Gherkins & Tomatoes will be back after New Year’s. I wish all of you a happy holiday season, no matter what or how you celebrate!
I dedicate this post to the children and the parents, everywhere, especially Newtown, Connecticut.
Every year, in December, a marvelous thing happens. At least I think it’s wonderful. And not for the reasons you might think.
Christmas comes around, bringing with it a sense of magic in the air, some thing that I felt as a child. And lest you think me not sensitive to the cultural experiences of those who do not celebrate Christmas, I say that no matter what the culture, children generally find the preparations for feast days an exhilarating experience. For festivals, and Christmas is a festival, allow us, as I have said before, to step outside of the ordinary and move into a space where things are anything but ordinary. There’s a sense of anticipation as mother or grandmother bakes gingerbread men and father or grandfather brings in the Christmas tree, the smell of sap and resin perfuming the air. Pulling out the old ornaments and adding a few new ones, stringing up the blinking lights, all twinkling with the colors of the rainbows and the stars and the sun, why, that’s sheer joy.
And now, every December, when I wander through the long hallway at the Inn at Virginia Tech, I relive that sense of magic. Why? Every year, several merchants or organizations in town put up decorated trees, weighted down with ornaments representative of their businesses or missions. Evergreen garlands sway above my head, tiny white lights winking in time with my pulse, as I meander down the hall, light from the floor-to-ceiling windows casts a diffuse glow, and for a moment, I’m back, in my mind, hovering at the top of the stairs, listening for Santa, checking to see if the milk and cookies are still there. Or not.
The chef at the Inn supervises the making of an elaborate gingerbread house, detailed with candies and all the trimmings now traditional for such confections.
The smell of the frosted lawn and the piped snow drifts sets my mouth watering and I hurry through my tour of the hall, anxious to return home to the frosted gingerbread I packed into a plastic container and froze a few days ago.
Just as I turn around and start toward the door, in comes Santa, headed for his plush red-velvet-covered throne, followed by several children, their eyes sparkling with only the light a child’s eyes can.
And I then remember the other children, the ones who look in their pictures just like my son did when he was six years old, so fresh, young, and promising. The ones who won’t be sitting on Santa’s knee this time.
Oh, how I wish that we adults could promise peace on earth this time around, for sure. It’s not just the children killed so senselessly by a deranged gunman, it’s the ones mowed down in senseless wars, too.
Peace on earth, yes. Yes. Yes.
We owe it to the children.
© 2012 C. Bertelsen
I love Christmas. Yes, I really do.
For I see Christmas as a time that allows us – in these rather sterile, rigid United States, anyway – to cut loose and string up gaudy gee-gaws all over the house. To transcend the daily. To feel the seasonal and mythic cycles of past times. To celebrate the sheer miracle of being alive.
That, to me, is what festivals mean, be they football games or saints’ days or other special days. All cultures reap the benefits of stepping out of time, as it were, on festive days. It’s a universal characteristic.
But Christmas, as pundits like Oprah say, can be a very difficult time for some people. I know. Some people grumble about how much they hate Christmas and how dare anybody expect them to join in the festivities if they don’t want to.
I get that.
I mean, after all, if you always end up with sitting at a food-laden table with squabbling relatives or if you can’t afford to buy gifts for everyone (or just plain don’t want to) or if you find Christianity a bit of a painful subject from the religious point of view, you probably don’t welcome the twelve days of Christmas.
You might even dread the five pounds you’re likely to pack on while indulging in the culinary delights of the season.
And no matter how you feel about Christmas, you probably hate the commercialization of a feast day that celebrates simplicity too.
But, you know, there’s another way of looking at Christmas. Even if you’re not an avowed Christian. Even if you secretly suspect your family harbors the original Dickensian Scrooge, the guy Charles Dickens thought of as he wrote “A Christmas Carol.”
Christmas offers one of the most startling examples of culinary creativity ever conceived of, aside from the delicacies generated by Islamic cooks for breaking the Ramadan fast.
Because many of the traditional Christian denominations celebrate Christmas starting with Advent at the beginning of December and end it with Epiphany on January 6, there’s a whole month traditionally devoted to the preparation and serving of food that generally doesn’t appear any other time of the year.*
With the abundance you see in even the most standard American grocery store, it’s possible to reproduce many of the stellar dishes associated with Christmas from cultures all over the world:
Bûche de Noël (France)
Christmas cake (England, Australia)
Bacalau (Brazil, Portugal)
Eggnog (Latin America, USA)
Fish soup (vánoční rybí polévka) (Czech Republic)
Red cabbage (Denmark)
Turkey (United States)
And the wonderful thing about cooking all those dishes is that you cannot possibly eat them all by yourself. You need to invite people to eat with you at your table. You could package up some of these riches in containers and share them with people who can’t cook anything more than a can of soup or people who can’t cook because of illness or other disasters.
In other words, Christmas is indeed a time to celebrate the miracle of life, no matter what your religious beliefs might be.
Just to get started, here’s a list of the cookbooks I haul out every year before I start cooking for Christmas – the list includes many older titles, but that’s because those books speak of the traditional for me:
Christmas in Williamsburg (Joanne B. Young, 1970)
An Olde Concord Christmas (1980)
Cookies and Candies for Christmas (Michelle Urvater, 1982)
Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen (Irena Chalmers Cookbooks, 1983)
Cooking for Giving (Bert Greene & Phillip Schulz, 1984)
Cookies for Christmas (Better Homes & Gardens, 1985)
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (Beatrice Ojakangas, 1988)
Rose’s Christmas Cookies (Rose Levy Beranbaum, 1990)
The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas (Jeff Smith, 1991)
Visions of Sugarplums (Mimi Sheraton, 1996)
The Christmas Eve Cookbook (Ferdie Pacheco, 1998)
*Granted, women did (and do) most of the work associated with Christmas cooking, but aside from the obvious drudgery of pushing potatoes by hand through a sieve, the very fact that all these dishes exist testifies to the amazing creativity of women in the kitchen.
© 2012 C. Bertelsen
…visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.
~~Clement C. Moore~~
” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”
Happy Holidays to all readers and visitors to Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons et Tomates! I will “see” you again on January 2.
‘Tis soon the season to be jolly. And to bake cookies, the sugarplums of today. I’m about to head out to the kitchen to do just that right now.
For many Americans, especially those of Northern European descent, Christmas without special cookies is hard to imagine. In the old days, grandmas and mothers rose early, stoked the wood-burning stoves, and baked and baked. Smells of baking tickled children’s noses and small hands grabbed sugary cookies when Mother’s back was turned. Baking cookies symbolized the spirit of Christmas entering into the home.
First, though, some definitions are in order. Originating with the Dutch word koekje, or small cake. And cookies did begin as tiny “test” cakes, in other words, early bakers cooked a small amount of dough to check the heat of the oven. Most food authorities define cookie as thin, sweet, and small, texturally soft or crisp or in-between. Every culture uses its own special word to denote what “cookie” means. In England, the English call biscuits what we term cookies, nothing at all like the scone-like cakes called “biscuits” in the United States. To the Spanish, cookies are galletas and Italians call their cookies by many different names, including biscotti, meaning “twice baked.” In Germany, people ask for keks or Plätzchen, a special word for the cookies of Christmas. The word “biscuit” comes from Latin — bis coctum — meaning “twice baked.”
Cookies, as symbols of Christmas, probably began as sweetened doughs cut into animal shapes. Why animal shapes? Anthropologists believe that many of today’s festive traditions have their roots in ancient history. Before converting to Christianity, many pagan societies practiced sacrifice, both human and animal. If there was nothing to sacrifice, animal-shaped breads were baked and offered to the gods instead. After their conversion to Christianity, and the end of these sacrifices, people kept the tradition of baking festive animal-shaped sweets. In Scandinavia today, at the beginning of Advent, pig-shaped gingerbreads called nissu-nassu appear in bakeries. Gingerbread men and other spiced cookies also abound. Incidentally, the spices associated with Christmas sweets play an important symbolic role as well: these spices are thought to represent the gifts the Magi presented to the Christ Child.
The first American cookbook, by Amelia Simmons (1796), American Cookery, included two recipes for cookies (note that many the “s” letters in the following quote resemble “f”):
Cookies - One pound fugar boiled flowly in half pint of water, fcum well and cool, add 1 tea fpoon perlafh, diffolved in milk, then two and a half pounds of four, rub in 4 ounces of butter, and two large fpoons of finely powdered coriander feed, wet with above; make rolls half an inch thick and cut to the fhape of pleafe; bake fifteen or twenty minutes in a flack oven – good three weeks.
Chriftmas Cookery - To three pound of flour, fprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander feef, rub in one pound of butter, and one and half pound fugar, diffolve one tea fpoonful of pearlath in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarter of an inch thick, and cut or ftamp into fhape and fize you pleafe, bake flowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho’ hard and dry at firft, if put in an earthern pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, fofter and better when fix months old.
Gifts of cookies are popular now. Of course, other cookie shapes were invented through the years. And some prolific home bakers make as many as two dozen different kinds of cookies during the Christmas season. By baking one type of cookie per day, beginning on December 1, such a feat appears less awesome. And overwhelming. Most cookie doughs and baked cookies freeze well. Cookies rich in butter and nuts are best frozen if they are made far in advance. Store cookies in air-tight containers and separate them with sheets of waxed paper. Frost cookies after thawing, not before freezing. Re-crisp soggy cookies by heating them on cookie sheets in a 250 degree F oven for a few minutes.
If cookie-baking is a lost tradition in your family, this may be the year to start again. Your children will love you for it, though your waistline might not.
(Makes 3-4 dozen 4-inch high cookies)
This recipe yields very rich cookies, which can be made in many different shapes. Just draw a design on stiff cardboard and make whatever theme you want — Santa Clauses at Christmas, turkeys at Thanksgiving, or rabbits at Easter. That’s what my parents did and I loved every bite.
2 cups shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
5 1/4 cups flour
2 T. cinnamon
1 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together shortening, sugars, and eggs.
Sift together dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture.
Roll dough on lightly floured board to 1/8-inch. Cut dough into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Cool on racks and frost as desired. (Frost after freezing.)
*There is no ginger in this recipe, but you can add it to taste if you wish to do so.
AUNT LILLIE’S SUGAR COOKIES
(Makes 3-4 dozen)
A favorite Norwegian cookie for any time of the year. The recipe came from a favorite Norwegian aunt who passed on a long time ago, but the aroma of these cookies when they come out of the oven reminds the entire family of her.
2 cups flour
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
12 T. butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 T. cream or milk
1 t. almond extractPreheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar; add egg, milk, and almond extract. Add flour to creamed mixture and mix well, until a soft dough forms.
Roll out dough on lightly floured board, cut into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Do not brown. Freeze and then frost after thawing if cookies are made in advance.
Books about Christmas Cookies:
Better Homes and Gardens Cookies for Christmas, by Better Homes and Gardens Books (1985, new edition appeared in 2011)
Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookies, by Irma S. Rombauer, Ethan Becker, and Marion Rombauer Becker (1996)
© 2008, 2011 C. Bertelsen
A while ago, I promised you a short list of facsimile/translated French cookbooks. The following list represents a number of old French-language cookbooks translated into English that you’ll find freely available on the Internet, something quite helpful when you’ve dropped your last holiday dollar on the fixings for Beef Wellington and a gilty box of exquisite marrons glacés.
But I don’t need that box of candied sweetmeats; the words of people long dead taste better than any marrons glacés, at least to me. Those medieval writers still surprise me with their frankness, their comments on the human foibles going on around them, and their obsessive seriousness. They pass on wisdom distilled – like fine perfume- from a past I will never know. And in some cases, they themselves knew not the past firsthand from which their recipes came.
Yet, when I read the words of these cooks – and they all seemed to know that crucial something that only comes from having cut their fingers and singed their eyebrows over flames that must have seemed like the Church’s stories of Hell - I feel the ongoing need to get up, to feed, to nourish people. The act of cooking for others in many ways is something that has never changed. These old cookbooks don’t just tell me what ingredients existed or hint at cultural migration: they say very emphatically, if only between the lines, that hunger existed out there, beyond the smoky hearth, the cold slipping in as the kitchen slavey trudged by with an armful of dry wood, the bark scratching his face as he dumped the load near the cook’s feet.
So here are marrons glacés that are not really marrons glacés, but should be wrapped nonetheless in gold paper and tied with a thick glossy ribbon. If nothing else, these petits mots remind me just how fleeting fads can be, even in food.
Enseignements qui enseingnent à apareillier toutes manieres de viandes
Translation © 2005 Daniel Myers Based on transcription by Thomas Gloning
Other parts of fresh pork, in winter and in summer, with green sauce, without garlic, of pepper and ginger and parsley and sage, tempered with verjuice or vinegar or good wine; And if it is salted, with mustard. The four feet and the ears and the jowls with parsley and spices, tempered with vinegar. The offal of pork is good roasted with garlic or with verjuice. The spleen in brouet in pieces, with a little water in a pan, and then when it is cooked, pour off the water and keep it; then take the liver and bread and pepper and spices and grind them together without toasting the bread, and temper with the water it cooked in, then serve all in the manner that I have said to you, and take vinegar and mix with, the toasted bread well ground in a mortar.
4. Mutton haricot.
Take raw mutton, cut it into small pieces, and fry it lightly in lard with some finely chopped onions. Steep it in beef broth, add some wine, verjuice, mace, hyssop and sage, and boil well together.
5. Larded boiled meat.
Take your meat (understand that it is my meat or my venison), lard it, put it to cook in water or wine, and add only some mace (with some saffron if you wish).
6. Fresh wildred deerand roe deer venison.
Parboil it, lard it all over, add some mace and plenty of wine, cook it well, and eat it with Cameline [Sauce]. Or, put it in a pie, parboiled and larded, and eat it with Cameline [Sauce].
7. Boar venison.
Cook it in wine and water. Eat it (if fresh) with Cameline [Sauce] and Sour Pepper [Sauce], and (if salted) with Mustard [Sauce].
8. Capons or veal with herbs.
Cook them in water, pork fat, parsley, sage, hyssop, costmary, wine, verjuice, saffron and ginger, as you wish.
Le menagier de Paris
Translation by Janet Hinson
VIII. Another Meat Dinner.
First dish. Coarse meat, rich pasties, beef-marrow fritters, meat broth, smoked eels, loach in water, saltwater fish and cold sage soup.
Second dish. Roast the best that you can, freshwater fish, a slab of beef, bacon gruel with chervil [or with kid (JH)], capon pies, thin pancakes, pies of bream and eel and fricassee.
Third dish. Frumenty, venison, browned [vegetables], lampreys in a hot sauce, fried bread slices and meat tarts, roast bream, gruel with verjuice, sturgeon and jelly.
Du fait de Cuisine de maitre Chiquart
Translation by Elizabeth Cook
And the peacock which is mentioned above, which by the advice of me, Chyquart, is the result of artifice, take it and clean it very well and then dry it well and properly, and spit it and put it to roast; and when it is nearly roasted stud it with good whole cloves well and properly; and if the surface is spoiled put it to roast again. And then let your lord know about your trick with the peacock and he can then arrange for what he wants done.
11. And to give understanding to him who will make the sauce which goes with the peacock, of what and how it will be made: let him take the liver of the peacock and some capon liver and wash and clean them very well, and then put them on a spit and put them to roast over the coals; and let him take bread and roast it on the grill well and properly so that it is well browned, and then put it to soak with the best claret wine which he can obtain and a little vinegar; and then take the said livers and bray them very well in a mortar, and then afterward take your bread and bray it with them. And then take your spices, that is white ginger, cinnamon, grains of paradise, and a little of cloves and nutmeg, and put it all together, and moisten it with wine and a little vinegar; and be careful that there is not too much. Then put it to boil in a fair pot and put in sugar in proportion, and taste that it does not have too much of anything, neither salt, spices, vinegar nor sugar, so that it is sweet and sour. And then serve it where the peacock will be eaten.
Le recueil de Riom
Translated and transcribed by Jennifer Soucy
Ung grané d’alouestez et qu’ellez soient ung pou refaictez en leau chaude et misez en ung beau chauderon, et du veau, et du saing de lart avec. Et frire sur charbon tout ensemble, et prandre du pain, et asler sur le grilh tant quil soit assez brun, et mectre tremper ou bon bouillon de beuf et en vin et dez foyez de poullalhe, et color et une estamine. Et le grain qui sera avec gecter dedans ug chauderon tout ensemble pour fere boullir et, quant il sera assez boulli, que on preigne lez espices. Et, quanit il seront broyees, destraper de verjust et gecter dedans. Et y fault graine, giroffle, gingembre et fleur de cannel qui en poura finer ou de la melleur canella qu’il pourra finer.
A gravy of birds and they are blanched a little in hot water and put in a good pot, with veal and lard/drippings. And fry together on the coals, and take bread and roast it on the grill until it is rather brown, and put it to soak with beef broth, and with wine and the livers of chicken, and strain it through a strainer. And the meat is cast in together into a pot with everything for boiling, and when it is boiled enough, one takes the spices. And, when they are crushed, infuse in verjuice and cast thereto. There must be grains of paradise, clove, ginger and cinnamon buds if it can be found or the best cinnamon one can find.
I have to tell you that the cookbook lists that come out every year around Christmas time drive me crazy. Like you’re really going to savor, say, 101 Recipes Using ___________? (Fill in the blank.) Or you’re going to run out and buy another Italian cookbook when you already own somewhere in the neighborhood of 225? (I do. Really.)
And since I am an unabashed Francophile, I cringe over the lack of French cookbooks on these lists.
So I decided to come up with my own list and it has nothing to do with the latest books in publisher’s catalogues. (Though the Maranville book appeared in 2011.)
You probably think of French food as being too snooty, too chef-driven, and too rigid in its execution to be everyday fare. Qualities too passé, in other words, for today’s cooks. To be honest, as much as I respect Julia Child, her laborious recipes scare me and I usually find a simpler recipe using the ingredients in my refrigerator. As I think about it, I am not sure Julia really helped cooks to cook French food other than for dinner parties. In other words, Julia is not an everyday thing, at least not in my kitchen.
But, at the same time, it is hard to imagine how those svelte Parisian women, who could not possibly be eating chicken breasts in cream sauce on a regular basis, stay so thin if they eat French food every day. Granted, many of them smoke … .
Thus, when TV celebrities like Mario Batali and Giada de Laurentiis make Italian cooking appear easy and doable and healthy and cheap (no foie gras, no truffles, or not too many), well, anything remotely French goes the way of Steller’s Sea Cow.
Italian cooking crops up everywhere these days. Seriously …
Yet, guess what? Millions of French people cook French food every day. And most are not chefs.
Open-air markets in Paris and elsewhere might be fading away slowly, thanks to the encroachment of huge chain stores like Monoprix. But these markets still exist and no matter where French people shop for food, the crowds attest to the fact that people are cooking and eating at home in large numbers. Rolling carts trail behind stylishly coiffed ladies dressed properly in sweater “twin-sets,” and jeans-clad young matrons push baby carriages with babies in front and large pockets in back filled with groceries. People don’t have as much time to cook and France is no different from the United States in that regard: prepared foods and frozen foods abound everywhere in modern France.
Nonetheless, feathery leaves of fennel and thick quarters of country bread poke out of those carts and onto French tables at nearly every meal. There may even be a pineapple or a mango or a papaya tucked into that cart, with a few limes and possibly some pre-cooked couscous.
Obviously the French cook prepares dishes on a daily basis, dishes that have nothing to do with haute cuisine. That’s why regional cookbooks add so much to an understanding of French cuisine. The major (haute) French cookbooks of the past, discussed in part by Barbara Wheaton in Savoring the Past: The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789, resulted from the impact of a palatial cuisine, something stemming from the upper classes and the court of kings and dukes and princes of the blood.
Few people recorded the everyday cooking going on in peasant huts or in the kitchens of the bourgeois. Several regional cuisine projects in France managed to salvage recipes via oral history and through manuscript family cookbooks carefully tended by women.*
So here’s a brief, very brief, list of French cookbooks for everyday home cooking that actually work and provide you with the opportunity to discover an amazing fact: French cooking is really not any harder than Italian. (I know, because once in my misguided culinary “youth,” I cooked only Italian food for a whole year, rarely repeating a dish, testament to the ingenuity of Italian cooks and la cucina povera.)
These sturdy bridges to French cuisine rarely have the taint of chef about them, though given the ambience of food in France, a little pinch of the haute would not be unexpected. And the recipes taste good. Best of all, you won’t need a brigade of kitchen slaveys.
*Next: A list of facsimile cookbooks for the curious cook and some discussion of French regional cooking.
© 2011 C. Bertelsen
MAY YOU FEAST WELL AND HAPPILY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON…
David Lebovitz — a whiz of a pastry chef, cookbook author, and food blogger — got me thinking this morning about the meaning of all the glitz and glitter out there, if only I could just get out of my icy driveway.
David is giving away a set of Le Creuset cookware, a gift to him from the French cookware company Le Creuset. To sign up for the random drawing, all you have to do is comment on his post (and arrange for delivery in case you win — easy — but don’t forget, about as of right this minute 1400 [2738 as of 7:09 PM EST on December 20, 2010] other people are standing in line for the prize, too!).
But there’s more to this giveaway than just the cookware. David hones in on the idea of giving and lists a number of charities with an international focus that could use help in this rather rough year for people around the world. If you have a few bucks left after buying stuff for your family and friends, why not consider some of David’s charities? Or one of your own favorites. Mine is Partners in Health, because of my ties to Haiti, where a cholera epidemic is just the latest in a long list of tribulations borne by the Haitian people.
It’s huge reminder of just how lucky most of us are, in spite of whatever setbacks might kick us in the guts when we least expect it.
The holidays demand a lot of people, and sometimes it’s easy to just do the same old thing.
But in case you want to make a stunning Bûche de Noël this year, take a look at these step-by-step instructions from King Arthur Flour and step-by-step assembly from Joe Pastry for making this relative newcomer in the pantheon of French Christmas treats. (Joe includes meringue mushrooms with his and here’s how to whip up those cute little guys … .)
Here’s a stellar Bûche for your visual enjoyment, made and photographed by Pip in the City:
With each gust of drafty air from the front door, the candles shimmer, and the flickering light scintillates off blood-red wine glasses and the golden gilt rimming them. Your mouth rounds in an “O” as you see the table for the first time. The sight never fails to cast its spell as, for a brief moment, the magic sweeps through you. All these small moments add up to the persistent memories looming over every Christmas Future. Yes, you might have kicked your brother’s foot under the table or stuck out your tongue at your sister. You might have rolled your eyes as Aunt Mimi told the same story over and over. And you might have knocked over the bottle of red wine on Mother’s pristine damask tablecloth, its purity forever blemished by your clumsiness. But no matter what you did at the Christmas table as a child, you will still remember the English china that belonged to Grandmother and the thrill of eating real butter instead of margarine. You will still remember the beauty.
Gathering around the table, such a powerful, almost primeval, image.
The other day, Ronelle of MyFrenchKitchen, posted the most stunning photographs of Christmas dinner tables that I have ever seen. And so she got me to thinking about two of the marvelous French blogs* I read. It took a while to find these, let me tell you, so this morning I thought, “Why not share them?’
So here we go, a few of the jewels, odes to the creative (and philosophical) human spirit:
“So welcome here in my French kitchen in Touraine, on the banks of the river Loire. Join me in a cup of coffee and let’s accept that which isn’t always a success in the kitchen OR in life. But mostly, let’s share our passion for all that’s good in life…great food, crazy family life, great friendships, great experiences.”
As for Ronelle’s hand-drawn recipes — fabulous seems like such an overused word, just like “awesome,” but there’s no other way to put it. Take a look.
“We celebrate Epiphany every year here in France with galletes des rois, a custom that involves a lovely mix of rituals that embellish the Christian holiday, coming from all kinds of sources – the cake for the poor, stemming back to the middle ages, the “feve“, symbolizing renewal according to some, the crown symbolizing the French monarchy, but it all centers around the idea that giving creates life and giving can elevate anyone from pauper to king. Generosity of spirit is the little red pill that gets you out of the Matrix. The epiphany that frees us.”
Regarding Lucy’s photographs — no words can describe them, none. See for yourself.
*Both written in English.
© 2010 C. Bertelsen
During this Christmas season, Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons & Tomates will be in a state of flux, assisting Père Noël and St. Nicolas with the festivities here, as well as hibernating and storing up fat (information) for future posts. Needless to say, posting may become sporadic until January 6 (Epiphany).
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, full of delicious dishes and fine company, no coal in your stockings, and time to enjoy life.