Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Best Waffle Shop in Gent

 My friend took me to the best waffle shop in Gent, Belgium, L'Etablissement Max.

 We had a wonderful time.  We were cold from walking around Gent, one of my favorite cities, and we warmed up right away inside Max's.  I think it was more than just good heat.  It was a cheerful bustle, warm colors, good hot food, hot tea, and being with an old friend I love dearly.

 At Max's, they put the delicious whipped cream on the side in a little dish, so that the waffle doesn't get soggy.  The waffles are wonderfully crisp, not like the doughy, pancake-like ones I make at home.  They crunch when you bite into them.  And they look so beautiful, too, all golden, with a snow of powdered sugar on top.

 A little dish next to the tea had tea cookies, cream, sugar, and a little piece of chocolate.

 There is a wonderful story about Max's.  All of the decorations, like this stained glass, (which says coffee, tea, milk,) came from the original family waffle cart.  Max found them in the cellar when he was 10.  His grandmother showed him how to make the waffles, sewed him an apron and cap, and he began his business as a boy, making waffles for weddings and parties.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Istanbul Street Scenes

 From this little cart, you could buy a peeled apple.  

I like the way the scarves on this sumptuous stall look like a curtain.

 We stepped through a doorway and saw a man standing near coals used to put into hookahs,

and here is the hookah cafe.  Men, men, everywhere men.  I kept looking around Istanbul and wondering, where are all the women?

 This man sold peeled apples and melons.

 This man dipped sticks into gooey candy, and wound it around in a beautiful design to make something like a lollipop.

 Look at this tiny, beautiful little shop the size of a closet.

 The spice market was dazzling, and I kept thinking about Nicholas, my chef son, and thinking about how much he would love it.

 Turkish delight!

 I wonder what Mesir Macunu's Aprodisiaque Des Sultans is made of?

 Copper Turkish coffee pots!

 Many people were selling roasted ears of corn and chestnuts.

 This man was making little cakes of a spice mixture which he let us taste, wrapped in a little piece of lettuce.  Spicy and delicious!

 I love the gorgeous shoe shine stands which were all lined up together!  The shoeshine men kept telling me that my shoes were dirty and needed to be cleaned.  It was true, and it made me laugh!

My little boy is holding a top which we bought from a boy selling them.  He played with it most of the time we were walking in Istanbul.  It was attached to a string and he could walk it along the sidewalk.  He's looking at a lot of pastries which he couldn't have because they have nuts in them.

What is the beautiful red food?  I wanted to taste everything.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Vegetable Artist

 I found the most beautiful open market stall this past Wednesday.  First, I saw these cabbages.  They were gorgeous, and over two feet wide.  Make a big circle with your arms, and let your fingers touch in front of you.  Maybe a cabbage would fit in there, maybe not.

 Beauty was everywhere in this stall.  It wasn't just the beauty of the vegetables,  either, but the way they were stacked and arranged.

 That's because this stall belongs to the Vegetable Artist.

 I looked at all the stalls in the market, and nothing could compare to the amazing beauty and freshness and order of this stall.  I'm going back next week!  I just noticed there is rhubarb in this picture!  Rhubarb!  Time for more jam making!

 Look at this huge pile of radishes!  I'm dazzled.

 I saw a chef shopping there, no doubt in part because of the huge fresh herb collection.  Beauty, shape, and color all around.  I told the farmer that his stall was the best in the market.  He gets a prize for a nice smile, too!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fresh Apple Cake 2012

Do you remember this cute little boy and how happy he was to have fresh apple cake at my house a couple of Autumns ago?  He is one of my little friends in New England and I miss him (and his mother) so much!  I was thinking about him today when I made this cake!  Tomorrow I have some friends coming over for the book group we are starting!  Hooray!  Coffee and fresh apple cake, yummy.  I put the recipe over in the margin....I adjusted it a little bit again.  The sugar and butter should be mixed first.