Thanks for the add! Gros bisous :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Award !

First of all a mega "merci" to Ginger from sailingoveracardboardsea for this totally unexpected award. This was so heart warming. It really was, and I am so proud

What a delight! I want to (sort) of apologize to the guys to whom I am giving this "lovely" blog award, as this may not sound so "macho", but please do accept my award, ya never know when you'll get another one!

As usual, this award comes a few conditions that I am most happy to comply to. They are as follows:

1. Accept the award.
Post it on your blog with the name of the person who awarded it along with a link to their blog.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have recently discovered.

3. Contact those bloggers and let them know they've been chosen.

With number one already completed, let's move on to the exciting part, the lovely blogs!
I am adding the stipulation that the blogs I choose for the award must have less than 100 followers as I know that these blogs often do not get the recognition they deserve.

My One Lovely Blog Award recipients are, in no particular order:

Mimi from French Kitchen in America, for her beautiful writing intermingling feelings, memory and food!

Becky from Bthrifty, for her stitching talent, and her cats, and her friendly posts. She never hesitates about sharing what she knows about and loves.

La Lilloise for her amazing sense of style, and great taste in music

Cosas, for her incredible knack at illustrating her daily moods with mostly pin up illustrations, and Sponge Bob Square pants. I have no clue what she says most the time, but I use Google translate, and hey presto I get the gist!

Ginger from Sailing across a cardboard sea, well she gave me the award in the first place, but I really would like my friends to visit her stunning blog, and her wide array of topics. Plus she is beautiful.
Vintage Belle, for the amazing effort she puts in finding beautiful pictures to illustrate her blog with.

Annushka for her sense of fashion, and her general good cheer.

Daniel from Kitschmoog for his sense of style, and fun, and his astounding research into the world of kitsch.

Pj from insertdomainname, whom I wish wqould write more often, and inform us on his weord theories about human behaviour.

Leilani from Thriftaholic, because she is such an elegant and creative vintage lady.

Shannon from Gigglytimes for her amazing talent with needle and thread.

Todd, from Apple and Leo/Absurd sentimentalism for his great graphic talent, and sense of the spiritual.

Pam, from Fasterkittykill, blog, blog!, for her good cheer, great video, and she is a babe!

Tom, from motion picture gems, for his in depth analysis of some of the most wonderful movies ever made.

Mademoiselle Antonova, sheer style.

and finally The Vintage Knitter for keep knitting on the map!


Monday, November 1, 2010

"Madeleine", a name, a cake, a song and more...

I always loved the sound of the name “Madeleine”. In French, the succession of warm vowels and soft consonants never fails to evoke “une certaine douceur”, a sweetness of sorts. In my imagination, all Madeleines wear pastel yellow twin sets with pearls.

The most vintage of all Madeleine, has to be Mary of Magdala who of course, Mary Magdalene, who doesnt exactly fit the description I stated above. No sir, she is reputed to have been an adultress whom Jesus cleansed from her demons and to have been the first one to see him resurrected. Some even say that she may have been Jesus's wife, but all this is just historical gossip as we all know. She often is depicted as a penitent, and here by Titian and as quite a stunner.
She is no light weight in religious terms, no sirry! Churches are called after Sainte Madeleine, see La Madeleine, in Paris which was originally a temple built on the remains of a church by Napoleon to pay tribute to his “great army”.
Given all this, it is not surprising that the ultimate cake for penitents should be “madeleines”

The genesis of this cake are uncertain, some say that the recipe dates back to the origins of the Way of St James (St Jacques de Compostelle) when some girl called "Madelaine" baked this lemony sponge cake in a scallop which is a symbol of all pilgrims walking toward Santiago de Compostella.
And here are posh madeleines
Others say that a certain “Madeleine” from Commercy, in the French eastern region of Lorraine, created this recipe for King Stanislaw I of Poland, in the mid 18th century. Who knows, and who gives a damn! BUt here is Julia Child's madeleines de Commercy recipe, and really if you don't have the right molds, just bake them in muffin cases like these.

 But I had my fair share of these when I was a teenager, as my first boyfriend originated from Commercy, and of course each time the parents visited there they would come back with a huge bag of “madeleines de Commercy”. I ate so much of these at that stage that I could not face another madeleine for years after we split up. But dear reader, ler me reassure you, I could once again demolish a plate of these no problem.
I long for these needless to say. Who wouldn't? But of course I also do because it is associated with happy times of my teenage years. This is a very fragrant little cake that also got given its stamp of approval by no less than Marcel Proust himself, one of the most revered authors of 20th century France.
She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…
— Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann's Way
This passage, which describes what the act of dunking a madeleine in his tea opens up for the narrator, became instantaneously world famous, and is refered to as the “episode of the Madeleine”, because of its literary acknowledgment of the role of involuntary memory in every day life. A recall function we all have, but whcih is not deliberate. This was of course very much in the spirit of a time when Freud and others discovered the many hidden layers of our psychology.

But there is of course another very famous Madeleine in literature. Many of us are familiar with this classic of children literature, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.
If you want to listen to a slighlty altered and darker version of Madeline, please listen to Werner Herzog tell this story.
I leave you today with another very well know Madeleine and a song, Jacques Brel's Madeleine, I even found a version with English subtitles. And forget about what I said about the sweetness of Madeleine in my introductory sentence. No offense to any potential Madeleine readers out there, but this one is a bitch, with a capital B!