Thursday, April 27, 2006


I can't get online. At all! Frustrating to the extreme. Is it me or is it Wanadoo? Not that I could see your answers anyway...


An hour later: I am back online after a whole day off, just wanted to point out that the lines above were sent from my mobile phone.

Steli - apologies for taking so long to write the Bosch blog.


Tonight I went to the Arts Club to see a live harpsichord recital with violin accompaniment, of Handel, Scarlatti, and J.S. Bach.

Dinner on the club table in the dining room was amazing and consisted of the most interesting assortment of items I have ever seen arranged on one plate:

Three ballotines (stuffed, rolled, sliced) of guinea fowl on a little bed of cooked spinach with a light hint of mushroomy sauce, no doubt containing some sort of alcohol.
In front of that, a scoop of lightly mashed parsley potato set into a dollop of creamed spiced pumpkin.
Balanced on top of the guinea fowl was an actual foie gras entier (whole duck/goose liver), cooked to crispness outside and succulence inside.

(Apparently the fattened liver is a delicacy nearly up there with truffles.)

Everything on the plate was fun to eat in various combinations.

This eating adventure was followed by a neat little understated dessert - strawberries and cream in milles feuilles pastry with berry sorbet.

And then espresso to finish, as always.

I saw familiar faces and new ones; it probably takes a long time to meet all the members on a casual basis.
Everyone spots my potential. Some have interesting advice. A few know people I should contact. At least most people try...


Steliano Ponticos said...

never mind about bosch. but are you telling me some people think foie gras is pate!

Roxandra said...

It so isn't paté! It is all in a class of it's own. I try to avoid this yumminess though as my heart bleeds for the poor geese. Not pretty what they do to them. Horribly cruel in fact. Which is why I still have an untouched 200g block in my fridge that a friend brought me ages ago. (These things keep for ever)I know the it's like with bacon, the pig is committed (or in this case the goose) but still, I have qualms eating it.

Olivia said...

Well for most people the main phrase is "pate de foie gras" isn't it? Pate is now a common food.

How many people have ever eaten foie gras entier?

Rox - I know, as I wrote that post I felt awfully guilty because...I also like veal. And I am not a cruel person! I love animals, so why do I do this?

As to the block in your fridge...I suspect you may never finish it if you feel so sorry for the goose.

It's so fatty I felt sorry for my heart last night...yee. Once a year is enough.

Olivia said...

But Steli, I watched a documentary on Bosch last night, and it would be a good exercise to use my books again.

Leilouta said...

How do you stay in shape with all those delicious meals? :)

MattJ said...

Veal is a bit of a grey area, I was very anti-Veal for many years until i atually discovered there are 2 main varieties. The White Veal is the kind where the calbves are strapped from birth and deprioved of sunlight and activity until they are ready for the chop. We'll call this Evil Veal - unconscienable cruelty for a debatable improvement in flavour and quality of meat.

Then there is red veal. The Calves roam about fields as normal and lead proper cowy lives until they hit around 6 months old when they are slaughtered for consumption. This is about the same age Lambs and Pigs are killed for their prime cuts.

not pleasant to talk about I know, but the point I am making with Veal is that there is humane veal (or as humane as it gets) it's just a case of asking politely i guess.

I've never ordered Veal myself, but would if i knew where it came from (hypocritical from someone whio has and occasionalyy still does, eat fast food). I couldn't do Foie Gras though I don't think. It's easier for me though, i am still aquiring that liver taste lol!

Steliano Ponticos said...

Ok Olive still waiting for Bosch.

Granted about Pate de foie gras. But that's different from just pate. Pate is a snack while foie gras is a delicacy and there is a huge number of ways to prepare it.

-toooooo french here-

I do feel sorry for the goose

Olivia said...

Leilouta - good genes, I guess - but I don't eat like that every day!

Matt - I buy red veal that comes from a humane free range farm in Holland.

Foie gras - the whole duck liver - does not taste like liver, but like crispy fatty duck skin. You only get a little piece so it's not scary.

Steli - sooooo French you are. :P

lunaliar said...

I was thinking the same thing as Rox: DON'T EAT THE FOIE GRAS! Did you know that they outlawed foie gras in Chicago? I was so happy!

Veal, beef, whatever... it's all raised on a feedlot here, so it's all cruel. I'll have no part of it. I only eat free-range chicken, farm fish and wild Alaskan salmon that is caught in sustainable rivers.

You really have to watch what you eat nowadays!

Roxandra said...

I am not against eating animal products per se. They are bred for human consumption and have been an important part of human diet since the dawn of time. But yes there is a way to kill them humanely and without torturing. Eating goose liver as such wouldn’t really disturb me if it wasn’t for the force feeding and the stitching up of the rectum thing. Veal is not widely available here which is odd to me as it's one of the most common meats in Switzerland for example. In CH the laws on how animals are to be kept and slaughtered are very strict and thus comforting. But even there I always try to buy organic.

Olivia said...

Luna - Foie gras is something I may encounter only one more time in my life anyway.

I eat free range too - specially eggs but also lamb, veal, etc, and organic as much as I can. Also, Fairtrade products (if you have that in the US it may be at Whole Foods).
But you should know that I am not a great meat-eater. Barely even once a week.

Right now my sugar is organic Fairtrade demerara!

Olivia said...

Rox - indeed. I am about to fry up my free range Dutch veal in a few minutes...
*slinks away in shame*

lunaliar said...

I'm a huge advocate for humane slaughter, and if beef in America was done in such a manner, I *might* munch down on some, BUT (and that's a big "but") I live in a nation not known for humanity but instead for economy. There are not small farms in America any more. We have the factory farm where animals are lined up and a bolt is shot through their heads or they are electrocuted while their throats are cut and they bleed to death. So, instead of sacrificing any doubt or any morality, I choose instead to abstain; gracefully or not, might I add.

Now, in Europe, you guys are really on to something. In Italy you can be detained for cruelty to animals if you don't walk your dog three times daily. I'd be more likely to trust animal products in an area with such stringent animal cruelty laws (but never foie gras! that's so wrong!).

As for organic and fairtrade products, I actually freelanced an article to a local paper about ethical consumerism, so I'm no stranger to economic stewardship, and just for the record, one of the reasons I moved to this neighborhood (besides the insanely low rent and great space) is because there's an organic coffee shop and a Whole Foods within walking distance! :)

Sorry I've hijacked... Maybe I should post on my blog about this! :)

Olivia said...

Ooh you must be in a pretty nice area then. They put them in all the best parts of Houston, and of course there is one in Plano.