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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 02/15/16

Monday, February 15, 2016

HOW TO MAKE PUFF PASTRY THE EASY WAY!

   This diy comes from www.thepinkwisk.co.uk.   Baking desserts and pastries don't have to be have and difficult.  I have watched quite a few chefs make this.  They seem to make it a long drawn out labor intensive ordeal.  Follow this recipe and diy and it shouldn't be all that bad.  Tell me what you think?


How to make Puff Pastry




It’s not complicated but it does take a bit of organising in advance. I do use shop-bought puff pastry and generally have some in the freezer. Making your own is quicker than the time it takes to defrost some
(and it’s not difficult either)
This version of puff pastry is referred to as rough puff pastry, the idea being that you only get 75% of the rise that you would get with traditional puff pastry – getting technical there! However, when you see the rise you get with this its far above and beyond shop bought.
Puff Pastry takes a couple of days to do and also means you have to wrestle with a full pat of butter – hmmmm, I can be organised but not that organised!



Ingredients:


250g strong plain white flour
250g butter, cold
juice of 1/2 lemon
5-6 tbsps cold water to combine
To make the rough puff pastry add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick pulse to mix.
Cut the cold butter into 1/2cm slices and add to the food processor bowl.





Using the pulse function whizz until the butter is broken up but still in visible lumps. Tip the mixture out into a large mixing bowl.






Make a well in the centre and add the juice of half a lemon and then enough super cold water to make a dough. Use the blade of a table knife to mix the dough rather than your hands as you don’t want to melt the butter.








Once the dough is into a ball wrap in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for an hour so that the butter hardens up again.
After an hour take the dough out of the fridge, lightly flour your work surface and then roll out the dough into a rectangle shape.






Fold into three like an envelope (see pictures below).







Turn the dough 90 degrees to the right so that the folds are now left and right. Roll again to a large rectangle and fold into three again. Turn and then repeat this step twice more, turning before each re-rolling and folding.






Each time the pastry gets smoother and more refined. Wrap again in clingfilm and allow it to chill for another hour in the fridge.






See? – It wasn’t difficult was it?
The pastry is now ready to be used for whatever you need it for. It can be frozen, wrapped well in clingfilm for upto six months. When defrosting, just make sure it stays dry and doesn’t sit in a pool of water.






Half a block is sufficient for a puff pastry top for a pie so it may be a good idea to cut it into half before freezing.
Traditionally you shouldn’t re-roll puff pastry trimmings. It disturbs the buttery layers within the pastry which you’ve worked so hard to create. However, you can. In these times throwing away pastry trimmings is wasteful and I just can’t do it. Gather together the trimmings and gently squeeze them back together as a ball. Chill this wonky ball of pastry for half an hour or so until firm again.
This ‘wonky’ trimmings puff pastry is ideal for Palmiers – see recipe here. You can’t guarantee a huge rise or that the rise is in the right direction but it still tastes delicious all the same (and its better than heading for the bin!)

THE CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO FROM ITALY!!!






Image result for CARNEVALE DI VIAREGGIO 2016





    The Viareggio Carnival was established in 1873 when some of the local "signori" decided to organize a Sunday a little different from the rest, by inventing a procession of decorated floats which travelled up and down the main street of the city. On the occasion , a masked protest was also organized by a number of citizens, as they were forced to pay too many taxes and as a result the chief tax collector was certainly made fun of!! The parade was liked alot, not only by the patrons but also by the citizens and the idea of making floats that interpreted humor and dissatisfaction of the people and the events that came about in that year.
   Carnival of Viareggio celebrating 139 years of life and activity under the sign of a vivid tradition such as the long – established European tradition of Carnival festivals, is no doubt one of the best known events in Italy.
    Carnival of Viareggio since it was born it has been acquiring a strong touristic value and attracts every year more than one million spectators gathering to attend the magic of the great parade of big floats in papier – maché.
    In 2016, the usual five carnival masked parades are planned for February 7th,14th, 21st. 28th and March, 5th, on the extraordinary Liberty style staging along the seaside avenues of Viareggio. Every evening, there are carnival celebrations in all of the city's different quarters.







             Real travelling theatres - the allegorical papier-maché floats are the product of the unequalled creativity, of the extraordinary sculpture and painting skill of Viareggio ‘magicians’, and are the highest example of this popular art whose language has spread all over the world.
The parades take place in a ring-like circuit 2 km. long, on the seaside avenues of Viareggio, best known as La Passeggiata.
    Here the floats move among the spectators, who can attend the show with no barriers, becoming in turn the protagonists of the parade.
    During the Carnival period, Viareggio and his Passeggiata change into a true open air Museum where people coming from all over the world meet to enjoy together.
The parades also include folkloristic bands and performers with the most original masks, offering excitement, culture and tradition in a wide programme of entertainment and fun for children and adults









Viareggio

   The popular seaside town of Viareggio is situated on the Tuscany coast. Viareggio and the resorts "Torre del Lago Puccini", "Lido di Camaiore", "Marina di Pietrasanta" makeup about 20 kilometers of the Versilian Riviera (or Riviera della Versilia).
Viareggio has most of the usual attractions of a typical Italian seaside resort.
    The town's symbol, heart of its history, is the “Torre Matilde”, built by the Senate of Lucca in 1550. In 1601 Viareggio, that was already a township, was declared a free port, and in 1617 it became the chieftown in the Vicaria del Litorale (the coastal viacariate).
    The birth of the first bathing establishment dates back to 1823. We owe the building of Viale dei Tigli to Maria Borbone, through which she could reach the centre, leaving from her villa situated in the East pinewood. In fact, the touristic activity began in Viareggio right in this period. Many men of culture stopped for a time in this area: the poet Percy B.Shelley, Lord Byron, Manzoni, Puccini and D'Annunzio.
    The city is 23.76 miles to Pisa, 17.67 miles to Massa, 29.87 miles to Livorno, and 59.5 miles to Firenze.
    The 3 Km modern promenade, where the parade takes place, is one of the focal point of the city, characterized by shops, cafes, refreshment points and Liberty style buildings.
Viareggio is now a tourist seaside resort with beaches and hotels boast ancient tradition.





 

    Since then Viareggio has become the home of the Italian Carnival, with its masked parades characterized by allegorical floats in papermache'. These floats are true works of art to which the local float makers dedicate an entire year of workmanship to. There is not one politician, entertainer, or intellectual that has not been a target (protagonist) of one of these floats, which almost comes to life during the parade by the moving arms, opening and closing mouths and rolling eyes. On every float, young people and children find a place from which to throw confetti and shooting stars to the crowd. During the entire period, masked balls and parties in the various "rioni" (quarters, districts) are organized as well as numerous sport and cultural events.








    The official Viareggio Carnival mask is the "Burlamacco", a clown which wears clothes. Checkered overalls, taken form the Harlequin's costume, a white ponpon stolen from Pierrot's big puffy blouse, a white gorget-"Captain Scary" style, a red headband and a black mantle. The name Burlamacco derives from Buffaimacco a Florentine painter and a character in the "Decamerone". However, it is also said to be linked to the Lucchese surname Burlamacchi.