Archive for the ‘France’ Category
Posted by infinitygoods on February 14, 2008
Posted in art, February 14, Flickr, France, Holidays, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, love, Photography, romance, Romantic, Ti Adoro, Valentine, Valentine's Day | Tagged: amour, cygnes, Flickr, Francois et Fier de L’Etre, heart, l'amour, La St. Valentin, lake, Les Noeuds Et L’Amour, love, loves, photo, photographe, photographie, Photography, St. Valentin, St. Valentine's Day, swan lake, swans | 1 Comment »
Posted by infinitygoods on January 4, 2008
French families have an Epiphany tradition to celebrate the Magi each January 6. Even non-religious families celebrate because they have such fond childhood memories and the galette, a covered almond tart or pie, is so good that they just can’t leave it only to the Christians.
I think you should adopt it too because your children will love the game (adults enjoy it too) and all your taste buds will rejoice. The recipe is easy and fast too if you don’t have a French bakery near you.
You’ll have to “draw a king.” After a fancy holiday dinner, everyone eats the Galette Des Rois (Mages). Inside the covered pie is a “feve” or a small ceramic figure or even just a fava bean or button. The figures are traditionally of the Baby Jesus, but can be of any of the nativity pieces, of a champagne bottle, a lucky clover, a horseshoe or anything symbolizing good luck for the New Year.
The mother or hostess cuts and serves the pie pieces while the youngest child gets under the table or simply closes his eyes to tell the server to whom each piece should go to without being able to peek at the little hidden figure.
When someone finds the figure, they are crowned King or Queen and everyone toasts to them with Champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider, and none will prevent you from drinking soda or milk if you prefer. Each time the King drinks everyone says “The King drinks!”
Then that person discretely places the figure in the glass of someone of the opposite sex so that the King has a Queen or vice versa. Everyone waits for the Queen to find her figure in her glass and when she drinks, everyone says “The Queen drinks!” The King and Queen wear their crowns all evening.
When children are participating, the mother strategically makes sure that one of the children gets the treasured figure. Should a parent accidentally become King, that parent should make a child the Queen (or King or Prince), NOT his spouse.
The game is rigged, but the gullible children have no idea and believe that each year they are just the luckiest kids in the whole wide world and it makes them quite happy and excited. It also boosts their self-esteem in a safe manner. You could crown all the children or even everyone present too.
When the game is played only among adults, it is often agreed upon that the King or Queen will host the Feast of the Magi the following year or bring next year’s galette or pie to the party, and everyone looks forward to more good times among good friends or family.
Whether children or adults, the King and the Queen are supposed to have good luck all year long!
You will need 2 crowns. Your children can easily make them out of paper and decorate them by drawing jewels or using stickers or gluing plastic jewels or sequins. It’s an easy and fun craft. Otherwise you can find crowns from the most basic paper to fancy gold plastic or even velvet ones at a party or costume store.
For the figure you can use a bean or a button. Be sure to warn everyone so there is no tragic chocking! If you decide to play each year, you can even buy tiny figures on-line like the ones in the photo or even outside France at some French bakeries. E-Bay also auctions them as they have become collectibles.
Here’s the recipe:
Galette Des Rois
For 4-6 people
- 2 circles of store-bought puff pastry
- 1 1/2 cup of powdered almonds
- 1 1/2 stick of butter (melted)
- 3 eggs
- 1 heaping cup of granulated sugar
- Natural flavoring to taste such as orange flower water, rose water, pure vanilla extract, rum, Amaretto or Grand Marnier
Mix the sugar, butter, 2 eggs, almonds and your chosen flavoring. Evenly spread the mixture on one of the puff pastry circles. Insert your “feve” or a button or bean, and cover with the second circle. Make a pleasant design on the top with the tip of a knife and paint with 1 egg yolk. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden at 325-350 degrees F. depending on your oven.
It is best served warm. You can also serve at room temperature.
Bon Appetit and Bonne Fete Des Rois!!
Posted in Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, Caring, Children, Children's games, children's stories, Christianity, Christmas, consumers, Cookbook, Cookbooks, Cooking, crafts, Cuisine, culture, education, entertainment, Epiphany, fairy tale, Faith, Family, Food, food flavoring, food products, France, Friendship, galette des rois, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, howto, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, New Year, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, Party, Recipe, religion, royal family, royals, royalty, spirituality, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized | Tagged: Balthazarm, Children, Dessert, epiphanie, Epiphany, Family, family tradition, fava bean, Feast of the Magi, feve, France, frangipane, French, galette des rois, Gaspar, kids, king, magi, Melchior, prince, princess, queen, rois mage, three kings | Leave a Comment »
Posted by infinitygoods on January 2, 2008
Wow, 13 Thursday 13s already.
I never make New Year’s Resolutions other than resolving NOT to make resolutions! Here’s 13 reasons why the top 13 resolutions around the world fail.
- Lose weight: Doomed from the start because it’s almost impossible to escape corn syrup. It’s in everything! Statistics show that weight gain in the United States has gone up 4000 percent since the 1970s and it correlates exactly with the 4000% increase in manufacturers’ use of corn syrup since the 1970s. Corn syrup also increases cravings!!
- Exercise: Most people are too tired all day to exercise and when you add to the equation that you have to drive both to and from the gym (in my case it would be a 25 mile round trip to the nearest gym) it makes the whole thing futile unless you can give all of us a few more hours in the day.
- Diet: We all have the best intentions until our ALREADY STARVED stomachs get tempted by the aroma of pizza or warm chocolate chip cookies.
- Write to far away relatives: Tomorrow I’ll write to my aunt, but when tomorrow comes, well my dear, Scarlett said it best, “Tomorrow is another day!”
- Be a better spouse/child/friend: If we couldn’t do it on Thanksgiving or on Christmas Day, what makes you think that we can miraculously do it by
procrastinatingwaiting until January 1.
- Stop procrastinating: Some people do procrastinate because they just don’t want to do something, but most of the time, people just don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the TO DO list. Give all of us another few more hours in the day AND the energy to do it, and I guarantee you we’ll all procrastinate a whole lot less. Until then, that resolution is guaranteed to be broken quickly.
- Get more sleep: If you live in the city, be sure to pass a law forbidding garbage trucks to stagnate under your window and beep when they back out with a 13-point turn. While you’re at it, pass a law to forbid all traffic, all honking, all loud neighbors, all barking dogs until after you have woken up on your own and are well-rested. If you live in the country, make sure the rooster is blind and your neighbor has agreed to milk the cows and do all your morning chores. And above all, regardless of where you live, be absolutely sure that you do not have any children under the age of 50.
- Keep a clean home: Unless you want to get rid of the dirt-tracking, slobbering dog, get rid of the germ-carrying, toy-scattering kids, maybe even the food-eating, clothe-wearing spouse, that’s going to be a tough one. Even at the Carlsbad caves in New Mexico, they have to spend thousands of volunteer hours dusting and picking dirt and lint out of the stalagmites each year and nobody even lives there. You do LIVE in your house, don’t you?
- Quite smoking/drinking/and God-forbid taking drugs: These are all substances which affect your brain receptors. You not only have to get rid of a nasty habit, but you have to get your brain and your physiology to stop reacting. With very hard work and lots of will-power you might be able to quit, but your body will always be addicted. It would be much easier to resolve to never use and abuse these substances in the first place.
- Reduce stress overall: LOL! LOL! When I hear people say that it reduces MY stress because it makes me laugh so much. Of course this is probably the easiest resolution to achieve. All you have to do is die and go to Heaven. That’s all. Now, be careful! Make sure you DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT, commit suicide under any circumstance, because then you’ll die and go to hell!
- Reduce stress at work: If you work with people, it’s impossible. Unless maybe if you work with French people, because I seem to recall Napoleon saying “Impossible is not French.” You can’t work with machines or robots because they are designed and programed by people. Now maybe if you want to follow in Jane Goodall’s footsteps and go to the jungle to live with animals. They say animals reduce stress — as long as they’re not trying to eat you!
- Get out of debt: First thing is to sell your house because a mortgage is a 30-year debt. Sell your car too since you don’t want car payments. Cut up your credit cards which will of course wreck your credit score, but that’s OK since you don’t want any debt.
- Save money: That is another way of saying join the rat race, because to save money you have to earn money with a job and you have to work your little rat wheel faster than INFLATION. Also, don’t believe all those commercials that say you can save money if you go to their stores, because what they conveniently forget to tell you is that to save that money, you have to spend money first, so you’ll have to stat in that giant rat race.
If I didn’t deter you from making resolutions, just remember that it takes at least three weeks to form a good habit, so don’t give up before then, and best of luck and Happy New Year to you and yours!
If you want to see the list of Thursday 13 participants, just click here.
Posted in America, banned, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Car, Caring, carnival, cars, Children, Cooking, culture, diet, entertainment, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Health, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Letter Writing, life, Mail, manufacturers, natural foods, New Year, New Year's Eve, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, Organizing, religion, science, Science Experiments, spirituality, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips, U.S., USA, Website, writing | Tagged: abuse, be better, clean home, corn syrup, diet, dieting, drinking, drugs, entertainment, exercise, gain weight, get more sleep, get out of debt, God, gym, gymnasium, Heaven, Hell, housecleaning, humor, improve self, improvement, lack of sleep, Letter Writing, life, lose weight, manufacturers, money, new, New Year, new year resolutions, obesity, obesity statistics, procrastinating, quit, quit drinking, quit drugs, quit smoking, reduce stress, reduce stress at work, reduce stress overall, Resolution, resolutions, save money, sleep, smoking, stop procrastinating, stress, substance, substance abuse, sugar substitute, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, work, write, write letters | 8 Comments »
Posted by infinitygoods on December 17, 2007
This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here and Part 2 is here.
Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.
Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!
Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of hot chocolate, croissants and panettone. I also love the French tradition of the 13 desserts, although I’ve never done it for my immediate family since there are only three of us. This year though, I’ve come up with a great idea. I’ll have the requisite Yule log or buche de Noel, and I’ll buy 12 individual-sized pastries from the bakery. We’ll have one bite from each! I think it will do the trick of keeping a tradition while not having enough dessert to feed two armies. Year-round I do not have a particularly sweet tooth, but I associate Christmas with lots of wonderful food and lots of sweets of all kinds. I have a huge extended family. We’re talking hundreds of people when all the generations get together. On my mom’s side of the family, we would do a potluck-style Christmas dinner. Each adult would bring one item for the dinner. It was that nuclear family’s contribution to the dinner and Christmas gift to the entire extended family. One person would bring caviar, another would bring smoked salmon, another oysters, another champagne, another boudins blanc (white sausages), etc., etc., etc. When you have so many people gathering, you also use the entire home, including the family room, formal entry and the bedrooms. My paternal grandfather would have buffet tables in every room. We would go from room to room and visit with family while munching on hors d’oeuvres scattered around the entire house. I remember one gathering where some of my cousins and I discovered the room with the red and black caviar canapes. We were very hungry and we discovered very good caviar. Not too salty and no fishy taste. When we left the room, there were almost none left for the adults. You snooze, you loose!
16. Favorite Christmas song? I have far too many to pick one. It was already very difficult to pick a top 13 for a previous post, but you can click here to see which ones are some of my favorites, and you can click here to see why I appreciate the 12 Days of Christmas even more now than I used to.
17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both. I have the misfortune of living far away from home, so most years I am the one who has the chore of traveling hundreds of miles during the busy holiday season. From time to time, the mountain thankfully comes to Mohammed, though.
18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeers? If you give me enough time I will, but off the tip of my tongue, Rudolph is the only one who ever comes to mind. Did you know Rudolph was invented by a Montgomery Wards employee? If you are too young to remember Montgomery Wards, it was a department store similar to Sears. It was the first department store to trust me with a student store-credit card back when I was still a teenager. I thoroughly miss that store and Woolworth, too. How could they possibly close American institutions like that? What a pity.
19. Angel on the tree top or a star? I have several of both, and Mary with baby Jesus, and a needle, and a chandelier-like tree top. Remember I have trees in every single room.
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? As a child we always opened gifts on Christmas Day. Notice, I did not say Christmas Morning. My mom would torture us by not allowing any gifts, not even one, to be opened until afternoon. In the name of Christmas not being about gifts, but about God, my mom decided that the gift opening would almost be an afterthought. There would also be only one from Santa and one from my parents. Thank goodness for relatives, though with so many relatives, most did not give gifts to all of us children, but I usually received two or three more gifts that way, so at least I was not deprived. When I got married, my husband’s family was used to opening all presents on Christmas Eve so it worked out very well for us. Christmas Eve was at his parents’ house, Christmas Day was at mine, and nobody argued or got feelings hurt. Our son opens gifts on Christmas Morning as soon as we are done with our special Christmas breakfast.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Atheists trying to jam their own beliefs down our throats because they can’t at least live and let live. Too many of them don’t just not believe in God, but are actually anti-God and make their own beliefs into a religion.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer the old-fashioned kind of Christmas ornaments on a real, green Christmas tree. I also like my very artificial silver foil tabletop tree with tiny gold ball ornaments and “S” shaped swirl hooks. The white lights and even daylight reflect on the foil and the ornaments, so it does look quite stuning. Being silver, it looks very much at home even past New Year, and can be decorated with a timepiece theme or numbers/years. That tree reminds me of the tree my parents had bought in the late ’60s. I see no use for ornaments representing licensed products like Spider-Man, Star Wars and the like, not that I have anything against these types of things, but because they have nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas.
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Prime rib. My mother-in-law used to make an entire side of cow and it was the very best prime rib ever. No other home cook and no restaurant chef, even ones supposedly specializing in prime rib, can ever compare to hers.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? The best gift ever would be one that only Santa or God (or just maybe my Realtor) could give me. I would like my house to finally sell in this horrible market where my Realtor tells us there is a 12 months inventory in our area and mortgage companies are not even granting loans to anyone but those with extremely fantastic, wonderful, spectacular, stupendous credit.
And here’s a bonus question from me, because this last one is kind of a downer and Christmas should be happy!
25. What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, growing up in Paris, France, my parents would take me to see the large department store windows (it’s similar to the New York City tradition). I would especially like the automatons and anything moving like the toy trains. We would drive on the Champs Elysees with the Arch of Triumph in front of us, getting ever closer, and around Christmas time, the City of Lights would explode with even more lights than the rest of the year. Each year I just could not believe my eyes at the sight of so many lights and so many beautiful things to look at. Between Christmas and Epiphany, my parents would take me to many of the churches in Paris so we could visit Baby Jesus. Each church would have its own gorgeous Nativity set. Some would even have several, and all were antiques, because Paris was not made yesterday.
Posted in Advent, Arts and Crafts, atheist, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Childhood Memories, Children, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, culture, Faith, Family, Food, France, Friendship, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, kill god, life, Memories, Music, Noel, nonbelievers, Paris, religion, Shopping, spirituality, Tips, Tradition | Tagged: Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Buche de Noel, Christmas, entertainment, Epiphany, France, Friendship, fun, Getting to Know Your Friends, Holidays, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Noel, Paris, Paris window displays, thirteen deserts, treize desserts, yule log | Leave a Comment »