I love France #42: Gougères recipe

I LOVE FRANCE!

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In my younger days in Burgundy, I had an irresistible passion for Gougères.

Une gougère, supposedly coming precisely from Burgundy, is choux dough mixed with cheese, so you could call it a cheese puff. The cheese is commonly grated Gruyère, Comté, or Emmental, but there are many variants and you can really use any kind you want.

We usually eat this slightly warm, as an appetizer. I was served some in a reastaurant in Champagne last Spring!

I always thought is was extremely difficult to do choux dough, and to get the puffy fluffy inside. But some time ago, my sister sent me an extremely easy recipe. I tried right away, and it did work! Since then, I have redone it several times, with variants, and it is always so delicious.

So here is the recipe:

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of grated cheese, Comté or whatever. I even tried with Cheddar. Goat cheese works as well!
  • herbs of Provence, or other
  • optionnal: a pinch of salt – I don’t, as it’s salty enough with the cheese
  • a saucepan
  • a wooden spoon
  • a baking tray
  • parchment paper

WHAT TO DO

  1. Preheat the oven to 390-395 F.
  2. Cut the butter into pieces, and put it with the (salt and) water in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to boil and when the butter is melted, pour at once all the flour in the pan.
  4. Turn down the heat to low, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let the dough “dry”, stirring constantly for 3 minutes (this is really what will make the dough fluffy inside, so don’t stop before the 3 mn).
  5. Remove from heat and break the eggs into the mixture one at a time, stirring constantly and carefully. Wait until each egg is well absorbed into the dough before adding the next.
  6. The dough should look a bit soft, slightly shiny and smooth, but not runny.
  7. Add the grated cheese and herbs, and mix well.
  8. Drop tablespoons of the dough on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. NB: I prefer having many small ones. You can also drop more dough for larger gougères, leaving then enough space between each.
  9. Cook for 20 minutes or longer, until cheese puffs are golden brown.

Mes gougères

 

HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO COOK SOME FRENCH DISH?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?

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I love France #26: A French woman in the US

I LOVE FRANCE!

I plan to publish this meme every Thursday.
You can share here about any book
or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.

Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !
Feel free to grab my button,
and link your own post through Mister Linky,
at the bottom of this post.

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Click on this image if you want to join

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Surprise! Today I was invited by Charlotte at The Book on the Hill, to talk about my experience as a French woman in the US.

So please go to The Book on the Hill, a very neat blog, to read about my impressions. Do they surprise you?

And if you would like to write a French Friday guest post like I did, click here!

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If you link your own post on France,
please if possible
include the title of the book or topic in your link:
name of your blog (name of the book title or topic).
Thanks

I love France #22: Père Lachaise Cemetery

I LOVE FRANCE!

I plan to publish this meme every Thursday.
You can share here about any book
or anything cultural you just discovered related to France, Paris, etc.

Please spread the news on Twitter, Facebook, etc !
Feel free to grab my button,
and link your own post through Mister Linky,
at the bottom of this post.

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One of the things I have always wanted to visit in Paris is the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Père Lachaise Cemetery (French: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, [simtjɛːʁ dy pɛːʁ laʃɛːz]; officially, cimetière de l’Est, “East Cemetery”) is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, France (44 hectares (110 acres)),though there are larger cemeteries in the city’s suburbs.

Père Lachaise is in the 20th arrondissement, and is reputed to be the world’s most visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years. It is also the site of three World War I memorials.

The cemetery is on Boulevard de Ménilmontant. The Paris Métro station Philippe Auguste on line 2 is next to the main entrance, while the station called Père Lachaise, on both lines 2 and 3, is 500 metres away near a side entrance. Many tourists prefer the Gambetta station on line 3, as it allows them to enter near the tomb of Oscar Wilde and then walk downhill to visit the rest of the cemetery.

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The cemetery takes its name from the confessor to Louis XIV, Père François de la Chaise (1624–1709), who lived in the Jesuit house rebuilt in 1682 on the site of the chapel. The property, situated on the hillside from which the king during the Fronde, watched skirmishing between the Condé and Turenne, was bought by the city in 1804. Established by Napoleon in this year, the cemetery was laid out by Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, and later extended.

Père Lachaise Cemetery was opened on 21 May 1804. The first person buried there was a five-year-old girl named Adélaïde Pailliard de Villeneuve, the daughter of a bell-ringer of the Faubourg St. Antoine – I tried to understand what this bell-ringer was about, the closest thing I could come was some kind of position at a police station, maybe!
Napoleon Bonaparte as a consul declared that “Every citizen has the right to be buried regardless of race or religion”.

Although some sources incorrectly estimate the number of interred as 300,000 in Père Lachaise, (I believe that’s the number of the major graves), according to official website of the city of Paris; to date, one million people have been buried there.Along with the stored remains in the Aux Morts ossuary, the number of human remains exceeds 2–3 million in Père Lachaise cemetery.

There are lots of very famous people buried there, not only French, though my photos focus on French people, for the most part


Edith Piaf                                          Henri Salvador

A very popular grave is Edith Piaf‘s  – by the way please say [éditt], like the French, do not pronounce the ‘th’. We had some difficulty finding her, but then we just followed a large group of tourist with their tour guide. Easy!

And we stumbled upon Henri Salvador, another famous French singer, though of course not as popular oversees.

And there are writers!


Marcel Proust                                                                          Colette

Marcel Proust’s link goes to one of my reviews of his great work.

Two other famous people, or rather 3!

Oscar Wilde’s has been visited by so many people who wanted to leave track of their coming, that it is now protected with plexiglass. It does not stop his admirers to leave their red lips kisses and many more graffitis. It is one of the most visited tombs, with some wild parties going on around it sometimes…

But I was much more attracted by this one:

This is the grave of Héloïse and Abélard, probably the most famous lovers of the Middle Ages.

I could go on and on, and you can find a gallery here, and see the list of the most famous people buried there (scroll down to the Burials section.)

I would like to show you now a few whimsical sights:


This is probably the best representation of the expression “time flies” I have ever seen!


Child represented with his dog                     Inventor with his machine!


Memorial to the victims of the Flossenburg concentration camp

I was really intrigued by this one:

It says that the people buried there died at 28,000 feet! I was intrigued and then read that they had been the victims of a balloon accident!

Some tombs are very artistic:


Tomb of an Orthodox prince

Some cool statues:

And some more general views:


If you want more and see by yourself, there’s a fantastic virtual tour, you can see absolutely everything, choose the tombs you want to visit, and wander from street to street.

HAVE YOU EVER VISITED THIS CEMETERY?
WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS

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If you link your own post on France,
please if possible
include the title of the book or topic in your link:
name of your blog (name of the book title or topic).
Thanks