Listen to the music

Friday, October 16, 2009

Falling Leaves and Starry Nights

Please click on pictures to enlarge and crank on the music for some fun tunes...

French castles in the autumn air

Oh wrap me in your dreams so fair

Of fireside and simmering stew

a crust of bread and friendship true

- Castles Crowns and Cottages

As I watch summer leave me like a friend departing after a memorable visit, I stand fixed at the window of my memory. Summer's culinary wonders trail behind a cortege of a season past, leaving vestiges of gloriously prepared and shared meals. Autumn however, is not a time of culinary dormancy.

On the contrary, the seductive aroma of fresh summer basil and oregano hangs suspended in the autumn air, only to take center stage again. Instead of freshly made pesto to spread over a summer pasta, dried flakes of these magical herbs will dance and bubble about in hearty stews that gently simmer in glowing pots of copper on a well-equipped stove.

Welcome to my kitchen of dreams

where warm hearts create a hearth of warm friendship against the chilling beauty of limestone.

Old, timed-tested recipes from the kitchens found in the majestic Chateau de Chenonceau were prepared in well-worn copper vessels crafted by artisans

such as those found in the village of Villedieu-les-Poêles, the city of copper, tucked away like a little secret in the Southern Manche region of Basse Normandy at the Bay of Mont Saint Michel.

I have my own dream kitchen, equipped with French copper pots, utensils and molds, where the morning sun barrels in and dances with the crystal chandelier

and admires its reflection in the pink caste of a copper bowl.

Great meals emerge from new, state-of-the-art "chateauesque" kitchens

as well as from humble cuisines like my own

from which I will bring you one of my favorite fall stews. So come back next time and put on your tabliers

and your chef's toque

and help me mince the onions and garlic and sauté them in the nectar of the gods

and let the comforting aroma of saffron and herbs waft in the echoing halls of our chateau of culinary dreams.

And while all the ingredients merge together, we can share the joys of the kitchen with humor and adventure. Enjoy!

See you next week at the chateau!

A la prochaine mes amies!