Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The New Way to Vacation: Sleep in a Tent on a Farm

Living in Maine, your whole life style goes back to the roots: you heat with wood in the winter, you grow your own tomatoes, herbs and zucchini in the summer, and you buy most of your produce from the farmers market. You hike and eat lobster in the summer, and feel privileged to the tourists who come to visit for a few weeks. Well, at least in the summer. On your own vacation, if you even need any, you prefer Provence to Paris.

Staying in rural farm houses has been a trend for a long time in Europe: gites in France, agritourism in Italy, and now, it has swapped to the US. Vacation on a farm, set up in a rather luxurious tent, and pick your own vegetables for dinner and get free range eggs from the chickens you say good morning to. A not too bad idea for people, mostly living in high rises in the city.

Here is the article in the NY Times.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

French Rye Bread

Finally, I caved and bought myself a bread machine. A quite expensive one, but a tiny and fitting on the counter space, and so far making fabulous bread. Here is the first loaf, french rye bread with cumin seeds, a French German bread marriage.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rhurbarb Chutney

2 cups of raw rhurbarb, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 TB canola oil
1/2 cp cabernet sauvigonon vinegar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cp brown sugar
1 ts cinnamon
1 ts ground ginger
1 TB fresh ginger
1/2 ts cloves
1/4 cup red current juice

Sautee onion on low heat in hot canola oil until soften. Reduce heat to low, add the rhurbarb and other ingredients. Stir, and simmer on low for 30 min, until liquid is evaporated and chutney has a jam-like consistency.

Serve with grilled pork chops or grilled sweet and sour duck.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

French Lentil Stew

I first had this in the south of France, Charlie's lentil stew, with bay leaves and herbs from the garden and lentils from a can (it's france, afterall), with a generous glass of Cahor wine, slow-cooked for hours. This one is the local version.

1 ts olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
Freshly ground black pepper, salt
1 large garlic clove, microplaned
1/2 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalked, diced
2 bell peppers ( red, green), diced
1/2 summer squash, diced
1/4 cup red wine
fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and several bay leaves)
3/4 cp french lentils, dried
1 rapunzel vegetable bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil. Add all the vegetables (besides the lentils), and sautee for 5 min. Add red wine, and sautee until the liquid is evaporated. Add herbs, lentils and bouillon. Simmer at low heat for 30 min.

Makes 8 servings a 110 kcal.