Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monet's Luncheon on the Grass
"Luncheon on the Grass", Claude Monet 1865, oil on canvas The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow Russia.

It is almost picnic time! If we can get the sun to come out and the ground to dry up a bit, we can pull out the picnic basket and the blanket and head to the vineyard for a lazy afternoon in the vines! As you can tell, in the 1860s, picnics were not the casual affairs they are now! Monet painted this after making many sketches outdoors with his friends. In his studio, he painted this large canvas as a study for an even larger one (460 x 600 cm !).

Being the "foodie" that I am, I really had to find out what food is there on the cloth! It turns out, there are platters of pâtés, grapes and roasted game birds. That is when the idea struck me! I am going to hold a Monet's Luncheon on the Grass! I will recreate his menu and invite friends to join me at the vineyard for an afternoon of art, wine and game birds.Such fun! Now I just have to pick a time....I was just looking at my calendar this morning and feeling great relief because I don't have much on my calendar for the month of May. I guess I am going to commit myself to another event. Oh well, no rest for the wicked.

Speaking of Roasted Game Birds, I googled just that and this is what popped up from Food.
The birds, be they doves, larks, or smaller creatures, should never be gutted (modern cooks do clean them). Before spitting them, prepare them as follows: fold their wings over their backs, so each can hold one or two leaves of sage. Cut the feet off at the ankles and cross the legs, passing one knee over the other and hooking the bones through the tendons to keep them in place, and insert another leaf of sage in the hollow thus formed. Wrap the breasts of the birds with paper-thin salted slices of lard. Now spit them, putting the larger ones in the middle of the spit, and separating them with half inch thick slices of day old bread. Cook the birds over hot coals, and, if you haven't stuck their beaks into their sternums, begin by keeping them head down so that their necks will stiffen and their heads won't bob. Baste them once, when they begin to brown, using a brush or feather so as to avoid basting the bread, which will be seasoned enough by its contact with the lard. Salt them just once. Set the birds on the fire just before you'll want them, since they will cook quickly, and if they're done too soon they may well dry out. Slide them from the spit directly onto the platter, because they look more impressive when they're all lined up.

I get Kyle Phillips blog everyday, and this is the first time I have decided to go with my own recipe instead of his!

I promise, no beaks stuck into their sternums! No bobbing heads! Oh, and no one needs to dress as they did in 1865! Leave the long dresses and petticoats, the coat and ties at home. My Monet picnic will be casual! More like Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881, French: Le déjeuner des canotiers) a painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It is currently housed in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
At least the men have figured out how to be casual....but look at the ladies! Buttoned up to their chins in ruffles and bows! What do you want to bet some man wrote a book on how women shoud dress! Good Grief! Not me! But they do have lots of wine on the table, fruit and cheese and bread....okay, it could have been a good afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. Saw your profile on another page. Glad I read your intersting and well-written blog. Look forward to following you here. Have a great day. Cheers!