Tuesday, 9 February 2010

TODAY LONDON NEXT WEEK PARIS

a.k.a. My Love Affair With the Macaron

So how many people have I told the same story to over and over

I'M GOING TO PARIS TO LE CORDON BLEU TO LEARN "THE SECRET OF MACARONS".

I was talking to Mum on the phone this morning asking her "What other kind of cake is hard and a bit fiddly that you have to practice loads to get perfect and even go to a class?" and she said "Profiteroles?" I told her I already made those and they were easy. Maybe not perfect, but successful enough on the first go to not feel challenged. Sponge cake - I have totally cracked it. I have struggled with cannellés and clafoutis - maybe that is the kind of thing - but nothing like a macaron. If you serve a macaron, people are amazed and always say "HOW DO YOU DO THIS? Is there a mould? Do you drop it into something hot? How do you get it so smooth?" etc etc etc. Anyway I have no clue as to what I will learn in Paris but I am getting HELLISHLY excited. And I feel a bit sick/nervous about it. The confirmation letter even tells you what you have to wear in the kitchen.

So - with this level of thrill in mind let me tell you first of all about Mrs K MEETING PIERRE HERME at the new Selfies consession where she had to photograph him for work. I had about 5 missed calls from her that day as she attempted to tell me "MOVE YOUR ASS HERE IMMEDIATELY" and as I said in my previous post about it [and apparently MISQUOTED and then got berated for it afterwards and I told her "Okay woah like fine but I will just blow it up all over the blog about how you yelled at me LOL brb gtg my nbff just logged on bye".

Oh Buddah where was I? Oh - about to eat this gift of personally selected macarons by Mrs K from Pierre Hermés own hand.





Here are a few views of the macarons at The Cardinals house. Please note the china. Also in bottom photo bottom left please note the sliver of marmite toast available for palate cleansing.



You may remember if you even care, these were the ones I had in Paris when I was there last from Pierre Hermé shortly after getting silly stringed by three pre teens on a skateboard outside the the Pierre and Marie Curé University mineral and gem museum.

So The Cardinal and I were in a gifted position to be able to truly assess the macarons in the privacy of her living room in front of an open fire, sipping Earl Grey Tea from china cups and a variety of cutlery to best perform the operations of peeling apart the layers.



Not the first time I have done this. Remember Nantes?



Sorry lost in a K-HOLE of macaron reminiscing and checking on the Danish cabbage in the kitchen.

Back to Pierre Hermé. There seems to be a whole divide between Pierre Hermé vs Ladurée and who's is better and whatever. I am going to say that on the whole, I prefer Ladurée. I like to know that what is labelled as Rose is going to taste like Rose. Admittedly I do admire the adventure of P.H.'s "collections" but I think the ratio there is too much filling to macaron and I am not a big fan of chocolate & fruit together at the best of times. I think they are both marvellous though. The only macarons I ever that that were awful were the ones in Nantes - the really tasted like lipstick, shampoo and shower gel.

With all this preamble, lets get ourselves to Sunday afternoon when I had a tea at The Crib with a selection of O.G.'s in attendance: Covvo, Alex T [the sub editor], Ella, Fi and the Cardinal. Hobart was also there but her presence was only felt when she scratched the Cardinal and singed her whiskers on a candle. For my guests I presented my take on cream cheese & radish and egg mayonaisse & quails egg sandwiches. Followed by a selection of macarons made in my own exclusive kitchen and two cakes. Oh and Champagne and tea.



These were Bailey's and Hazelnut. Total fail in my opinion but Alex T was more than happy to take the ones we didn't eat home with him at the end.



These were Campari and Blood orange on the left and Lavender on the right. Both lovely.



These were Basil, Pinenut & Honey with Lime. They totally cleaned up. Unfortunately they are a visual fail - see the brown bit? Slightly over done but did not affect taste.

The success of these makes me feel a bit less nervous about the class in Paris. I have to say, I had a very jolly afternoon after heinous weeks at work. The cookbook was planned. I will even be doing a chapter on Chinese food. It will be one page long.

"Don't fuck with it and leave it to the Chinese."

Although since then, I have been thinking about macaron recipes on that theme.

My lunch is ready now - braised fennel and Danish cabbage. I'm going to go eat it. You can be rest assured that I will be reporting back in detail from Paris all about how I go. PLUS I have been in touch with Goon already to discuss the restaurants we will be visiting! YERRRRRR.

xx Lektrogirl

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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

BETTER



I REALLY MISS ABBIE AND LEE. Here is a picture of Coco, their cat, who is now living in Berlin with them. I can't stop thinking about this picture. Maybe I should get Covvo to send me a full sized version to get printed for my house.

Also, just checked the Maison B blog and saw this video that Pippa made of the twin 'hip rolling'. Mega LOLZ.



And although they will probably kill me for mentioning it - I just had the most mega laugh out loud moment when I was on the phone to a friend overhearing them have an argument with one of their parents about half a lettuce. It was the best thing ever.

xx Lektrogirl

xx Emma

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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

GOOD FOR PUNCHING


, originally uploaded by sannah kvist.

My 6 year old nephew called me up tonight to tell me that he has watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [the movie] on DVD and that he electrocuted himself on the electric fence at his school. He goes to a farm school and gets to check out ducks and sheep and go on hay rides and stuff.

He has burn marks on his fingers like he was snipping at the fence using his fingers as scissors. That will teach him to mess around with electric fences! He said that it felt like his fingers exploded. He sounded pretty impressed with himself. He left out the part his mum told me later that his teachers note home after the incident said he took a long time to stop howling...

I finally saw the end of Dark Habits tonight. Definitely my favourite Almodovar movie in my Almodovar marathon. Another sad ending all about love and loss and longing. Which I think is a theme in everybody's life - and one of my favourites. Watching a nun wailing at the loss of her love was very satisfying.



Last night's movie, Matador, that I watched with Covvo was about death and sensuality. About primal urges. Some AMAZING outfits on the lead character - the lawyer who fucks men and kills them by stabbing them in the back of the neck with a specially crafted hair pin that looks not unlike a kebab skewer. Covvo and I knew we were in for a treat in the opening scene of this movie. The lead male character was jerking off to a movie of women being brutally murdered in horror films with just the death scenes having been edited together.



Antonio Banderas was also in this one as a psychic student matador who confesses to the murders of the other two... Banderas was looking pretty hot in his grey sweats on the hospital bed. But in the Almodovar movie Law of Desire he was SUPER HOT. I was really shocked. He has lost a lot with age.

Anyway - in town today picking up the final copy of Dark Habits and walking through Soho I noticed I was flinching whenever anyone moved to quickly through my personal space and it made me feel freaked out like I was gonna get robbed again. Hopefully this will soon pass.

xx Lektrogirl

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FOR THE OCKERS

I got this list in an email from my Mum, The Mutts, this morning:

You know you're Australian if.....

1. You know the meaning of the word 'girt'.

2. You believe that stubbies can be either drunk or worn.

3. You think it's normal to have a Prime Minister called Kevin.

4. You waddle when you walk due to the 53 expired petrol discount vouchers stuffed in your wallet or purse.

5. You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden.

6. You believe it is appropriate to put a rubber in your son's pencil case when he first attends school.

7. When you hear that an American 'roots for his team' you wonder how often and with whom.

8. You understand that the phrase 'a group of women wearing black thongs' refers to footwear and may be less alluring than it sounds.

9. You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bin'.

10. You pronounce Penrith as 'Pen-riff'.

11. You believe the 'L' in the word 'Australia' is optional.

12. You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas.'

13. You believe it makes perfect sense for a nation to decorate its highways with large fibreglass bananas, prawns and sheep.

14. You call your best friend 'a total ba$tard' but someone you really, truly despise is just 'a bit of a ba$tard'.

15. You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a place.

16. You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife.

17. You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin.

18. You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'.

19. You believe that cooked-down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread.

20. You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up, at which point they again become Kiwis.

21. You know, whatever the tourist books say, that no one says 'cobber'.

22. You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.

23. You believe, as an article of faith, that the confectionery known as the Wagon Wheel has become smaller with every passing year.

24. You still don't get why the 'Labor' in 'Australian Labor Party' is not spelt with a 'u'.

25. You wear ugh boots outside the house.

26. You believe, as an article of faith, that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off to the Yanks for a pittance.

27. You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them.

28. Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language.

29. You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude, while 'scuse me' is always polite.

30. You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose.

31. You understand that 'you' has a plural and that it's 'youse'.

32. You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle.

33. Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket.

34. You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call 'Anzac cookies'.

35. You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours’.

36. When returning home from overseas, you expect to be brutally strip-searched by Customs - just in case you're trying to sneak in fruit.

37. You believe the phrase 'smart casual' refers to a pair of black tracky-daks, suitably laundered.

38. You understand that all train timetables are works of fiction.

39. When working on a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer.

40. You get choked up with emotion by the first verse of the national anthem and then have trouble remembering the second.

41. You find yourself ignorant of nearly all the facts deemed essential in the government's new test for migrants.

42. You will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand.

Now - here are the JOKES!!

I sent this list to Covvo and Cazza and neither of them knew what GIRT means [number 1].
So I refreshed their memories: "National Anthem Ladies!"
To which Cazza replied "I thought it was DIRT by sea!!"

MEGA LOLLAPALOOZA

The SHAME Cazza - THE SHAME!!!

xx Lektrogirl

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Thursday, 19 June 2008

I MISS YOU!!

Ladies I love you and think about you every day!! This picture makes me so sad... You have really moved!!



xx Lektrogirl

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Monday, 25 February 2008

I'M TOO GOOD



The other night when Cardinal, Covvo and A Beer came over I cooked them all dinner. The dish you see above was for starters and here is the recipe. There are two reasons why I can recommend mussels as an option for dinner. 1] They are cheap - 3.99 a kilo and 2] They are super easy to cook.

MUSSELS WITH BASIL AND LEMON GRASS

1kg black mussels
1 tbs peanut [or whatever] oil
1 medium brown onion [150g of whatever onion you have] chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
10cm stick [20g] fresh lemon grass sliced thinly
1 small fresh red chilli sliced finely
1 cup [125ml] dry white wine [that is one of those little bottles at the supermarket]
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs fish sauce
1/2 cup loosely packed thai basil leaves [get them in China Town for 1.60 a bunch]
1/2 cup coconut milk [125ml - a half sized can or tip all a 400ml can in like I did]
another small fresh red chilli sliced finely
2 green onions [spring onions or salad onions] sliced thinly

1] Throw the mussels into the sink to give them a shock so that they all close. When you buy them they will be alive and should open and close. Scrub mussels under cold water and remove beards [the hairy parts hanging out the closed shells.]

2] Ditch any mussels that have not closed at all after you have run cold water on them or have cracked shells. They are no good.

3] Heat the oil in a wok or big frypan [or whatever you have got - you need a lid for it big enough that is all.] Stir fry the brown onion, garlic, lemon grass and chopped chilli till it becomes soft and is fragrant. It is better to do this over a pretty low heat so the onion doesn't brown, but as it is known in the business 'sweats'.

4] Add wine, juice and sauce and bring to the boil [turn up the heat a bit!] Add the mussels and turn the heat down again. Simmer the mussels in the pan with the lid on until the mussels open. The majority of mussels should open after about 5-7 minutes.

5] While you are waiting for 5-7 minutes to pass, shred half the basil leaves with your fingers.

6] Add the shredded leaved and coconut milk to the pan and stirfry until heated through. Fish out any mussels that aren't open, throw them away - they are no good.

7] Serve the mussels into a bowl for each person. 1 kg is enough for 3 or four people as a starter or as a main dish enough for 2. Sprinkle with slicked chilli, green onion and remaining basil leaves.

Let me know how you get on!

xx Lektrogirl

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