American Pancakes

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It is necessary to provide the flavor of the American Pancake to our children.  They are American after all and we live in France.  Fluffy, bready, num-num covered in fake maple syrup is not common in the Gers.  So, we do our little part to keep on keeping on.

 

It all started when I saw Aunt Jemima winking at me.  When did Aunt Jemima arrive in France?  I’m like, “yeah!  my kids have no idea what this tastes like!”  and then I’m like, “I’ll bet in French they pronounce “Aunt Jemima” like “Aunt Jemima”  we need to act.

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For the first time ever, I managed to get the baking powder right.  In America we have “double acting baking powder.”  Here you have “Levure Chimique.”  I’ve flattened most things on most occasions.  They sell baking powder in packets here in France.  So with this guy, I chucked in one packet per egg.  I feel that maybe, somehow, I double acted it.  It goes like this for six hungry, extremely tired and crazy Curtis humans:

3 cups flour, we used local ancient

4 eggs

4 packets of French Baking Powder

3 tablespoons of sugah

3 cups of milk

4 tablespoons of melted butter

2 teaspoons of salt

A splash of Armagnac or Rhum

 

… mix however you like, then ladle on a hot, hot griddle

 

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After a puff or a bubble pop, flip.

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Brown is good.  Too brown and the husband complains.

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They need less time after the flip.

 

Pile on a plate.  Butter bud.  Pour some syrup American.   Eat and thank yo’ mama.  She did this dinner on a Thursday because things can sometimes be crazy.  Sometimes, American pancakes are fast-food when fast-food n’existe pas in the country.

When Life Gives You Eggs

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Make mousse.  I actually had to google, “how long do fresh eggs last?”  We’ve never had this backlog.  I love to make mousse because it uses the entire egg.  Yolks go with the chocolate, sweet bit.  The whites are whipped and give it texture.  Ice cream is wonderful, but you must make merengues.   It goes a little something like this :

 

1 bar of chocolate, cooking, noir, we used praline

80g of butter

— melty that

separate 4 eggs

whip the whites, add some sugar.  not much as your bar of chocolate is sweeter than you think

add the yolks to chocolate nirvana

foldy foldy

scoop into fancy mousse bowls

there it will set in the fridge until dinner

 

 

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we tasted after three

Stir Fried Rice

stir fried rice

I try hard to get the buffet look with my stir fried rice. In this guy, we have in this order

ground beef browned and set aside

load of duck fat with butter nub in the pan
onions

when the onions are looking sexy

garlic
carrots
celery

then the pre-cooked rice, Uncle Ben’s style yo.
then the ground beef back in

fish sauce
soy sauce
salt
pep

after it’s all cooky cooky, push it to the side

scramble two eggs in the gap

add the eggs to the rest

yell, ” dinner is ready!!”

heat some more and serve

oh merde! don’t forget to add some frozen peas!

The Sound of Vanilla Ice Cream

ice cream maker

The chickens are laying well these days. We now have a few spare eggs to make some ice cream. I made a vanilla custard, extra sweet. Ice cream needs to be sweet. You should let the custard sit overnight before you spin it in the machine.

I rushed it and stuck it in the big freezer for a spell, then put it in my fancy Snoopy Sno-cone Machine. Otto heard the noise, rushed downstairs and said, “I hear the sound of vanilla ice cream!” Yes sir. You are correct.

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 cups of cream and milk, fix your ratio
dash of Armagnac

egg yolks and sugar whipped together
milk heated on the hob
slowly make them friends
back on the hob, stir and thicken over low heat
let it cool
add the Armagnac

put the mix in the fridge overnight and then let ‘er go in the ice cream maker

vanilla ice cream

You Got Your Electrons, Your Protons and Your Fritons

searching for fritons

Making Fritons today.  These are lovely, crunchy ducky bits.  They are the Gascon version of Chicharrón.  Duck skin and fat leftover from your gorgeous duck butchering boiled in fat.
hot vat of duck fat

I’ve not done Fritons before.  I asked our local duck farmer extraordinaire how to cook them.   She said, “just cook the shit out of them.” … but it was in French and I’m sure she said something more elegant and less American.
ducky bits

 

Once these little crunchies become crunchy, I’ll slot them out with a spoon and salt.  Fritons are a great snack that will keep you going until dinner.

WKRP electron, proton, neutron ref:

Bodie. It’s Alive!

kitchen benchtop

After much pressure from my husband, I finally created life with him other than human.  This is Bodie.  He is our sourdough starter.  Below, you can see he has just been fed.  He will bubble and froth soon.

Bodie, our sourdough starter

A ladle of this fermented beast mixed with flour, salt, duck fat and warm water will bring sourdough joy to serve with many things.

Zélie did the advanced dry pour, I added water.  We stretched and kneaded for five minutes or so.  After, we did some loaves.

she likes to whisk

It runs something like this:

  • A kilo of flour
  • 25 g of salt
  • A big scoop of duck fat
  • 600ml of water
  • A ladle of Bodie ( or your Bodie equivalent )

Mix it in and do the stretchy knead thing.  Things will be sticky.  This was a rye loaf so only needs one rising.  From here, make your loaves.  After a few hours, bake ‘em.  Let ‘em cool.  Stop calling them ‘em and add a big butter pat.  It’s fun to say, “butter pat.”  More importantly a good butter pat will make you healthy.

Bodie has serverd us with two loaves of bread thus far.  To honor his namesake I offer you this tribute.  R.I.P. real Bodie, May 1946 – November 2013.