Often, fresh nutritional food is spoken of as "fresh from the garden". I want to bring to your attention that there's food in "them there woods". On one of our trips to France, I have a fond memory of going out looking for chestnut trees on the side of the road with my husband, Chef Roland, and his parents. It was a wonderful experience for all of us and a great reason to go for an outing. They are in their late 80's and you could tell they really enjoyed being our guides to a choice spot and that they were able to "pass down" part of their food culture to me, their American daughter-in-law who had never harvested chestnuts in the wild. It was beyond a Kodak moment. After we located and gleened the chestnuts from a quaint country French farm road, we took them home where Chef Roland's mother cooked up a scrumptious chestnut soup for part of our evening meal. That experience beat out anything else France had to offer! Since I've not been diligent to post anything for the holidays, I will make this my contribution because ,really, it's about family and memories. So, I've posted a link for a nice chestnut recipe. Unfortunately, they are a little expensive in the store. However, you can contact the Missouri Department of conservation and purchase a bundle of chestnut trees for a nominal cost and start your own chestnut orchard!!
Merry Christmas & Bon Appetit!
I soooooooooo apologize for neglecting our blog for so long. Life just keeps getting in the way of things I want and need to get done. That's my excuse....it's the best I have.
I just came across this clip and, SERIOUSLY, it tells the story of WHY France is so well known for their fine cuisine and their outstanding reputation in Food Culture.
We actually visited one of these schools that has a similar program in a small community and it was incredible how the program is managed and the food presented. It takes school lunches and school cafeteria workers to a whole new level!!
Enjoy! Bon Apetit!
I can only apologize for not attending to my blog lately. We are dealing with many issues related to my parents' health and keeping up with managing their affairs. It's a bit distracting from all the other things I would like to be doing.
Chef Roland is keeping quite busy working with a local non-profit in developing their baking/culinary program for rehabilitating persons. It's an awesome program. We have managed to work in a few outside projects and I will hopefully have pics up soon. In addition, we will be involved in some private culinary classes, some culinary presentations and helping with our church to develop their concept for gardening/culinary/food preservation classes. Though we live in a very rural area, I can't believe how many opportunities keep popping up in the most unexpected places.
We are also looking at the possibility of collaborating with two local venues to present culinary classes to our immediate community, with the idea that we will possiby start our own small cooking school nearby. Lots going on.
In the meantime, I am persisting to find what I can regarding the GMO/hybrid/Mansanto connection. I hope you find the link I've included to be interesting regarding an article that ran in the NYTimes. As you read the article, especially take note of the reference to how Mansanto is brought into this article. I really wish their could be some kind of public pressure that could be organized and brought to bear on Mansanto and the FDA. Any political activists reading this???
I would love to hear back from some of you as to what your thoughts are on this most important subject of GMO labeling.
Hello. I trust you are all keeping warm and cozy, enjoying this weather. One of the great ways to beat the winter blahs is to pull out a few recipes that you've thought about trying. Having the oven on in the winter, filling the house with delicious smells, lifts everyone's spirits.
I wasn't sure if you all heard, but the Updated Food Safety Bill did pass and was singned into law a couple of weeks ago. Also, it did have an amendedment attached that excludes the food producers making under $500.000/year, I believe. Please, do some investigating and doublecheck that fact. My memory is not working so good. :)
If you are in the food production business, in whatever capacity, and whatever level, you need to keep a careful watch on this bill and others like it that are relative to food production. The reason I say that is that during my research on this particular food bill, I discovered unknown information regarding seed harvesting and the whole controversy regarding Mansanto and the hybrid/genetically engineered food fight. That's one that is REALLY scary. I had come across a little tidbit, (when I find it again, I'll post the link), that during the WikiLeaks, it was revealed that the US administration threatened economic punishments to France if they did not allow hybrid seeds into their country. They had been resisting because they take great pride in the fact that they have very strict controls in place to insure the high quality of food that they produce.
In the meantime, (while I look for that link), here is another interesting link regarding food safety:
What a wonderful time of the year to pick up some new receipes to share with family and friends! Looking around I found some fun projects that are a little different than the usual fare and bring that French flair to the party! Some of these would make great gifts, as well.
This week went by way too quickly! Hopefully, I will have my new post up tomorrow. In the meantime, check out the new pics I've uploaded from our culinary tour, A Taste of Le Berry that we took in May of 2010. We are working on an itenerary for 2011 and we would love to have you visit with us for a week in Le Berry, the central region of France, Chef Roland's home country.
As Roland is from the Berry, a region made up of two departments (his being the Indre), I thought I would post a link that gives some idea of the types of food that can be found in this area. During our Culinary Tour, A Taste of Le Berry, we offer a week-long package that incorporates daily excursions to discover the delightful villages, markets, ancient chateaux, beautiful countryside, farms, gardens, cafes and restaurants. Staying in a farm-converted gite, Chef Roland offers an instructional opportunity for all participants to prepare their own family style meal. If you would like information regarding our next Culinary Tour, A Taste of Le Berry, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by the contact page on this web site.
I hope you find something on the link to stimulate your tastebuds and that gives you a desire to take A Taste of Le Berry as a guest on our future tour to Central France.
While in San Antonio moving my parents, I happened to read over an article in the San Antonio Express-News (a real newspaper!) that got me to thinking. The article focused on the notion that there are just some tools that are absolutely necessary to produce food. And, there is definately no argument against that fact. However, as with many passionate pursuits, practioners often indulge in the "latest and greatest", aspiring to reach perfection. The article went on to canvas many individuals in the culinary arts, inquiring as to what was the one tool that they could not work without to get the desired results in their production of culinary delights.
As I read over the listed responses, I felt I needed to encourage those of you who are new to the field and those that have set their sights on culinary fame. Watching my husband, Chef Roland Parny, work in so many different environments, many times in kitchens he had never visited previously, I am always amazed at his sense of ingenuity and adapability. He can take the most primitive and challenging situation and "throw together" a delicious presentation of "whatever is on hand", working with whatever is available.
I'm sure there are many people that believe they have to have certain culinary tools (great to work with) and particular ingredients BEFORE they ever try their hand at producing something in the kitchen. Of course, there are basic tools, such as a knife, that are standard to any culinary project. But, even without a knife, when one appreciates the charachteristics that each food item contributes to the nutritional needs and tasting experience, great food experiences can be enjoyed in even the most primitive environment!
One of the programs that Chef Roland offers is a culinary class that can be presented in your own home with you and a gathering of your friends. It's a wonderful time to spend making memories as you and others work together to produce and enjoy your very own dining experience. Whether you have the most sophisticated cookware or grandmother's hand-me-downs, a great culinary experience can be yours! Feel free to contact us with any questions you have or let us know if you would like to book a class today.
When your food culture reflects diversity and is based on food quality, I don't think you can go wrong. It took me several trips to France to really appreciate Terroir. I truelly believe that if Terroir were practiced in the U.S. as it is in France, we would see a signigicant turnaround in the quality of our food choices in the general food markets and the revival of our small independent farms, which are disappearing. Here is an artical that will introduce you to the relationship between Appelation d'Origine Controlee and the preservation of Terroir, the origination of food products.
We should all know that "globalism" is not a new concept. Due to trade routes and the exchange of ideas through world leadership, in one way or another, we all influence one another. I am a huge proponent of nationalism and the promotion of one's own national culture. However, there is no denying we've all taken ideas from one another and tweaked them to satisfy our own likes and dislikes. With that said, I would like to offer you some articles on French Culinary History that I think give a good overview of the progression of French Gastronomy and how it affects us today.
When Roland and I met, I was one of those people who opened the box or can and warmed up the family meal. After our marriage in 2005, I truely began to appreciate what food is really about, not only that it can taste very good, and be nutritious, but that it can be a celebration of who you are and the people that you share it with.