Monday, January 28, 2013

VICTORIA'S GLUTEN FREE KITCHEN



In April 2012, a month after we purchased our current home, I received below message from Wendy G. Kaho, a fellow gluten free Blogger:  
Hi. I've been enjoying your FB photos and Blog posts since I found your Blog. Would you be interested in joining me with a guest post for my "In my Gluten Free kitchen" series? here is a link......
My reply was that we would love to send some images, but later in the year, as we are undergoing the renovations first.
To which Wendy replies:
That will work for me, I have plenty of kitchen posts scheduled through the year, but would like yours to be a surprise, drop in post, when you are ready to go.

So when the time finally came to send the images and post, Wendy G. Kaho has disappeared. And with her the Blog, email account, Twitter feed and all other forms of communication. No trace of Wendy, a curious thing.  We are talking six month from starting to communicate, not six years. What could have happened?
Though I blog(ged) mostly about gluten free cooking, I am not really plugged in with other GF Bloggers, so I had no idea or feedback what happened. 
I finally contacted a few other people who's kitchens were featured on Wendy's blog already, but no one knew anything about her mysterious Houdini act either.  

Almost a year later I finally am putting the pictures on my Blog, since I am about to start the promotion for the rental here in France.  It's a fantastic holiday pad for two, with the option to enjoy 100%gluten free meals with us. More on that later.

 Enjoy the pictures.

And before I forget, some recent online searching indicates that Wendy is safe and sound in the Federal Witness protection program and living with a new identity in the Dakotas. Nobody I asked would confirm or deny this story.
 I am not sure what the exact story is, but it sure sounds exciting. So Wendy (or whatever your new name is), if you read this post, enjoy it.

The renovations of our kitchen was the highlight of our french adventure so far. Victoria had a clear picture of what the kitchen should become and I'd say she achieved it. 
First off, unlike back in Canada or in Vegas, this is the first time since living together (15 years), that I committed to keeping the kitchen gluten free.  Prior to this house, I always had the liberty to bring home my favorite cakes and breads for myself. 
To keep a promise for future Celiac guests, I have refrained from bringing home any of the great french breakfast pastries or Baguettes. This will ensure that if guests decide to eat with us, they can do so without fear of being glutened. There is not a single chance of cross contamination at all. 
Even more important, Victoria is using the kitchen for testing new recipes and developments for GF PATISSERIE as well. Not a week goes by without the smells of something delicious, a new cake or improved version of something. 

Since completion of the kitchen, it has become the favorite room of the house for us to hang out in and meet with friends and visitors.  So if you want to enjoy a visit here in the south west of France with the best gluten free baking and cooking, please bookmark this website for future updates:

http://www.citygites.com/






THERE WAS A TOILET IN THE KITCHEN......

THE OLD SINK

TAKING DOWN THE HEATER

HUGE HOLE IN THE WALL

TOILET GONE

FRAMING IN THE NON FUNCTIONING FIREPLACE

THE FRIDGE

WITH ICEMAKER


VICTORIA STENCILING THE FLOOR

DOESN'T THAT LOOK GREAT?

WE NEEDED HELP WITH THIS PANTRY!

THE VINTAGE BAR STOOLS

ISLAND INSTALLED!

THE ISLAND IS NOW OUR FAVORITE PLACE TO SIT & TALK

INSTALLING THE HOOD FAN


THE STOVE

ESPRESSO CORNER

THE CHANDELIERS

NO GLUTEN ANYWHERE

TOOLS, PLENTY OF KNIVES

WHERE THE DISHES GO

VICTORIA COULD NOT DO IT WITHOUT THIS ONE

OUR VINTAGE WASTE BINS

MY FAVORITE COOK BOOK

IF IT'S NOT AVAILABLE IN FRANCE, VICTORIA WILL ORDER IT

THE BEST GLUTEN FREE FLOUR MIX

VICTORIA EVEN MAKES HER OWN VANILLA


THE BEST GLUTEN FREE BREAD

GLUTEN FREE FRENCH TOAST

 THE BEST GLUTEN FREE PIZZA

ALWAYS FRESH HERBS AND FRUITS IN THE KITCHEN

GLUTEN FREE BAKING!

HOME MADE MANGO CHUTNEY

A GLUTEN FREE SANDWICH

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE GUGELHUPF

GLUTEN FREE SWEETBREAD ON RISOTTO

GLUTEN FREE SOUP WITH POTATOES AND BACON

THEY ARE FANTASTIC

GLUTEN FREE WIENER SCHNITZEL


GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

GLUTEN FREE UPSIDE DOWN APPLE CAKE

VEAL KIDNEYS FOR THE ADVENTUROUS EATERS

SMOOTHIES TOO

Thursday, January 24, 2013

AU REVOIR, PAPA



Today, January 24th 2013 I said good bye to my father. He passed away 4 days ago peacefully and in dignity, surrounded by family at his home that he very proudly built 38 years ago. My father was 84 years old.
Today's funeral was the big bang he deserved to leave us with. Blue skies, lots of family, friends and neighbors attended. The wreaths took my breath away compared to the ones I remember as an altar boy in the same village decades ago. A rainbow of colors, no black anywhere in sight, all arranged by a local floral designer, who did an amazing job. The church service  was packed with people who came to join us in saying good bye. 
Mass was beautiful. The priest held a very personal sermon, including anecdotes and stories about my father's life. Though I do not consign to any particular faith, his recounting about the circle of life was incredibly passionate and it rang home. "Our death on earth is our birthday in heaven." Almost makes me want to be catholic. 

Even way back as an altar boy, the best part about a village funeral was the "Zehrung" after mass, a meal for all those who participated. My mother stepped it up big time I say, because they served a three course meal including soup, Wiener Schnitzel, my father's favorite and Sacher torte with coffee. Not the meager Wieners of yesteryear......





My father ran the local village general store for the first 10 years we lived in Hinterstoder, before he embarked on broader things across Austria. Upon retirement he started to work in his daughter's Tabak Trafik pretty much every day until about five years ago. For fun and to stay in touch with the people (and I am sure to get out of the house....), but then my sister and mother did recognize the onset of Alzheimer's and thought it would be better for him stay home more.

When I thought today what single word fits my father best, the first image that popped up was Provider. My father, who came from extreme humble beginnings himself, did whatever it took to make sure his family had a better life than he did growing up between the wars and throughout that dark time of World War II.
The second image that came up was his sense of humor, all the way to the end. Never wavered that laughter and joking does good. That, besides his talent for closing a sale, is the best trait I inherited from my father.
He loved the the mountains and gardening, two traits I did NOT inherit.....
A great family man, who always always put us before everything else. As hard as I was thinking, I could not remember one person who did not like my father.  

Happy trails Papa.


HUSBAND, PAPA, OPA, BROTHER

OUR VILLAGE CHURCH


EDELWEISS HE PICKED IN 1949

IN HIS MOUNTAINS

HE LOVED SKIING

1964

GORGEOUS FLOWERS

MAMA'S WREATH

OURS

GATHERING BEFORE THE FUNERAL

A LAST WALK THROUGH THE VILLAGE

THE LIGHT IN CHURCH WAS JUST AMAZING

HE COULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR BETTER WEATHER

 THE LAST GOOD BYE

A MEAL FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

MY FATHER'S FAVORITE (AND MINE....)