Wednesday, November 24, 2010
How the delicious Nutella spread found itself at the center of a European food labeling battle earlier this year is most interesting. Headlines started popping up such as, "Italy's meltdown over EU Nutella ban that never was: Warning from Ferrero boss Francesco Paolo Fulci spreads panic about nation's favourite indulgence", from the Guardian and "Italy fears for Nutella with new EU food labels" from The Boston Globe and my personal favorite headline:
"In Europa la battaglia della Nutella" (the battle for Nutella in Europe) from Italy’s La Stampa. Below is a quote from this article from former Italian diplomat and current VP of Ferrero, the company that has been making the beloved chocolate hazelnut spread since the 1940’s. I should also mention here that this article was in Italian and I used Google to translate it, so….
The effect is disruptive you can tell by the strength of the reaction of giant cakes. "We put in a straitjacket, it is not serious," exclaims Francesco Paolo Fulci, vice president of Ferrero, accurate in painting nightmare scenarios, "for manufacturers of chocolate, and those sweet panettone", all intended to 'go out of law'.
Oh, those poor sweet panettone! I know what he means. I think. The onset of stricter European food labeling rules led to the formation of the “Hands off Nutella” committee whose aim was/is to combat what one official described as “nutritionist fundamentalism”. You go Ferrero S.p.A.!!! Hands off!
Knowing all of this makes me feel somewhat smug while using this anti-nutritionist fundamentalism spread. You should read through a couple of those articles, they are hilarious. In them you'll find out about the Italy soccer squad Nutella connection, industrial espionage, mention of Michele Ferrero's private lab in Monte Carlo and the top secret nature of the Ferrero plant in Alba, Piedmonte.
Happy Thanksgiving and don't let the nutritionist fundamentalists bring you down!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
From the South Main Memphis website...
Downtown’s South Main Trolley Night is celebrating its Ten Year Anniversary!
On Friday, November 26th, from 6-9 PM, get away from the crazy mall traffic and head Downtown to join in the festivities. Bring the out-of-town family to a unique Memphis neighborhood and enjoy old and new Trolley Night traditions.
Listen to strolling carolers, drink some cider, find some Black Friday deals, have a great meal (that you don’t have to clean up after), and in the spirit of the Season pick an Angel from the Salvation Army Angel Tree on Friday night and give a gift to a child or senior in need.
South Main Trolley night is also sponsoring MIFA’s Meals On Wheels program through December. Meals on Wheels provides hot meals each weekday to over 1,800 Memphis area seniors, who are homebound due to illness or disability.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Then I found an MBJ article from October 17th about the Madison line repair work and replacement buses. This is the way it will be until further notice.
In other transportation news, Poppy and I went out to walk at noon today. She's been wearing her Chevron-like dog boots for a few days but we have been walking behind the law school mostly. Today we walked right down Main Street and must have gotten comments from 400 people about her boots. No one suspects she's had surgery and they think I'm one of those whack jobs that dresses dogs up. So, there were a lot of comments like, "why is she only wearing those on her back feet?", and "Oh, look that dog is wearing shoes!" and also some sly snickering, whispering and pointing. I initially tried explaining everything to people who commented but soon got tired and just started smiling back inanely. I think I'll just do what the old man does in Moonstruck:
Friday, November 19, 2010
Sparkling Like a Diamond -a recipe for Gingerbread Tiramisu
Eye Prefer Paris - how can a door be this beautiful?
Artbutcher : Hydro74, vote for your favorite bike racks and other cool stuff
Life as I know it from Memphis is obsessing (you do still have followers!)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Poppy had surgery a couple of weeks ago for a stomach ulcer. Yesterday she had her nasty little stitches removed and then her little belly promptly popped open last night. So back we went to the vet today to have her re-stitched. She's not happy with this because re-stitching means wearing the Elizabethan collar and having her back feet wrapped up again so she can't scratch her stitches out. Further, in order to try to keep her foot wraps clean the vet suggested I put plastic sandwich bags over them. I did that and let me just say I won't do it again. Not only is it a pain to do every time we go out for a walk but they don't really work that well. Someone else suggested baby socks which sounds better except for walking in the rain or in the dew soaked grass in the morning. So, I found the above pictured boots at Hollywood Feed today which are waterproof and can be adjusted with the velcro straps to fit her stick-like back legs. While these may solve my problems I'm unsure as to Poppy's reaction when she sees these things. They are not exactly attractive and they vaguely resemble the Chevron logo. I know that when I told her I'd buy her some boots she was thinking more along the lines of a nice pair of Aquatalia's or maybe some La Canadienne's.
As if buying these ridiculous dog boots wasn't weird enough, on my drive back to the office I went down a street in midtown I'm sure I've never been on in my life. I turned down the street purely to get away from the pokey driver in front of me. While driving down this odd avenue I happened to look to my left just across a vacant lot and saw a bunch of chickens (Mary - there were boy and girl chickens in this particular herd) strutting back and forth. I don't normally see chicken flocks in the middle of town so I was surprised and had to stop for a picture because I knew no one would believe me.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
First Annual Court Square Christmas Tree Competition
December 6 - December 18
The Memphis Rotary Club and the Center City Commission are very excited to announce the first Court Square Christmas Tree Competition!
Memphis-area businesses are invited to participate by purchasing and decorating a Christmas tree, approximately 12 feet in height, for display in Downtown's historic Court Square during the holiday season. The public will vote on the top three "best" trees, and the winners will be honored with a teacher initiative grant given in their name to the new Memphis College Prep Elementary School in Uptown!
Each tree will cost $250, and each company may have its corporate logo on display in front of its decorated tree. Private security will be provided in Court Square during the display period, which will begin with a tree lighting ceremony on December 6 at 6 p.m. in the park.
Click here for complete contest information.
Don't miss this opportunity to light up Downtown Memphis and be a part of a beautiful and fun new tradition for the entire community! Reserve your tree by November 24!
Please contact Dawn Vinson at (901) 575-0555 or Taylor Hughes at (901) 526-1318 by November 24 to reserve your tree.
Here is the English translation for the chef's specialties page:
"The chef's specialties: the back of small cod trawl reggiano risotto, the rustic house and his pot with onion marmalade dessert bread lost his grandmother Henrietta. Winter in the fireplace, you can find the infinite happiness of a true gourmet chicken in the pot, a perfect veal kidney and perfect lamb shank with fresh thyme and meat and poultry cooked in a wood."
And then there was the translation from the home page that read:
"From the terrace you can admire the courtyard surrounded by walls, with the center, its pigeon and schedules that allowed owners of yesteryear to live here in perfect autarky."
How I envy a life of perfect autarky and what about the poor grandmother Henrietta? And so until I learn another language I am at the mercy of Google translator which as you see is at least entertaining if not accurate. I have completely abandoned studying Italian, my preferred language to learn, for French which has not been easy for me. I was trying at one point to learn them simultaneously with disastrous results. I suspect if I could speak French I would possess the infinite happiness of a true gourmet chicken in the pot!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Click here: DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS - Dining Week for all of the details. DTDW continues through this Sunday the 21st.
What kind of meals can you expect? Well, here's the three course meal from Chez Phillipe just one of the many fine restaurants participating:
First Course - Butternut Squash Soup (Chili Pumpkin Seeds, Styrian Pumpkinseed Oil, Snipped Chives) Or Caesar Salad (Baby Romaine, Marinated White Anchovies, Sourdough Crustini, Parmesan, Classic Dressing)
Second Course - Shrimp Fricassee (Flageolet Beans, Tarragon Nage, Baby Turnips) Or Steak Frites (Seared Flat Iron Steak, Black Truffle Butter, Pomme Frites)
Third Course - Crème Brulee (Caramelized Apples, Almond Macaroon, Burnt Sugar) Or Baked Alaska (Banana Ice Cream, Chocolate Ganache, Crumbled Vanilla Wafers, Chocolate Rum Sauce)
I had to assemble a lexicon to understand a few items above, thought maybe some readers would like a guide as well:
Styrian - from the state of Styria in Austria
Flageolet beans aka fayot, are small immature kidney beans with a history that dates back to the 1800’s in France. The are very hard to find in the US but are sometimes available fresh, dried, or canned. The bean is available in a variety of colors including white (flageolet blanc), black (noir), yellow (jaune), red (rouge) or green (vert), taken from: http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Dictionary/F/Flageolet-beans-6227.aspx
Tarragon nage - the best defintion I could find for nage said it is a French stock made from herbs, vegetable or fish
Mignardises - bite sized desserts, like petit fours
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I watched an Italian movie today called "Pranzo di Ferragosto" (Mid-August Lunch, 2008, filmed in Rome). I love this movie for it's skillful way of presenting multiple layers of issues all in a very short 60 minutes. The female characters reminded me of my grandmother and my great aunts and the food, which was central, was enough to make me go to the store to try to recreate one of the dishes. The main character Gianni was guzzling white wine by the bottle so I broke out a Pinot Grigio I had on hand to accompany lunch which was flounder, roasted potatoes and an arugula salad. Watch the trailer:
Near the end of the movie Gianni makes fish and potatoes for the old women and my version of it became today's lunch. I bought the flounder at the Midtown Farmers Market on Union. The potatoes were cut into quarters and boiled for 5 minutes. Then I placed them in a baking dish with olive oil and sprinkled them with rosemary, fresh thyme, salt and pepper and off they went into a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I added the flounder to the baking dish, arranging the potatoes around the fillets that I had sprinkled with Old Bay, salt, pepper and lemon juice and put it all back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes. The arugula salad was a very simple mix of arugula from Fresh Market, thinly sliced red onion and a light drizzling of caesar dressing.
The Ruffino Pinot Grigio came from Joe's. Post-op Poppy, who is doing great, came sniffing around my plate and ended up with a small piece of fish and a niblet of potato. Don't tell her dottore, per piacere.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Photo of south side of Court Square looking east this rainy, cooler morning.
Answer: The Memphis College of Art 61st Annual Holiday Bazaar is next Friday, November 19 from 6 to 9 pm and Saturday, November 20, 2010 from 10 am to 3 pm. This much-anticipated event features thousands of pieces of original artwork for sale in time for the holidays.
Unofficially the oldest bazaar in the city, MCA's market has become a mainstay of the holiday season and offers shoppers one-of-a-kind gifts and artwork made by students, faculty, staff and alumni. Sculptures, paintings, pottery, ceramics, glass, jewelry and ornaments are only a few of the items for sale.
Shoppers and guests will have the opportunity to bid on a variety of items by local artists and merchants during the Holiday Bazaar’s Silent Auction. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to MCA’s scholarship fund. The Silent Auction closes Saturday, November 20 at 2:30 pm.
As always, the Holiday Bazaar is free and open to the public. All proceeds benefit MCA's scholarship fund. Click HERE for more information.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Flip Flop France - expat day to day in Lyon, France.
Dachsies Rule - the dachshunds found an escape route from the jail yard.
TasteSpotting - a visual potluck and gateway to lots and lots of food blogs.
Norococo has some fantastic photos of the Peanut Shop on Main Street, including the antique roaster and Mr. Peanut himself, of course.
JenSized - she un-friends a friend on Facebook
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Anyone who keeps up with this blog already knows about my love of gelato. This love had been unrequited until a few months ago when Miss Cordelia's starting selling Bravo gelato from Nashville. Right now they have added sweet potato gelato to their standard trio of chocolate, strawberry and pistachio. I had to try it so I went with no delay to Miss C's at lunch today and picked some up. It's good. No, it's better than good, it's intoxicating, smooth and super rich. It doesn't taste like a sweet potato casserole or a baked sweet potato and I'm sure that if I didn't already know what flavor it was I would have never guessed sweet potato mainly because you don't expect vegetable flavors to show up in frozen desserts. Nevertheless, it was great and I highly recommend it. I ate the entire container of this by the way which has put me in a sort of gelato stupor.
Downtown photo totally unrelated to the post topic. Just trying to get back into the swing.
River Inn Cooking School 14 -15 NOVEMBER, 2010 Holiday Themed Cooking: Learn to make scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, canapés and tapas style preparations for holiday cocktail parties. You will learn how to build terrines with foie gras and figs, smoked salmon roulades filled with goat cheese, seared tuna with Asian sauces, oysters in the half shell with accompaniments and sauces as well as rich chocolate desserts. I don't know about you but I could use a few pointers on perfecting my terrine building skills. Foie gras and figs - sounds delicious to me.
Miss Cordelia's has a sweet potato gelato from Bravo gelato which I will have to try for blog research purposes of course. You can also donate canned goods to the Feed the Need Food Drive at Miss Cordelia's until November 21st.
Check on City Market's progress on their Facebook page. Can't wait! The interior bright colors in their ground floor space (66 S. Main) make that corner so inviting.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
What’s been going on downtown? I’m trying to get back up to speed and console myself a little by highlighting downtown shopping – always a happy topic! The Season is upon us I fear and the big retailers are as obnoxious as always by being bright and early with the Christmas music and décor. I haven’t started seeing the onslaught of champagne and perfume commercials yet but they’ll show up soon enough. The Pilgrims no doubt would have hated being eclipsed in this way. I was Out East the day after Halloween and saw that someone had put up their Christmas tree and it stood there in the living room window garishly sparkling and twinkling. That’s 55 days of looking at the Christmas tree. 55. That’s 30 days too many in my book. Anywho, here’s some good downtown shopping to think about for consolation, Christmas or both:
National Ornamental Metal Museum Holiday Show and Sale now through January 9, 2011. If you've never visited their gift shop, you should. It's full of a wide selection of very unique items.
Hoot + Louise has an array of gift ideas under $50
Don't forget to check in on the interesting items at Red Fish Gallery Gifts and Glass in the Pinch.
Looking for Made in Memphis items? Try Sache
My boyfriend bought me a chic sweater from Lansky 126 last week and while there I noticed some great handbags and accessories. And don't forget that the Peabody gift shop just off the lobby near the west side has some great jewelry and bath products.
Charlotte Jewelry , Delphinium , Muse. I just bought my mom a Virgins, Saints & Angels cross for her birthday from Muse and she loved it. Shelton's and Christine by Shelton just a few doors from Shelton's on Main Street, American Apparel, Coco & Lily and Victoria's Secret in Peabody Place.