Category Archives: Food

Celebrating Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Beaujolais Nouveau Day is around the corner, on November 21, 2013. That’s the day that this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau wines are released and festivals and events take place across Europe and in U.S. cities from Boston to Seattle.

Beaujolais Nouveau Day The French are protective about their wine. In fact, it’s written into French law that each year’s Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be released until exactly 12:01 am on the third Thursday of November!

The event is marked in France by fireworks and celebrations. For decades, vintners have raced to be the first to get their Beaujolais Nouveau wines on the tables of restaurants in Paris. Later, the race extended across the channel to London. Now it seems like it’s one big world-wide sprint to get the bottles out to all corners, so wine revelers can cheer: “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!”

Beaujolais Nouveau Day Poster
The timing is great for American Thanksgiving Day, as Beaujolais Nouveau is said to pair well with turkey. Hats off to the French for their canny marketing techniques! A century ago, the wine, made of hand-picked Gamay grapes, was just a humble table wine made by Beaujolais locals for their own enjoyment, to celebrate the end of the harvest. Now it’s an international star. The young wine is generally best enjoyed by the May of the following year.

Whether you like Beaujolais Nouveau or prefer a more mature wine, we think any excuse for a celebration is good enough. So you can always get in the spirit by raising a glass of your favorite Napa Valley red in honor of Beaujolais Nouveau Day!

Woodbridge Bar StoolWhile we’re talking about wine, I had to share a photo of this new wine glass bar stool that is in our gallery, because the cut-out design on the back is so charming and clever. It’s perfect for a wine celebration or for a wine-lover’s home! Crafted by Woodbridge Furniture Company, the solid wood bar stool has a hand-rubbed and waxed distressed finish, so it looks like it could have come from an old Parisian bistro or wine bar. (We have this design in a counter-height stool too.)

Although I appreciate wine, I doubt that Beaujolais Nouveau will be on our Thanksgiving table. Greg and I will be enjoying Uncle Dick’s Famous Bloody Mary recipe, as you can see in my earlier post!

Ambella Home Enoteca Wine CabinetBut I know that many of our customers are real wine connoisseurs. I would love to have a large enough wine collection to take advantage of this incredible new Ambella Home Enoteca bar cabinet. (We recently added the Ambella Home Collection line of furniture to our gallery, as the quality, design, and craftsmanship meet our high standards!) The 8-foot-tall bar features tons of wine cradles, storage cabinets, and racks to hang stemware.

French Wine Server

 

 

I think this new, reproduction French server/sideboard with a built-in wine rack is more my size! With the whitewash finish on the wood and a lovely limestone tile top, the server looks as if it would be quite at home in a French farmhouse in wine country.

All this talk of wine has made me thirsty! A votre santé! If you celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau Day, we’d love to hear how you do it. Tell us in the comments box below.

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Things We Love: Elsie’s Oyster Stew Recipe & Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary

Thanksgiving dinner with Elsie's Oyster Stew Recipe for breakfastI love spending time with family during the holidays. This Thanksgiving, Greg and I look forward to traveling to Maryland to visit my family. We’re looking forward to it so much, I want to share my grandmother’s Oyster Stew recipe with you and my uncle’s wonderful Bloody Mary!

My grandmother, Elsie, lives in Westminster and I’ve always loved going to her house. As a child, it seemed like it took forever to get to Grandma’s house on the long drive from Florida. But Grandma was always waiting for us with open arms and some home-made delicious treat. She always let me lick the beater – even if it was a cherry pie filling that got all over my white jumper.

Grandma is famous for her Oyster Stew recipeAimee and Grandma

As I child, I didn’t realize how hilarious my grandmother is. She is quite the family clown and especially loves to tell stories. Even though we’ve all heard the stories many, many times, I still love to hear them again. At 87 years young, she’ll still climb up and hang from the tree branches with her grandchildren or strike a pose with a Rasta hat. (She claims she didn’t know I put that hat on her head – not true!)

GrandmaRastaGrandma

Oysters and Bloody MaryMy Uncle Dick and Aunt Leigh host the big Thanksgiving meal and they surely know how to put on a gourmet feast for a crowd. The table is spread with all of the traditional favorites. Of course, my favorite part of the meal is when they serve the oysters! My Uncle Dick actually raises oysters in the Chesapeake Bay and lovingly tends to them all year long. We feel so blessed that he shares his bounty with us! Oysters on the half shell are served as appetizers with Uncle Dick’s Famous Bloody Mary cocktails. I am a huge Bloody Mary fan, so I will share this fantastic family recipe with you.

 

Uncle Dick’s Bloody Mary recipe

2 cups Clamato juice
1/2 cup vodka
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

If you want a spicier drink, add more hot sauce or Old Bay Seasoning. (I do both.) Serve over ice.

Grandma after frying the oystersUncle Dick actually puts the oysters on the grill for a few minutes, which makes shucking easier. Grandma is in charge of making fried oysters – also a family tradition that I love. After the big meal, we all sit around digesting, watching football games, and catching up with the latest family news. I snapped this photo of my dad and grandma kicking back – she still has on her chef’s coat from frying the oysters!

Uncle Dick always brings enough oysters to make Elsie’s Oyster Stew recipe for breakfast the next morning. If you’ve never had it, you might think it sounds gross. (Greg won’t even try it!) But if you like oysters, it is heavenly.

Elsie’s Oyster Stew Recipe

Stick of butter
1/2 pint of shucked oysters
Milk, enough for everyone to have a bowl
Salt & pepper to taste
Old Bay Seasoning

Bring the milk, butter, and spices to just below boil. (Don’t boil it or the milk will scald.) Take it off the heat and add oysters and juice. Let the stew sit for a few minutes until the oysters curl up on the edges.

Aimee&Grandma2013I always look forward to spending time with my family, and especially my grandmother, as you can see from this photo taken this year.

Do you have fond memories of your grandparents? Tell us about them in the comments area below, or share some of your favorite family recipes!

 

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Serve Up Summer Herbs in Style…The Old-Fashioned Way

Many of our customers have traditional-style kitchens, and we know many are keen gardeners too. So let’s look at some traditional ways to serve up summer herbs in style! Many of these old-fashioned ideas for culinary herbs are great for entertaining – they’ll look charming on your dining table. Or just enjoy them for a meal with the family.

These gourmet treats can cost a fortune if you buy them ready-made in the store, but they’re easy enough to make yourself. Plus, it’s fun – and very fragrant!

Chill out on a summery day! Chill out on a warm day by sipping iced mint tea. Just steep a generous handful of mint leaves in hot water and refrigerate. Strain the mint before serving in a pretty glass pitcher. Add a dash of sugar to taste if you have a sweet tooth, or squeeze a spritz of lemon for a really summery zing! Garnish with a couple more mint leaves. You can also make your own sparkling herbal water with summer herbs including mint, lavender, and lemon verbena.

Summer herbs are fantastic in oil and vinegar infusionsHerb-infused vinegars and oils are delicious in salad dressings. Pop aromatic summer herbs such as rosemary, thyme, tarragon or dill into a sterilized jar with a nice quality vinegar, like red or white wine vinegar. Be lavish with the herbs – if the flavor is too strong you can always dilute it later to taste. Leave for 24 hours to two weeks in a cool, dark place. An occasional taste test will tell you if it’s ready to rock your romaine or put a frisson in your frisée!

Cooking with summer herbs, the traditional wayFor a herb-infused oil, opt for a good olive oil and follow the same method as for vinegars. Basil and chives are especially lovely summer herbs to give a punch of flavor to oils. You can use the oils too in marinades for meat or to cook vegetables, like these tasty and colorful roast beets with herb oil.

 

Summer herbs in the gardenIf you’re not sure which herbs grow best in your area, many public gardens have kitchen gardens and herb gardens, so you can see what flourishes there. This Friday May 10, 2013, is National Public Gardens Day. Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and the American Public Gardens Association, you can get free admission to participating public gardens and botanic gardens across the country for up to 10 people. Just print out your free tickets here.

All this talk of summer herbs is making me hungry. As the saying goes: So many herbs, so little thyme!

Aimee owns EuroLuxAntiques.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!