Tag Archive | recipe

Nuts to the Doldrums

So many gray skies

Make me blue

But as it’s a holiday

What can I do?

Everything’s closed.


I’ll make a cake, I decided.  We had a very nice crop of walnuts this year.  There was a cake we used to eat sometimes a long time ago, between 35 and 40 years ago.  I feel like I have escaped from a history book with all these preposterous numbers of years.

On the way between where we lived and where my parents-in-law lived, one could find at one of the rest areas this delicious confection consisting mostly of nuts with a bit of pastry to cover and caramel to hold together.  Walnuts in French are called “noix de Grenoble” and this cake could be found when passing close to that area.  My mother-in-law was fond of walnuts and so am I.

I did a google for “gâteaux aux noix”.  Just looking at the images was quite cheering.  The one that corresponded to my search is actually from Switzerland.

It takes a lot of nuts—300 grams, about 2 cups. I’m glad there were two of us to shell them.

Up until about age 23, I thought gravy came in an envelope or maybe in a soup can.  I have cooked and baked a lot since then but I am not very experienced with caramel.  I carefully followed the directions and exercised patience—it turned out good.

This is supposed to make 12 servings, each one over 500 calories.   Oh boy.



The recipe is here:




Une Fantaisie

Apples cooked in about 1 Tbsp butter and 2 tsp honey with 3 walnuts, a crumbled sage leaf and some cardamom. Purchased pâte feuilletée. Baked for about 15 minutes, then topped with ½ Crottin. Baked a further 5 minutes. Yum.


1 Free unpredictable creativity. 2 Strange fleeting taste, a whim. 3 A work of the imagination, a creation that does not follow the rules. …


I was a bit surprised when someone once commented on my knitting “oh, you did a point fantaisie (a fantasy stitch). After a while, I realized the French call anything that is not the classical named model “fantaisie”.


Mixing sweet and savoury is “fantaisie” and could be totally unacceptable for some people.

Granny Plays with her Food Again

I was thinking tagliatelli but some of these are bordering on lasagne.

My grandma told me “use one egg per person, add as much flour as it will take, roll out as thin as you can.”

Sprinkle with flour and gently separate them from the work surface.  This plastic tool comes in handy.  Toss them around a bit to be sure they are well separated, play with them, enjoy them.  Cook as usual, they will get done faster than dried pasta.

Not sold in any package.  My husband made the sauce.

And so together, between us both, we licked the platter clean.


Riddle: What do homemade pasta and snowflakes have in common?



Physalis Salsa

Some people split hairs, I thought, as I chopped each physalis into 8 pieces.

Physalis or groundcherries or Cape something I forget

Red bell pepper (not hot)

Shallot finely chopped into lime juice


A sprinkle of Berber spice blend (it is quite hot)


Mix well and wait a little while.  Then enjoy as a relish.


Ain’t We Got Fun

Something different for me, I volunteered to participate in a traveling sketchbook.  Its theme is recipes.

First I had to translate and convert my recipe; then I had to bake the muffins.  Now I have to wait until the end of today’s fast to eat them.

Now I will return the book so it can go on its way for the filling of the remaining pages.

The thread for this project can be found here:



Granny Plays with her Food

Sometimes she even plays with other people’s food. These are for a reception.

swirls 1

You may have seen this type of thing on Youtube, as I did.


You don’t need to speak Arabic to get the gist.  I think one could use any kind of bread dough and any kind of filling.  They could be any size.

I made my regular pizza dough and some tapenade (olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil and lemon juice).  I needed these to be cool by noon so I made the dough last night and let it rise in the refrigerator.  A bit of cheese on top and in the oven for about 20 minutes.

swirls 2

Sort of a Tamale

Sometimes watching videos can be a pastime (a waste of time?) and sometimes it can move one to action.  I saw a young man being taught Mexican cooking by grandmothers and it inspired me to do something along the tamale line.  This is in no way meant to be an authentic tamale but it made a nice dinner and kept this gardener occupied while waiting for the weather to be more auspicious for gardening.  Previously, as far as I can remember, the only tamales I have eaten came in a can.

I cooked some meat like I do for pork BBQ (boiled, basically) and steamed some leeks from the garden while it was simmering.  I stuck four whole tomatoes down in there just until they cracked, then removed and set aside for a sauce.

I made the corn flour mixture using half the fat called for.  I think 2/3 cup must have been a mistake.  So 2 cups corn flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¾ tsp. salt, 1/3 cup lard and duck fat that we had left over and 1 ¼ cup bouillon from the meat.

I didn’t have any banana leaves or corn husks so I used parchment paper.  I set them to steam for 2 hours in our couscoussier.

For the sauce I used the Vitamix blender and the four tomatoes, one shallot, one clove of garlic, some salt, cumin and paprika.

While they would not win any prizes for elegance, they were a very satisfying meal and I was happy that they did not turn out as falling apart blobs.

one tamale