Friday, March 26, 2010

Renoir's Strawberries ~ Feasting On Art

I was born on the same date as Pierre-Auguste Renoir --Feb 25th. This could be why Renoir (1841 to 1919) has always captured my imagination. We are celestially related.

Luncheon of the Boating Party 1881

I love what he does with fruit and vegetables in his wonderful blue dishes. So many of his paintings involve food and restaurants or en plein air picnics or just beautifully composed still lifes.

Fruits from the Midi 1881

In his hands, even the humble onion looks spectacular with his heroic brushwork.

Onions 1881

When Megan at Feasting on Art encouraged her fans with a contest to use this beautiful painting as inspiration (as she does brilliantly in every post) I wracked my brain to come up with something interesting befitting the challenge.

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Strawberries, 1905, 
oil on canvas, 46 x 28 cm, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, France

Strawberries in hand, I decided to keep them in their perfect pure state and cook around them. I had my lemon and decided the little blue and white pot would have Martha Stewart’s Basil Jelly inside. You may think making jelly is just too much for a recipe but I must tell you… I use it for everything since it’s divine on fresh fruit and magnificent with fish and chicken.

As for the St. Germain elderflower liqueur , TRUE CONFESSION -- I was completely seduced by the provocative ad campaign and the stunning bottle so I bought some! The great thing is that it tastes amazing with an indescribable sweetness and delicacy that does lovely things to a Crème Anglaise and the bottle is so Fin de siècle which seems perfect for this recipe.

The glass is English 1850’s, the bowl is Japanese Meiji Period

Strawberries with Lemon-Almond Tuiles, St Germain Crème Anglaise. and Basil Jelly

Pour crème anglaise in your dish of choice, drizzle on some basil jelly and add strawberries and then enjoy the sheer decadence of dipping the strawberries in the thick scented cream whilst munching on those tuiles. You can also have a dish of jelly and one of crème anglaise! You may want to gild that lily and have St. Germain on the side. It tastes like Spring with alcohol.

Lemon Almond Tuiles Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup almonds, ground fine

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
 (start with 3 T and see if that is enough)
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large egg whites

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Juice and Zest of 1 small lemon
2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted 

Preheat oven to 325° F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.

In a bowl whisk together ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in whites, butter, and almond extract until combined.

Drop rounded teaspoons of batter about 4 inches apart onto baking sheet and with back of a spoon spread into 3 1/2-inch rounds. Sprinkle each cookie with about 1/2 tablespoon sliced almonds.

Bake the cookies in the middle of your oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
As the cookies become done, remove them from baking sheet, 1 at a time, with a thin spatula. Cool cookies completely and transfer to an airtight container.

Make more cookies with remaining batter in same manner, replacing parchment paper with fresh sheet for each batch (if you're using parchment paper instead of a Silpat). Tuiles may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

St Germain Bottle

St Germain Crème Anglaise

3 large egg yolks

¼ c fine sugar
(if you don’t have it, whirl regular around in a spice grinder or blender)
½ t. vanilla extract
1 c milk

1 c heavy cream
1-2 T St Germain (elderflower liqueur)

Lightly whisk the egg yolks and sugar together.

Place the milk and cream into a saucepan. Bring almost to the boil. Whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then return to the pan and cook over medium heat.

Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Strain through a fine sieve and allow it to cool to room temperature with plastic wrap placed directly onto the surface of the mixture and then refrigerate until cold.

Purple Basil Jelly from Martha Stewart

1 ½ c packed purple basil leaves, washed and dried
Zest of 1 lemon
3 whole cloves
2 allspice berries
1 ¾ c orange juice
½ c balsamic vinegar
4 c sugar
3 oz liquid pectin (I tried the powdered Organic variety but it didn’t work properly)

Crush the basil leaves and place in a saucepan with the zest, cloves, allspice, oj and vinegar and bring slowly to a boil. Transfer to a bowl and steep at least 30 minutes.

Strain and press on solids to measure 2 C and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar and boil. Add pectin and boil 1 minute more. Remove from heat, skim and pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
or Foodie Friday
****My poor little Shiz just passed away suddenly... so this blog is dedicated to him.... may he have endless bones in heaven!
****** Shiz was buried in a beautiful place with a great view overlooking a pond. Our friend Robert who has sung at Carnegie Hall helped us sing Amazing Grace. He was buried with 35 million year old amber perfume, ambergris, a dot of 1850 madeira and his favorite dog treats as befitting royalty(well maybe not the dog treat part). Boy is that going to confuse an archeologist!


Becky said...

Thank you! Your blog is always a delight, of course. Now I'm itching to get my hands on some St. Germain

La Table De Nana said...

If not for you..I don't think I would have pegged the Master Renoir for the strawberries..and onion paintings..I am shy to admit but it's true..
You did a great job with you recreation of a still life..bringing it back to life..
Thanks for thinking of me it is is very nice .

For the life of me I don't see the ad for you for Oxford.

Deana Sidney said...

Becky> It is really great stuff. They even have a small trial bottle in some liquor stores if you don't want to spring for the big bottle!
La Table de Nana> Thanks for mentioning I was a little obscure about the ads... now fixed. Anything commercial looking ... just click be it Crocs, or phones or honey... it think I get a 5¢ a click for the little ones and 50¢ or more for the big ones! I agree about the pegging... I had forgotten about those still lifes until Megan at Feasting on Art jogged my memory!!!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

I love seeing all of these strawberry dishes popping up on my favourite blogs! Congratulations on your awards too and I hope you get to Oxford-I clicked! :D

Ginny said...

Awesome! I love what you came up with! I love combining art with food! :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

I would be enticed by the St. Germain bottle too! Classic and sophisticated. The creme anglaise sounds amazing!

Thank you so much for the award! said...

I am so sorry for your loss. He looks like such a loveable little fella too.

The recipes sound wonderful! I think this may be our next "lay in bed and talk all night" spread.

Stella said...

Awe, poor puppy. I really wish dogs lived longer. My Dad was just lamenting the other day about how he feels like he's had so many good dogs 'die on him'-he said it in a sort of guilty way. I quickly comforted him reminding him that they don't live as long as we do...Anyway, I hope he has endless bones too.
Oh, and that middle photo is awesome. AWESOME! I also want a bottle of the St. Germain-so easy it is to convince me (smile)...

Mary Bergfeld said...

Congratulations on your well-deserved awards. Condolences on the loss of your pup. I love the still life you fashioned. I have always loved Renoir's ability to show animation in the faces of the people he painted. Quite different than his contemporaries. On your recommendation I'm going to try the purple gelee. I'm curious as to how it tastes. Have a great day...Mary

Barbara said...

Feasting on Art is such a super idea! I've enjoyed all the posts I've read...I never seem to have all my ducks in a row for either this or Jain's food from your books idea. Oh well.

I do have a bottle of St. Germain elderflower liqueur sitting on my counter....I've used it in a couple recipes but never thought of adding it to my creme anglaise. Will do so now! My MIL used to make a Strawberries Romanoff to kill for. Be fun to put it in there instead of brandy.
Congrats on your award!
I was sorry to hear about your puppy...I'm sure he is happily chewing away up there!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful job you did of recreating a Renoir. Beautiful! I want to try to enter this also but time is running out! I love the concept.

How cool is it that your birthday is the same date as Renoir's - and yours is exactly one month before mine :) Thank you so much for thinking of me - you are so kind!

I'm so sorry about your sweet pooch :(

Deana Sidney said...

Lorraine> thanks for clicking! It's good we're using lots of strawberries.. the farmers here are having a terrible time with prices too low... they may just dump their crop of berries!
Ginny> art and food is the inspiration of Feasting on Art... I am a poor acolyte!
Freshlocaland best> Astor even has small bottles!
Whitefarmhouse>Thanks for the kind words. He will be missed... the dessert is really great for enjoying a deux!
Stella>Thanks,Glad you liked the photos! You will love the liqueur!
Mary> The jelly is amazing... I've been making it for 20 years! I agree with what you said about Renoir... a few brushstrokes and a person's soul is captured!
Barbara> I would have added you to the award list but you already had one!! You are so generous to everyone! You will love the liqueur in cream or a Romanoff.. Gosh, haven't had that in years!
Savoringtimeinthekitchen> Thanks, Happy birthday!! I'm sorry about the pooch too... he was my mom's dog and I took him when she died last year. He was a scamp and a charmer.

Deanna said...

Wow thanks! I'm flattered. I'm making the clam pizza recipe you sent me today and I am so excited. The basil jelly is getting bookmarked since my basil plants just sprouted.

Deana Sidney said...

Deanna> You're welcome. I hope you enjoy the pizza and the basil jelly will knock your socks off... it's great drizzled over berries all by itself...I sometimes just do that with a little grains of paradise sprinkled over it.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this award, I have to think about it
It's so refreshing to be on your blog, and I love so much paintings and painters, it's a real joy to read you
My favorite painter is Modigliani, he saw Renoir in the south of France when Renoir was very old, combinating painting and cooking is so wonderfull !

Anonymous said...

A gorgeous creation, I love the idea of purple basil jelly!

Aimee said...

I love yur stories and recipes.s Looks sooo yummy.

I clicked on the links because I think its for a great cause-sending you to Oxford..

Sorry about your dog:(

shaz said...

Wow, what an amazing dish. No wonder you were seduce, that bottle is so sexy, and the basil jelly sounds perfect.

Good luck with Oxford!

So sorry to hear about your dog.

Memória said...

Woah. So much in one post!

1. The paintings by Renoir are absolutely beautiful. I love his paintings.

2. I was born in February, too!

3. Your strawberry dish is BEAUTIFUL! Wow. I love the photo and the old goblet.

4. Congratulations on the award!! you deserve it!

5. I hope you get to go to Oxford! That would be awesome. I would love to go, too.

6. I'm so sorry about your loss. :(

Take care.

The Cooking Photographer said...

I'm so sorry you lost your dog child! My heart is breaking for you. :(

Your work, your pictures, are art. Beautiful Art. I hope you had a Happy Birthday.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good evening dear one! Thank you for coming to my whimsical theatre was such fun playing with my dear friends and their characters. I adore your pictures and the recipes look wonderful! Thank you so much for coming. Have a wonderful weekend, Anita

Unknown said...

Sooooooo sorry about your little doggie passing away. Hopefully wherever he is he is eating something as lovely as that strawberry desert. It was beautifully presented.
Great post. I was not really familiar with Renoir's fruit pictures (though I know that first picture quite well.
Congrats on the award, wishing you many many more. Your blog is awesome and you totally deserve it.
Have a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

Megan @ FeastingonArt said...

Oh my! Such a good entry, thank you so much for participating!

Deana Sidney said...

Chapot> I love my foreign blog friends. It is amazing that we can all relate to one another thanks to Google translate although I am trying to go through the French, Italian and Spanish in the original and I am finding the languages are coming back. It makes the world smaller in a good way but also broadens one's horizons since food still does have regional flavors and it is amazing to try them and be exposed to them. I love Modigliani too! I think I will try some of his art for food inspiration one day... an attenuated dish might be interesting!

Deana Sidney said...

5starfoodie>the jelly will surprise try it!
Aimee> thanks for clicking and glad you liked the recipe...thanks for the good wishes. I miss him already
Shaz> it is a sexy dish!
Memoria> happy birthday! Glad you liked my dish and pics... the glass is small--meant for port and madeira but it packs quite a wallop on camera. Oxford sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Cooking Photographer> coming from you that is high praise indeed.
Thanks for the kind words
Castles,crowns and cottages> Loved your theatre... it was really a wonder!
HH> thanks for the words about The Shiz, he was a dear little beast. I only had him for 9 months after my mother passed... but he took a seat in my heart.
Megan> It was my pleasure to put in a post for your contest... I love your blog and what you do... it was inspiring!

fimere said...

navrée pour ce beau chien, et bravo pour les prix
sans parler de ce magnifique dessert que tu nous proposes
bonne journée

2 Stews said...

I think this is my favorite post of artful and tasty to the last drop. I am making all of it and now I have to try the St. Germaine. How have I missed this?

I am so sorry about the passing of your little sad.

Thanks Deana.

moondiva said...

My heart aches for your lost...your blog is a fine tribute...jumping for treats and loving unconditionally!!
xoxo Deborah & the gang ~..~Sabo ^..^Cece ~..^Sami

Rattlebridge Farm said...

I am so very sorry about your Shih Tzu. Mister has had a couple of close calls. My thoughts are with you.

Faith said...

This is absolutely stunning! Your pictures are seriously museum-quality. I love how you left the strawberries intact and cooked around them...I agree completely, they are perfect in their natural state. :)

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog.

Deana Sidney said...

Fimere>Merci beaucoup pour les paroles aimables ... J'aurais fait les os avec les os pour lui ... mais l'ingrédient était fraises!!!!
2stews>You will love it... easy to get in NYC! I am so glad you liked the post... it was fun... Megan has such a great site!
Moondiva> thanks for stopping by and for the lovely expression... he was a sweet little beastie. Who would have thought that a St Bernard owner could fall for a little guy.
MichaelLeeWest>So sweet... hope your guy Mister lives a long and happy one!
Faith> I am swooning. thanks so much. They were beautiful berries...seemed a shame to muss them up.

Gemma said...

The creaking cookies and the soft cream is a delicious combination. The elder gives a nice aroma to the cream that is perfect with the strawberries. I likes it very much!

Linda said...

Deana...I am so sorry about your sweet little Shiz...
Thank you so much for thinking of me that is so sweet of you. I send the award right back to you...and all the other wonderful food bloggers that have become friends and share their labors of love. I always look forward to coming to visit you are indeed a little bit of sunshine!

Mimi said...

So sorry for the loss of your beloved pup. I love the art and your strawberry dish look incredible. Congratulations on your award.

Deana Sidney said...

Gemma> Those tuiles are crisp and delicious... I've been snacking on them all week!
Linda> Thanks Linda.You have been fun to read and supportive... that is sunshine in my book! ANd you are from Jersey!
Mimi> Thanks so much, the dish is really good!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Love the lemon tuiles..and all the other accompaniments! Superb job

Ken Albala said...

I fell for that exact same St Germain bottle! IT was the ad that did it, but agree, luscious. Ken

Valen said...

Oh my gosh this looks good!

Ingrid de Villiers said...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! You have a great blog as well and I enjoyed all the art pieces...I am a big Renoir fan...thanks to my husband whom also paints (I am his biggest fan).

Sorry to hear about your doggy....are you going to get a new puppy?

Deana Sidney said...

Kitchen Butterfly>thanks for stopping by... I'm so pleased you like the recipe.
Ken> In NYC the posters were 6' tall and there were often 10 of them on a stretch of wall... they were HUGE and charmingly naughty in a French Postcard kind of way. But the product was worthy of the creative's delicious!
Valen, is good!
Ingrid> You have a sweet blog..I was happy to find it! As for the puppy, thinking about that now! Maybe fostering first...

MrsJenB said...

Wow, what gorgeous pictures and wonderful recipes! Thank you for sharing, and bringing some beauty to my day!

Sue said...

What beautiful pictures and what a super recipe - I love the fragrance of elderflowers and this is one I will definitely have to try.

Thanks for you comments on my Blog - I have linked to you and am so pleased to have found you! You have a lovely Blog.

My sympathies go out to you for the loss of your little Shiz :-)

funkiefoodie said...

Sorry to hear your dear pet has passed on to another place.

And a happy belated birthday to you, many happy returns.

I'm away from the computer to add more time to other projects but will always make time to visit your posts for they are most enjoyable.

Congratulations on the Sunshine Award! I too have been nominated by a fellow and it is my pleasure to send you The Sunshine Award and my support to your Oxford adventure... all the best!

Sarah said...

Awww, thank you, Deana. Sorry it took me awhile to respond. I now have regular internet, finally. The food symposium sounds wonderful. I'll read up on it.

Deana Sidney said...

Mrs. JenB> It is Renoir who brings the beauty, I just copy it!
Sue> I think this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Thanks about Shiz... not crying as much today.
Powderate> You are perfect for the sunshine award.. you are so much in the world of nature and great cooking...and good stories. Thanks about Shiz.
Sarah> I do love your blog... glad you have internet back... it drove me crazy when I had network problems! The symposium sounds like is England and after so many deaths... I need a break.

Cathy said...

What a beautiful post. Renoir is my favorite Impressionist painter and your still life that he inspired is lovely.

MaryMoh said...

Beautiful art pieces and lovely recipes. A beautiful post!

citronetvanille said...

Who doesn't like Renoir and who doesn't like strawberries? hard not to like this post! Hmmmm beautiful dessert!

Deana Sidney said...

Cathy> thanks so much, Renoir is inspiring.. I had a lot of fun playing with it!
Mary Moh> thanks... so glad you liked it!
Citronetvanille> It is a very tasty dessert. I enjoyed eating it very much!

Rita said...

What beautiful post this is; love the pictures as well as the recipes.
Renoir has always said someathing to me. A few years ago,I went to Ottawa Ontario; they had an art pretation of this work. It was so fantastic; I naturally bought a small print.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest! Thank you for coming to my Easter parade....your hat is TDF and you look stunning! March on to a wonderful weekend filled with delights and joy! Anita

Tasty Trix said...

Wow, am I behind. I don't know where to start with this post - the inspiration for the food is genius, the photo is art, and I couldn't agree more about St. Germain. I had it last year in New Orleans (perfect place) for the first time. I am beyond flattered at the award, you are too sweet. Thank you my dear! But mostly I am so sad about your sweet dog. I'm so very sorry! What a cutie pie. : (

Deana Sidney said...

Sage> thanks for coming.. Isn't Renoir the best. I sure wish I had a few of those paintings in my kitchen for inspiration!
Castles> thanks for the easter words...
Trix> I love reading you.. and we do seem to have similar alcoholic tastes (why doesn't that look right???) Thanks about the dog.. he was cute as could be.. like a brave little ewok.

Joanne said...

I love that you kept the strawberries unadulterated! What great accompaniments!

CC11 said...

I love your photograph!

Revealisme abdellah akhdi said...

merci d'avoir eu donnez votre support pour l'art .