Food

PORCINI

 

“If only one could tell true love from false love
as one can tell mushrooms from toadstools.”

 

~ Katherine Mansfield ~

 

Digitally enhanced image created from an original photo taken in October 2017.


© 2017 nightpoet all rights reserved


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THE GARLIC GODS

 

“One rule in life,” he murmured to himself.
“If you can smell garlic, everything is all right.”

 

~ J.G. Ballard ~

 

000 the garlic godsDigitally enhanced image created from an original photo taken in Crete in October 1992.


© 2016 nightpoet all rights reserved


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OISEAU DE NUIT

 

“The night draws stars and women in a better light.”

 

~ Lord Byron ~

 

000 oiseau de nuitDigitally enhanced image created from an original photo taken on the Rue du Pot-de-Fer in Paris in May 2012.


© 2016 nightpoet all rights reserved


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EIGHT EGGS

 

 

…an old, thin black man alone at breakfast, staring at his plate…

 

 

000 eight eggsPhoto of quail eggs taken in Paris in August 2015.


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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BITS AND PIECES

 

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MOMENT – LOST AND FOUND

 

 

000 bits and pieces poemThe intact pieces are a plate and, on the right, a mortarium (Reibschüssel), with a rough inner surface for grinding. In the center is a bone, once part of a meal. These objects are almost two thousand years old.  Photo taken in July 2015.


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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ÉCLAIRS

 

NATIONAL ÉCLAIR DAY

 

Today, if you didn’t know it, is National Éclair Day. First created in the 1860’s, éclairs have remained a favourite ever since. And when I think of Paris, I think of delicious chocolate éclairs. The word éclair in French actually means lightning, but why these delicious treats are called that no one really knows. The dough, called choux, is delicately baked to create a hollow interior, which is then injected with a creamy pudding-like filling. Then an icing is spread on top. Some patisseries bake a solid type of choux and then cut it in half and put the filling on it, but that’s cheating and shouldn’t be considered a true éclair. Although everyone has their favourite boulangerie or patisserie, there are two places I frequent in Paris that have, in my humble opinion, the best chocolate éclairs.  One is on the Île Saint-Louis, called Boulangerie Martin on the Rue Saint-Louis en I’lle, and the other is located around the corner from Le Dôme Café on the Rue Delambre and I believe that it is called Maison Buret. At any rate it is right next door to Paradise Shoes. So, celebrate National Éclair Day and indulge in a few today. It’s almost better than sex…


000 éclairsPhoto taken in Paris in May 2012.


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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A PARIS JOURNAL – A FOOTNOTE

 

One of the advantages of living in Europe is that I can have breakfast in the morning in Paris…

 

000 Breakfast P


…and have a delicious dinner at my favourite local Italian restaurant in the evening at home in Germany

 

000 Dinner W


Photo of a café creme taken in Paris and the photo of a delicious lasagna taken in Germany in May 2015.


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SPARGELZEIT

 

THE SPARGEL ORGY

 

That’s right! It’s Spargelzeit (Asparagus time) all over Germany at the moment. The large thick cream coloured asparagus spears are a much loved seasonal specialty and are different than the small thin green asparagus normally available in the United States. In Germany they can be bought in various grades of quality and are peeled with a special knife and then cooked in a mixture of water, wine and broth for about 25 minutes. Usually served with a delicious homemade Hollandaise sauce or clarified butter, together with large grated chips of hard Parmesan cheese, they are eaten with salted boiled potatoes and Parmaschinken (Parma ham) and Rohschinken (cured ham) and complimented with a cooled light dry white wine. For a few weeks, usually in early May, people prepare them at home or enjoy them in the restaurants. Freshly made Spargelcremesuppe (cream of asparagus soup) is also a tasty specialty during the asparagus season. I was invited to partake in this wonderful spring ritual by friends in Bavaria. The asparagus spears were butter soft and had a distinctive and most delicious taste. If you ever get the opportunity to participate in a Spargel orgy, I highly recommend doing so. After all, just like the asparagus, you’re only around for a short time, so why not take advantage of one of the finer things in life. It is also just getting to be strawberry season, but then, that’s another story altogether…

 

000 Spargel 2The Spargel (asparagus), boiled potatoes, homemade Hollandaise sauce and small pitcher of the clarified butter. Photo taken in May 2015 in Bavaria, Germany.


000 Schinken 1The Parmaschinken (Parma ham), the Rohschinken (cured ham) and the dry white wine. Photo taken in May 2015 in Bavaria, Germany.

(Photos kindly provided through the courtesy of DiPiero and Associates. I was too busy enjoying the meal to think about taking photos).


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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MEALS

 

DINNER FOR ONE

 

Dinner for one is always a drag. Cooking for two or more people is more fulfilling, but since I live alone, I’m stuck with having to cook for just me. Back in the 1990’s I was pretty conscientious about cooking. But at some point around the turn of the new millennium, I slacked off and got lazy. A lot of that had to do with my work schedule. Working long hours outside in all kinds of weather in archaeological trenches is not very conducive to coming home in the evening and getting all enthused about spending a long time in the kitchen. So on my shopping excursions I would do something like buy a few bags of cheese or meat filled tortellini in the refrigerated section, a couple of jars of Italian sauce and then for dinner open a bag and a jar up, throw in some garlic and chili powder, mix it up and pop it into the microwave. Or I’d open a can of thick potato stew with pieces of frankfurters, add some curry powder and nuke that. It was fast, easy, filling, required minimal clean up and very unhealthy.

I ate like that for longer than I’d care to admit. My excuse was that I was just too tuckered out to start cooking when I got home. When my daily routine changed though, due to the back and knee problems caused by all the years of that wonderful archaeological work and I was taken off of the field work, with more regular hours, I didn’t change my eating habits. That is, until I woke up one day and realized that eating all that processed garbage was eventually going to kill me. So I went back to cooking, leaving all that processed food behind. These days I eat salad once, sometimes twice a week and usually cook two nights during the work week, making enough at each cooking session so that the next day I can enjoy the leftovers. I am not a great cook, I keep it simple, but it has to have good ingredients and it has to taste good, preferably very spicy. That is very important. On Saturdays I allow myself the luxury of my continental breakfast at the bistro and in the evenings my lasagna at my favourite Italian restaurant. That’s a bit more carbohydrates than I would prefer, but everything thing there is homemade in the truest sense. Since going back to really cooking I feel so much more healthy and much happier about what I eat. And, to keep my weight in check, most of the year I try to maintain a low carb diet, leaving out the sugar, chocolate (the hardest part, because I am a chocoholic), cakes and pastries, and potatoes, noodles, and especially bread. Living in a country where there are more different types of bread than in the rest of the world combined and wonderful fresh rolls and pastries, I didn’t think I could live without bread. But I manage. I will indulge in a bit of rice, and if I have noodles I use rice noodles. Of course, there are two occasions during the year when I do indulge in forbidden fruits, one being whenever I am in Paris (abstinence there is ridiculous) and around the holiday season in December, when there are just, as in Paris, too many wonderful things to enjoy. Hell, you only live once. And when those two occasions have passed, it’s back to living more sensibly. A lot more sensibly than I used to…

 

000 mealsSteaming in the pan are chicken pieces spiced with pepper and chili powder,  sautéed in oil, onions and fresh garlic and simmered in a tomato sauce spiced with oregano, marjoram, basil, rosemary and a touch more chili powder and fresh garlic, with leeks, carrots, sliced olives, mushrooms, green peppers and zucchini slices, later served over a small portion of rice noodles. Photo taken in January 2015.


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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BREAKFAST ON THE BLOG

 

Breakfast 14 Feb 2015

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Breakfast On The Blog. Last Sunday I posted a haiku and photo about the perfect cappuccino. I thought that today I’d share two more photos of these exquisite creations, this time sans haiku…

THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO REDUX

Strong coffee is the oil that lubricates my life…

 

Cappuccino 2


Cappuccino 3Photos taken on February 9th and 10th 2015. Cappuccino creations by Eddy courtesy of Café Haltbar.


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© 2015 nightpoet all rights reserved


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