Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

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What am I celebrating on tattoo Tuesday?

July 14, 2015

bastille day

La Fête nationale de la belle France – le quatorze juillet!

Americans have The 4th of July; the French have Bastille Day. On July 14, 1789, an outraged group of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a fortress and prison in France where prisoners of influence were held, in hopes of capturing ammunition.

Shortly thereafter, King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette took refuge in Versailles as the violent peasants pillaged and burned châteaux, and destroyed records of feudal dues—this reaction is known as the grande peur (great fear).

For the peasant class, the Bastille stood as a symbol of the hypocrisy and corruption of the aristocratic government – controlled mostly by nobility and clergy. This important event marked the entry of the popular class into the French Revolution.

The French recognize Bastille Day as the end of the monarchy and beginning of the modern republic. The lasting significance of the event was in its recognition that power could be held by ordinary citizens, not in the king or in God.

Credit: Ricco Villanueva Siasoco

tower

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Where am I today?

May 13, 2015

 

 

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What am I looking at?

October 22, 2014

eiffelnight

If you stand underneath the Eiffel Tower at night, this is the view you will have.

eiffelday

And this is what it looks like in daylight.

The Eiffel Tower is my all time favorite building- edging out the Chrysler Building and the Terminal Tower in MHT.

Some facts:

The tower weighs around 10,000 tonnes.

There are just over 18,000 metallic parts in the tower, held together by 2.5 million rivets.

They were assembled by 121 workers, while 50 engineers and designers produced the blueprints.

It shrinks by about six inches in cold weather, and can grow by six inches on a sunny day.

It’s painted with 60 tons of paint every few years to stop it rusting.

It sways a couple of inches in the wind.

It’s the most-visited paid monument on Earth.

The photos and the facts are from Buzzfeed.

eiffeltourblueprint

Scans of the original blueprints and a 360 degree tour can be found at the Eiffel Tower website.

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What day am I talking about today?

August 14, 2012

V-J Day – August 14, 1945 – This is the day that the surrender of Japan took place effectively ending World War II.  Although the official surrender ceremony did not take place until September 2, of that year, when the surrender documents were signed aboard the USS Missouri.  However, August 14, saw celebrations across the nation including Times Square where this famous photo was snapped by Alfred Eisenstaedt of Life Magazine.  Eisenstaedt’s photo captured the jubilance that accompanied the announcement of the end of the fighting.  Celebrations took place not only across the nation, but across the world among the Allies.  Below, American servicemen and women celebrate in Paris on the Champs Elysees.

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What am I celebrating?

July 21, 2012

National Creme Brulee Day – July 21.  How terrific is that – a dessert with its own holiday. . . and one of my favorite desserts to boot!  This is one of the dishes that I try whenever I find it on the menu.  And I have rules – just give me straight creme brulee.  It does not need mango, or key lime, or chocolate, or anything else.
One of the best creme brulee I have had was in a little bistro in Paris off the Place d’Etoile. (Enough showing off.)

The absolute best creme brulee is made by my friend, Betty, who has the little white ramekins and the long-handled iron that she heats up on the stove in order to brulee each creme individually.  She does not make these often enough.

There are a lot of different stories about the origin of this dish.  Here is one of them.

And here is a recipe from Alton Brown:

Ingredients

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.