Currently Reading: A Moveable Feast

Currently Reading: Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast

Summertime means that I actually have time to read all of the books that have been taunting me from my shelf for months. First up on my list is Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. This book is perfection in the only way that a Hemingway novel can be. This story embodies everything that Liberosis stands for (read about it here), enjoying the simplicity and small meaningful things in life even when life isn’t perfect. The novel is a tale of Hemingway’s expatriate life in Paris when he was a young budding writer and still married to his first wife, Hadley (although it is not classified as an autobiography).

Hemingway is one of my all-time favorite authors. To add to that, I have always been obsessed with Paris. Hemingway is admittedly a difficult read. He applies his famous iceberg theory technique and even comments on how he originally formed it while writing at Parisian cafes. If you choose to read this, I suggest pausing every so often to think about what he is saying. Even if the sentence seems insignificant, Hemingway did not write anything out that he believed was not needed, so everything you see is important to the story.

In the novel Hemingway speaks of being poor, supporting a family, and being frustrated when he cannot get a story out the way he wants it. I feel like I can certainly relate since I am still establishing myself in the world. Even though I am always on a tight budget, I still realize how fortunate I am. What I do forget, however, is to appreciate the little things in life, and more importantly, the people in it. Hemingway stating that “we would be warm together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright” truly shows that even when he was poor and had nothing, he was being meditative and appreciative of what he did have.

When I visited Paris myself 3 years ago, my favorite part of the trip was not climbing the many stairs to the top of the Eiffel tower or even seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. My absolute favorite part of being in Paris occurred when I was on a Seine river boat cruise. I noticed that that the hundreds of people lounging along the banks of the Seine were just drinking wine and eating cheese or baguettes. This really struck me, and I realized that this simple activity truly marked the aura of what Paris is. These people were enjoying the company of one another, enjoying food and wine, and most importantly, had nowhere more important to be. I know I don’t stop to enjoy the little things enough, and that memory is something I think about often.

I think about this memory as I read A Moveable Feast, because Hemingway clearly understood what a Parisian lifestyle meant. I can see why he would choose to be here in order to refine his craft-along with many other famous expatriates like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. He says “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast,” and I can honestly say I wholeheartedly agree.

Seine River Cruise, Hemingway's A Moveable FeastSeine River CruiseKelly and I in Paris

Crab Imperial Recipe on Liberosis

What’s Cooking Now: Crab Imperial

I love trying new things, especially when it comes to food. When you get bogged down by day to day life, dinner can sometimes be boring! I decided to shake up my normal dinner routine and make something new. Someone recommended making Crab Imperial, which was a perfect choice since I love seafood. A friend sent me this recipe, and I made a few modifications to it.

For the lump crab meat, you will need to find a seafood market where you live. The only market that had some in stock in Cincinnati was in Anderson township (30 minutes from where I live), but I didn’t mind since this east part of the city was a place I had never been. At around $30 a pound, the crab is more expensive than a typical at home dinner, so this might be a dinner you save for a special occasion. The final product was delicious, and I definitely recommend it. Below you will find the recipe I used as well as the modifications I added.

 

  • 1 lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • ½ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Old Bay (I use more than this. It’s one of my favorite spices)
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • Squeeze of lemon juice (I add more than a squeeze)
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Egg yolk noodles
  • White whine (I suggest Pinot Grigio for this dish. You will add this to the sauce and drink with the meal)

 

  1. Mix mayonnaise, sugar, Old Bay, lemon juice, and parsley together and blend well to create the imperial sauce. Add in a splash of wine according to taste.
  2. Gently fold crab meat into the imperial sauce, being careful not to break up the crab meat.
  3. Place into a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until almost golden brown on top. While baking, boil noodles.
  4. Layer the breadcrumbs on top and broil for 5 minutes.
  5. Allow 5 minutes to cool then layer on top of noodles.

Scroll to see pictures of the process!
Mixing Crab Imperial sauceLump Crab Meat and white wine for Crab Imperial Crab Imperial Mix Crab Imperial golden brown from the oven Crab Imperial finished product.

 

Serve with a Caesar salad and your white wine. This is definitely a recipe I will make again. I have never been to a restaurant that serves this dish, but it is perfect for a date night in or entertaining guests. I am always looking to try new recipes, so if any of you have one to share, email it to me at liberosisdc@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!

Sunday Brunch

My boyfriend’s parents came to visit us in Cincy this past weekend. They live 4 hours away, so they don’t get to visit us very often. Whenever we have guests, we always love to take them to some of our favorite spots in the city. Sunday meant brunch downtown, so we headed to Over the Rhine. The weather was beautiful and a relief after all the rain we’ve been having!

Cappacino at Wine Bar and Coffee Lab
Cappuccino at Wine Bar and Coffee Lab

First we stopped by Wine Bar and Coffee Lab to grab drinks and also wait for our table to be available at the brunch place. They have amazing European style coffee and a killer Bloody Mary bar with all the garnishes you can think of. I opted for a cappuccino while everyone else had a Bloody Mary.

 Wine Bar and Coffee Lab
Wine Bar and Coffee Lab

For brunch, we went to Taste of Belgium. It’s one of my favorite restaurants here, and we go there often for brunch and dinner. I once visited my friend who was studying abroad in Brussels, Belgium, and this place has the food and ambiance of the country down pat. The waffles are amazing, but today I ended up ordering a lavender mimosa and a lox baguette sandwich. I loved ordering them in Europe, but the baguette is a nice swap for the bagel.

After brunch we strolled downtown and went to check out Fountain Square. It was recently turned on and was beautiful against the contrast of the blue sky. Overall it was a perfect Sunday brunch day. I’m also excited because school is over for me after this week, which means summertime! I’m very excited for my upcoming travels and just simply having time to relax and explore the city. There is still much to see and do here that I haven’t had time to check out during my crazy first year of teaching! Check back for many posts about my adventures.