Copyright Piacere - Food & Travel without rules! 2018 - Theme by ThemeinProgress
Each evening as I walk through one of 3 wildlife preserves that are close to my home, I’m accompanied by a variety of colorful birds that linger on branches, fly though the air with effortless grace and fill the landscape with beauty.
The sounds of tropical birds create exotic music as I walk along the paths and cannels. They come and go during migration and you wonder where they are spending the winter and watch them return to nest to bring into the world their new born.
They become familiar and you look forward to seeing the flurry of activity that always seems to be in motion.
Meet some of these beautiful species that live in my neighborhood.
Boca Raton hosted a Chinese New Year Festival at Mizner Park last weekend. The town has announced that it will be a yearly event. It featured performers from the The Chinese Association of Science, Education and Culture of South Florida (CASEC) and the Anhui Huangmei Opera Theater in China.
I was lucky to have gone to the Bejing Opera House many years ago and looked forward to enjoying this colorful spectacle. For many Chinese as well as other attendees, this probably was the first time they had the opportunity to experience anything quite like Chinese Opera.
The performers were outstanding and the costumes were authentic, beautifully decorated and very colorful.
The children were enthralled as they lined up along the stage to take photo’s with their phones. For those of us who don’t understand Chinese I’m sure found ourselves wondering what the excerpts from the plays and opera were all about, but it didn’t matter because the performances were magical.
I was photographing as two Chinese men told me the story that was being played out. The traditional dragon dance was the hit of the evening.
Enough said it is better to view the beautiful costumes and performers, so put this event on your calendar for next year.
Human tools adapted for grasping says the dictionary. But they are far more then that as we ask for the “ a hand in marriage” or “a helping hand” .
Photo’s of the expression of hands.
Hands pulling tobacco
Visit my website at pturo.com
Last summer a number of our friends visited Paris and we had a chance to visit each other and enjoy this wonderful city together. One of our friends decided we should have a reunion here at home with a French dinner that we would all participate in. We chose to make a first dish and decided on vichyssoise. Vichyssoise is made with leeks, potatoes and cream and is served cold. It can be prepared the day before making it easy to transport and most importantly leaving you free to enjoy the party.
It was created by Chef Louis Diet (1885-1957) who worked at the Ritz hotels in Paris and New York according to the Internet. History tells another story about King Louis XV of France (15 February 1710 –1774) accidentally invented vichyssoise. The paranoid King loved his comforting potato soup but worried that someone was trying to poison him and demanded that a number of servants taste his food before he ate it. King Louis’ favorite recipe for potato soup was often passed from one servant to another. By the time it finally reached the King, it was cold. King Louis decided he preferred potato soup cold. Well whatever the story, it is a hardy soup that can be served in any weather.
The following is my husband’s recipe.
2 lbs Leeks, white and pale yellow parts only (requires approx. 3 lbs. of leeks the way they are sold)
1 lb Potatoes (Yukon gold or Idaho)
1 1/2 cups Heavy cream
2 tbsp. Butter
Fresh white pepper
Thoroughly wash the leeks. Do this in two steps: first cut the white part off about 1/2 inch from the place where the outer leave splits.
Cut the white part into half lengthwise and then cut into 1” pieces and put them in a large bowl of water.
Split the remaining part of the leeks lengthwise. Discard the green leaves and separate the pale yellow leaves. Cut them into small pieces and add them to the bowl of water. Keep the leeks in the water for at least 30 minutes to get all the dirt out. This step is critical as the dirt must be removed from the inside the leaves completely.
Melt the butter in a large pan and add the leeks sautéing them for 2 minutes. Add 2 quarts of water, slightly salted and bring to a boil.
Add the potato cubes and simmer for 30 minutes.
Transfer the leeks and the potatoes to a blender, using a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Add the cream and blend adding as much cooking liquid required to reach the thickness you desire.
Season it with white pepper and salt.
Chill the Vichyssoise in the refrigerator over night.
Take the Vichyssoise out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Decorate with chopped chives.
Note: Many recipes call for a larger quantity of potatoes. In my opinion this turns the Vichyssoise into a potato soup and you lose the delicate flavor of the cooked leeks. The 2 to 1 ratio (net weight) of leeks to potatoes give the best results.