Monday, January 22, 2024

A Magic Morning

We got to Stonehenge around 7:15am. We were the first people there for an hour or so it was really lucky. We had got into London the night before rather late and then up at 4 to get bus to Sainsbury Plain. What a day...we were so tired I think it added to the experience as the tyranny of our minds were at bay haha.


British Library


Sunday, January 07, 2024

Basic Sauce: Harold Knapik


I ran up to Toronto for a week in early December. I told you I was going to be playing catch up here...I brought one of my Julia Child Cookbooks with me. Eugene had said he wanted me to cook and as I was looking at my cookbook he double dog dared me to make something...basic sauce from his uncles cookbook. Sure why not? Well it took two days, HA!

I got about 5 pounds of bones shank and ox tail. Baked them on his in oven till they browned. Then put them ina  huge pot with sautéed carrots, celery, onions, thyme and salt. It took about 8 hours or more to loosen the bones and reduce the water. Add three cups of white wine. And then Use two egg whites and their shells to help their shells to clarify the butter. Basically the egg shells and white give a "raft" for the clarified fat to be easily skimmed from the top of the reducing broth. It wa sa lot of fun then I froze small portions for Eugene to use at will.

I recommend listening to our episode where we interview foodblogger Adam Horvath...highlighted in previous post.and listen here The Agency Podcast

Here is Eugene's copy of his uncles cookbook. If You would like to know a little more he was a cook in France and knew Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas...the New YYorker writes about him...confirming he was a spay Harold Knapik in New Yorker

Excerpt: "It was in the course of a trip to Europe in 1968 to collect letters for “Staying on Alone” that Burns stumbled on the story of the Faÿ escape which made its way into the appendix of the Thornton Wilder book. On the same trip, he visited Belley and spoke to Maurice Sivan, who was the sous-préfet in Faÿ’s story (misspelled Sivain in Stein’s story of the terrifying moment at the lawyers)—and who confirmed it in every detail. So that question was answered. The answer to the question about Toklas and the escape was more tortuous. “Four people told me about it,” Burns said. “First, there were the Knapiks—Harold and Virginia—who became good friends of Alice’s after Gertrude’s death. They were Americans living in Paris. Harold was an extraordinary cook, and Alice put several of his recipes into her cookbook.”

When Burns uttered the name Harold Knapik, I could see the page in the cookbook on which Knapik’s recipe for Szekely Goulash appeared, and I could even recite his prefatory comment: “This is the goulash that I mentioned. It is not bad but its origin on the Hungarian plain is reflected a little insistently.” The remark stayed with me—it is the sort of thing Clovis Sangrail might have said about goulash—and endeared Knapik to me. And now he was about to emerge as a real and no doubt very different person from the one I had imagined. I had already had to revise my idea of another contributor to the cookbook (Toklas gathered these contributions into a chapter called “Recipes from Friends”). This was Fania Marinoff, whose Lamb Curry for Six is one of the most stained of all the pages in my copy of the book. In my imagination, Fania was a Jewish matriarch who lived on West End Avenue and never got out of her brunch coat. But from photographs in “The Letters of Gertrude Stein and Carl Van Vechten” I have had to accept the fact that Fania—the game second wife of the gay Van Vechten—was a beautiful and slender young Russian actress.

Burns paused for dramatic effect and said, “The Knapiks are dead now, so it’s all right for me to say this: they were C.I.A. agents. Harold’s cover—he was a musician—was that he was working on a book on counterpoint; Virginia worked at the American Embassy.” My idea of Knapik remained intact. Of course he was a C.I.A. agent.

Burns went on, “The Knapiks told me that they knew of Alice’s involvement in the escape but said that a certain Mme. Azam was the person I should talk to, because she knew most about it. Mme. Azam, née Cohen, was a rich, cultivated elderly Frenchwoman who lived in Paris. She was a Jewish convert to Catholicism and a good friend of Faÿ’s and, eventually, of Alice’s. She said that Faÿ walked with her on the street in Paris when she had to wear a yellow star. When I interviewed Mme. Azam, she said, ‘Alice and I were influential in arranging for Bernard’s escape. We helped with the money.’ She told me that the people who got him out were dressed as nuns. Then she gave me an introduction to Faÿ and I went to see him.”

“What did you make of him?” I asked Burns. “What was he like?”

“He was perfectly charming. I met him in a beautiful Paris apartment that belonged to his brother. I started to try to struggle along in French and he said no, it did him good to speak in English. He was a little wary of me at first and then gradually began to trust me. You know how it is when you’re able to give bits and pieces of information that you have. He eventually became very warm and gave me some of his books. But I remember feeling uneasy and having the sense that this was not a very nice person. You have to understand that I was staying with Kahnweiler, who said, ‘I know you’re doing this for your work on Gertrude, but he’s a perfectly detestable man.’ ” (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler was the German Jewish art dealer who began to represent the Cubists in his gallery in Paris before their work was valuable; he had difficulties in the First World War because of his Germanness and in the Second World War because of his Jewishness.)"

Friday, January 05, 2024

Foodblogger, Raw Oysters And Jewel Of The South


We had breakfast at our hotel Crowne Astor every morning in New Orleans. We had the recovery protein of raw oysters and one brunch we ran into a food blogger. He recommended we check out the French Quarter  place 'Jewel Of The South.' It was fantastic!

I recommend following  and enjoy Adam Horvath's local humourous approach to food and food writing. FOODIGENOUS

Raw Oysters, photo: Adam Horvath.

The patio at Jewel Of The South.

Cool wallpaper at the restaurant.

We had a scallopped potato in a light batter with creme fraise. INSANE.
More cool bathroom wallpaper.

generated by