Monday, December 20, 2010

European Meringue Pie . . .

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The snows of Siberia are upon us. A polar depression is apparently forcing cold arctic air down to European latitudes. Resulting in more snow that I've ever seen here in the Paris area. Our table where we like to lunch in the summer was transformed into a meringue pie. Which is fine by me, I love lemon meringue pie ! This one was just a little frosty. The roads are a nightmare, which is wreaking havoc for some of us who still have some miles to go before they sleep.
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Although it is already Sunday night (! Where did the weekend go ? They go fast when one works for 15 hours from Saturday through Sunday morning, digging out from the snow mess...) there is still time to check in for the end of James Weekend Reflection series. I was with James when I did these next two photos, he may recall where they were in the labyrinth of alleys in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. I'd also like to dedicate this image to Roxana, who inspired me to try to catch it.
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This is where the above detail came from . . .
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Just a few days ago on his Something Sighted page, James posted a photo from Père Lachaise in Paris, under the title "Factory of the Dead", an image of the crematorium there. This next shot is another take on the same subject, or the smokestacks at least.
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The public poetry of loss and longing. Christmas is a poignant time of year for those who may be missing someone. Be well. "Go quietly amidst the noise and haste."
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56 comments:

Joanna said...

Beautiful photographs. Snow makes it all so poignant. I hope you dig out soon.

The Pliers said...

Very nice, my man!

I love the arctic picnic table. Way cool.

Unfortunately, that snow finds my Frencher Half on your side of it and me across the vast frosty expanse in NoSnowLand. Perhaps Santa will bring him back to me in his sleigh?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Reflection Hunting!

Lorrene said...

I also have one of those meringue pies on my patio. It is still being made as I speak write oh whatever.

...louciao... said...

Could I get an iced coffee to go with my pie, please?

Jidhu Jose said...

super shots

Laurie said...

Gosh Owen, and I thought the snow was bad in Lancashire. I loved the chimney stacks behind the trees image. Great stuff as always. Now, get some sleep!
Laurie

Steve said...

Whoa that is a lot of snow. Sadly my own meringue only rose to half that amount...

Elisa said...

You sure have winter there also ;) In Helsinki there is now 61 cm snow and that is lot more than we here in north have. But it is snowing here and wind is hard and of course there is still -18 C.. not nice at all. Beautiful photos you have taken, I like them very much.
Have a nice day ;)

the fly in the web said...

Put some fruit on the top and you have a pavlova!

Loved the reflection shot.

mythopolis said...

The snow is quite beautiful. Also, everyone's photos. Mother Nature is on a rampage on the west coast here!

Happy holidays!

Jilly said...

Oh yes....your shots are stunning and with a perfect title! Keep warm and don't venture out too much.

namaki said...

I love your meringue pie ! the Polar snows didn't come down as far as the South West this time.... they hardly ever do ! Must be the breath of the ocean !

Lena said...

Hi Owen!!
Your photos are as beautiful as ever!!
I hadn't stopped by in quite a while... (Not a good thing...)
Just wanted to wish you a very happy holiday season!!
Warmest greetings from Mexico City!
XXX

K'line Bloom said...

Très inspiré Owen !
Couvre-toi bien...
Ta table de jardin meringuée donne très envie :) Yummy !
Tu m'en garde un petit bout ? ;)
Bises

Stickup Artist said...

That first shot says it all. I marvel at the perfection of the shape the snow has created out of that flat surface! I would love to see that one framed. It would grace any wall with its elegance. The last 2 poetry in form and verse for those of us to whom Christmas will never be the same as the one's we used to know. And your reflection shot is so lyrical and tells a different story. I too am indebted to both James and Roxana for opening doors of perception that I may not have otherwise walked through.

Le Journal de Chrys said...

Il faudra attendre les beaux jours pour s'installer à ce salon de jardin!!!!

Catherine said...

Quelle idée généreuse de partager ta si parfaite tarte au citron meringuée ! J'en ai reçue jusqu'ici ! C'est le dessert du moment. Chaque matin en tirant mes rideaux je me demande, auront-nous cette fameuse meringue ou reviendront nous à la buche ? Garde à l'indigestion, néanmoins.

J'apprécie ton oeil de photographe qui détecte autant de grâce dans un simple reflet auprès duquel beaucoup seraient passés sans rien remarquer. Sur ce plan très serré, c'est assez magnifique !

Nathalie said...

Superbe, la pièce montée façon meringue ! Vous m'en mettrez deux douzaine, une par week-end pendant tout l'hiver ! Vous êtes bien partis.... keep smiling.

Owen said...

Hi Joanna, many thanks, and I'm wondering, maybe the table was covered not in meringue, but in white chocolate mousse ?!

Owen said...

Hi Pliers !
Glad you like the snowy table, it is perfect for serving dishes that need to stay chilled, like seafood platters with oysters... and as for the champagne and white wine, no ice bucket needed, just plop the bottle down somewhere in the middle of the table. Warm parka required though.

So what's this about your Frencher half being somewhere up this way while you are not ??? If he's still here after Xmas, please ask him to give me a shout... and you, where are you spending Xmas ? When you say no-snow-land, is that somewhere inside the hexagon, or is that back in balmy souther CA??? or elsewhere?

Take care and happiest of holidays to you both !

Owen said...

Lorrene, I hope your meringue will prove to be as deliciously lovely as ours was ! Happy holidays !

Owen said...

Louciao ciao, you certainly may ! And would that be with or without a shot of Irish whisky in it ???
:-)

And where's that Saj ??? She hasn't placed her order yet...

Owen said...

JJ, many thanks !

Owen said...

Hi Laurie, I think the snow is bad everywhere. Was just reading about all the stranded passengers at Heathrow. What a MESS ! Will be catching up on sleep shortly !!!
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
;-)

Owen said...

Dear Steve,
Maybe you didn't beat it enough ? A meringue has to be beaten just enough in order for it to rise to its full potential.

Owen said...

Hei Elisa,
61 cms ! and -20C !!! If you keep talking like that you are going to drive me south for the winter...

Might just have to start thinking about going back to la Réunion for a month or two or three, until this crazy cold and snow have gone back to Siberia and Canada where they belong !
:-)

Stay warm and very happy holidays to you...

Owen said...

Dear Fly,
Correction, a frozen fruit Pahlova...

Do you have any spare rooms in Costa Rica we could come stay in for a month or three ??? Or a spare guest house we could rent ?

For me this bitter cold and snow gets old in a hurry... I've about had my dose already, and winter only officially starts today. With a full moon to boot for the solstice...

Owen said...

Mythop,
We are due apparently for at least three more days of rain, freezing rain, and snow on the forecase... am getting a little weary of it already... hope things are better where you are.

Stay warm and happy holidays... happy solstice too, which I suppose is what the original holidays this time of year were really all about, the days start getting longer again from here on out. Then the old traditional feasting and partying got hijacked to serve other purposes. I like to celebrate the original reason...

Owen said...

Hi Jilly, thanks so much, believe me, we are little tempted to go out these days... although I may go out to howl a bit at the full moon tonight, if it's visible...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Namaki,
I think I'm going to move south then !

TheChieftess said...

We heard yesterday and today that here on Mammoth Mountain, we have the most snow in Northern America!!! My house is slowly being buried in snow...our deck...well let's just say that our patio table is under about 6 feet of snow right now!!! At least the internet is still working (the tv isn't!)

Stay warm Owen!!!

Owen said...

Hi Lena,
Many thanks for dropping by, am happy whenever you can make it... oh glamorous but not dumb one... That latest tatoo is quite amazing, hope it didn't hurt too much. And also hope you'll get over the bronchitis fast, that's no good for a singer...

Happy holidays ! And happy full moon !

Owen said...

Chère K'line, bien sûr je garde un petit bout pour toi, je vais aller le tailler et le mettre au congelo, ce petit bout, ok ? Et au mois d'août quand il fait bien chaud de nouveau, on sortira ce petit bout pour toi... faudrait juste passer le réclamer...
:-)

Bonnes fêtes !!!

Owen said...

Hi Stickup, indeed, indeed, that's exactly why I wanted to shoot the photo, so we could frame it, and keep a memory of that incredible meringue... it never snows this much here !!! This winter is already bizarre, and it wasn't even winter yet... that happens today. And for sure we are very fortunate to have James and Roxana helping us see certain things along the road...

Owen said...

Bonjour Chrys ! Mais, mais, je ne veux pas attendre... le froid, c'est trop... c'est trop... c'est trop froid ! J'ai entendu parlé que l'homme a inventé une machine qui permet de monter dedans, et dans moins de douze heures, on peut se retrouver sur une île tropique comme la Réunion, où il faut mettre un peu de crème solaire avant de sortir, mais où il fait chaud actuellement...
:-)

Ca fait rever un peu, non ?

Owen said...

Salut Catherine,
J'ai vu que tu es très attentive aux décorations, ton balcon saupoudré de sucre de patisserie est magnifique, on a presque envie de croquer un peu dedans... aie ! Ca fait mal aux dents !

Merci bcp sinon, et en espèrant que ton chauffage est efficace ces jours-ci, je te souhaite le meilleures des fêtes, au cas où d'ici noel je n'arrive pas à revenir ici... ces derniers jours avant noel, c'est un peu la folie au boulot..., un peu, beaucoup, à la folie même...

Owen said...

Bonjour Nathalie,
Si tu passes ici tu pourrais découper autant de parts que tu voudrais, il y en a pour tout le monde, et encore ! Faudrait juste être équippé avec une grosse boite isotherme pour les transporter jusqu'à dans le sud...

Bonnes fêtes à toi Nathalie !

Owen said...

Hi Chieftess, that sounds amazing ! Hope you don't get totally buried ! Well at least the net is still connected, to be cut off with no net and no tv and only white out the windows could be a problem. Do you have a snow mobile to go shopping with ?

Happy holidays !

TheChieftess said...

Definitely amazing!!! And we only just moved up here in July, from sunny Southern California!!! Just found out that this is the worst December storm EVER in Mammoth...Mammoth is one of the premier ski resorts in California, and for that matter, the US...known for it's heavy snows and sunny skies...well, we've got the heavy snow right now, but I'm beginning to forget what the sun looks like!!!

Nevine said...

This will sound just crazy, but I do have to admit, Owen, that I envy you your weather. We're having a bit of a warm winter, here in Texas... at least where I live. And it's really quite irritating. Lots of fog in the morning... and brilliant sun throughout the day. Now, why should I be complaining, right? But I do love my seasons. I remember, when I lived in Singapore, growing up... I loved it! But I hated the fact that we only had one season all-year round. I feel as though I'm living through a repeat performance of that, this year.

At any rate, I am not here to rant about the weather but to tell you, instead that I am quite haunted by the view from between those gnarly branches and that very last "I miss you" has brought back such bittersweet memories for me.

It is always such an experience visiting you, Owen.

Wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful and glimmering holiday season filled with bright hopes for the coming year!

Nevine

Dee Newman said...

As a child growing up in east Tennessee we would delight in such a snow fall. I have fond memories of making snow-icecream. Unfortunately, snow is so toxic nowadays such delights are unthinkable. Great Photos!

Owen said...

Hi Dee,
Scary to think that even snow could be toxic... but if rain can be acid, I guess snow, that most virgin of precipitation could also be polluted. What a mad world...

Deborah said...

Some poignant images there, Owen. My sympathies to you for the awful weather, which we Canadians do tend to snicker at, but which does create real hell when one isn't equipped for it.
If I don't come back here before the end of the week, I do wish you and La Grenouille and your children a joyful Christmas, and hope that you'll be snug and toasty warm together in front of your tree. Many good wishes to you for the New Year, Owen!

Owen said...

Dear Nevine,
Maybe we could organize an exchange then ???
:-)
I would love to do some field research in rural Texas, although I fear some of the places I'd like to go explore, like the Big Bend area, may not be exactly safe these days... sad times, when so many places are off limits due to too many people running around with guns and hate in their hearts. So much for the Christmas spirit.

But you are welcome to come partake of the snow, there is plenty of it going on across Europe these days, and another major storm is predicted in the Paris area for Wednesday night... just bring your snow shovel and chains for the car tires !

Alberto Oliver said...

Haha, what a pie!! and you wont believe it, i even thought in take a slice of it =)
My dear friend Owen, you know how these times of the year keep one so busy and such, so then i am not sure if it will be possible for me to be in the extraordinary and beloved blogworld of mine the coming years. Thus, i want to wish you a very Merry, white, shining, happy Christmas!! May not only these days, but all your life be one of health, happiness, wisdom and love. Receive a big hug and all my best wishes, and extend these wishes to all of your family and beloved ones. Keep well and enjoy so much dear Owen and yes, i hope you haven´t been a mischievous kid so Santa can bring you some magical presents (i hope the old bearded man includes France on its itinerary) =)
all the best for you !! and see you soon.

Peter said...

The meringue pie looks really nice, but I believe I prefer the one I had at the restaurant last night! :-)

Amy said...

Your table does look like a giant iced cake! It's actually very pretty. I would be tempted to grab some other outdoor items to decorate it.

I really adore the image of the trees - timeless and haunting.

Stay warm and have a lovely holiday.

jeff said...

Heeeeuuuuuuuuu....
Tu devrais pas repeindre ta table et tes chaises ?...(:[
La rouille c'est pas très jojo lorsqu'on a des invités ! ! !

Bonnes fêtes sacré Owen du Nord !

James said...

Sorry I'm late but I ditched the internet and went to NYC for a few days. It looks like you have plenty of snow to deal with. What a cool shot, no pun intended. :) I love your Père Lachaise photos. They always put a smile on my face.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh I love that pie! What a great shape, did you have to make it that way or did nature do it for you? Stunning photos again, sorry I'm late....

clo said...

Howdy Owen...
oui jeff n'a pas tort..:o)un petit coup de peinture peut être..
Et as tu pensé que nous allions nous geler l’arrière train sur tes chaises glaçons..Es ce là que tu bois courageusement ton petit café du matin?:o)
plaisanteries mises a part il y a là une belle épaisseur de neige..le ciel ne vous a pas épargné..
j’étais passée en fait , pour te souhaiter une belle fête de Noel..
Et je trouve que tu as raison de rappeler que certains se sentent très seul ce jour là..
je t'embrasse ..
a bientôt..

~Babs said...

I just wanted to say thank you for all these great posts you do. I'm here often,,,and so greatly appreciate seeing what you see.

Last year at this time we also had this much meringue, but so far this year, none. I like it best on your table.
Hope you're able to dig out soon.

Merry Christmas,,,,and I look forward to seeing more of your world in 2011!

ρομπερτ said...

It might take a while, yet there's Beauty and the Good to be found, even beneath the white of snow.

It has been years since last I saw any with me own eyes. Craving.

Please excuse this late arrivel, yet without any mean of transport at all ;) for now nearly two weeks ... may you all have a good Thursday.

Roxana said...

oh Owen, i thought i was making bleak posts in the Christmas week, and here you go so hard on us, my heart is aching, broken reflections, crematorium smokestacks behind tangled black branches which look eerie, as if cut out from a horror's forest, lass and longing (the Bridge finds a lot of inspiration here, those are usually my favourite topics :-)...

i don't know how i inspired you for that lovely shot, but if it is true, then i am honoured and humbled... thank you, dear friend...

my love at first sight is however the first picture, i adore wrought iron furniture and the snow makes the entire atmosphere simply amazing... yet i don't feel sadness in that picture, because i imagine all the more the warmth of the house, the tenderness and intimacy shared by all those sheltered within...

Owen said...

Ah merci Clo et Jeff, vous êtes passés pendant que j'étais au boulot ces derniers jours de noel, et je n'avais même pas vu... mais là, en soufflant un peu dans l'après noel, je retrouve vos messages ici avec le plus grand plaisir, et souhaite en profiter pour vous envoyer plein de voeux pour d'excellents jours de fêtes, entourés de vos proches... que de bonnes choses !

Owen said...

Alberto, Peter, Amy, James, Saj, Babs, Robert, Roxana,

Ah, and you too, all passed while I was slaving away the last days before Christmas, and even Christmas eve and Christmas day I still was working working working... but now finally breathing again for a few days, before it starts back up again in January.

My deepest heartfelt thanks to you, may your holidays be full of good cheer and good beer, err, champagne, well, whatever gives you pleasure, hot chocolate even... hope you aren't all too snowed under wherever you may be, well, some of your are at the beach smirking while some of us freeze our little tootsies off... who said life was fair ?

Best wishes, hugs, happiness to all...