Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Friday, August 23, 2013

When in France, eat like the French do, but better...

Meet Nese Pelt
When the weather was warm enough, we ate on the terrace at La Cascade.

Up to this point in my life, my travelling has always been with family, or to visit family.  Going to France and Belgium this summer was really the first trip I took completely for myself, and on my own.  I wasn't alone, though.  In Belgium I visited one of my very dearest childhood friends, and in France, of course, I was attending a class with eight other people.  It was a bit like a tour group, as we did have daily excursions, but even better than a tour group because, by the nature of the class (Dayle Doroshow's Capturing Ancient France, mixed media journaling, at La Cascade), the group was small, and the participants were already to some degree kindred spirits.  

Chef Nese , whipping up something yummy.

Now, most of the time, I like being alone, prefer it even.  Solitude is almost as necessary as air for most artists, and I'm no exception, but I don't think I would like traveling really alone.  I know I wouldn't like eating alone day after day.  I occasionally do the woman-alone-dining-out thing, and I gotta say, good food isn't all that much fun without someone to discuss it with.  

Nese's version of French cassoulet has the traditional beans and sausage, but I was told she adds more veggies than are the norm.  We loved it!  She also said that using fresh beans, rather than dried, solves the gas problem with beans.  Frozen limas and edamame are about the only beans found in grocery stores this way, but perhaps your local co-op or natural foods store carries more varieties, if you don't grow them yourself.
In France, eating alone was never a problem.  Not only did I have lots of dining companions, I had lots of good food to share and talk about.  We did eat at a couple of restaurants, and we bought nibbles and treats at market stalls and sidewalk cafes, but mostly we ate at La Cascade, where Nese (pronounced Nesha) Pelt, chef (and now owner), took very good care of us.  

She's as cute and funny as her food is beautiful and delicious.
When I raided Nese's facebook page (link: buddha du jardin) for recipes, I saw she hasn't posted since just before the summer season of classes began, so I know she's super busy.  She owns a yoga and massage studio already, and with the new addition of not just cooking for but also owning La Cascade...well, I have a pretty good idea of just how busy that is, so I didn't pester her with a request for recipes to share here.  "Like" her facebook page, and when she gets back to posting, her charmingly written recipes will come across your feed..

It all started with the story of a dare to lick a bowl in a restaurant, and pretty soon, we were doing it, too.  Considering how good the cake was, how freely the wine flowed, and who was involved, this is not really surprising.
Another great thing about travelling with others is that if they are willing to share, one has many more photos to choose from, insuring a great shot of just about every minute of the trip.  In this post, the only photo I took was the one at the top.  I am not an accomplished photographer, and in fact have to really force myself to stop and take pictures.  I love living in the moment, and stopping to record the moment for the future, or for my blogs and bookazine (365being), is just contrary to my nature.  

I did try, and mostly I failed.  Oh, I took nearly eight hundred pictures.  About a hundred and fifty are focused, and capture the moment of, rather than the moments after.  My photos of Nese?  Mine all captured the whir and blur of her bustling around the kitchen.  Great memories for me, not such great illustrations for you.  It's a very good thing I had very kind, very generous companions on this adventure, and I'm so pleased you popped in here to meet them (if you haven't been here lately, scroll back through previous posts to meet everyone who contributed to my fun and photos, and even farther back to see some wonderful old architecture).  

If you're curious to see what I made in class, that will be Tuesday morning's post, so have a great weekend, and check back here, then.  For today, I'll leave you with Nese's recipe for chocolate cake...

chocolate cake without flour and no butter 
Lifted straight from Nese's facebook page, which you can just click right over to
buddha du jardin
*250 gr. chocolate 
* 6 eggs
* 200 gr. sugar
* 200 gr. ground almonds
* half tea spoons cinnamon 
* 6 soups spoons cognac
* 1 p. of baking powder or 3 tea spoons

** break the chocolate in little pieces and put hot water or hot coffee on it , don't mix , let it for a little time and put the liquid away ( except of some ) or drink it, and now mix .

*** egg yolk and sugar mix for a long time and add the melt chocolate , mix add cinnamon and cognac, baking powder and almonds .

**** beat the egg white and add , mix very careful.

***** back it in middle heat for 30-40 min.

the decoration is how you want with or without cream .........have fun

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