Since one of my favorite things in life is coming up with names for blog posts (well, the naming is a lot easier than the writing bit, surprise surprise), I'm going to try to share a bit of what's going on at our home (chez nous that is) & what people are talking about in France with The Petit Beat each Friday. There'll be links of course...and petit & beat rhyme, so I think it's sure to be a hit.
1. Making Ratatouille
I was excited this week to make another well-known Provençal favorite: Ratatouille. Call it a little bit of an Au revoir to summer, as this vegetable stew is traditionally made when the temperatures climb in the summer & light, fresh vegetables start to replace heavy, meatier dishes.
|[Ratatouille rice salad]|
I don't know if this is true of most cooks, but I have stacks & stacks of French recipe magazines that I love to drool over and usually get around to only making about 1/4 of the recipes. I'm starting to work my way through some of my favorite (I've been staring at their glossy photos for months) & Salade de Riz (rice) en Ratatouille was an easy choice for this week as I couldn't pass up the vibrant eggplants, zucchinis, and red & yellow peppers from the market. Here's a recipe for making a traditional ratatouille: via Epicurious.
|[For a garden re-deco, Arabian violets]|
The other marvelous thing about a fresh rain is the chance for regrowth. I'm as happy as the next gal about our long, hot summers in the South, but my flowers didn't fair as well under the strong sunlight. There are still a few beauties hanging on, and we have our lone olive tree & summer Jasmine plant that seem to be the stars of the season, but I have to say that I love re-decorating in all its forms.
|[Euphorbia & Arabian violets]|
And if it's not quite time for the home, why not the garden? I've got some gardenias, Arabian violets, and a very lovely plant I've never heard of, euphorbia, but which has some striking pink flowers, that are about to make their fall garden debut. Here's a bit more about gardens in Provence: how to visit public gardens & Garden Guide's famous flowers of Provence.
3. Vin Biologique
Organic, biologique (in French), or simply Bio (as you'll find it labeled at the markets) is all the rage in France; much like in the United States. What I've noticed lately is that everyone seems to be talking about organic wine. Given that this is the period of the vendange, or grape harvest, wine-making is on everyone's lips (literally) and there's been a lot of attention given to producers making organic wines in the media this week. Whether a passing fad or a lasting trend in the industry, here's a helpful site (in French & English) which gives more information about vin biologique & its many benefits (and there's a cool video too): Vin Bio. Also, there's an interesting online magazine covering all organic wine, not just from France: Organic Wine Journal.
That's all the petit news that's fit to web-publish, bon weekend a tous!
[bio wine image credit: www.foie-gras-sarlet.com]