Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Posts Tagged ‘France’

Adopt The Tradition of the Feast Of The Magi And The French Galette Des Rois Recipe

Posted by infinitygoods on January 4, 2008

galettedesroispostedonflickrby-tn-fnn.jpg 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.

Nativity with  “feves” or little figures collected from year to year from the galettes des rois each Epiphany

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 3

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.

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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.

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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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reader Asks Where To Purchase Quality Foods Online

Posted by infinitygoods on November 30, 2007

As my regular readers know, healthy and quality foods are important to our family. One of my readers has asked if I know of quality food sources online, and yes, I do know a few, but I wonder if the rest of my readers know of any others.

So please help us out by commenting. Here is Leo’s complete question posted in response to yesterday’s Wow! Every Cookie Imaginable!:

wow…thats all I can say…wow! I love this blog!!!!
Do you by chance, know of any quality online food services? I am starting to order all my food online because of various reasons. (Health being one of them) So far I have found 2 services, Fresh Dining (an LA company) and Celebrity Foods, but you have to call them so they can talk to you about your need. I would really like any suggestions that you may have, so I can widen my list of quality places online where I can order healthy food from.
Thank you and have a great night or day…depending on when you read this. LOL!!!!

Nov 30, 1:33 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Approve | Spam ] — View post “WOW! Every Cookie Imaginable!”

Leo, here’s the sources I can personally vouch for. (Click on the links.)

1. whole-foods.jpg Whole Foods Market — They are headquartered in Texas and have regular stores throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. While they do deliver, their delivery policy however varies by store so you need to check with your local stores. Whole Foods carries a wide variety of foods, cleaners and body products.

2. country-sun.jpgCountry Sun Natural Foods is a small, very friendly store in Palo Alto, Calif. Their online store carries groceries, organic wine, vitamins, herbs and body care products. They have monthly sales and they provide senior discounts. If you don’t see what you want, but they carry that item in the brick and mortar store, they will usually add it online just for you. If they don’t carry it, they will often special order it or at least point you in the right direction. Yes, they really are that friendly. You can see what I said about them in the post Flavor and Flowers at Farmer’s Market. Your previous shopping carts will be remembered for 60 days for faster reordering too. They also publish Taste For Life Magazine which is available instore and shipped with every order.

3. Infinity Goods — Yes, that’s us! We are an online Amazon Affiliate store. Amazon infinitylogo.jpgnow has a grocery store. We have requested more health foods and quality foods for our affiliate store at infinitygoods.com. For now we carry products in our gourmet foods section like Alaska wild salmon, Omaha Steaks (and other Omaha foods), maple syrup, stevia and even whole black winter truffles direct from France, and much more. We will start carrying more foods as Amazon makes it available. If you want a specific food which Amazon carries, but we do not have listed, we will add it to our products for you, just let us know. When you shop at Infinity Goods, you use the same Amazon shopping cart, products come to you directly from Amazon and we have the same Amazon return policy. So be sure to shop with us whenever a product attracts your eye. You’ll be helping me and my small family.

4. Fabrique Delices — It is a French charcuterie or delicatessen. It’s not a one-stop fabrique-delices.jpgshopping since they only provide deli products, but they are excellent. They serve the Pope and the White House, but remain a good value for the quality. I also mentioned them in my Farmer’s Market post, along with a couple of small family businesses with online stores, Prevedelli Farms and Bolani and Sauce.

Dear Readers, if you can, please don’t forget to post your own suggestions for Leo and all of us. It will be greatly useful to all who visit here. In advance, I thank all of you.

Posted in America, American Cookery, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Britain, British, Cooking, culture, Family, Food, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, Kosher, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, natural foods, novel, novel in 30 days, nutrition, organic food, organic foods, Salads, Salmon, Sandwich, Science Experiments, Scientists, Shopping, Tips, U.S., USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Pope Names Iraq’s 1st. Cardinal, 22 Others

Posted by infinitygoods on November 25, 2007

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Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans was applauded as he knelt before the Pope to receive his gold ring of office making him history’s first Cardinal in Iraq. Delly an Iraqi-born will continue his service as Prince of the Church in Baghdad.

Pope Benedict XVI named 22 other cardinals from the United States, Italy, France, Ireland, Germany, Spain, India, Argentina, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, Senegal and Brazil.

The Pope urged the cardinals to pray for world peace, particularly in Iraq and the Holy Land. The Pope stated Delly’s elevation to cardinal was an expression of solidarity and sympathy with Iraq’s Christians.

Benedict XVI also named Monsignor Sean Brady, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, now giving Ireland a total of 3 cardinals.

Pope Benedict XVI stated he hoped this week’s Annapolis Middle East Summit would relaunch negotiations “to find a just and definitive solution to the conflict which for 60 years has bloodied the Holy Land and provoked so many tears and suffering among two peoples.”

  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in 9/11, America, blog, blogging, British, Christianity, culture, Faith, God, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Iraq, Islam, Italy, Judaism, life, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, News, novel, novel in 30 days, politics, religion, spirituality, terrorism, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Vatican, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Popular Request: Update to Thursday Thirteen

Posted by infinitygoods on November 2, 2007

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Here’s an addition to my Thursday Thirteen list by popular demand from e-mails and because of Wolfie’s and 4urpets’ comments asking which were my favorites. So Wolfie and all the others, here’s an annotated list of the 13 cities I have lived in.I liked all but one town. My favorites would be Paris, Menton, Monte Sereno and Palo Alto.

  • Almaden, CA — I love this place by the lake with windsurfers and a man-made beach.
  • Calabasas, CA — A fabulous and safe town today with lots of family-friendly activities, but a hot, dusty, middle-of-nowhere-town back in the days when we lived there, yet it remains one of my favorites and one of the places where I was happiest.
  • Chatsworth, CA — Home of Lucy and Desi Arnaz, but has become the porn capital of the world. It changed from a horse property area to a factory and gang infested area so we moved pronto.
  • Malibu, CA — I had the privilege of living in this beautiful beach town with wonderful people. I have many fabulous memories as I went to college there and was married there. My heart stops each time I hear on the news they are in peril once again from fire, mud slides, rock slides, etc..
  • Menton, France — Has a fabulous lemon and orange parade each summer. Think Pasadena’s Rose Parade with citrus. The tomatoes are to die for, the sea is warm, and we had a spectacular view of the Italian and French Riviera and Monte Carlo.
  • Monte Sereno, CA — Smells like jasmine as it grows everywhere. Whenever I need to relax, I visualize floating in my pool looking up at the gorgeous blue sky and the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze.
  • Palo Alto, CA — Home of Stanford, Hewlett Packard and many more Silicon Valley companies. It’s a good town for families and history and culture buffs like me. The people are very conscious of their beautiful and clean environment and it’s a stone throw from San Francisco.
  • Paris, France — The most beautiful city I have ever seen in my life.
  • Port Hueneme, CA — Another beach town. Do you notice a trend? I love water. Water refreshes my soul.
  • Santa Cruz, CA — Another beach town, but I desperately hope I will never be forced to live there again. The nature is gorgeous, a few people are extremely nice, but most are still stuck in the hippy, druggy ’60s. It is dirty and crowded. I have traumatic memories of living there. Sorry Santa Cruz!
  • Thousand Oaks, CA — They planned a cultural center for 30 years, but they waited until I moved out to finally build it. While I was there it was hickville. Today it deservedly gets voted each year as one of the best towns in California.
  • West Hills, CA — It’s a nice bedroom suburb community of Los Angeles, but there’s not much to say about it.
  • Woodland Hills, CA — See comment about West Hills, although it is busier as one of LA’s major business streets, Ventura Boulevard, runs right through it.

So there you have it. Be sure to see my next Thursday Thirteen because it’s related to this list which in part was why I had elected not to annotate this one, but I’m glad you’re interested enough to send me your requests.

And, don’t forget, I’m participating in National Blog Post Month (and National Novel Writing Month at the same time — just because I insanely love to write), so although tomorrow is Saturday, I’ll be posting. I’ll be writing in my blog every single day for the month of November so please stop by and visit me.

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  • Don’t know what NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are? Read all about it here and here.
  • Want to know why I’m participating in both? Click here.

Posted in America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, culture, Home, Internet, Malibu, NaBloPoMo, NaNoWriMo, National Blog Post Month, National Novel Writing Month, novel, novel in 30 days, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

You Can’t Trust Anybody These Days!

Posted by infinitygoods on October 12, 2007

As I turned on the TV news today, I was bombarded with recall after recall. On the headlines: infant cold and cough medicine with even the big names like Tylenol, more pot pies, more toys including Mattel again, baby strollers, carriers, etc. with Winnie the Pooh and made in Korea, lipsticks including name brands like L’Oreal and Dior with the prestige of Paris, but actually subcontracted just like Mattel, and the list went on too.

So what’s happening here? Are the government agencies more stringent than they have been in the past and these recalls would have been under the radar until now? Have companies gone insane and they are trying to kill consumers, the very hand that feeds them? Have some evil forces or the 9/11 Terrorists infiltrated even our formerly most trusted name brands in an attempt to kill even our youngest and our psyches? Are Communist countries like China behind it all?

None of it makes sense, but one thing is sure, the enemy, whoever it may be, is lurking behind every product these days.

Forget name brand loyalty. Forget Tylenol, Mattel, Dior. Spending more won’t be a guarantee of getting a decent product, let alone quality.

Forget saving money at the local dollar store or discount outlet. You’ll surely be putting your life at stake with just about every product there being made in China.

As my grandmother used to say, “we don’t know what to eat and drink anymore.” And what was true then, is mind boggling now. And now add “we don’t know what to breathe anymore” too, because even the smell of popcorn is killing us. (See my related blog post.)

It’s no solution for those of us living in cities, but if things don’t get better soon, at this rate, I foresee having to grow our own food, make our own toys, revert back to milk paint, feed our pets people food — actually with our own dog having been killed by the last pet food recall, we’re ALREADY doing that!

It’s a scary world out there. Self-sufficiency is starting to look good not just to wackos, but to the rest of us too. Horse and buggy here we come!

Posted in 9/11, America, Baby, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Car, cars, consumers, Cooking, culture, diet, Family, FDA, Food, Food and Drug Administration, food flavoring, food products, government agencies, Health, Home, humor, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Iraq, Islam, man-made chemicals, manufacturers, Medicine, News, OSHA, politics, popcorn, popcorn lung, terrorism, Toys, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, war on terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »