Monday, 25 August 2008

A Free Book!

Well if any one is reading this yet and they are interested in my book Fat, you should check out Mark Bittman's blog as quickly as possible. He wants you try making my recipe for bacon fat mayonnaise and send in your comments. A tip - make sure the bacon fat is liquid but not hot.

And if you can send me your comments too I'd love to read them. I don't have any books to send out as I have only one copy.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Psst, do you have any Burrata?

The habit began, as many do, quite innocently. I was watching a program of French television about buffalo milk mozzarella and the problems of dioxin contamination.

It was informative, and made me glad I don’t live in Naples, but as I watched the workers pulling the cheese curds, uncontaminated ones, and forming mozzarella by hand I started to get hungry.

Saturday, 16 August 2008


Some years ago in Luberon a beautiful region of southern France, my husband and I discovered Rinquinquin – it’s pronounced ‘ran-can-can’ through your nose, if you can. Rinquinquin is a popular aperitif but the reason we first tried it was, of course, its name.

In French the verb requinquer means to buck up - “un bon grog vous requinquera” – a hot drink will cheer you up – well despite ours being cold being served over ice, Rinquinquin had a definite restorative and relaxing effect on us.

Since then, Rinquinquin has been for me the perfect summer aperitif, as opposed to cocktail and then it is gin and tonic. Its rich peachy flavour is muted by a slight bitterness. It’s made by marinating yellow and white peaches, the cracked peach kernels and even the leaves for six months to a year, in a mixture of alcohol and wine.
The solids are then distilled and mixed with the infused liquids, sugar is added and voilà a drink that weighs in with 15 % alcohol. It’s a good idea to add ice.

Alas this peachy aperitif is not easy to find outside of France. Even in France it is not that well know but Lavinia the big wine store near the Madeleine church always stocks it and luckily my local Monoprix does too.
I brought two bottles back with me in June as it is not available in Ontario. There is only one distillery making it and they are better know for the very popular pastis, a licorice flavoured drink similar to Pernod. Their pastis, Henri Bardouin won a gold medal at the General Agricultural Competition Paris 2008

It ‘s obviously their best seller as the letters HB are embossed into all their bottles, even my Rinquinquin bottle. They make a range of aperitifs flavoured with orange, nuts and gentian. Gentian is a flowering plant, found in Provence, the Auvergne where it’s root used to make Gentiane and Suze.
Although I like bitter aperitifs, Campari for example, I prefer them in the winter – for the summer it’s the sweet taste of peach. I could create some recipes using Rinquinqun but I’d rather just be on my deck, sipping it over ice.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Blogging and Lorem ipsum

Some people may have noticed I have a blog, not too many I hope, because it is filled with loren ipsum, words used by graphic designers when they don't have real text. Lorem ipsum appears to have quite an interesting history.

I rather like the look of this perhaps meaningless text so it will fill up this page for a little while longer while I slowly start blogging. Give me a little time, as I am over 35 and my technology skill set is limited, I don’t even have a cell phone!
Come back in a week and there will be more than lorem ipsum to read, I promise.

Monday, 11 August 2008


Lorem ipsum vim ut utroque mandamus intellegebat, ut eam omittam ancillae sadipscing, per et eius soluta veritus.