In honour of celebrating my beautiful daughter and darling grandson's birthdays today.....some fresh fig & blueberry ideas for her weekly poetry teatime with young ones ~ she's the most amazingly wonderful and energetic homeschooling mum ever!
the way life should be
The state motto of Maine is 'the way life should be' and with Susanne Kasler's decorating flair with this home in Maine featured in Architectural Digest in 2016 I wholeheartedly agree. It's freshness makes me want to jump on a jet and start a new life.
My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.
~ Charles F. Kettering
'A textile treasure hunt in Florence'
'IN Turkey where it flourished in the 15th century, marbled paper making was known as ebru, or the art of the clouds. Pastel, abstract and as mutable as a cloud, marbled paper was reserved for religious writings because it so enhanced the venerable texts. Islamic law forbade its ripping, burning or otherwise unauthorized disposal.
Marbled paper, in fact, was sacred.
In 17th-century France the official bookbinder to Louis XIII created a similar papier a cuve, so-named for the basin, or cuve, in which the paper was dipped to obtain its heavenly hues. Colorful yet dignified, marbled paper was used for the windy tracts that were issued in the sovereign's name. It was paper fit for a king.
Ebru arrived in Europe through Venice with its windows open to the Orient.
The tight, stylized, characteristically Islamic interplay of form and color made marble paper ideal for the flyleafs of leather-bound, handwritten books. With the invention of the printing press and the diffusion of inexpensive texts, marbled paper effectively constituted the first paperback revolution when it jumped from the inner to the outer covers of books.' ~ (NYT Susan Lumsden)
Florence & the divine
What we think of ourselves makes a difference in our lives, and belief in immortality gives us the highest value of ourselves. When we so believe, we achieve proportions greater than mere matter. ~ Jesse William Stitt
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. ~ Hans Margolius
Events are only the shells of ideas; and often it is the fluent thought of ages that is crystallized in a moment by the stroke of a pen or the point of a bayonet.
~ Edwin Chapin
3 Salon desserts
Lemon Sabayon–Pine Nut Tart with Honeyed Mascarpone Cream ~
Makes 8 servings
This is an elegant dessert that is very easy, can be done ahead of time, and tastes absolutely exquisite. The lemon sabayon is a lot like a lemon curd; the difference is you cook the eggs over hot water till you develop those nice big trails and ribbons, then add the butter, which helps it set up as it cools to room temperature. The honey in the mascarpone cream perfectly balances the lemon in the tart, a flavor combination I didn’t have to look any farther for than a cup of desert sage tea.
This tart is best served at room temperature, within a few hours of assembling,
but if necessary, it can be refrigerated and served cold.
Butter and flour for the tart pan
⅓ recipe Pine Nut Crust (recipe follows)
2 large eggs, cold
2 large egg yolks, cold
¾ cup sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
Honeyed Mascarpone Cream
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon honey
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while the oven preheats.
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.
Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, then rotate the shell and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shell is golden brown. Remove the shell from the oven and let it cool while you make the filling. There may be some cracks in the shell; they will not affect the tart.
For the Lemon Sabayon: Bring about 1 ½ inches of water to a boil in a pot that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the mixing bowl you will be using for the sabayon. Meanwhile, in a large metal bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and sugar for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is smooth.
Set the bowl over the pot and, using a large whisk, whip the mixture while you turn the bowl, for even heating. After about 2 minutes, when the eggs are foamy and have thickened, add ⅓ of the lemon juice. Continue to whisk vigorously and when the mixture thickens again, add another ⅓ of the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture thickens again, then add the remaining lemon juice. Continue whisking vigorously, still turning the bowl, until the mixture is thickened, light in color, and the whisk leaves a trail in the bottom of the bowl. The total cooking time should be approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
Clementines Lemongrass Syrup
3 large stalks fresh lemongrass 1/2 lb
2 cups coconut sugar
1 cup raw sugar
1 3/4 cups cold water
Clementines peeled, segments, rind of 3 in large pcs
2 1/2 cups lemongrass syrup
trim lemongrass and smash each, cut into 2” lengths, bring all ingredients to rolling boil
moderate heat 8-10 minutes, set pan off heat, cover and cool syrup 1 hr
Fig & Almond Tart Tarte aux Figues
9 Tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup water, 1 T coconut sugar, 1 3/4 cup almond flour
Small saucepan butter water sugar when melted turn off heat and add flour all at once, stirring with wooden spoon to combine, roll out crust until 13” diameter
7 Tablespoons salted butter (sea salt)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon floral water.
1/2 plus almond extract or few drops real bitter almond essence
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup almond meal
7 ripe fresh figs sliced about 1/2 inch thin
small handful pine nuts
Heat oven to 375*
Whip butter until soft & airy. Add sugar and cream two together until light and fluffy.
Add two eggs, whisk to combine. Break 3rd egg into a cup, stir lightly. Pour 1/2 of egg into batter. Add floral essence, almond, vanilla to butter and whisk to combine. Add ground almonds and stir to combine. Place crust in 11” tart pan metal let extra crust over edges, prick bottom with fork. Top with almond cream, slice figs on top. Scatter pine nuts. Fold over extra crust over top of tart to form border. Mix rest of egg with sugar and brush top of crust with wash.
Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Ink on Silk & Colour in Stone
A mixture of the English company de Gournay elegant silk painted wallpaper
and the Renaissance style of Pietre Dure, precious stone compositions.
The hardness of stone and the softness of silk, an impeccable duo.
cool rush of vitality
For most of Western as well as Eastern history, emeralds were celebrated
by cultures as the currency of the realm for their luster, scarcity and association
with the divine. Our desire for them traces through our entire shared memory.
The word emerald is thousands of years old. Since 330 BC, Egypt has held the oldest known mines, where they were worn to signify your leadership and wealth.
Emeralds were considered the precious gemstone from early antiquity until recently.
The colour green relates to our concept of wealth, the colour literally calms you with its natural links with abundance, food and plenty. We see green light more clearly and vividly than other colours, our eyes are designed to identify emerald, it's simultaneously soothing and stimulating, as in 'Come this way ~ things are good over here'
and 'good to go'
In the Middle East its a holy colour and in Islam green is the colour of the prophet's cloak, the colour of Osiris skin, the rising god of Ancient Egypt, and in Asia the colour of royalty 'imperial jade'
Emerald is abundance, freedom and choice.
And is genuinely rare. Emeralds only occur in a few places of the world, it takes two disparate continental plates slamming together to create them.
Emeralds shine with what's called 'vitreous luster'
which means they look wet or glossy. They are beryl crystals and emeralds are the only beryls considered precious gems, they literally glow.
The gems are a mixture of chromium and beryllium, two very rare elements, which are non-existent together as minerals geologically speaking. They come in only tiny amounts in different parts of the earth's crust. Chromium is found in the ancient oceanic crust. Beryl in newer igneous rocks.
The Romeo & Juliet of elements.
Under no normal circumstances would these rare substances find each other. For emeralds to form, dawn of creation rocks in the ocean's crust had to come crashing
into the floor of a continental shelf with incredible, literally earth moving force,
which has happened only a few times. It's called Orogenesis ~ the making of mountains. Plates crash into the continent pushing upwards into jagged peaks while super heated water and dissolved minerals get forced through crevices.
This is how the Himalayas and the Andes were formed.
And how emeralds were made with luminous glow from intense energy.
Suture zones crushed into existence some superheated water with dissolved chromium from the sea floor and this streamed into chambers of mountain rock, a few of those places contained beryl growing crystals turning the pale stones into glowing emeralds.
A rare and extraordinary phenomenon, this event
in the earth's 4.54 billion year geological history.
Japanese gorgeous goddess
adorned with pure pearl silk organza and our lapis lazuli silk velvet
and Juliet's Murano glass and gold necklace