25 February 2008

'Parisian Pleasures' in Moscow and My First Meme

Part 1. ‘Parisian Pleasures’ in Moscow...

Leave home at abour 16-ish on Saturday. Never mind it’s beastly windy and rainy (in February!!!). Go on the metro, make one switch, walk and hold your umbrella REALLY tight when walking against wind. Finally, reach the
Tretyakov Gallery, stand for an HOUR (when it’s so bitterly rainy) in a queu to buy a ticket! SURVIVE this hour! Buy yourself a ticket with trembling from cold hands and enjoy an exhibition ‘Parisian Pleasures’ by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec .

Get inspired by the exhibition, rush back home and get yourself a very seducing treat*.

(adapted from
‘French Women for All Seasons’ by M. Guiliano’)

Zest of one orange
2 Conference Pears
150 g cane sugar
60 g dark chocolate, coarsely grated

1. Bring 1 litre water with orange zest and sugar to boil. Peel and core the pears. Keep them whole but cutting the core out from the bottom. Place the pears into a boiling syrup and simmer them over low heat for 20 mins. Place each pear on a dessert dish and let cool a bit.
2. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the pears and season with pepper to taste. Enjoy!! Slowly, sensuously, consciously...

When savouring this dessert the first thing you taste is orange flavours that the pear’s absorbed while simmering. But then slowly with self-dignity the chocolate taste makes its entrance and unites with the fragrant pear the subtle flavour of which is highlighted by a freshly ground pepper. Mmmhhhh…

*Yours truly enjoyed it right away, so I simply didn’t have an opportunity to take a photograph. I knew you wouldn’t forgive this to me *wink, wink, wink, wink*, so on Sunday morning I made it for a second time! And of course I enjoyed it AGAIN! *smiles*

Part 2. My First Meme...

On Friday I was TAGGED with a
meme for the first time (UPDATE: As I'm writing this I've been TAGGED for a second time! Astra Libris, you are a star! *smiles*). So I’m thrilled and chuffed to divulge to you now, My Dear Readers, 5 things you did not know about me...yet. *wink, wink, wink*

1. I’ve got a BA in linguistics.

2. I sometimes wake up EARLY on a Saturday morning to spend 30 minutes back and forth on the metro with the only purpose to reach the Indian Shop in Moscow and get CHICKPEAS. *nods and smiles*

3. I may laugh out loud when asleep. Isn’t it a cool alternative to snoring? *a smile from ear to ear*

4. In summer 2007 I ate 10 kilos of sour cherries within 4 days. I thought I’d explode. I didn’t, but learnt that pretty much of a VERY GOOD thing might damage your health. *nodding again*

Picking up cherry berries fresh from a tree

5. When i’m upset I watch animated hand-drawn cartoons. *puppy eyes*

And now it's time to TAG! *a smile from ear to ear* Guys, you are all so talented, smart and fabulous, I wish I could tag more than 5, but so are the rules and I’m just limited in my choices. So for now the Meme goes to...

Cookiemouse of
Cookiemouse - Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Marieke of Trifles.nl - Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Astra Libris of
Food for Laughter – The Deep South, USA

Ximena of
Lobstersquad – Madrid, Spain

Luise of
The Wednesday Chef
– New York, USA

P.S. Thank you, Smart and Gorgeous, for visiting, reading and smiling occasionally (I hope you do! *wink*)!


Cinnamonda said...

Oh, you got to see Toulouse-Lautrec's prints! Now I'm jealous!;) He's one of my favorite artists. What did you think of the exhibition? The pear recipe is simply lovely. And thank you for doing the meme & letting us all know you a little better.


Astra Libris said...

Anya, thank you so much for the lovely surprise - I am delighted and honored to be tagged!! I had such a wonderful time reading your MeMe - your 5 facts are terrific! I especially like the one about your chickpea trek - you are a true, dedicated, chef! The chickpea trip sounds wonderful, actually - I think sometimes ingredients are even more special when they have a journey and a story to go along with them, no?:-)

Ooooh, and your pears are sooo beautiful... Your creation is so elegant! Lautrec would be honored to know he inspired them!

Looking forward to writing my answers to the MeMe... Thank you again! :-)

anya said...

Tiina, Toulouse-Lautrec's prints are very 'honest', if I can put it this way. I mean he didn't try to sugarcoat neither of his surroundings nor his own impressions. And the prints convey a real atmosphere of the places he frequented without being judgemental or provocative. To have learnt that both Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh (my favourite artist number 1!!) followed the same concept in art I'm very much interested in Lautrec's paintings now. :) And thank you for a flattering comment! ;)

Astra Libris - MeMes are just in the air! ;) Thank you so much for such encouraging words! I'm really touched. I, too, believe that not only which ingredients feature in a dish but also how you get them make up a dish history.

lobstersquad said...

Hi!.I enjoyed reading that, and thanks so much for the tag. I already did that meme, though, so I think it´s best if I pass this time, I don´t want to tire my readers!

Kate / Kajal said...

Anya , u are such a beautiful girl :D
hehe u ate 10 kgs of cherries ... haha u are worse than me ... and i thought i was the only nut who could do insane things like that !!!
It was nice to know more about you ...* smiles*

Love the pear with grated chocolate. this way u can eat your desert and escape half the calories :) perfect for a sweet tooth.

anya said...

Ximena, I'm glad you stopped by my blog!! Thanks for the link to your post on the meme, I had a great time reading it! You are something else! *wink*

Kate, I'm so flattered to hear your kind words!! *smiles* Thanks!

I believe it's a charming thing to be nut (positively!) from time to time! :) Oh la la!!

White On Rice Couple said...

Wow, Toulouse-Lautrec? Thanks for sharing more about yourself and the those pears certainly show your multi talents!
BTW- our first cooking video is up!

Cinnamonda said...

Yes, I agree with what you say about Toulouse-Lautrec. Being an amateur dancer myself, his can-can posters are my favorites. And no, I don't do can-can!!:D)