It’s not been a fabulous Summer for fruit in the Dordogne this year, however notably the fig trees are still quite robust and full of life.
Some people swear that the gorgeous dark purple variety are sweeter than these vibrant green ones, yet I guess it’s all a personal preference of taste and how you use these ancient fruits. The other night my friend Moira the served figs sliced in four, filled with fresh goat cheese and chopped mint, nestled amongst thinly sliced Parma ham…simply delicious.
If you have any special recipes featuring fresh figs, I’d love to hear about them.
I also would like to say “Thank you” to Junglefrog for the appreciation my photo of Ajo Blanco soup received. I have a big smile on my face, and I’m looking forward to October’ Food Photography Challenge.
Enjoy your day!
What I love about following good food blogs is when the imagery and the recipes meld together in my head and the imagination of my taste buds take over. I can vicariously prepare and enjoy a dish from a well written and photographed post. It makes me want to cook: to smell the fragrant odors while simmering, to feel the different textures and to sense the various flavors balancing each other, it is almost like smelling a wonderful perfume.
Food and photography are two of my favorite things, so when I read a few weeks ago about the Junglefrog Cooking Photography and Styling Challenge, I thought to myself: “What a fun project!”, thus today’s post.
The challenge here was to shoot a white colored dish and one of my all-time favorite dishes which is white and originates in Spain: “Ajo Blanco” soup. A white “gazpacho” made with garlic, almonds, and bread. Since I am clinging to the last days of summer, I thought I’d make a batch of “Ajo Blanco”; if you’re a fan of garlic, this will become one of your favsorites too, hands down.
AJO BLANCO – WHITE GARLIC SOUP
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Yield: 4 servings
4 oz (1/2 cup) blanched, peeled almonds (or use slivered almonds)
3-4 slices stale baguette or white bread
3 cloves garlic
4 cups (32 oz) water
5 Tbsp extra virgin Spanish olive oil
3-4 Tbsp Spanish sherry vinegar
16-20 seedless green grapes (optional)
salt to taste
Peel garlic. Trim crust from bread and soak in 1-2 cups cold water.
Blend garlic and almonds into a food processor or blender on pulse until smooth. Remove bread from water with slotted spoon and squeeze out excess water. Tear bread into pieces and add bread and 1 tsp salt to blender. Blend on pulse.
While blending, slowly drizzle the olive oil, then the vinegar, and finally the water into blender. Taste. Adjust salt, vinegar and oil to taste.
Strain through a sieve into a container or bowl. Press as much as possible through the sieve. Seal and chill at least 2-3 hours or overnight. Mix soup before serving.
Serve by ladling soup into soup bowls, garnish with the sliced grapes and toasted, sliced almonds.
That’s all there is to it!
If you try this savory soup, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.
When I passed by this little entrance the other day in Monpazier, the red-checked cloth reminded me of family picnics when I was a kid. My Mom would put together a real picnic basket with a scrumptious lunch when we’d leave the city for the day, heading to the countryside or to Jones Beach in the summer. The red-checked picnic cloth even came out inside our apartment when plans for weekend picnics were dashed by rainy days : Mom would make us a real “outdoor” picnic right in the middle of our living room floor! I know her creativity has definitely rubbed off on me : )
“Pillars of the Earth” is one of my favorite novels and it often comes to mind when I visit churches and cathedrals here in France and elsewhere. I think about all the lives involved to construct such a building, and what it must have been like (really tough I can imagine).
But it also makes me wonder about how society was different, how it seems that it was more coherent. Perhaps, perhaps not. I suppose nowadays we choose our circle of life (friends, family, workplace and personal interests) instead of having it imposed on us by default of where we live and in which social class etc.
In any case, I still stand in admiration for the talent and sheer physical force which are invisible cornerstones of such structures.
Wishing you a great weekend!
A few weeks ago I was in St. Léon sur Vézère for a “brocante” (by now you should’ve figured out that “brocante” is the French word for antique fair or flea market) when I spotted these colorful bikes which I thought contrasted nicely against the neutral walls, with just a spot of color “pops” from the geraniums.
I went back to my favorite textures from Flypaper Textures, and used “Dangerous Liaisons”, “Tarte Tatin” and “Basalt” included in their Basic Sets.
I forgot how fun playing with textures is! I personally think that one can have or develop several “styles” in photography. I wouldn’t want all my photos to be textured, but I really like the effect and it brings out certain qualities in images.
If you have some ideas about textures I’d love to hear about them!
It was a really lovely summer morning and since it was my day off from work, I got into the car and drove to Hautefort to visit my favorite “brocante” (antique shop) lady, Isabelle, to see if she had any items I couldn’t live without.
I had forgotten she only opened at 11 am, so I had 20 minutes to walk around the village. The main highlight of Hautefort is its’ “Musée de la Médecine”, a 17th Century hospice which has become a museum showing not only the typical activities of the hospice, but various medical instruments spanning the decades. Rather quirky.
In anycase, what I also discovered was the medicinal plant and herb garden hidden behind the hospice. I like these slate roof tiles which have be repurposed as plant markers – something to note for the day I have my own herb garden. How do you mark your herbs and plants? Any other clever ideas?
Summer in France brings out little details which I just love! A simple nail in the wall of a village house goes unnoticed all winter long, yet it’s with the warm weather that the home owners arrive and fancy up the place.
Nothing complicated or contrived – just a hanging pot of flowers. Pretty : )
After I took this shot with my iPhone and an Instagram filter, I remembered those cool Chanel commercials years ago, where a sublime woman, perfectly manicured, sporting chic black glasses and the most elegant bathing suit lounged at the end of a pool, when an adonis-like man dove in at the other end of the pool to swim up to her….
Perhaps an image which evokes more the New Year than just some Tuesday in the middle of summer, but I felt like posting it to remind me that time heals all.
A lovely summer day here in the Dordogne, Enjoy yours!