Enter the Pamplemousse…

Hi All,

While I have your attention and before you settle into your blissful state of somnolence as you read this post whilst allowing your minds to wander to pastures green and escape the hustle and bustle of the real world…”What the HECK is a Pamplemousse?!”. I thought that might wake you up. I have been dabbling in blogs in other languages. Why not? I abuse the English language enough, may as well incite the grammar police in other countries to riot. I can’t have Madeline (my eldest daughter who is the self-appointed chief of police of the English vernacular) working 24/7 now can I? So I decided to head off and check out what other countries are doing with food blogs. Turns out they are doing just fine without the English language folks…so fine in fact, that I am veering side left to check out some of the amazing recipes that they are tossing around like so much flotsam on the sea. Every recipe looks amazing! I want to make every single one of them! Partly because they are exotic (grass greener on the other side of the fence anyone? 😉 ) and partly because they just look so damned good! I can’t believe that everyone outside English speaking countries has a masters in photography so some of this gorgeousness just HAS to come from the recipes themselves.

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This is NOT Ms Sihem. This is narf7 hanging out in front of her bestie Brunhilda with Earl who appears to be ripping up yet ANOTHER soft toy. You can’t see the hole in my track pants from this angle but you CAN see those split ends. The t-shirt is David Bowie and I am just about to feed Brunhilda yet another log to add to her log quotient for the day. Ms Sihem is an attractive well coiffured French woman who dresses in the gypsy style. I, am a strange demented West Australian who dresses in the style of “HoBo”.

Another part of the equation that makes it so tantalising for me is that I don’t understand what the recipe is about. It’s a jigsaw puzzle waiting to be solved before I can dish this lovely (but completely unintelligible) creation up to Steve (a.k.a. “Only 1 man!”). It looks good enough to bath in BUT what is it?! So I head off to my old mate Google Translate. I have studiously avoided swapping over to Google Chrome. I KNOW it automatically translates folks but it doesn’t have a favourites bar and that’s where I stash my pirates treasure of website bullion just waiting for me to revisit and roll in whenever I have a few secret spare minutes to indulge. Without them I am nothing…NOTHING I tell you! The day Google Chrome gives me a favourite’s bar is the day I jump but till then, they are going to have to drag me kicking and screaming to Google Chrome! So for the purposes of this post let’s just say that I have been spending a goodly amount of time going back and forwards between Google translate and undecipherable blog posts with drool worthy images. Some of them have been quite a revelation leading me off to hunt down rare and wonderful ingredients. Some have had me excited about the possibilities of growing said ingredients myself! It’s a world of information and excitement out there folks if you don’t plan on actually doing anything with the rest of your life. You could just sit here poring over the net and becoming a resident expert on just about every cuisine in the world…but some of us have work to do and so I just cram these little undecipherable beauties into my groaning RSS Feed Reader (almost 500 again…) to delight me another day.

The word for today had me tapping the thick wooden doors to my wordy mental basement dungeon where I apparently store every single word that I have ever heard. It’s my talent… that and knowing that I spelled something wrong but not knowing how to correct it. I am just waiting for the game show that combines the two and I am IN! I have visited the great “Pamplemousse” before…just not sure where, so off to my old mate Google I go…type in P.A.M.{.{.: (bugger…fingers went too far right on the keyboard…backspace…backspace etc. till you get to the . before the M…try again dopey…) M.P.L.E (you know the rest, just building tension…I have to practice my writing skills or I am ASSURED that they will abandon me and move to a nice new human who is willing to allow them to flourish…) and the results are in folks…

A Pamplemousse is… (Drumroll….)… a grapefruit.

I can hear the palpable deflation of your expectations as I type this…you were waiting for something exotic, something amazing and delicious and utterly and entirely foreign weren’t you? Well misery loves company and so was I! It’s just very lucky that I don’t have more followers (and more of my followers that actually read my posts and aren’t just sleepers 😉 ) or I might have just been the cause of some serious literary depression there.

Now that we have our pamplemousse folks, what the heck are we going to do with it to render it so delicious that narf7 decided to take the time to translate the recipe? I might be tenacious but I am also bolshie, I am going to make this bloody thing come hell or high water! Here is the recipe folks…follow along…

http://mieletepices.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/gateau-reconfort-au-pamplemousse-rose.html

Here is my Google Translate version of what I am going to do with this grapefruit cum pamplemousse…

“Comfort cake with pink grapefruit and bitter almond

My cake comfort of these days, I love the combination of bitter almond and grapefruit is very special for me finally all cases. Because I made small madeleines for small (my son and his friends) but apart from my son who is used to off-tastes in common, other did not really like! I promised them chocolate madeleine’s for next time!

To go to the recipe, see more photos and leave a comment at the bottom click

ingredients:

100g soft butter
80g sugar
2 tbsp almond cream
150g flour
30g of wheat flour
2 large eggs
1 zest of a grapefruit
The chair of a grapefruit
3 melee yeast
1 pinch of salt
50g ground almonds
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 melee extract of bitter almonds

Extract of grapefruit zest, peel, remove the thin skin of each slice and keep the chair.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Beat the butter and sugar; add eggs, flavors, almond cream, and zest. Beat again until the mixture is smooth. Stir chair grapefruit and mix gently with a wooden spoon full of beauty.
In a separate, put the flour, yeast, salt and ground almonds, mix well container.
Stir egg mixture to the flour mixing very gently.
Butter a mold, pour the mixture and bake 40 minutes more or less.”

Note: the closest I could come to shining a light on what “melee” means is “lively crowd” so if you choose to make this recipe you need to first source yourself a lively crowds worth of bitter almonds and yeast and THEN proceed with the recipe. Always prepare your ingredients first folks! Mise en plus… By the time you get to making your recipe, you might need to enliven both crowds again so I dare say you should tell the bitter almond crowd that the yeast crowd said that their “mother was a hamster and their father smelled of elderberries” and vise-versa and that should keep them occupied and enlivened sufficiently to arrive at the desired results.

So there you have it folks…narf7’s next pamplemousse conquest. It is citrus season here in Australia and we are just about to be almost crushed under a deluge of “le citron”; “d’orange” and “le citron vert” along with our new friend “le pamplemousse” and now I am completely prepared to deal with this onslaught of citric goodness. I hope you checked out Madame Sihems’s gorgeously photographically bedecked blog. Madame Sihem appears to be the epitome of well-aged French cougar on the prowl and when checking out her “About” page (using my rudimentary 3 years of French as a guide) I discovered that she loves honey and spice for their “purity preparations” and she discovered using spices 6 years ago to (I quote) “I looked forward to my mother to turn the sleep laboratory kitchen spices.” Any younger men reading this blog who aren’t gay (that’s you Spencer 😉 ) might want to get in touch with Ms. Sihem as aside from being quite a presentable member of the middle aged woman confraternity and able to bake complete deliciousness that transcends the language barrier she is French! I rest my case. She has left her email address on her site for anyone wanting to contact her. I doubt she would be interested in any correspondence that I might generate or, indeed, my crazed pamplemousse post but I dare say she might exhibit a Mona-Lisa degree of pleasure at someone in Tasmania promoting her otherwise completely anonymous blog as furiously as this. She might even display a little pride in her blog, little knowing that my mania was fuelled by a lack of sleep and buggery-bollocks-all idea of what to post about today…

“So…how’s that garden going narf7? How are those walls holding up? What have you planted/done towards your coming springtime garden?” The answer to that is sweet bugger all folks! It’s cold out there…It’s cold and it’s covered in feral cats and chooks that are doing their level best to remove anything vaguely mulch like from every single acre of topsoil on Serendipity Farm. We are getting eggs again but we have to play “hunt the chook” to find them. We have our trusty egg hunting dog Earl (to be honest he is a “chook hunting” dog but after he extracts the chook, there are usually eggs as an added bonus…). We spend our early mornings dragging our cold and sorry carcasses out of our lovely warm bed, assembling a motley crew of clothing that makes us look strangely Russian in appearance to ward off the cold (and to cover every available inch of skin space possible), rendering us human weebles. “What’s a weeble?” I hear you say? (Yes…I hear you mentally…talent number 3! 😉 )…well a weeble is err…sort of…err…well I think I can illustrate them better in images…

Holy Crap we had this one!

This…is a “weeble”. If my sister Pinky is reading this she will probably recognise this as it looks a whole lot like a weeble that she had as a child in the 70’s.

Steve and Fran Weebles

If Steve and I were weebles, these 2 would be our anti-weebles…the day I get on a skateboard (safety helmet or not) and the day Steve takes up soccer are the day that we allow Earl out on his own to let the chooks out in the morning.

Come and sit on evil nanas knee while she sticks knitting needles into you!

I call this one “come-and-sit-on-evil-nanas-knee-while-she-sticks-knitting-needles-into-you” weeble. She appears to be modelled on Peter Griffin from Family Guy but predates him considerably so maybe the weeble creators might have a law suite in the offing (I am pointing this out in case they are looking in my direction!)

Children of the damned weeble

Lastly we have “Children-of-the-damned” weeble. I don’t think I really have to explain that do I folks?!

I have decided to use some images that I sourced from Morgue files, my free go-to site to find open source images. I might not always get what I am after but I rarely leave empty handed and I am often amused. That’s more than enough reason to go there…that plus it is one of my bullion sites anchored (so it can’t sail away) on my favourites bar. I wanted to see if I could illustrate Madame Sihem without plagiarising her image. I learned early on in my posting history that it isn’t nice to pinch other people’s images (even though I just pinched every single one of those weeble images because when I entered “Weeble” into Morgue File it came back with “?”…) and indeed it might even be fiscally painful if the other person chooses to home in on the pinchee and litigate. I try to use my own images but nothing around here (let’s face it…nothing in all of Tasmania!) is going to replicate a middle aged French cougar so off to Morgue Files I went, all bright and wide eyed and thinking “Brigitte Bardot”…and I ended up with 3 choices…here they are, so you choose which one illustrates Madame Sihem in your mind’s eye (which, let’s face it, is your very own word processor and television and film studio all rolled into one so you had best satisfy it if you want to live an interesting mental life…)…I am favouring the first image BUT you just never know how the wind blows…

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This is no doubt how Ms. Sihem would like to look…

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One of my 3 choices for “French Woman” on Morgue Files…it looks like this is the pigeons choice…

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I think we can pretty much discount Joan of Arc as being in ANY way similar to Ms. Sihem apart from her nationality. Remember this is a “pick your own ending” post so you at least have a couple of choices (some more likely than others 😉 )

I then tried to find something to replicate the “pamplemousse and amande reconfort gateau” (please excuse my terrible misuse of the French vernacular…Mrs. Quinllivin, my long suffering French teacher in high school would be rolling in her grave to hear me abuse it so…) images that Ms. Sihem has so deliciously pasted into her elegant post and Morgue File came up trumps again… I initially entered “Pamplemousse” and got “?” Ok. I then entered Grapefruit and got this…

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Excellent! Grapefruit is a good start. Now let’s just enter Grapefruit cake… I got “?” How about some other form of citrus cake…needs must you know! Ok…let’s try “orange cake”…I got this result…

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Yes…I can see that there is a very small proportion of “orange” on this cake however red is the predominate colour here so no idea how it got lumbered under “orange cake”

And this…

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Indeed this is orange. I think Ms Sihem would rather be tarred and feathered than have this cake featured on her illustrious French food blog!

Not quite up to Ms. Sihem’s gorgeous and entirely scrumptious photography illustrating her wonderful recipes and most probably not something that is going to have anyone racing from Pinterest to her site BUT it is the closest I have come to illustrating my point without getting sued! A good start as far as I am concerned. Again, you choose which one of the above images to insert into your mental word processor (I am assuming it can handle images as well and isn’t from so far back in the ether of last century that it writes in calligraphy!) This post is rapidly degenerating into a sort of “Make your own ending” post where some of you have mental images that aren’t quite congruous to the rest of you. How interesting! Has narf7 stumbled onto a new type of blog post format? I am not sure but for now I am having fun so let’s keep going…let’s see if we can’t find a cake a little more comforting…enter “cake” into the Morgue files vault…I need to first clear something up…what is it that exists in some people that makes them upload every single aspect of their lives for the whole world to see? Some of the “cakes” that have been uploaded by obviously proud photographers (and I use that word MOST loosely 😉 ) are so terrible that I would have binned and banished them from my mind forever let alone hit “upload” and “share”! I just can’t wrap my head around it folks so for a roundup of creative (open source) license let’s be at them Lawrence of Arabia Style…”NO PRISONER’S!!!)….

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This is the best I could do for Lawrence of Arabia. We shall speak no more of this image ok?

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First we have this slightly cake related image…it would seem someone was able to illustrate my daughter Madeline’s early “blue” phase in her baking career. She has completely eclipsed her earlier efforts and is a cake maker to be reckoned with now but that early “blue” phase is going to stay with us all for a long… long time…that and the blue mashed potatoes with the stone…but I digress…this aint what we are after today folks!

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This is the stuff that caterer’s nightmares are made of… 😉 sorry, a small aside but hey, we have all been here! 😉

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Most of we women of a “certain age” would associate the word “cake” with this image. I just don’t think that Ms. Sihem would go for anything as plain and nondescript as this…

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This dry, burned, misshapen excuse for baked goods is what I used to turn out in Home Economics as a young (and frustrated) narf7 late last century when home economics was specifically for girls only and the boys got to tinker around with wood and metal. It is the antithesis of what Ms. Sihem’s blog is all about…please disregard it completely and move onto the next image…

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“Move along…nothing to see here either!” (unless you count the fact that this “cake” appears to be a meatloaf in drag masquerading as cake but it’s probably best to just forget you ever noticed that and go straight to the next image…)

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Aside from being WAY too much cake, this image is somewhat disturbing because it was obviously created by someone who just wasn’t able to get into university to study architecture like they really wanted to and had to fall back on the career path of the masses and head off, tail between their legs, to catering school…

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I can find the plate… but not the cake! This plate is SO what Ms. Sihem would use to enhance her delicious baked goods…I just can’t find the baked goods worthy of placing reverently on its vintage green beauty!

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This slice of cake has all of the lusciousness of a pamplemousse. Let’s just say it appears to be dripping… but mere lusciousness alone can’t illustrate the sheer unmitigated heaven of Ms. Sihems glorious creations…back to the batmobile Robin, we have work to do!

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Too cute…

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Too flowery…

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Too plain…

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There’s that attention hog of a meatloaf trying to steal the limelight again…”I am onto you meatloaf!”…

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Not enough cake…

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And despite the obvious joy that this cake has brought to this man, this is altogether too much cake…

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Too disturbing…

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Too “other” fruity, not enough pamplemousse!

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What the heck! Let’s just decorate 1 cake to last all year. No-one likes fruitcake anyway so we can just wheel it out and get the kudos and put it back into cold storage for the next holiday on the calendar…we could do this for years!

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Let’s just say it is midway between this…

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And this…

And be done with it folks! We shall speak NO more of it! Either way I have been enjoying my early morning French lessons. Who knows, it may be Spanish superlatives next! How about some Latin lusciousness or at the moment I will settle for some Russian Rustic rather than be outside dressed like a weeble being dragged protesting along behind Earl in the frozen tundra’s of Sidmouth. I am all caked out folks. Ms. Sihem has managed to get to the end of my post and despite my most tenacious efforts, remain elusive and enigmatic to most of you. There is a great big world out there cram packed with interesting people and I have decided to head off and do my level best to bypass my lack of linguistic ability by honing in on our culinary differences and adapting them to my baking prowess. Narf7 is going to bake her way around the world! Wish me luck and see you all on Saturday when if this fine weather keeps up, you might just get another glimpse at that massive great walled garden, even if it is only to put up the last wall ;).

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