Mouret Trumpet Rondeau

An upbeat finish to the day!
de Brantigny

Galettes du Roy et Tarte Chèvre et Épinards

From Laudem Gloriae two recipes from la Belle France. It was not possible to redirect these so I send the blog Url and copied them.

I should not do a recipe when I am hungry.

Galettes du Roy.

In France, around the time of the Feast of the Epiphany, one sees patisseries filled with galettes du roi to celebrate the gifts brought by the three kings to the infant Jesus. Several weeks later, the patisserires have emptied of these pastries, except the handful sold at reduced prices. It consists of flaky pastry filled with frangipane, in which is hidden the little figurine (originally porcelaine, now plastic) of a king. The one who receives the piece with the figurine becomes "king" for the day and must offer the next galette. (A similar tradition is held in some of the southern states, including Louisiana, which associates the cake with Mardi Gras.) It has a mild, not oversweet flavor (this is one of the nice things about pastry here--it is sweet enough, and no more), and the pastry is light and flaky. It goes perfectly with a steaming cup of Assam.

500g (17 oz) flaky pastry dough
250g (8.5 oz) of frangipane cream
1 egg
Porcelaine figurine

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (325f). Whip the eggs in a bowl. Roll out half the dough into a flat square. Pour the frangipane into the center in the shape of a circle of about 1-2 cm thickness. Brush the egg on the surrounding dough. Place the figurine anywhere in the cream. Flatten the other half of the dough into a square, and place firmly over the mixture. Cut the dough in a circle around the frangipane and press the edges. Brush egg over the dough. You may make criss-cross designs into the dough with the edge of a knife. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the dough rises and turns golden brown.

Tarte Chèvre et Épinards

Goat cheese? Spinach? Pastry? What else is there to say? Serves six

Flaky pastry dough
2 goat cheese logs chopped into 1 cm rolls
400g (32 oz) chopped spinach
4 eggs
(optional: grated Gruyère)

Pre-heat the oven to 200 (325f)degrees Celsius. Mix the eggs and grated Gruyère and pepper. Flatten the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Cover the bottom with spinach. Pour egg mixture over the spinach, and arrange goat cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Warning: Not good for the figure.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Laudem Gloriae.

Merci et remerci.

de Brantigny

The Galileo Myth

Tea at Trianon has a redirect to Taki's Top Drawer which introduced me to an article on Galileo. Misinterpreted and maligned by the intelligensia which use it to protray the church as backward and superstisious the real story of Galileo's trial may suprise many...

The Galileo Myth

Professor Rodney Stark has written about “the unique Christian conviction that progress was a God-given obligation”—which may strike some as odd, given that the Catholic Church condemned Galileo Galilei, the “father of science” himself, as a heretic for saying that the Earth moved around the sun. Galileo and the Scopes “monkey trial” generally form the Catholic and Protestant bookends of the case that Christianity is anti-science. However, historian Thomas Woods notes of the former: “The one-sided version of the Galileo affair with which most people are familiar is very largely to blame for the widespread belief that the church has obstructed the advance of scientific inquiry. But even if the Galileo incident had been every bit as bad as people think it was, John Henry Cardinal Newman, the celebrated nineteenth-century convert from Anglicanism, found it revealing that this is practically the only example that ever comes to mind.”

As the story goes, an obscurantist church, blinded by dogma, hounded and condemned Galileo because church officials could not square the idea that the Earth moved around the sun with such scriptural declarations as “Thou didst set the Earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken.” Reality was not quite so pat. In fact, Jesuit astronomers were among Galileo’s earliest and most enthusiastic supporters. When Galileo first published supporting evidence for the Copernican heliocentric theory, Cardinal Maffeo Barberini sent him a letter of congratulations. When Galileo visited Rome in 1624, Cardinal Barberini had become Pope Urban VIII. The pope welcomed the scientist, gave him gifts, and assured him that the church would never declare heliocentrism heretical. In fact, the pope and other churchmen, according to historian Jerome Langford, “believed that Galileo might be right, but they had to wait for more proof.”more

Posted by Robert Spencer on January 30, 2008


Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun

Madame Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was court portrait painter at Versailles during the reign of Louis XVI. She painted Marie-Antoinette many times. In her Memoirs, she describes the queen thus: more

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria Vidal from Tea at Trianon

de Brantigny

The Family and the King

The martyrdom of King Louis XVI was the most important political and social act of the French Revolution and the central drama in the revolutionary over throw of the family. It was the seed which fostered the destruction of the traditional family. Everyone recognized its symbolic significance, yet the revolutionaries had various and often contradictory views about the meaning of this act.

Though the deputies in the Convention frequently cited the historical precedent of the execution of England's Charles I, for example, they drew no single consistent meaning from it. In any case, everyone knew that kingship had been restored in England and the regicides punished(1); it was not a particularly encouraging precedent.

Revolutionaries and royalists alike considered the king the head of the entire social order, even though the political position of Louis XVI had been undermined in some respects before 1793, perhaps even before 1789. The status of "Louis Capet"(2) was very much in question at the time of his execution. Had the executioner killed a king or a man deprived of his Sacred status? Whatever the answer, his death in 1793 drew attention to a sacred void, marked by the empty pedestal facing Louis during his execution. The pedestal had supported a statue of his grandfather,(4) Louis XV. The government which ordered the execution of the former king was a republic whose legitimacy rested on popular sovereignty. Establishing a republic on paper took a stroke of the pen; winning the allegiance of the population and establishing an enduring sense of legitimacy required much more. What would make people obey the law in the new social order? The king had been the head of a social body held together by bonds of deference; peasants deferred to their landlords, journeymen to their masters, great magnates to their king, wives to their husbands, and children to their parents. Authority in the state was explicitly modeled on authority in the family. A royal declaration of 1639 had explained, "The natural reverence of children for their parents is linked to the legitimate obedience of subjects to their sovereign." Once the king had been eliminated, what was to be the model that ensured the citizens' obedience?

No one understood better than the English critic of the Revolution, Edmund Burke,(3) the connection between filial devotion and the willingness of a subject to obey. He feared that the whole community would be destroyed by the subversion of "those principles of domestic trust and fidelity which form the discipline of social life." In reviewing the early events of the French Revolution and in particular the demeaning of the royal family during the October Days of 1789, Burke bemoaned the passing of what he called the age of chivalry and its replacement by the age of "sophisters, economists, and calculators".

1) Many of the regicides could not themselves forstall the "National Haircut" during the terror, including Robespeirre, and one "Phillipe d'Egalite'"
2) The Conventions words not mine.
3) Good order is the foundation of all things. Edmund Burke, 'Reflections on the Revolution in France,' 1790
4)The portrait of Louis XV in his coronation robes, from the NC Museum of Art

Vive le Roi!
de Brantigny

Canada: A People's History - The Holy City

The beginnings of Ville-Marie. From the Canadian masterpiece of historical documentary, "Canada: A People's History". see also my article on Jeanne Mance...

de Brantigny


The Mystery of Durandal

In the French national epic poem the "Song Of Roland", the paladin of Charlemagne was the Count Roland. We are told of his sword named Durandal. It was said to contain in the hilt, a tooth of St Peter, a hair of St Denis and a piece of raiment of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was said to indestructible.

Myth has it that it still exists in the wall of a castle in Rocamadour, France.

La Chanson de Roland vers 1090 "lingua romana rustica."(1) ici...

If you have the correct player you may listen to two verses in the original language, here

Note: (1) Believed to be as close as on can get to the original language of the Romans in Gaul.
de Brantigny

The Jesuit Relations

The Catholic Church keeps extensive records. It is theoretically possible for a Catholic to trace his of her family through Baptismal records. Unfortunately in countries devastated by conflict as was France or religious persecution as in England many of the records have been lost but the theory exists none the less.

There is in existence one of the most valuable pieces of primary source material from the French colonial period of Canada. Written by Priests of the Jesuit Order between 1610 and 1791 these "Relations" describe in detail the unspoiled wilderness and people that inhabited it in the lands that would become Canada and much of the United States.

It is impressive reading. It is offered online and I present links to it herein English...
and here in French...

de Brantigny


Louis - Antoine de Bougainville

If you have ever watched the "Last of the Mohicans" with Daniel Day Lewis there is a scene where Col Munro and The Marquis de Montcalm discuss the terms of surrender for Fort William Henry. Montcalm requires a certain Captain de Bouganville to read out a letter from the English General Webb to Munro. That Captain de Bouganville, is a real character in American history, and while he may be a footnote in the French and Indian war his legacy lived on into World War II.

In 1754 he had joined the Army, and he now went off to Canada in 1756 as Aide - de - Camp to General Louis - Joseph Montcalm, where he gave distinguished service against the British in the French and Indian War there.

In 1763, we find Bougainville back home in France, and he now left the Army to join the Navy, to sail in 1764 into the Atlantic, down the coast of South America to establish a French Colony in the Falkland Islands.

He must have impressed his Government back in France, at this stage no Frenchman had ever sailed around the world, but in 1766, Bougainville was commissioned to do just that.

Dampier had found New Britain and New Ireland , the Dutch had pushed out into the Pacific in 1722, found Easter Island, the Gilbert Islands had been found by the Englishman John Byron in 1765, and the French did not want to be left out of this rush to seek out a continent, that was believed to be out there somewhere south of the equator.

Although Bougainville maintained an open mind on this subject, he had declared on the one hand:

... that it is difficult to conceive such a number of low islands and almost drowned islands without a continent near them

... But on the other hand he found it hard to believe that a southern continent existed for surely it would have been discovered by the earlier explorers:-

... If any considerable land existed hereabouts we could not fail meeting with it.

Now in December of 1766, with naturalists and other scientists, Bougainville sailed out of Nantes in the frigate La Boudese, taking much the same route as he had done in 1764, calling in to Rio de Janiro where he met up with his supply ship Etoile.

Commerson, a botanist, in Etoile, had found a climbing decidious shrub which in honour of his leader he had named Bougainvillia.

Both vessels now sailed for the Falklands, leaving there in July 1767 to sail through the Straits of Magellan into the South Pacific, on to find the Archipelago of Tuamoto, which these days is French Polynesia. They sailed on to Tahiti, only to learn it was discovered some eight years earlier by the Englishman Samuel Wallis.

Bougainville now sailed westwards reaching just east of the Great Barrier Reef to a point now named Bougainville Reef, he now turned north, coming close to, but not actually sighting the Australian mainland. Some 200 kilometers south east of Papua/New Guinea, he reached the Louisiade Archipelago, named after Louis XV of France.

They sailed onwards to the north, along the west coast of Choisuel Island, in the Western Solomons, south east of the now named Bougainville Island, through the now called Bougainville Strait to coast his named island of which he noted:-

... a new coast which is of astonishing height.

The ships sailed on to New Britain, and stopped at Buru in the Moluccas in September of 1768, his ships needed a refit, and many of the crew were suffering from scurvy, a disease that claimed the lives of some early explorers and many of their crew members.

It was at Buru, Bougainville found:-

... a species of wild cat that carries her young in a pocket below her belly.

A further sojourn was made at Batavia in Java, and now a course was set for home, arriving at Saint - Marlo in Brittany in March of 1769.

Bougainville thus became the first Frenchman to sail round the world, he rightly received great acclaim after his return, he was promoted in both the Navy and the Army. In 1772 he was appointed Secretary to his King Louis XV, he married in 1780, and fathered four children.

As a Commodore, he served in operations with the French Fleet off North America over 1779 to 1782, supporting the American Revolution.

Back in France, despite being a Royalist, Bougainville survived the Paris massacres, to settle on his estates in Normandy.

Napoleon honoured him by making him a Senator, a Count, and a member of the Legion of

Bougainville died in Paris on the 31st. of August 1811, having lived in interesting times, and achieving much in many different facets of his life. He deserves recognition for it all.

from "The Early explorers of Australia".

For those of us who like the classics

This is an unsolicited endorsement.

In my shameless plug department, I am plugging WCPE the classical station in Raleigh, North Carolina. WCPE broadcasts 24 hours a day commercial free classical music. It has a variety of programming which includes through the night with Sleepers Awake, Allegro, Great Sacred Music on Sunday, as I drive to Mass, and opera on Thursday nights. Tune in as you read my posts.

WCPE does not endorse or in anyway supports this blog. I just like their music.

Vive le Roy.
de Brantigny


I truly like the way this guy thinks, Irish Tory...

Revolutions have this odd hold on our minds, they are romanticised in film and novel, their instigators proclaim they fight for 'freedom', or 'liberty' or 'independence'!

The reality is that violence, bloodshed and unlimited greed are the results! Those United States did not begin their existence in some sort of nirvana in 1776, a small group of heavily indebted, petty aristocrats decided to use the issue of the 'Intolerable Acts' as an excuse to rebel against their rightful King, they exaggerated the weight of the taxes that amounted to less then 1% of the GDP of the colonies, they whipped up anti-Catholic bigotry when they refereed to the decent treatment of the French colonists in Quebec by the Crown. They whipped up more bigotry and genocidal zeal when they objected to the the Proclamation line which had been set, so as to protect the Indians from unorganised and unlawful land grabs!


Vive le Roy...
de Brantigny