The quiche lorraine is a very simple pie to make. You need puff pastry, double cream, milk, eggs and diced smoked bacon. And that's all !
It is said that it was first made with cheese instead of bacon. And the first ones were cooked about 300 hundreds years ago. The one we eat nowadays gets its recipe from the 19th century.
The mixture of cream, milk and eggs is called migaine (pronounce me-gain). We also use it to make apple pies.
So are you ready ? Ingredients : puff pastry, 250 gr double cream, 25 cl milk, 3 eggs, 200 gr diced smoked bacon.
Put the puff pastry in a pie dish. In a bowl, put the double cream and the eggs, beat then add the milk. Put the diced bacon in the mould and the blend on top of it. Cook for about half an hour in the oven (180° C).
When it's getting ready, prepare a salad with lettuce or any other salad you like. So pleasant to eat quiche lorraine and salad when it is hot outside.
The Vosges mountains are the boundary between Alsace and Lorraine. They are old mountains so, even in winter, when you look at them from far away (from Nancy for example), you don't see white peaks but a long blue line.
Is the colour due to the numerous fir trees in the north part, or to the mist above the trees when it is hot or damp ? Or to the shape of the summits which are called "ballon" in the south part. But truly we see the Vosges mountains blue.
Jules Ferry, who was born in Saint Dié in the Vosges and was Minister for Education at the end of the 19th century, was the first to mention the Blue Line of the Vosges in his will.
The Vosges are pleasant mountains that you can enjoy at any time. In winter you can go to ski resorts in La Bresse, Gerardmer or smaller ones. In summer you can walk there around lakes, in valleys. In April you go there to see and pick daffodils. During summer holidays you pick blueberries that French people call myrtilles but that Lorraine people call brimbelles. That's a way to recognize a real Lorrain or Lorraine, ask him/her how he/she calls blueberry in French. If the answer is brimbelle, you've found one !
The First of May in France is called Fête du Travail, word for word "Celebration of Work". That's why we don't work on this day ! I'm not sure it is really logical. So we'd better use Workers' Day.
But it is also the day people offer lily of the valley. Tradition has it that around 1560-1570, on a first of May, King Charles IX of France was offered a sprig of lily of the valley to bring him luck and that from this date he used to offer the ladies of his court lily of the valley each year on the same day.
You can either go in the woods to find lily of the valley or buy it, or go to your garden of course. And on the first of May, and only on this day in France, anybody is allowed to sell lily of the valley in the streets. There are a few rules, e.g. to stand at least 40 meters away from a flower shop, but a lot of people do that to get a bit of money.
As I am not good at finding lily of the valley in the woods (I only find leaves) and haven't got any in the garden, I wait for my husband to offer it. Good idea, isn't it ?
Last week end we went to the Salon du Brasseur (Brewer Show) in Saint Nicolas de Port. It was about beer making, not beer tasting ! We discovered the machines, how to make beer, but also different sorts of hop and malt.
And I realized I didn't know what malt is. I thought it was just dried barley, but it isn't.
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried. Germinated is the word which makes the difference.
A person of a malthouse was kind enough to explain everything about "malting" and made us taste different sorts. The darkest we tried was just like coffee in our mouth, so surprising. And he confirmed barley malt is used to make beer but also whisky.
Lorraine used to be a region with big breweries. Many people have in mind beers of Saint Nicolas, Tantonville, Metz and, of course, Champigneulles (this last one so loved by our friend Tom).
Nowadays numerous microbreweries are created where you can taste unusual good beers. Apparently it is not so difficult to make them. We'll think about it later.
After speaking with friends who are now abroad, I have realized a lot of them miss Lorraine or would like to know more about my region. So I have decided to write a blog which would keep a link between them and us, which would inform them about life and events in this part of France.
Lorraine is in the East part of France, not far from Germany. In spite of what some American friends would say, the weather is not too bad but the difference of temperatures between summer and winter can be quite impressing. And the same friends say grass is always green because of the rain, this is not true !
Thank you to you all, American and British friends who have made me feel even stronger how I like my region.