Sunday, 14 July 2013

Wine Lands

Good morning dear readers,

Since I am still on my great adventure without Internet, I want you to familiarise with my home environment: wine lands. Today is the French national day which is actually a perfectly fitting coincidence.
Home sweet home
Before we start the tour, we need to prepare a culinary highlight: the savoury apple & onion tart. It is so easy to make, but such an explosion in your mouth that I cannot keep it back from you. The mixture of the apple's sweetness and the spiciness of the onions are a great meal on a tepid night.

For the pastry: (you can also buy a ready pastry (pate brisee) and leapfrog the first section)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Make your pastry dough. Put the flour and the salt in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add 1/2 of the butter and do a couple 5 second pulses. Add the rest of the butter and do a couple more 5 second pulses. Add the water, a few tablespoons at a time, pulsing briefly after each addition. You need just enough water to form a dough. Remove your dough from the food processor and quickly shape it into a disc, wrap it in plastic and stick it in the fridge to chill.

For the filling:

  • 3 large tart apples
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Caramelise your onions. Toss them in a heavy bottomed pan with the olive oil and salt and cook over low heat approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden. While the dough is chilling and the onions are cooking, peel and slice your apples. Take the onions off the heat and toss them with the apples. Set aside. Roll your dough into a large circle. Lay it in some sort of pan. The edges will fall over the sides. Spread the filling out inside, sprinkle with your shredded cheese and then gently bring the edges over and towards the middle. Bake in a 200 degree oven until the pastry is pale gold (approx. 45 minutes). 
But how to get to the wine lands? My favourite transport is the scooter. It is easy to drive, not too fast in order to get a glimpse of the environment and big enough to take a second person on the back. I would like to explain you how I got to learn to drive this machinery...
... It was my brother who taught me how to do it. Two years younger but while I was allowed to drive a car, he needed an option to be independent. Only a few weeks ago I asked him to show me how to drive such a thing. Once you know how to drive a car, a scooter is more driving a bike - easy. However, I was glad to have my brother around me who showed me where what was and who laughed at my failure attempts in the beginning. Everyone is still alive. Even the scooter. And my brother, too.
Since I now know how to handle it I'd like to take it every single minute when the sun shines. It gives a feeling of liberty and reminds me of a lot of fantastic summer movies.
Three summer movies worth watching
Finally arrived in the wine lands, it is time to unpack the basket and to start eating the savoury tart. Stop! Not without the fitting beverage. For such a perfect summer day, a cool Cidre is needed. It is made out of apples (a little alcoholic) and complements the culinary meal.
Drink Cidre and you will live a long life - that's my credo
Maybe it is now your turn to begin your trip. It might be for a romantic picnic or another special occasion. And you don't need the wine lands around you to get this feeling - just imagine them: You might want to watch movies like Roman Holidays (I love Audrey Hepburn!), sit in your garden or listen to some music.

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