Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FROM PLATE TO PAGE

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel.
- Carl Buechner

Passion is a curious thing. “Great enthusiasm, the object of this; strong emotion,” defines my Oxford American Dictionary. But simply “great enthusiasm” sounds rather bland and everyday, these words carefully chosen and written in black on white in my much thumbed, beloved book belie the exuberance, fail to capture the energy and enthusiasm bespoke in this one word. Passion inspires a rapturous, unadulterated exhilaration, pure pleasure bordering on madness, a willingness to forget all else when once the object of said passion is encountered, even an earnest readiness to bare one’s soul prompted by the hungry craving to indulge in one’s own passion. “Strong emotion” transforms into frenzy, an incredibly intense devotion, Pygmalion’s passionate love for his sculpture.

Photo courtesy of Jenn of Jenn Cuisine

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE TART WITH MASCARPONE CREAM AND STRAWBERRIES

A JAUNT THROUGH PARIS


I rarely travel to Paris these years and I forget how beautiful a city it is. Living in Paris had become a hardship, that glorious city becoming a cage and I merely a rat on a treadmill. Rushing along crowded sidewalks through a jumble of tourists on my way to work or pushing my way along quays, weaving in and out among the motley crew lining the track’s edges down in the gloomy, damp bowels of the earth, each one of us with somewhere important to go, bothered by the unforgiving heat of the bodies pressing too close, the weight of impatience blocking the watery light above. Frustration always accompanied me wherever I went, blinding me to the loveliness of what surrounded me; aggravation and exhaustion painting the city in soot and noise, taking away any pleasure I could possibly have. Always in a rush, dashing from one appointment to the next, I quickly became disenchanted, the romance of the City of Lights turned sour and I wanted nothing more than to leave as quickly as I could.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

SWEET & SOUR OSSOBUCO AND RICOTTA TART

GO ITALIAN!


Our very first From Plate to Page workshop is approaching like a speeding train coming at us head on and we are tied to the tracks (though no Damsels in Distress, we four!)! I have been neck deep in conversation and preparation with Ilva, Meeta and Jeanne, tying up loose ends, planning the menus, dealing (happily) with our fabulous sponsors and finalizing details for our own writing workshop sessions with Jeanne so I have had very little time to devote to my own blog and my own dear readers. Bear with me for just a little while longer then hopefully I will be back with you a little more often.

Friday, May 6, 2011

MATCHA CHOCOLATE MARBLE CAKE

INDULGENCE


My father’s marble cakes stand out in my memory, nestled between images of him, dressed in white t-shirt and Bermuda shorts, his body immersed under the hood of a car, tinkering with an engine, or scratching at the sandy Florida dirt with a rusty rake at the side of the house, coaxing up his precious plants which would eventually bear an abundant crop of splotchy tomatoes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

BAKED CUSTARD TART

INTERLUDE


Ce toit tranquille, où marchent des colombes, Entre les pins palpite, entre les tombes, Midi le juste y compose de feux, La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée...
Paul Valéry, 1871-1945


This quiet roof, where dove-sails saunter by,
Between the pines, the tombs, throbs visibly.
Impartial noon patterns the sea in flame --
That sea forever starting and re-starting.

Our voices are snatched up and swallowed by the wind as it reaches in through the open windows, the drumming noise barely allowing the music to be heard. We’ve succeeded in escaping once again, just the two of us, and we revel in the escapade as we laughingly watch the paysage, the scenery flow by, the world a blur around us. We feel all alone, together here in the car as we roll south towards sunnier skies and warmer climes, singing loudly to the songs that flutter and sputter out of the radio, and we are never happier than when we are together by ourselves. My hand steals across the space between the seats that separates us and my fingertips brush against the back of his hand, feeling the warmth of his skin and his smile as he glances my way and gives me that special wink he has just for me. The road slips behind us as we try and leave our worries and concerns behind us as well.

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