G…uest #21: Le vrai Gratin Dauphinois

Osyth PicPlease meet the beautiful Osyth @ Half Baked In Paradise 
It was the delectable Dolly of Kool Kosher Kitchen who unwittingly introduced me to lovely Esmé who, it is entirely possible, may be deluded when one considers her rash invitation to me to guest on her, till now,  beauteous blog.  Anyhow, since Dolly is at the heart of this hopefully happy matter, I felt it appropriate to dig up a little history pertinent to a dish that I hope you will try. If you don’t know Dolly – where have you been?  She is, as her name implies a total doll and a very witty and smart one at that – honestly … go visit, you’ll love her.  So here goes …..

Osyth

The very first walk I ever took in Grenoble was a tentative totter up to le Bastille which sits some 400 metres above the city.  I casually strolled up through le Jardins de Dauphines and found myself facing Philis.  Philis is rather arresting in a slightly aggressive warrior sort of way poised casually astride her rearing steed brandishing one-handed some sort of lethal rapierClearly this is a woman to laugh in the face of weak-minded affectations of femininity like sitting side-saddle or wearing frocks and who would not shirk from skewering all comers with her dirk.  In fairness and for the aforementioned reasons, I did not instantly realise she is a she, portrayed as she is as a rather masculine, if a little foppishly dressed fighter. Of course, mens’ fashions were, a little frou frou in 17th Century France. I inched closer and it was clear that I was, indeed, beholding a gallant gal.

Osyth Statue
Philis is a legend.  We all know what legends are, I hope.  Legends are stories that are so old that no one can remember if they are true or not.  Keep that front of  mind as we sashay elegantly forward.  Philis was born  Philippe de la Tour du Pin de la Charce in 1645, the fifth child of high falootin’ tootin’ parents – hardly a surprise given the full mouthful of a name they blithely gave their infant.  At the age of six her Aunt, a poet of some acclaim, took her to watch a series of Roman plays in Nyon and SO amazed was the girl named Phil that she promptly declared she was changing her name that very minute to the entirely Roman Philis.  Which, let’s face facts was probably just a clever ruse to get a more girlie name.  However, it became clear that she had no intention of being a damsel, even though her newly acquired  name was a little less … manly, more maidenly.  She  competed brilliantly with her brothers  and became a breathtaking horsewoman and dashing blade wielder.  She fell in love with a Catholic, became betrothed when he promised to convert to the Protestant version of exactly the same faith as his but, a little  caddishly one might observe, he reneged on his pledge.  She then did what any self-respecting jilted girl might resolve to do … she became an even better horsewoman and an even greater blade and vowed that she would not so much as look at another man except down on him from high on her hot-blooded stallion.

Osyth2
This area of France is historically named le Dauphiné which means ‘dolphin’ and accounts for the fact that though we are 275km (170 miles) from our nearest coastline,  there are an awful lot of dolphin references around the city.   Forward to  1690 and enter stage right or left depending whether you are facing North or South, Victor Amedée II. You are absolved of any guilt for not remotely realising there was a Victor Amedée I, even though it actually turns out that, in fact there was also a further Victor Amedée imaginatively named  Victor Amedée III.  Victor’s correct title was Victor Amedée Duc de Savoie.  Savoie was next door to le Dauphiné (it still is) but he had absolutely no intention of being an affable neighbour.  He far preferred the idea of snatching the Dauphiné lands to add to his already bulging, to the point of vulgar, property portfolio.  According to her legend, Philis organised a résistance and heading an army of peasants she successfully saved her region from the marauding Victor.   The rather mealy-mouthed scolars who variously argued the story for over 100 years,  claim she simply fronted a band of looters who often came here “to collect contributions from citizens of local towns and villages” and that it was thanks to her relations with the French Royal Court in Paris that she was ever rewarded with a pension from King Louis XIV.  Whichever version you choose, by the 19th Century her myth had mushroomed and for a while she was called Jean d’Arc du Dauphiné.  Several historians have muted her laurels but she is still proudly acclaimed Heroine de Dauphine on her statue.  I know which version I prefer.

And as this guest piece is being written for a cookery blog I thought it only fitting that I give you an appropriate recipe: Le vrai Gratin Dauphinois.  You will kindly notice that a real Gratin Dauphinois has no cheese in it even though it is said that Escoffier experimented and was rumoured to occasionally add a little.  Like a Quiche Lorraine, here in this Gratin’s spiritual home, the real deal has no cheese and that is how I infinitely prefer it.   If you doubt me, give it a try – I promise it is a sumptuous experience that belies its meager list of ingredients.

Osyth3
Ingredients:
Potatoes – not waxy new ones.  King Edwards are perfect
Double cream or Crême Fraiche – you can dilute with milk if you prefer.   I don’t prefer.
Garlic
Freshly ground nutmeg
Butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt – if your butter is unsalted
Method:

  1.  Preheat oven to 150C
  2. Butter a shallow but not too shallow oven-proof dish
  3. Peel (reserve the peelings) enough potatoes to fill the dish when thinly sliced
  4. Rub with a cut clove of garlic
  5. Peel, chop and smoosh the garlic
  6. Slice potatoes into slender rounds – some use a mandolin, I don’t have one so I just keep them as thin as I can without adding slivers of finger – never elegant
  7. Layer the potatoes with a sprinkling of garlic, grated nutmeg and ground pepper
  8. Repeat til all the potatoes are used – three layers for my dish
  9. Dot with butter (mine has salt crystals so I don’t add salt)
  10. Drench it in cream – I used 50cl
  11. Bake for 2½ hours until bubbling, unctuous and smelling like your life depends on eating it.  In fairness, your life WILL be incomplete if you don’t.

Osyth4
I served ours with green beans and Diot.  Diots are a traditional Savoyard sausage.  I apologise for being unable to resist the irony …

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PS:  Eat only fruit for many days afterwards as a penance for the ambrosial decadence of the dish and to notionally save the impending blockade in your arteries.  But not before you have triumphantly taken up the saved peelings, coated them in a little oil of choice (always olive chez moi) and a good grind of black pepper.  Or frankly whatever you like to season them, who am I to dictate to you?  Pop them in a highish oven for 10 minutes.  Recline on sofa or chaise longue and idly nibble as a little snackette with your choice of libation.

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187 Comments
  • Bette A. Stevens
    Posted at 08:22h, 27 September Reply

    Sounds sensational…Must try! 🙂

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 17:30h, 27 September Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Bette – give it a try and let us know what you think. Also how about you do a Guest post with us – please let me know if you would be interested. Looking forward to your response

      • Bette A. Stevens
        Posted at 19:20h, 06 November Reply

        Let me know what you’re looking for in a Guest post… I make lots of jams from our apples and berries here at the farmstead in Central Maine. Also, “Mile High” apple pie is highlighted in a chapter of my novel DOG BONE SOUP. Feel free to email me at [email protected]. Have a great week and Happy Cooking! 🙂 xo

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 20:41h, 06 November Reply

          Hi Bette, Thank you for your note – I will be honored and flattered to receive and publish a Guest Post from you. I will send you an email as requested. Looking forward collaborating with you.

        • Osyth
          Posted at 22:17h, 06 November Reply

          Bette you are living my ideal life …. farmstead, Maine, making jam, pie, writing books … you have elevated yourself to icon in my eyes! 💛

  • New Journey
    Posted at 19:32h, 11 September Reply

    First lets just say it out loud – – I want a name like hers, Philippe de la Tour du Pin de la Charce , doesn’t seem fair, I am not sure this is going to be correct, but I like it – Katherine de la Tour de Ghent les États-Unis d’Amérique !! Even though my real name is only Kathy, I must have the full name, just rings the bell…LOL okay now that I feel regal, or perhaps even more rebelish, LOL
    as I read your recipe I could smell it in my mum’s oven, she made this, without the garlic, but always heavy cream and butter, and no cheese ever !! She made this for us as children. Now that I am older I understand the simplicity of it as she was a house wife always cooking a full dinner for daddy and all of us hooligans. It certainly is a delicious dish, and now that you have cleared my cobwebs, I will be using it for my German along with his hunk of meat…LOL Thank you and what a lovey honor to be a guest blogger !! Hope alls well on your side of the world…xxkat

    • Osyth
      Posted at 22:38h, 11 September Reply

      Lady Katherine – that is SO your name from now on!!! It is a delicious dish and one for your German to relish with his slab of meat for sure. I loved the story of your mummy cooking for you all. All is well with me. A busy time but I will write a short post today before I shimmy out of town for a few days xxx

      • New Journey
        Posted at 07:09h, 12 September Reply

        If we don’t speak before your festive day, Happy Birthday my friend….Eat, Drink and be merry!!! Xkat

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 12:44h, 12 September Reply

          🌹🌹

        • Osyth
          Posted at 23:26h, 16 September Reply

          Thank you! My husband is here for a few days so he took me out for dinner last night as a pretend Birthday …. believe me, I ate and drank it was a very merry evening!!! X

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 12:42h, 12 September Reply

      What a lovely comment. Thank you so much. Enjoy the 🥔🥔 dish.
      How about you also do a guest post here for us? What do you think?

  • michnavs
    Posted at 03:36h, 11 September Reply

    Oohhh great to see Osyth’s other self…i mean i knew she’s a fantastic writer and lover of literature and arts and places…but i didn’t realize she could provide us with such a delictable recipe.
    P.s.
    I live in the Philippines where people eat rice three times a day..but i don’t. I love pasta, bread and anything potato..so having said that thank you Dear Osyth this is another addition to my very few potato dishes…

  • lindywhitton
    Posted at 05:09h, 10 September Reply

    Not so very elegant but oh those slivers of fingers are delicious!

  • MELewis
    Posted at 22:09h, 07 September Reply

    I met a woman called ‘de la Tour du Pin’ many years ago. I understood vaguely that a name like that meant a certain background, but was astounded when I later passed the town of the same name on the highway and understood the full significance of her heritage. Pleased to meet this cast of characters, the delightful Recipe Hunter blog and to make the acquaintance of the true gratin Dauphinois! Thanks for the introductions, Osyth!

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 05:11h, 09 September Reply

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words. Should you wish to participate in sharing a post here with us just drop me a note and I will get back to you. As I am out of country, I may not respond immediately but I will. Hope to hear from you and share a post for you as well.

    • Osyth
      Posted at 05:24h, 09 September Reply

      Yes, very high born heritage. When I was a child I wanted nothing more than to marry a bloke (he would have had to have been Scottish) who was ‘of that ilk’ … I should write about what happened some day. I think being de somewhere or other is the French equivalent. Glad you enjoyed Philis and double glad you liked Recipe Hunter. Its a veritable feast x

  • Andrew Seal
    Posted at 11:05h, 07 September Reply

    With today’s post Osyth you have now become a legend yourself – look forward to seeing the statue. In the meantime, as a lifelong potato lover can’t wait to pop that oven-proof dish in the oven and nibble on those peels. I’ll let you know how they all turn out. Merci mon ami 🙂

    • Osyth
      Posted at 11:23h, 07 September Reply

      There is NOTHING like a spud! We are, under it all True Brits, my friend 😉 I must admit I would rather like to emulate Philis and gather a decent army of renovates to reek havoc on a few marauding tyrants who need to be bound, gagged and floated away in a pea green boat. Find me a horse and I’m your girl 😂

      • Andrew Seal
        Posted at 11:33h, 07 September Reply

        Lol 😊

      • Osyth
        Posted at 12:00h, 07 September Reply

        *renogades*

      • cookandenjoyrecipes
        Posted at 13:33h, 09 September Reply

        😊

      • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
        Posted at 19:24h, 06 November Reply

        I’m all for that havoc-reeking idea, Osyth – providing I can add a few notables on the American side of the pond worthy of a great deal of binding, gagging and drowning in that hopefully leaky pea green boat. (Failing same, could you manage at least the gagging and perhaps a few broken tweeting fingers?)
        Alas, no horse anywhere in my apartment – but I will put the word out in anticipation for your arrival on these shores. Meanwhile I shall sooth myself by trying your recipe, followed by a satisfying nap after all that richness, as I will probably eat the entire pan of garlic, cream and potatoes all by myself.
        Great guest post, Esme.
        xx,
        mgh
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to transform a world!

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 20:42h, 06 November Reply

          Thanks but all the honor of this post should go to Osyth.

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 22:57h, 06 November

            You get to bask in the glory for hosting, Esme. 🙂
            xx,
            mgh

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 06:40h, 07 November

            Thanks, my dear – I just love this Hosting of bloggers and to read the truly inspiring stories and yummy recipes. This is a truly amazing way for me to connect to the outside world, as I am a recluse and just doing my own thing.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 06:49h, 07 November

            I, too am rather a recluse and have benefitted so much from the online community. I’m glad it is so good for you!

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 06:59h, 07 November

            This is my communication and line to the ‘outside’ world. Love it

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 10:16h, 07 November

            I relish my connection with “my tribe” online as well. So many of my “physical friends” are located all over the US and our fascinations have diverged over the years. I have yet to meet kindred spirits who “fit” with many my beliefs and interests here in Cincinnati either. So I’m with you in gratitude for the wonderful connections I’ve made online.
            xx,
            mgh

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 17:07h, 07 November

            This is awesome, thanks for all your participating, comments and love

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 17:53h, 07 November

            Truly my pleasure. But for that time thing I’d read everybody’s EVERYTHING and comment on each of them every time (and I’ll bet many are relieved that I don’t – LOL)
            xx,
            mgh

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 19:40h, 07 November

            Please do not stop commenting, ♥ it

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 20:50h, 07 November

            As if I could ever resist chiming in! 🙂 But thanks for making me feel welcome.
            xx,
            mgh

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 06:16h, 08 November

            ♥ ♥

        • Osyth
          Posted at 22:15h, 06 November Reply

          Dearest M …. it will be my absolute pleasure to get the horse to stamp on those tweeting digits and fear not that pumpkin head is first in line for the boat and it most certainly won’t be watertight. Actually our French President is doing a good job so far so he won’t be destined for me bateau leaving much more space for rounding up the deplorable on your side of the Ocean. Get those slap my thigh boots ready …. the girls are gathering for an assault!! PS: I do hope you enjoy the dish but remember to leave plenty of recovery time afterwards …. like comatose on the sofa sort of recovery time 😉 xx

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 22:23h, 06 November

            The comatose warning wasn’t actually necessary, Osyth – one look at the yummy-ness and I knew immediately that I would be barely able to move once I snarfed it down (and that I WOULD be snarfing it down).
            xx,
            mgh

          • Osyth
            Posted at 22:29h, 06 November

            Scarf…. what a tremendous word!!! xx

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 22:53h, 06 November

            not original – from my undergrad days at the U. of Tenn. I do love it tho’
            xx,
            mgh

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 06:37h, 07 November

            Those out of this world puds will still be my downfall. Oh so so good and yes one can just wolf them down till nothing left and you dream of another bowl just appear on the table.

          • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
            Posted at 10:17h, 07 November

            Oh yes – delights of our our lives.
            xx, mgh

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 05:13h, 09 September Reply

      Andrew thanks for visiting and checking out this awesome spud dish. Let me know if you wish to participate here, no need to be food related. I am out of country but will respond to you as soon as possible

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 13:34h, 09 September Reply

      🥔🥔

  • Miss Gentileschi
    Posted at 06:33h, 07 September Reply

    Oh, this is such an awesome post! It´s got everything in it what I adore: history (I just love the story of Philis!!! What a woman she was! No, what a heroine indeed!) and good food! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – I WILL try it out (not this weekend though as it is planned to indulge oneself with lots and lots of yummy shrimps as a farewell to summer 😉 ) but definitely the next! xxxxxxxxxxx

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:48h, 07 September Reply

      I absolutely adore Philis. All visitors are told we are off to meet Philis and I know they think I’m stark raving but really, a proper heroine of her people and a girl who said I’m not going to sit on the shelf gathering dust just because that bloke (who I actually loved) jilted me and I am NOT going to conform to ladylike niceties. Do try the Dauphinois – it is super delicious. Sooooo decadently delicious and warming on a cold day. But first indulge in those shrimps. That will be such a fitting farewell to the heat of summer – I adore them. Actually the truth is I love food. There, I’ve said it. Its possibly and addiction to taste and I don’t give a hoot! Xxxxxxxxxxx

      • Miss Gentileschi
        Posted at 02:54h, 08 September Reply

        She sounds totally my type of gal! When I read the Three Musketeers oh-so-many-years ago now, I always wanted to be part of the group instead of bashing my eye lashes at them 😉
        And I love your confession and will add mine for everyone to read who cares: I love food too! 😀 No counting silly calories for me, or saying, “just this one tiny slice of cake, please” or “Oh no! No cream for me!” That´s for cowards. I´m the one shouting for second helpings 😉 xxxxxxxxxxxx

        • Osyth
          Posted at 04:21h, 08 September Reply

          I knew we were total kindreds … wanting to buckle your swash instead of adjusting your bodice and being first in line for seconds is all the proof I need!!! All for one and one for all and pass the cake AND ice-cream!! Xxxxxxxxx

          • Miss Gentileschi
            Posted at 06:04h, 09 September

            All for one and one for all!!! 😀
            (And I don´t mind some extra chocolate sauce on my ice-cream 😉 ) xxxxxxxxxxx

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:55h, 09 September

            Now you’re talking. Thanks for stoping by. Would you be intetested to also blog post here wurh TRH. It will be awesone

      • cookandenjoyrecipes
        Posted at 13:38h, 09 September Reply

        Food glorious food.

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 05:16h, 09 September Reply

      Thanks for popping over and trying out this awesome spuds. Please drop me a note should you wish to participate on this platform, as I will be very happy to share your post here as well. As I am out of country I may not respond immediately but I will get back to you as soon as possible.

      • Miss Gentileschi
        Posted at 06:58h, 09 September Reply

        Thank you for the offer, Esmé! 🙂 I will think about it and have a look in my cook book if I can find something worth sharing.
        In the meantime I look forward to read about the other recipes you´re sharing with us! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 13:41h, 09 September Reply

      Shrimps oh how I love it. We enjoyed prawns with lots of other seafood, what a treat and awesome family get together while visiting in SA

      • Miss Gentileschi
        Posted at 05:21h, 10 September Reply

        They are a delicious treat, aren´t they? I always eat far too many of them when I get the chance 😀

  • globalhousesitterX2
    Posted at 22:27h, 06 September Reply

    Spent months in France housesitting and the potatoes are so tasty. This recipe is one I must repeat. Thanks Osyth and Esme for sharing.

    • Osyth
      Posted at 01:35h, 07 September Reply

      Hello! And thank you … yes, the potatoes are good here – I might throw in a recipe for our local Auvergne speciality next since that is where I really think of as home. Yours is a fascinating life, I rather thing 🙂

      • globalhousesitterX2
        Posted at 07:29h, 07 September Reply

        Thanks Osyth, we think so. At the moment my feet think otherwise after hours walking around Athens 🙂 Look forward to the next recipe!

        • Osyth
          Posted at 09:41h, 07 September Reply

          I see you have followed me which is most kind. I’m not one to routinely follow back but I do declare that I think yours needs to be the exception. I’m very much looking forward to finding out more. Athens …. gosh!

          • globalhousesitterX2
            Posted at 10:31h, 07 September

            Yes, I am the same Osyth, I do not follow blogs for the sake of it. So I made the exception for you too 🙂 I only follow ones I really enjoy and who love to interact with me and mine!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 10:40h, 07 September

            Yippeeeee – let the fun commence!! 🙂

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:36h, 09 September

            Awesome love all the feedback and again thank you for your contribution.

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:37h, 09 September

            ❤️ you all

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 13:39h, 09 September Reply

          Enjoy Athens and I hope that both of you will submit more posts in future. Have fun

      • cookandenjoyrecipes
        Posted at 13:49h, 09 September Reply

        Osyth let me know when you wish to do your next post, sounds very interesting

        • Osyth
          Posted at 23:52h, 10 September Reply

          Esmé, I will. I have a very full schedule for the next couple of weeks but after that the theory is that things will settle down. So I imagine it will be nearer the end of September 🙂

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:35h, 11 September

            No problem then I will be back home as well.

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 13:51h, 09 September Reply

      Awesome. Email your comments and pic and I will add it to the post

  • blondieaka
    Posted at 19:37h, 06 September Reply

    I am so with you on this…definitely no cheese and even more definitely only fruit for a week at least but so worth it….an amazingly foodilicious dish 🙂

    • Osyth
      Posted at 01:38h, 07 September Reply

      Thank you so much and thank you for following me … I hope I won’t disappoint you. Your comment is perfect … it’s all about balance not deprivation in this life, I think 🙂

  • Christy B
    Posted at 14:44h, 06 September Reply

    I had not heard of Diots before! Great dish… what time is dinner?! 😉

    • Osyth
      Posted at 14:47h, 06 September Reply

      I always want to call them idiots! They are great … juicy and smoky. Guests are invited at 7 for 7:30 … you are very welcome 😊

      • Christy B
        Posted at 14:49h, 06 September Reply

        Great, I’ll bring dessert 😉

        • Osyth
          Posted at 14:53h, 06 September Reply

          Deal!

  • leggypeggy
    Posted at 14:38h, 06 September Reply

    This is just the thing to go with a roast dinner tomorrow night.

    • Osyth
      Posted at 14:45h, 06 September Reply

      Oh try it do! It will set your roast off a treat (and remind you of France sans saddle sores) 😊

  • chattykerry
    Posted at 14:32h, 06 September Reply

    That is one of my favorite dishes with a beautiful back story! In the USA, Idaho potatoes have a fluffy texture not dissimilar to King Edwards.

  • Jane Dougherty
    Posted at 13:52h, 06 September Reply

    I’ll tell you what I do as a variant. I mix the spud, cream etc in a big bowl, add Parma ham cut into thin strips and a lot of parmesan, spread the lot out on a baking sheet and cook in a hot oven until crispy on the top. You don’t need anything else with it except a green salad.

    • Osyth
      Posted at 14:10h, 06 September Reply

      Sounds fabulous…. like a potatoes carbonara lasagne … I’m in!

  • Sarah Ferguson and Choppy
    Posted at 13:05h, 06 September Reply

    Little slivers of fingers really are not elegant.

    • Osyth
      Posted at 13:45h, 06 September Reply

      So true!

  • phildange
    Posted at 12:09h, 06 September Reply

    This valiant female fighter was predestinated for sure, because never did I hear of a girl named Philippe by her parents, it’s like a girl named William in England ! But I discovered just now it has been used,as such, rarely, until the early XVIIth century . Thank you for teaching me a French thing I didn’t know … But you’re a naughty girl, you misspelt “Jeanne d’Arc” . Jean is a boy’s name in French, you must know it after such a long time ! OK Jehanne (old spelling) was rather manly in her actions, but at least she had a girl’s name since birth .

    • Osyth
      Posted at 12:25h, 06 September Reply

      I am amazed and delighted to have taught you anything French at all. And a girl must remain a little naughty, surely? I would edit but I can’t and that is my lame excuse. I sent this (late) to Esmé and there are actually several things I notice that need to be changed. But I can’t. So enough will have to be good enough just this once. Can you forgive me?

      • phildange
        Posted at 12:29h, 06 September Reply

        Mmm … We’ll see . Be at my office at 6 .

        • Osyth
          Posted at 13:41h, 06 September Reply

          😅😅😅

    • Osyth
      Posted at 12:03h, 06 September Reply

      Thank you so much … that is SO kind

  • roijoyeux
    Posted at 11:44h, 06 September Reply

    I had a few cooking lessons as a teenager and we were taught to make “gratin dauphinois” 🙂
    Thank you for reminding me and the legend of Philis / Philippe !!!

    • Osyth
      Posted at 11:51h, 06 September Reply

      Isn’t she a hoot! Whenever I walk past her (which is most days) I always stop and say ‘hi, Phil!’ Gratin Dauphinois is such a classic French dish (not at all good for the health) I imagine most households have their own version even if they care not to use it now. I did try it with almond milk once but it wasn’t the same ….

      • roijoyeux
        Posted at 12:20h, 06 September Reply

        Hey Osyth, I was taught your version, without cheese, I sometimes make it for my parents when I go to their house… If you want a healthy version for friends who must not eat fat, you can try olive oil, but it won’t be the same …

        • Osyth
          Posted at 12:27h, 06 September Reply

          It’s an American affectation to add cheese though when pushed they blame Escoffier but my research leads me to believe that is not entirely true. I think that I will stick to an occasional blow out with this followed by pious healthy eating for many moons afterwards rather than use the oil method 🙂

          • roijoyeux
            Posted at 19:50h, 06 September

            At home we add bacon bits and onions for a complete meal (with lettuce leaves) but it’s not the pure “Gratin Dauphinois” even though it is without cheese…
            For healthy eating it’s good to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because we tend to eat too much meat and milk and bread because it tastes good but it makes the body very acid, so you have to balance with vegetables and doing sports and eat much less acid food to make your body alkaline and stay young 🙂

          • Osyth
            Posted at 01:36h, 07 September

            In truth I eat a very light diet most of the time … mostly fruit and vegetables with fish. But I do love dairy, it must be said so I allow myself the occasional treat. My daughter is very tuned to alkaline eating. She would applaud what you are saying as she wants to keep her maman young as well as herself!

          • roijoyeux
            Posted at 02:43h, 07 September

            She’s perfectly right 😉

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:42h, 09 September

            😊😊

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:47h, 09 September

            Good on your daughter. Stay as young as you are …..

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:53h, 09 September

            Welcome and thanks for the visit. How about you share with us any post.

          • roijoyeux
            Posted at 23:19h, 09 September

            Hello ! Why not ? if you tell me how to do… Thank you 🙂

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:22h, 10 September

            Awesome. I am back home on the 22nd so please send me an email to [email protected] and I will respond asap. Hope to get some internet time on Tuesday

  • littleswancreations
    Posted at 11:20h, 06 September Reply

    Amazing and simple and lovely writing…

    • Osyth
      Posted at 11:39h, 06 September Reply

      Thank you, LIttle Swan … it is heavenly simple. Your compliment to my writing is humbly and well received 🙂

  • koolkosherkitchen
    Posted at 09:55h, 06 September Reply

    Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:
    Entirely too many compliments extended to me, but a brilliant post with a delicious recipe from charmingly enchanting Osyth hosted by great and wonderful Esme the Recipe Hunter – enjoy, Beautiful People!

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:57h, 06 September Reply

      You are far too kind. Thank you SO much for reblogging this, Dolly. Gros bisous

      • koolkosherkitchen
        Posted at 10:13h, 06 September Reply

        You are more than welcome; it’s my great pleasure! Pareillement 😻

        • Osyth
          Posted at 10:23h, 06 September Reply

          Tu parles bien le français – chapeau!

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 10:37h, 06 September

            With Mr Google’s help.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 10:38h, 06 September

            He’s on form 😉

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 10:49h, 06 September

            Thanks to my son and others like him who work for the same electronic translation firm. However, when Mr Google spews out something ridiculous, I forward it to my son with a comment, “It’s all your fault!”

          • Osyth
            Posted at 11:28h, 06 September

            Actually one of my favourite solitaire games is to take a piece of script (say The Three Little Pigs) … translate it using the translator into whatever language, then into another and then back to English – guaranteed to raise a smile! Very interested in your son’s work. You are a family of linguist I think 🙂

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:37h, 06 September

            I’ve never thought of it that way, but yes, my mother (may she rest in peace) imbibed languages instantaneously. I’ve always thought of music being a family trait, though. 😸

          • Osyth
            Posted at 11:45h, 06 September

            I am convinced that the two go hand in hand … however my flautist niece who spent 9 months at the Pasteur Institut in Paris as part of her Masters (she has been in Australia since she was 8 years old) would disagree. She struggled, poor child. But she then told me her Supervisor was from Auvergne (the region that I call home) and it all fell into place … the accent is deeply impenetrable. Your mother, I think had a great and lasting influence on her flock

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:54h, 06 September

            Your niece would be correct. Music and mathematics go together, in terms of multiple intelligences. Linguistic intelligence sometimes coincides, but so do the rest of them – pure coincidence.
            That being said, I hate math because, while in middle school, I was being pushed into algebra olympiads which was taking time away from preparing for piano competitions. My granddaughter feels the same way: math takes time away from voice lessons and choir rehearsals.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 12:02h, 06 September

            I made a decision lying out in my pram under the magnolia that since my brother was good at maths I was best off focussing on words since it was futile to compete. We both enjoyed music playing in Orchestra and the District silver band and my younger brother joined us on trombone but I don’t think we were ever going to win awards. He was hopeless at French so I employed the same method as I had in the pram and got good at it. I took Russian as a second language actually. He speaks fluent German after living there for a few years. When he bothered he got good but it was a matter of needs must and devils driving I think :)Your grand-daughter, in my humblest opinon, and you, have the right priorities 🙂

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 12:25h, 06 September

            Part of growing up in Odessa was taking music lessons since very early age. You’ll read about it in Babel’s Odessa Stories. All boys played violin, all girls played piano; it was an unbreakable rule. When my father (may he rest in peace) went to Boston for my granddaughter’s 5th birthday and found out that a) she wasn’t taking music lessons yet, and b) there wasn’t even a piano in the house, but a measly keyboard, he called me, enraged,”What kind of a grandmother are you?” As you would imagine, I told my son to get a piano pronto and sent him a check. She had a good Russian piano teacher, of course! 😼

          • Osyth
            Posted at 12:28h, 06 September

            Such stories! I can just imagine your father’s disgust! Babel’s Odessa stories it is!

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 12:29h, 06 September

            From a fantastic storyteller as yourself – great to hear!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 13:42h, 06 September

            Too kind ☺

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 14:18h, 06 September

            Mutual admiration society 😻

  • francetaste
    Posted at 09:52h, 06 September Reply

    This sounds like the perfect winter comfort food.
    Just as my husband insisted that fettuccine carbonara must made with béchamel, he was thrilled when I made it with raw eggs and pasta water–until I told him. I am sure he would complain if I didn’t cover this with cheese, but it sounds so rich that he might actually think it’s in there, unless I confess, which I won’t do, having learned my lesson.
    Also, what a joy to discover such a bon vivant cooking blog!

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:56h, 06 September Reply

      Isn’t it a wonderful blog? I love it … and Esmé is just a wonder. If you fancy guesting for her I am sure she would snap you up … yours is lovely blog. Now. Top tip. If you use crême fraiche I’m willing to bet hubby wouldn’t notice … you get that slight twang which isn’t present with crême entire. I hope you try it and I look forward to hearing the cheesy carnivore’s verdict 😉

      • francetaste
        Posted at 11:42h, 06 September Reply

        I thought they were all crème fraîche, just a matter of solidity/liquidity.

        • Osyth
          Posted at 11:47h, 06 September Reply

          Crême fraiche is soured with a bacterial culture … it’s not as sour as soured cream but lies between it and double cream, I always think 🙂

  • koolkosherkitchen
    Posted at 09:48h, 06 September Reply

    What a fabulous, delightful post! Dear Osyth, you have outdone yourself, and Esme, aren’t you simply thrilled to have had Osyth as a contributor!
    I’ve heard of Philis, but in a different context, from the Savoy side, where her army is called “a band of marauders.” Now I know the true story – much appreciated!
    I thank you so much, Osyth, for a glowing introduction; you can see me blushing all over the Internet!
    Reblogging this post, of course, and sending much love to both of you, ladies! 😸

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:54h, 06 September Reply

      Dolly I am beyond delighted that you enjoyed it because I genuinely dedicated it to you. But double delight! You know Philis! How funny that she is known as a bandit by the Savoyards. Personally, I am convinced that the mealy-mouthed historians are also for Savoie! I have now discovered that there is a Philis Appreciation Society in the City … guess who their latest member is? 🙂

      • koolkosherkitchen
        Posted at 10:11h, 06 September Reply

        And what does the society do,I wonder, in addition to mutual admiration?
        Anyway, as you may have noticed, I am infatuated with Northern Italy, and Torino is right next door to Milano, where I used to go for the opening of the opera season quite often. I am truly grateful to you for this morsel of history viewed for the opposite side. And, of course, I adore your style! 😸

        • Osyth
          Posted at 10:22h, 06 September Reply

          Let’s make a date to meet in Northern Italy … I can think of no-where more delightful. Milano for the opening of the season – now that, my friend is class! Not a clue what the Philis society do … maybe we get to polish the statue!!

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 10:34h, 06 September

            It’s not class, ma cherie; it’s called opera fanaticism.
            As to polishing statues, let’s not go there! In Leningrad (St Petersburg, that is), there are bronze horses on Anichkov bridge. It is considered good luck for students to rub the horses’ nether equipment for good luck before final exams, Since the tradition goes back a couple of centuries, you can visualize the grudging Baltic sun brightly reflecting off highly polished globes. I’ve heard a similar story about Henry IV statue on Pont Neuf in Paris (the horse’s equipment is polished, not the king’s, although his was quite remarkable, if one believes legends).

          • Osyth
            Posted at 10:37h, 06 September

            Tittering discretely to self at the reference to Henry IV’s tackle. In Moscow they polish the nose of a night watchman’s dog in one or other of the metro stations (I found it irresistible) …. opera fanatics are always welcome – it surely is the closest we get to Heaven on earth. I think.

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 10:47h, 06 September

            The famous Duke de Richelieu statue, the symbol of Odessa, would also make you titter if you look at it from a certain angle. I don’t know how to attach images to comments, so here is the link http://www.enjoyukraine.info/article/Duke-de-Richelieu.html
            Our graduation tradition was “to dress the Duke,” and the most daring students would put a prophylactic on the rolled-up document in his hand. The tradition is still going on.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 11:25h, 06 September

            No with glass in hand I am in danger of rolling off my sofa … that is SO funny!!! Thank you … the link is about to be followed 🙂

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:34h, 06 September

            (with a perfectly straight face): Odessa is a cradle of humor in the same way as Florence is a cradle of Renaissance. But seriously, that’s where Ovid wrote “Metamorphosis” – in Odessa, not in Firenze, that is.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 11:42h, 06 September

            Oh I rather think it is given the story you told 🙂 Odessa has reason to be proud simply for that fact. Don’t take my mind to Firenze too … I’m in danger of a wishful overload!

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:44h, 06 September

            Don’t take me on a tangent of Odessa pride; I risk running out of space!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 11:49h, 06 September

            Another day but I would love to learn more. My ignorance of that area is quite deplorable. I need to go to the library again I can see

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:59h, 06 September

            You don’t have to go to the library: prevalent majority of famous Russian writers and poets of the 20’s and 30’s were from Odessa, and I am sure you know the names but have not realized the Odessa connection. Odessa Opera House is considered the most beautiful in Europe, with Vienna Opera being a slightly smaller copy. Russian violin school (Stolyarsky school) was born in Odessa, and those famous violinists who hadn’t actually studied there, still pride themselves on “Odessa sound” (Itzhak Perlman, for instance). I better stop here!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 12:04h, 06 September

            I had not made the connection … so I have many Odessan works on my book-case then 🙂 Itzhak Perlman is quite a hero of mine. I am amazed. I still better take a deeper look. I don’t like this gap in my knowledge … it is really appalling 🙂

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 12:26h, 06 September

            No more appalling than my lack of knowledge of French history in its details.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 12:29h, 06 September

            Oh but I just long to be an endless vacuum taking up every minute grain of knowledge. By the time I have the time the grey cells will be too matted!

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 12:35h, 06 September

            We are in the same boat, but I find more time now in my retirement. You have something to look forward to!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 13:43h, 06 September

            I think if I could retire IN The Bodleain Library in Oxford I would be content 🙂

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 14:24h, 06 September

            My husband claims that my vision of paradise is an endless tunnel filled with books, with classical music playing in the background.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 14:40h, 06 September

            A perfect vision of paradise, I’d say

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 18:50h, 06 September

            Agreed, but he keeps forgetting painting on the walls and sculptures here and there. Then it would be perfect.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 01:42h, 07 September

            I do agree … with two artist daughters I would do well to not forget that 😉

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 11:45h, 07 September

            How lovely to have artists in the family!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 12:04h, 07 September

            It is. My youngest graduated Fine Arts this summer … I was in awe of the work she and her peers had put into their degree exhibitions – absolutely stunning. The world would be a dull and poor place without art and music and literature. In fact I couldn’t imagine that I would be able to live without them.

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 19:29h, 07 September

            Neither could I. Which media does she prefer?

          • Osyth
            Posted at 10:53h, 08 September

            She’s a painter mostly … she works in oils and watercolours and also with painted and embroidered photographs. She did a fantastic piece for her degree which involved instant polaroids of her own body – very close up parts so that it was not about a whole but rather focussing on what we see as our imperfections – and the bodies of various friends focussing on their deepest insecurities. She then set about embroidering the scars, the warts, the wrinkles (I contributed myself for that one 😉 ) the stretch marks, the blemishes, the supposed imperfections. The results were incredibily moving. Then she added them to an installation which involved her sitting on the bed in a replica of her teenage bedroom and inviting people to talk to her. She filmed these on Super 8 and played it on loop repeat with a soundtrack of Antony and the Johnsons ‘You Are My Sister’ (if you don’t know him, he is worth checking out … an extraordinary human who was born in a different kind of body). It was incredibly moving particularly for those of us who know that she is cripplingly shy and a card carrying feminist who has campaigned since her early teens to stop the ridiculous body images that are pedalled by the fashion and music and film industries. Proud mama (as you can probably tell)

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 14:28h, 08 September

            That must’ve been an incredibly powerful and deeply emotional installation! I would’ve loved to experience it! You certainly have a reason to be proud!

          • Osyth
            Posted at 05:13h, 09 September

            Dolly it was. This influenced her greatly when she was younger and she had always wanted to be brave enough to put herself in that vulnerable position. You of all people with all the young you have nurtured and given the tools to be courageous will understand how wonderful it was to see her take the risk. Take a look at this video on YouTube:
            http://youtu.be/mEcqoqvlxPY
            Hugs

          • koolkosherkitchen
            Posted at 19:08h, 09 September

            I was going to ask whether you taped it! It’s to not accessible to me, though, and I would love to see it. My understanding is that she put herself into a self-created gestalt which extracted her out of her shell. It certainly took not only amazing creativity and imagination, but also true courage!
            Now, how can I see that video?

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:20h, 10 September

            Would love to read your response to the below Osyth

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:33h, 09 September

            Wow awesome and congrats

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:32h, 09 September

            😊😊

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 13:45h, 09 September

            🎨🎨🎭🎭

  • watchingthedaisies
    Posted at 09:21h, 06 September Reply

    What a wonderful post as always Osyth. You had me laughing over the fruit penance. I shall put cream on my shopping list tomorrow. I have lovely home grown spuds in waiting -a present from family. 🌼

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:22h, 06 September Reply

      Kismet! Happing eating. I do think it is the most wonderful comfort food 🙂

  • Dippy-Dotty Girl
    Posted at 09:03h, 06 September Reply

    I would like to believe that the legend of Philis was true. That she did look down a fine aquiline nose upon men – from atop her magnificent ride. Escoffier. That man’s story fascinates me…Anyway I think the best Gratin Dauphinois I have had so far was in Brussels. I cannot wait to try my hand at this recipe of yours though in a while – after I have gathered sufficient courage to bring on the double cream. My arteries are clogged up with the previous butter-and-cream laden weekend 😀 xx

  • If you’re afraid of butter, use cream! | Half Baked In Paradise
    Posted at 08:43h, 06 September Reply

    […] Source: G…uest #21: Le vrai Gratin Dauphinois […]

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 08:52h, 06 September Reply

      Thank you sooooooo much for sharing. I am in transit at airport and unable to get on your site, but will as soon as I reach my destination in 36 hours. Thanks again.

      • Osyth
        Posted at 09:02h, 06 September Reply

        Entirely and wholly my pleasure. I’ve linked it to my site (with a bit of hair tearing … I really must go on a WordPress for Dummy Old Women course) and I am sure my readers will be happy to find you! 🙂 Bon voyage and bien arriver to you 🙂

        • cookandenjoyrecipes
          Posted at 05:07h, 09 September Reply

          Thanks dear – sorry for being so late in responding but out of country and having to go to a coffee shop to get internet connection.

          • Osyth
            Posted at 05:29h, 09 September

            Enjoy a break and don’t worry about a thing! I have never been to SA but I know I would love to.

          • cookandenjoyrecipes
            Posted at 06:05h, 09 September

            I am from SA and visiting family. What a feast

  • Bernadette
    Posted at 08:41h, 06 September Reply

    Great post from one of my favorite writers. She never disappoints. Leaving now to buy potatoes.

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 08:50h, 06 September Reply

      Awesome 🥔🥔🥔 here we come

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:13h, 06 September Reply

      Hurrah … I do hope you enjoy it … it’s my guiltiest of pleasures. And you were firmly in my mind when I decided to write about Philis … your Feminist Friday’s are such a treat and I think she makes the cut!!

  • Osyth
    Posted at 08:11h, 06 September Reply

    Thank you so much for allowing me to guest on your blog, Esmé… I look forward to sending you more Half Baked Treats from my Paradise very soon xx

  • amindfultravellerblog
    Posted at 06:11h, 06 September Reply

    Oh my…. how can one resist this. Will definitely try your recipe out Osyth. Looks amazing. Thanks Esme for sharing. Xx

    • Osyth
      Posted at 08:37h, 06 September Reply

      Thank you … I promise it won’t disappoint! 🙂

    • cookandenjoyrecipes
      Posted at 08:47h, 06 September Reply

      I am a happy camper and the lucky one to have you all participate on TRH. 🌹🌹🌹

    • Osyth
      Posted at 09:12h, 06 September Reply

      I hope you enjoy it … it’s my guiltiest of pleasures!

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