YAY!
I think we need one of these for the studio.
After we spent the rest of the afternoon roaming about downtown where they were having sidewalk sales. We *may* have stopped for ice cream at some point.
And we ended the day with a Spontaneous Wine Tasting.
A huge thanks to Gilbert for his tour guide skills and for a fantastic afternoon!
(And the coconut m&ms that he sent back with me!)
The other day I got a texto from the delightful Ksam telling me she had tickets to the Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants, and asked if I was interested in going along. Was I interested? HA!
We met up and headed over to Espace Champerret and trundled ourselves inside. We waited in line and when she handed them our tickets, we were each given a tasting glass with the logo for the Vignerons Indépendants.
On Facebook, we'd both become Fans and had downloaded a game to play, which would give us an opportunity to win one of 50 bottles of wine. Obviously, answering the questions became our first task of the day. We decided to get that accomplished before we got into the serious tasting.
One of the great things about these salons, is you can try all sorts of stuff you could a) never afford or b) not want to buy a whole bottle of.
We tasted wine, pineau, eau de vie, crémant, champagne, calvados, but my favorite of the day was a jurançon moelleux.
As we were taking a pause to eat a little some to counteract the affects of all the stuff we were drinking, the delightful Ksam and I heard suddenly heard our names on the loud speaker.
We walked up to the stand, and they recognized us right away. Gee. I wonder how. They asked us where we were from, and when we responded "les États-Unis" they added another bottle each! Yay Us!
If you ever get a chance to go to one of these salons, I highly recommend it!
(And you get to keep the glasses.)
Chambord, oh, Chambord! You delightful black raspberry liqueur you!
This bottle was discovered in the local grocery store in KylieMac's America. Note the $34.96 price tag. I mean, after all, this stuff is *imported*, you know.
This modern version was inspired by a raspberry liqueur which was produced in the Loire Valley during the late 17th century according to the website. Since it is claimed to have been "introduced" to Louis XIV during one of his visits to the Château de Chambord it must be known all over France? Right?
Just ask Katia, who called about 50 different wine shops in Paris trying to find a bottle. If I recall, only one or two of them had even HEARD of the stuff.
We did, however, manage to find some eventually on a mini-break to the Loire Valley.
Dining at the 3 Michelin starred restuarant of Régis & Jacques Marcon in Saint-Bonnet-le-Froid was an amazing experience, one I will never forget - the company, the setting, the amazing food all made it a wonderful moment in time.
As promised in k&k episode 290, here are a few photos from our evening... To say that "this was the salmon dish" or "this was seafood" seems like it's almost a blasphemy to the combination of 17,000 other flavours present in each dish. My iphone photos don't do this incredible meal justice, but check out my flickr stream to see for yourself...
Note that there is not a single mushroom present in any of my dishes. Although there were a few things in the shape of mushrooms... Can you spot them?
un café gourmand was something i'd seen on a menu or two - i wasn't sure what it was, but assumed, using my stellar translation skills, that it was some kind of fancy coffee.
café = coffee
gourmand = gourmand
i was hopeful that it was something similar to an irish coffee.
a café gourmand is the normal little espresso which is a typical way of finishing off a meal in France - but in addition to the coffee, you also get a small selection of mini desserts - generally three or four. so it's a perfect way to end a meal if you want just a bit of something sweet - and don't want to feel like a glutton.
this is one that vivi enjoyed on my recent visit to see her in champagne - complete with some sort of delicious chocolate browning with "crème anglaise", mini magnum (ice cream), mini macaroon, and mini-creme brulée.
Whilst in Alsace, a region that is quite rightly proud of its many varieties of white wine, I had the opportunity to taste quite a bit - Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Muscat... After all, when you're working hard, you can work up quite a thirst.
I brought home a few bottles - a Pinot Gris, a Gewürztraminer and a Gewürztraminer Vendange Tardive. The Vendange Tardive is a late harvest wine, where the almost over-ripe grapes are carefully picked one by one, and is really sweet and delicious, and is therefore quite a bit more expensive than the typical wine. But it's so worth it.
One of the many things that I love about Alsace is that oftentimes, white wine is served in a special type of glass which is unique to the region. These glasses have a green stem and base, and a quite atypical cup (you can spot one in the top left hand corner of the photo).
I think I need to get myself some, just for the Gewürztraminer Vendange Tardive.
You've got to appreciate life's little pleasures where you can.
Today : a fresh pain au chocolat and a steaming, hot cup of coffee.
Sure, it's at my desk (where I'm spending much of my life at the moment), but I make sure I take the time to enjoy it.
There is nothing better for breakfast than the gooeyness of still-warm chocolate in my pain au chocolat.
The deliciousness of red wine, home made beef bourguignon and ice-creamy tiramisu put us into a food coma this afternoon.
But once we had dosed ourselves up with coffee, Muffin Man and I taught everyone how to play Carcassone.
Unsurprisingly, it got nasty, as insults flew around the room and we got very defensive over our "tiny men".
But boy is it FUN.
It's been hard to get back into the rhythm of things, after the holidays. In an attempt to counter the post-holiday blues, the Muffin Man and I threw ourselves back into work, with projects up the wazoo, and Miss Mac is an additional motivator, since when she comes over - well, we kindof HAVE to do the podcast... but despite all this, it's been hard to move on from the fact that we're not on holidays any more, that our trip to Australia is far behind us, and our friends and family back home are so far away.
It's been over a month (so get over it already!), but my heart is still on a tropical desert island paradise.
I've found myself wandering over to Skyscanner. Browsing the Emirates website for ways to use up some of our points.
I think that travelling to Lebanon flicked a switch in my brain. I loved traveling before, but this is different. The bug has really bit me and I need to see stuff. To get our suitcases dirty again.
Perhaps a mini-break is in order?
When you're eating your way through a foreign country, sometimes you can get a bit gurgly. And a tried and true remedy for settling a mixed up tummy is carbonated soda.
Voilà the value of internationally recognised logos.
Rest assured, we only drank it once a day. Then we were back to doing as the locals do - drinking 17,000 cups of hard-core arabic coffee.
Including our Zoom, the borrowed popper stoppers, mikes and mike stands, and, of course, the Muffito(TM).
normally, i spend part of my tuesday afternoons in a café with one of these...
now that schools over, i'm sure i'll find another way to spend my tuesday afternoon.
if you dine at the blue lagoon, the restaurant attached to the pirates of the caribbean ride at disneyland resort paris, make sure you get some of these light-up clip-on clochette and capitaine crochet.
of course, you'll have to look for them on the kiddie drink menu - but you can have them added to your own cocktails...
(of COURSE we asked!)
Ms Mac tweeted : "I remember when we first moved here and saw people drinking coffee from bowls- we thought it was terribly exotic!"
Fact : the French (and some other Europeans) often drink their breakfast coffee out of bowls instead of cups or mugs. You won't see the bol de café very often in restaurants in France, but it certainly exists in many French homes.
Sure, it gives more space in which to dunk your brioche (and potentially fish out bits if you've left it in there for too long), and I know it's a great French tradition... but the whole lack of handle thing bothers my anglo-saxon roots tremendously. It's just awkward to pick up and hold a bowl - I'm always scared it's going to slip out of my fingers. And it kindof feels impolite - I'm sure if my gran saw me pick up a bowl and drink coffee out of it she'd growl at me for it.
Luckily, my mother-in-law (who is used to my sensibilities about such things) puts out mugs with handles for my breakfast.
brioche = sweet bun
bol de café
ps. The Muffin Man, a big fan of the bol de café, wanted me to mention that his preferred item for dunking in his morning bol de café is a chunk of baguette smothered in butter and jam.
it just so happens that i'm the lucky soul to have absconded with the rest of the orange-y armagnac liqueur (which was one of the justin's entries in the mini-break challenge.) so here it be, folks, for those of you that care-
monluc - pousse rapière
simple à préparer l'apéritif POUSSE RAPIÈRE s'obtient avec:
1 Volume de Liqueur Pousse Rapière
6 Volumes de Vin Sauvage
Servir Très Frais
i'm not sure what "Savage Wine" is - but i vote we try this next time! of course, we'll have to have a new bottle, cause there won't be any of this one left...
Time : 5pm, Saturday, a long weekend
Place : a gîte in the Loire Valley
Mise en scène : At this point we had already enjoyed a few beverages at lunch, had a lengthy dip in the pool (which included a rowdy game of Marco Polo and some synchronised swimming), and were settling in for a nice, long bask in the sun. I believe that these empty glasses once contained Manzana Verde, an orange-y armagnac liqueur (name, Justin?), some Port and a horrible mouthful of Suze. We were moving on with some Chinon, then we would take our taste buds south to Saint-Emilion, then I think that Port got involved again. And after that, I can't remember. Because that's how we roll.
i brought this drink as part of the mini-break challenge, KNOWING that i would probably lose.
which i did.
it was a unanimous "YUCK!"
despite the negative reception, i've been nosing around a little bit online, and SURPRISE! there are some people out there who actually LIKE it. maybe it's an acquired taste? (although i've never understood that, why would you KEEP eating or drinking something you didn't like to begin with?)
the site www.suze.com has got some suggestions for drinks you can make using this stuff.
which i may have to try.
since i got a WHOLE bottle of it here at home...
(dear kyliemac, next time there is a mini-break challenge, please submit something you at least like yourself. love, your tastebuds)