Tuesday, 8 March 2011

DIA INTERNACIONAL DA MULHER

International Womens Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. ... O Cozinheiro celebrates, acknowledges and pays tribute to the work of women in the kitchen, past present and future, in no particular order.

Pamela Kirby, Julia Child, Alice Waters, Rose Gray, Ruth Rogers, Vianna la Place, Fanny Craddock, Elizabeth David, Patience Gray, Nigella Lawson, Angela Hartnett, Jane Grigson, Sophie Grigson, Stephanie Alexander, Marcella Hazan, Mary Contini, Madhur Jaffrey, Sybil Kapoor, Jennifer Patterson,Clarissa Dickson-Wright, Delia Smith,Alice B.Toklas, Marguerite Patten,Ursula Ferrigno, Tamasin-Day Lewis, Donna Hay, Claudia Roden, Sally Clarke, Elisabeth Luard, Valentina Harris, Anna del Conte, Alison Crudas, Catherine Calego, Sarah Purificaçao.

Women touch our lives in so many ways, as mothers, grand mothers, sisters, aunts and friends. So this special day is just for them, and all the things they do big and small. In Portugal, women have strongly embraced this day and take advantage of it to get together with friends to celebrate womanhood.
As time has passed by though the day has become more romanticized and in different countries you will find different customs. For example in Italy and Russia men give yellow mimosas to the women in their lives, and  Portugal and Romania celebrate with women only dinners and parties.
What would be my time honoured recipe to celebrate International womens day?
It has to be a recipe from the most influential woman in my life, my mother. Jerusalem Artichokes are alas something of an expat craving here in The Algarve. I haven´t yet sourced them here, but they still conjure up fond memories as a child in the kitchen.

Jerusalem Artichokes Au Gratin
1 1/2 lbs Jerusalem Artichokes
Salt
Water
Lemon Juice
Breadcrumbs for the top
1/2 oz butter
1/2 oz flour
1/2 pint of milk
4 ozs grated mature cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon djon or english mustard

Scrub and peel the artichokes.  Drop into a pan of salter water to which has beed added a little lemon juice.  Boil gently until just tender. Drain well and turn into a ovenproof dish.
Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a pan and adding the flour.  Blend well and let the roux cook for a minute of two over a low flame.  Add the the milk, 3 ozs of the grated cheese and mustard along with salt and pepper and stir constantly until the sauce thickens.
Pour the cheese sauce over the artichokes, sprinkle the top with breadcumbs and the other 1 oz of grated cheese and brown under a hot grill or the the top part of an hot oven for about 20 minutes.  Serve piping hot.

"Women are responsible for 50% of the world´s food production, 
but are only paid for 10% of it"

“More than 800 million people are suffering from hunger in the world, and some 70 percent of them are women and children.”  World Food Program.



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