Monday, January 11, 2010


Little Red Riding Hood
A cautionary tale warning little girls of the perils of disobedience.
Little Red Riding Hood is one of the best loved fairy tales of all time. The story has changed considerably in its history, and been subject to numerous adaptations. It was originally an oral tale called The Grandmother's Story, shaped by the rural traditions of France from the Middle Ages, and then eventually penned by Charles Parrault in 1697 as Le Petit Chaperon Rouge. Probably the most well known version is the Brothers Grimm's Little Red Cap.

(Oils on canvas by Tiina Heiska)

The thick-knit cloak without which
I never dared venture into the world.
Is it any wonder that when the wolf appeared,
coat of silver eyes of gold,
when the wolf sauntered toward me, kindly as you please
and showed me fields of lavender and jessamine,
hawkweed and flax -
purple and yellow and flame run wild,
blue stolen from the skies;
when the wolf sauntered toward me, kindly as you please
and showed me fields of lavender and jessamine,
hawkweed and flax -
purple and yellow and flame run wild,
blue stolen from the skies;
warming the pine needles till their scent filled the air
and led me far from the path;
when he told me there was no reason to be so grave
when the wood was merry;
is it any wonder I went deeper and deeper into the green trees?

-Excerpt from the poem Silver and Gold by Ellen Steiber

Little Red Riding Hood by Anne-Julie Aubry
little red riding hood - jointed paper doll wool & water art by Amy Earles

When Little Red Riding Hood went through the woods to her grandmother's house she was carrying in her basket a fresh galette and a pot of cream. A galette is a round, somewhat flat cake made of flaky pastry dough. The term also applies to a variety of tarts, both savory and sweet. They may be topped with fruit, jam, nuts, meat, cheese, etc. The following recipe for plum galette is a rustic fruit tart, prepared simply with fresh plums, butter, almonds and sugar. The crust wraps around the fruit without the need for a tart or pie dish.

Plum Galette
1 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar (for pastry)
3 tbsp ice water
1 tbsp cornmeal
4 medium plums, each cut in 8 wedges
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup Plum Jam (see recipe)
1 tbsp plum jam
1 tbsp sugar (for filling)
  1. Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Or process ingredients in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss it with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball.
  3. Gently press into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle paper with cornmeal. Unwrap dough; roll out into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on baking sheet.
  6. Combine plums and cornstarch in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Add 1/4 cup Plum Jam; toss well to coat.
  7. Arrange plum mixture on top of dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold edges of dough over plum mixture. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove galette from oven (do not turn oven off). Brush crust with 1 tbsp Plum Jam; sprinkle galette with sugar. Bake for another 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes before serving.
Plum Jam Recipe (for galette)
4 1/2 cups chopped ripe red plums (8 medium)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
  1. Combine plums, sugar, and water in a large saucepan; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Uncover and simmer 50 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, skimming foam from surface of mixture occasionally.
  3. Cool; pour into an airtight container. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.) Cover and chill. Can refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

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