if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Recipe for Galettes

As I promised I am publishing a recipe.
This one is for a simple pastry called a galette. Galette is a general term used in French to designate different types of round and flat crusty cakes. (thank you, Wikepedia)There is a savory variation of a buckwheat crepe often filled with Gruyere and ham or other savory morsels left over from last night's exquisite French feast. Those particular galettes taste the best when you eat them in your soft clingy movie star nightgown at about 11:30 am after you finally wake up.
But if you dont have Feasts of French or slink around in nighties, it really doesnt matter because these are about the most versitile of things that ever wanted to be made. If you are enjoying a bumper crop of Apricots, use them, if you have a little ganache left from a cake, save it for an accent in your next galette, the sky's the limit in what you can put in them.

They have a crust
Ill give you the recipe I have for a short crust or pastry that Chef /Wizard Jodi Calhoun got from her mother. It is rich and delicate and really easy to remember. It is a "4-2-1 and a pinch" formula.

Here is a basic recipe for galette dough using the formula

2 cups flour
Pastry or just white flour is fine, better not use whole wheat flour.
1 pinch of salt. I would estimate that a pinch is about a 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup cold butter
The better the butter, the better the batter, unsalted or salted are both ok, just adjust the salt that you add accordingly.
About 1/2 cup cold water (I use homemade)
Optional pinches are generous pinch of sugar (helps to brown the galettes) orange or lemon zest for flavor.

put flour in a dry bowl a little bigger than you think youll need, add salt, and optional sugar and or zest, stir well. You can use a food processor for this, just use the bowl of the machine as your bowl. Chop the butter, handling it as little as possible, into small lego-ish cubes and add to the flour mixture. "Cut" the butter in with a couple of knives, a pastry blender or pulse in the processor until thare are no noticable hunks of butter and the whole thing has the coarser texture of cornmeal. Trickle the water into the mixture while tossing with a fork, a little at a time or pour in a slow stream into the spinning processor. Did you learn this years ago? sorry, Im just being thorough for the newcomer pastry enthusiast. By some mystery of nature, it sometimes doesnt need all the water, while other times the flour is thirstier and it does take it all. When a pinch of the mixture holds together in what looks like pie dough, its got enough water. Nobody ever said cooking was an exact science, did they? Well... actually it is, but that's a big topic. One you could discuss with Scientist/ Husband Jordan. Later. Over Galettes!

Now portion the dough, (again, minimal handling for a tender crust) If you want cute little galettes for individual portions then shape the dough loosely into walnut ot apricot size, if you want a larger galette that you can slice into wedges then roll orange sized balls. Chill (or freeze) for a little while (like an hour) or a long while (up to a week as long as its well wrapped) I like having a few balls of it on hand for when someone pops in for coffee or I want an easy dessert.

Egads, its late! more tomorrow.
Fillings in fact.

Friday, October 26, 2007

On second thought, let's throw them out!

Attention! Political content here. Tomorrow I promise Ill put a great new recipe here if youl hear me out. Thank you. I have given some thought and considered feedback from my last blog entry. I was hinting around at a tax revolt to stand up to the governments aggressive military actions. I now realize that if the heads of state were "deprived" of revenue for the war endevors they are so bent on they will raid some other coffers to continue. It seems that the voiceless are the ones to suffer when money is shifted by the Bush administration. I wont condone something that will take food out of an already hungry or sick or old hand.
It is, however legal to impeach a president (and vice president), and there are plenty of legal grounds to support it, now. Its an idea that is growing. It has got the iceberg shape.

Why not be on the cutting edge and be one of the ones people thank god for later.

Saturday Oct 27th is loaded with the idea, join in or devise your own action. The system needs to change and its metamorphesis will be full of twists and turns, you dont need to know the details now, you just need to support the swell of people risking change.
I say: It's never to late to overthrow an outmoded, greedy, corrupt leader (but get the assistant, too, he's at least as dangerous!)

Tax revolt is sweet, but impeachment is devine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What are we to do???

I am going to get a little radical here.
I know that a handful of people I know, some I love, will not agree with me over the content of this entry. I cannot sit silent though, so here it goes. I live in the South Pacific, have small children and work full time. Its easy to not hear the news and to forget that there are terrifying wars raging, some of them waged and justified by my own country, the United States. Even with my blissful isolation from such happenings, the word slips into my ears. I hear Dick Cheney proposing an attack of Iran, I hear quotes of speeches by George Bush claiming and projecting the threat of Iran's Nuclear capacity. I agree, in fact, all countries who have them are posing a threat to life, me, my kids, my lovely natural landscape, my irritating parasites, the whole ball of wax. Even if they only have them to "threaten towards peace", even if the countries claim to "hope to never need them", those weapons are damn dangerous.

Now, I am of the school of thought that we humans are evolving to survive. I think that is how war came to be, a mechanism of survival. Now, as the mechanism to survive has become the threat to survival, we (the thinking adaptable humans) can toss the outdated behaviors of survival away and pick up ones that will actually work.
Now if you are sure that (1) Jesus is coming and (2) I must just be a humanist who hasn't yet been saved, then, WAIT!, I think Jesus would like my idea, too. It involves taking care of ourselves, each other, and our home. The biggest parasite is the insatiable greed that sells and feeds from fear. "Don't risk trusting" is what those greedy buggers say! Buy a security system, an insurance policy, buy a new shiny set of mini nukes.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are paying for these measures to protect the wealth of a few. The few clinging to the energy structures (literal and theoretical) of our recent past and present. If we could spend the dollars we inefficiently blunder on ill-conceived warfare, on energy systems to progress further than the supply of fossil fuels, if we could inspire our scientific minds with wholesome and worthy problem solving without the incentive of military application or ROTC obligations, then we might be able to survive this chapter here on earth.

Now, as Turkey is stepping up aggressively into the war zone, and Condoleezza Rice digs in to hold off the dogs on her leash, as Russia plays its pro-Iran cards--lets think. Let us "ordinary folks" think about this. We may be asked to condone and pay for an air strike, the military attack, of another country, Iran. Its a big country in a region where there is great polarization, mostly based on religious orientation. Is your God really into that? Remove the spin, the language you get fed about "the Region" and know that these are people we're talking about, with homes, meager and grand, with children and traditions and stories told.

If you are like me, and I bet you are (since I don't know too many people who read this blog who are right wingnuts.), then you feel exasperated by the news and the threats looming. Many of us (record numbers, actually) went into the streets before the invasion of Iraq. Although it was comforting to see that our wishes and opinions were not isolated, it didn't seem to matter very much that we showed up to demonstrate. It seems we were speaking a different language than those making the grave decisions we cared about. So lets not make that mistake again! Lets speak the language to be heard. If its money and power that these bad-boys like, lets see where our money and power as citizens is held. Our consumer dollars are key, we could do a spending modification or "brown out" or how about our tax dollars? If, according to some surveys (who?- good question) over 70% of people are dissatisfied by George Bush and his clan, then there must be a certain one or two percent, at least, willing to express themselves in a tax revolt. If even just 1% refused to pay taxes, citing mismanagement of tax monies, then that would be 2-3 million people to bust and prosecute. I'm thinking that would be quite an impossible task for any government. I'm thinking that would be mighty threatening to a government.

Maybe we could cut our energy consumption in half! It would require all kinds of efforts from the hitchhiking variety to the municipal-code variety, from the exotic way we reward ourselves to fast-track shifting gears. Could you live without that cup of coffee, have farmers market tea instead? What would the payoffs for doing this sort of action be?
If we took back our power as consumers and didn't buy cheap stuff from insistent advertisers, filling the bins with shiny waste, would we feel any better? My guess is that we are so overdue for doing the right thing that when we start doing it it will feel great and I mean collectively feel great!

Let's get a grip.

You first!

Just kidding.

I'll go first if your too scared.

You're there aren't you?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

View from Home

I am on a visit from New Zealand to the West coast of the United States. Tonight , in fact I am insomnia tic at the Pension Nichols in Seattle. My lovely and complex son, Desmond has accompanied me on this journey, although he is with his Grandmother Linda in a seaside cottage back on San Juan Island. Grandma Linda is a gem of a woman who has lots of soft spots in her heart and one especially for Desmond. Desmond was her first Grandchild and their birthdays are exactly 6 months apart, making them something of fitting puzzle pieces, I suspect. It was a tender moment (there are many lately) when I said goodbye to him today and got on the ferry with Nina to explore the city of Seattle. We have spent plenty of time here but this is the first time we are looking at it with the eyes to choose a home and a school for Nina (and her Beau, Larry.)

The tables are curiously turned as Nina has more money in her savings account then I do and has a great curiosity for the foods in the city today. For years I have dragged Nina into the restaurant of my choice and even if she had a lackluster appetite or lack of interest in whatever foreign cuisine or trendy scene she would pick something and give it a go. Tonight, when I could have settled for a cup of tea she was hungry. We had Nepalese appetizers and curries (her's- Goan coconut shrimp and mine Spicy Tibetan vegetable. It wasn't really very long before Nina confessed she was still hungry and we then had a lovely set of salads at the cozy Cafe' Campagne, mine- tiny tender little solid green beans with some lemony herby treatment and her's- beets and hazelnuts and real rouqufourt and silky butter lettuce(by the way, excuse my spelling) Then is when we should have stopped. We DIDNT though, we had dessert! OK, just to be thorough, Ill tell ya, it was Hazelnut creme brulee and Tart Tatin, two Katrina desserts. Tea tomorrow.

I wrote my Husband an email tonight and I noticed that he did not immediately write back. Why isn't that guy waiting for my words and eagerly responding? Its been almost 5 hours now!

Speaking of husband things, let me tell you. If your husband where to pick up your family and move them away to a country where either they don't get your jokes or they have been trained not to laugh at them and he was immerse himself in study and all the bizarre dysfunction of a failing commune while the children began displaying some pretty odd coping mechanisms you might just get a little nutso! NOT that thats whats happening here, I NEVER said that!

Im going to see if I can put some photo's of those kids on this blog and turn in since its 2:00 !