Monday, September 6, 2010

PISSALADIERE

Another Year Comes and Goes….


It’s not often that both husband and I sleep through the night. Usually one or the other of us wakes in the wee hours of the morning, tossing and turning until the dawn seeps through the shutters and we can finally drag our tired bones out of bed and start the coffee. Too cold or too hot, hunger or stress. Or maybe just old age setting in. But last week we had one of those perfect nights of deep, satisfying sleep. Yet our wondrous night came to a crashing halt when we both snapped awake at the same time as the bedroom door crashed open with a resounding boom! We both sat straight up in bed and called out to whoever was there, thinking that it was our son come to ask us something, as strange as that would be. We had no other explanation as to who would have or could have flung our bedroom door open so violently.


And then it struck me. It is exactly one year since my brother passed away, one year since we buried him near our father, the morning of the first evening of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. Superstition? Maybe. Is it possible that he is here, sending me a message that he is watching over me, that everything is all right? It comforts me to think so.

The Jewish New Year is this week, the start of the High Holy Days when we celebrate a new beginning, pray for sweetness in the new year to come and begin a ten-day period of reflection on the year past and atonement for our sins so we can start afresh. I stand here on the brink between the old and the new and think about where I am, where I want to go and all that has happened and can happen.


This has truly been an amazing year for me, a year to remember. This past April I began writing for the prestigious Huffington Post for their then newly-created Food page. I am proud and thrilled! This has been a huge leap for me as a writer and I am enjoying the challenge and all the opportunities it has opened up before me. I know that it is the fruit of my labor but I feel very lucky indeed.


I recently learned that I will be published in Foodista’s Best of the Food Blogs Cookbook! My blog post The Man in the Moon, a loving tribute to my dad, and my recipes for Vanilla Sponge Cake and Chocolate Mocha Pudding were selected to be included in this wonderful cookbook. And what makes it even more gratifying is being published alongside friends like Simone and Heather!



Foodista had invited food boggers worldwide to submit their
favorite blog posts, recipes, and photos to compete for a
spot in a published cookbook. After receiving over 1,500 submissions,
which were then voted on by the Foodista community,
the selection process shifted into a more traditional editorial
effort to choose and edit the final 100 entries. Andrews McMeel
will publish the winning blog posts and recipes in a beautiful,
full-color, internationally distributed cookbook,
set for release on October 19, 2010.
Born out of the "Blog to Book" panel at the first
International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) in 2009,
the cookbook celebrates the best food bloggers worldwide.


I am so proud to be among such a fantastic group of bloggers and excited to be published in such a cookbook! Many thanks to the good folks at Foodista and Andrews McMeel Publishing for this exciting and great opportunity!

On a more personal note, this has been a great year for me as a mom! Both of my little lost puppies have finally, it seems, found their paths. Simon is in New Orleans volunteering with lowernine.org, a wonderful organization that is rebuilding homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward destroyed by hurricane Katrina. He is happy and proud, as are we! He’s a good soul, born to help others and we hope maybe this will turn out to be his calling in life. Clem will soon be starting his second year at the National School of Architecture here in Nantes and I have never seen him work so hard or so happily or so well. He and a few friends are also working on the side, creating 3-D projects for local architects and developers. He is talented, creative and will be a roaring success! Husband and I wipe the sweat and worry from our brows, breath a sigh of relief and smile in satisfaction.


And last but not least, I must end the old year and step into the new with a shout out and a hug to a fabulous group of women, food bloggers all, who have become my closest friends and allies, who support, advise and encourage me in all I do, who make me think, who inspire me to work. And make me laugh. A lot. Out loud. Deeba, Meeta, Jeanne, Ilva, Hilda, Kerrin and Nanette. We do great things together.

And of course, Rosh Hashana is a time for atonement and I know, believe you me, that I am far from sin-free. Gossiping, mocking, teasing, worry, doubt, complaining, I’ve done it all and in bucketloads. But I try and keep most of it to myself and I try and apologize as I go along, so I hope that I haven’t been too naughty, too evil.


I sit here on the eve of a New Year and reflect and wonder how all of this happened, how I got where I am today. I thank heavens for my husband, my sons, my family and friends. I mourn the loss of my father and brother and wish they were beside me to share in my joy, watch my sons grow. Do I believe in ghosts? Religion, superstition, destiny and fate, doesn’t it all go together? I believe that my brother is out there somewhere watching, waiting. He haunts my every thought, I think of him every day. I think that fate brought JP and I together and destiny pushed the stars around so she could be sure that I would meet these handful of women who have changed my life (and Minna, Bobbi, Clare, Vera). The happy and the sad, the thrilling and the tragic, this is what life is made of. Husband and I often sit and talk about everything that life has handed us, the good, the bad and the downright ugly. As I stand on the threshold of another New Year, I look both backwards and forwards and feel proud of what I have achieved, proud of my sons and excited about the prospects and opportunities that lie ahead for both myself and my husband. It will be an exciting year indeed.

Happy New Year! Shana Tova!

PISSALADIÈRE
Or something like it.


I often make this little treat, my version of a Pissaladière, as JP calls it. I had some leftover pizza dough (about half of this recipe) so I simply rolled it out as thinly as I could, stretched it out onto a large, lightly oiled cookie sheet and pinch up the edges to create a border all around.

I spread about 7 ounces (200 g) dark black olive tapenade evenly around the dough. Just for added flavor, I spread a few tablespoons of sun-dried tomato tapenade over the olive.


I then sliced several ripe, juicy, sweet tomatoes and lined them up across the dough on top of the tapenade. If I had had a few extra tomatoes I would have overlapped them a bit.

I cubed 5 – 7 ounces (150 – 200 g) fresh goat cheese (a rather messy job but I licked my fingers clean!) and spread the cubes evenly over the tomatoes. Tossed on a few fresh basil leaves and several pitted tangy black olives for show, brushed the edges of the dough with olive oil and popped the whole thing into a preheated 425°F (220°C) oven for about 20 minutes or until baked and the edges are a deep golden brown.


I sprinkled the baked Pissaladière with more fresh basil leaves and served it piping hot with a cool salad tossed with a tangy vinaigrette. And a chilled bottle of Muscadet.


I am sending this over to Susan at Wild Yeast for her weekly yeast-baking event Yeastspotting. I love Yeastspotting. If you love yeast baking, her weekly round up is a fabulous selection of amazing yeast recipes, both savory and sweet. As is her own.

Perfect crust: crispy on the outside, tender and chewy on the inside, ideal for the fruity, tangy, salty, fresh topping.

49 comments:

MeetaK said...

oh yes it has been an amazing year for you my sweet saucy! best of all i was a part of it and had the honor to share some moments i will always cherish! can't believe I'll be hugging you soon again!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy Rosh Hashanah!

That Pissaladière looks fantastic. I made one not long ago. Great minds think alike...

Cheers,

Rosa

katiez said...

What a wonderful year you've had - hope the next is even better! Congrats on all fronts!
And this looks delicious. It's a cool day, still have a few tomatoes.... Hmmmm....

Jamie said...

@Meeta - I have been so lucky to have you for a sister! How much you mean to me I can't begin to explain. xo

@Rosa - Thank you so much! Maybe this will finally be our year to meet! And yum for the Pissaladières!

@Katie - Yay! Congrats to you too for making the Foodista cookbook! Hip hip hooray for the expats, indeed!

Nanette said...

It has been an amazing year!
May we continue to do great things together xx

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf.ch said...

this is a wonderful post jamie, and as in so much of your writing, there's reason to be excited for and with you, so happy and proud... but also more solemn and touched. there is so very much here that i agree with and can relate to, as you know.

instead of leaving an 8 paragraph comment (i can feel this happening), i will just say this... congratulations to you and your men for all that has been accomplished, knowing there is so much more yet ahead. we'll be dipping apples in honey "together" tomorrow night. can't wait ! a very sweet start to the new year jamie, to you and your family.

but... not sin-free ?? ;)

Coco cooks said...

Happy New Year. All the best for you and your family.

Jennifer (Savor) said...

Where to start? So sorryto hear that you lost your brother (lost my sister at 17) BUT a huge congrats on all that you have accomplished and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Barbara said...

I'm glad this year has seen you achieve some of your dreams Jamie. All the best for the coming year.

A Thought For Food said...

A lovely piece... a tribute to the year that's past. It's amazing the things that happen over the course of a single year. And it's important for us to reflect back on all that has occurred, both bad and good.

Lora said...

L'Shona Tova Jamie. Congratulations on all your success and looking forward to another year of great posts from your lovely blog.

KennyT said...

Happy new year Jamie! Wish you and the family all the best!

DebbieK said...

What a lovely post Jamie! I also sit and contemplate what has transpired over the past year and what may lie ahead. I have no doubt your brother was paying you a middle of the night visit as I've had similar experiences-once my heart stops pounding, I smile thinking they wanted their presence in our lives even today still known. Looking over the past year, one of my fondest memories is of seeing you after 30 years...not once, but twice! It has so totally reaffirmed that our friendship is one that will last over the many years and hopefully lifetimes :-) Warmest wishes for an exceptionally sweet year for you my dear friend- only the best for such a warm, loving woman. All of us who are fortunate to call you our friend are truly blessed. Bisous <3
PS I'm sure you're making a honey cake in the Judy Jewish bundt pan right?

Jamie said...

@Debbie: after I posted this I realized that I should have added you to this post! You are a true friend, generous, loving, kind and you have brought so much into my life. Yes, funny that we found each other again just at this time! You more than anyone helped me through the pain of losing Michael and understanding the possibilites ;-) I must bake something in that Judy Jewish pan and post a special post with it for you! A wonderful, sweet year to you and your wonderful family, my dear friend. xo

shaz said...

What a wonderful year it has been for you Jamie, despite the sadness you must feel. May the next be filled with much sweetness. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wishing you a very sweet new year daaaaahling!
I have made pissaladiere once before, a Martha Stewart recipe, and it was excellent, now I am tempted to try again. This looks wonderful.
*kisses* HH

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Hey Jamie,
I've been adoring Deeba's work for a while now and today her blog took me to Mactweets and that led me to yours and I'm so very glad that happened. you've created a wonderful space around here and I'm so looking forward to learning something from you through your work!

Mary said...

It has been a memorable year for you, Jamie. Pain and joy have married here and you've allowed us to share both with you. I hope the new year will be sweet mon amie.

Jennifurla said...

What a touching post, you have a lovely way about you.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Darling you deserve all of your success! You really do, you're very talented and work so hard entertaining us all. No wonder it has been such a great year for you! :D

lisaiscooking said...

You've had a wonderful year! And, there's more to come, I'm sure. Your pissaladiere looks delicious with the tapenade and cubed goat cheese. Olive, tomatoes, and goat cheese is a wonderful mix.

Jamie said...

@Mary - Thank you, my friend. It is friends like you and their kind words that keep me going. xo

@Prerna - Welcome! Dear Deeba, she is a wonderful friend and blogger and I'm glad she brought you my way!

@HH - Thank you much, dahling! xoxo

Asha @ FSK said...

Jamie, CONGRATULATIONSSS!!! for all the lovely things that has happened to you and wishing you more fabulousness ahead :))) HUGS!!!

elra said...

delicious .... I haven't made this for ages. You always have full of good ideas Jaime.

tasteofbeirut said...

Your story about the door opening and crashing sent shivers down my spine. Your brother, no doubt, saying hello.
Congratulations on both your assignment to the Post and the foodista cookbook, which I will get as soon as it is published; and this unusual and delicious recipe for a pissaladière which has a lot of my favorite ingredient: olives!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

Jamie, I didn't know you lost your brother. I am sure he IS with you. In the days after my dad died, the lights in the living room would suddenly turn off and on. My dad always loved a good joke-- we knew it was him having a laugh. My thoughts are with you.

Eliana said...

What a lovely, touching post. Best wishes to you and your family.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Congratulations on an amazing year, Jamie. And may they only get better and better!

Jamie said...

@Karen Brown Letarte: Karen, isn't it funny but I was just thinking about you yesterday and maybe that is why. Very cool dad you had. What a comforting thought. xo

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Well done on getting into the Foodista blog to book thing, I hope lots and lots of new people discover you after reading your work. Your brother would have been very proud of you, it's been a very busy year for you and I'm so happy to count you as one of my friends.
xx

Jamie said...

@Sarah Maison Cupcake : I am lucky to have you as a friend as well! And thanks so much!

@Susan/Wild Yeast : Thank you, friend! xo

Nuts about food said...

What a beautiful post, it gave me goose bumps, got me teary and nostalgic. You reap what you sow: your successful year is the result of your hard work, dedication and passion for your job and your family.

5 Star Foodie said...

L'Shana Tova, Jaime! Best wishes in the new year and continuing successes to you! The Pissaladière looks wonderful!

Anh said...

Happy new year my darling! :)

SMITH BITES said...

oh Jamie dear ~ i so love your writing and hope that someday i will be as good a master storyteller as you! i am not jewish but love the traditions and meaning behind the celebrations so am celebrating this time of reflection and new year with you and my other twitter friends. congratulations on all your successes this past year - may there be many more sweet moments in the new; Happy Rosh Hashanah!

gastroanthropologist said...

What a great year! Congratulations on the award and the reoccurring Huffington post articles. Last year I had these intense dreams about my grandmother and told my mom about them. My mom reminded me that she had passed away that day many years ago - I had forgotten the day and Grandma reminded me.

Pissaladiere looks tasty!

Sanjeeta kk said...

Lovely looking Pissaladiere!! Must give it a try soon.

Deeba PAB said...

What an amazing year and what an absoloutely amazing post Spice sistah! So glad we met & am missing you these days. Will be back soon into the thick of things. So proud of you on HuffPo, on Foodista, everywhere practically...YAY! Of course I love the pissaladière, tapenade & all... YUM YUM! Right up my street Jamie!
Happy New Year ... times flies, doesn't it. I am SO GLAD it flew well for you. You inspire me, and give me hope for 'when my time comes'! HUGS!!

Jessica said...

Loved this post. I'm glad that you've had such an amazing year. God has truly blessed you and your family. May the following year be even more fruitful and blessed than this one!

jessyburke88@gmail.com

Barbara Bakes said...

I had to Google Shana Tova - You teach me something new everyday. Happy New Year. I hope it is filled will all kinds of wonderful things.

bunkycooks said...

That is an amazing year! Lots to be thankful for and lots of reflection. Blogging does change your life in so many ways and I have also met some delightful people (as yourself!). I believe that people do come back to "visit". It can sometimes be comforting rather than frightening.

Jamie said...

@Deeba - you have been a huge part of my successes and darling, you have talent coming out the wazoo (forgive my French)! Your time is already here! Love you, sistah! xo

Jamie said...

@Barbara Bakes - B, you being my friend is one of those wonderful things! Shana Tova to you too!

@bunkycooks - and me you! And thinking of people out there staying around us is comforting indeed! Thanks xo

@Jessy - Thank you.

RamblingTart said...

Loved reading this, Jamie. :-) What an incredible year you've had. I love that your door slamming was a "sign" of love from your brother. Beautiful. :-) Congratulations on all your wonderful successes! You've worked so hard and I'm thrilled that you are receiving the recognition you deserve. :-) Hope you have a beautiful weekend. :-)

Sophie said...

I loved reading about your great year!! Yeah to yoy & your friends, family, loved ones!

Happy Rosh Hashanah!!

Your Pissaladière looks excellent to me!!

MMMMMMM,...Many handwaves & kisses from Brussels to you!

OysterCulture said...

What a wonderful post and a great reminder that we need to give thanks for all the incredible souls that touch our lives.

Congratulations on all the well deserved recognition on the writing front. I look forward to seeing much more of your incredible work.

The Duo Dishes said...

You have to be thankful for it all. :) So many wonderful things have happened, and they will continue to come to you. Best wishes for another great year!

asiangrrl said...

Lovely post, and lovely food. I wish you peace and joy in the new year.

Irishgirl said...

Jamie, I have been very negligent of late...like a full year. Congratulations on the success of your blog, Huffington Post and everything else. So glad to hear the boys are doing well.

Love and kisses from
Irishgirl

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...