Madame Clicquot, née Ponsardin, Widow Clicquot or Veuve Clicquot (16 December 1777 – 29 July 1866), known as the “Grand Dame of Champagne” was a French businesswoman who took on her husband’s wine business when widowed at 27. Under her ownership, and her skill with wine, the company developed early champagne using a novel technique. The brand and company of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin still bears her name. (info sourced on the www.)

My husband and child both forgot my birthday in January, to save them the embarrassment of repeating this gaffe, I saved her portrait from the bottle I opened by sabrage at The Wine School back in August and took it to my jeweler to have set into a ring for my husband’s account. It was delivered to me on Friday and I am heartily chuffed with it, I should think Madame would approve?
I can’t afford the champagne, but the ring more-than makes up for it.

This is possibly the prettiest time of year in Johannesburg; the Jacarandas are showing off and the city is bathed in lilac. The trees scatter their flowers and the streets are covered in a purple haze; Jimi Hendrix must be smiling down from heaven.

And so to Pink Polka Dot’s weekly food quiz:
1. What is an Italian dumpling better known as?
2. What is “strata” in culinary terms?
Layers of bread with savoury filling, then baked?
3. What does “sous vide” mean?
Ask Tandy! It’s pronounced SUV, but has nothing to do with a motor car!
4. The “fifth taste” discovered by Japanese scientists, called “umami” describes what?
I wrote about it here.
5. What are the main ingredients of “vichyssoise?
Leeks and potatoes.
6. What is Mentsuyu?
According to Dave who owns the Chinese deli next door, it is the Japanese equivalent of Miso paste. Used it in my oxtail stew yesterday.

7. The fruit of which African tree is used to make monkey bread?
No eye deer …
8. Why is fish traditionally served with lemon?
It’s got something to do with balancing the acid and masking the odours?
9. What is tahini?
Sesame paste / dip
10. What are the basic ingredients of Fregolata, a hard and crumby cake, which are eaten all over northern Italy at the end of a meal?
A giant biscuit

Have a wonderful week, my lovelies 🙂



  1. Madame Clicquot must have been some woman to take on and achieve what she did 1700’s. What a superb idea
    Jakaranda’s on the highveld seem more beautiful this year.
    Vichyssoise – reminds me of my mom’s dinner parties in the 60’s/70’s when it often featured on her menu. It and Gazpacho are to this day sitill favourites of mine!

  2. Jacarandas… I used to love them when I lived in Sydney… haven’t seen one for years. Your photos brought back happy memories.

  3. Thanks for showing off those lovely jacarandas. We also have them here in Perth. However they strugle in the sandy soil and always look unhappy compared to how I remember them from my time in Pretoria.

  4. The jacarandas in Sydney are so very pretty at the moment too. There is nothing more pretty than a jacaranda tree in November. That is so sad they all forgot your birthday! I love Clicquot champagne and I will open a bottle and toast to your birthday.

  5. You are handing out a foretaste of your tastes to anyone who plans to entertain you? 🙂
    I think the lobby trying to eradicate Jacarandas should be eradicated themselves, forthwith.

  6. Ooh . . . pretty! That ring would also be perfect as a scarf pull ~ drape a scarf around your neck and thread it through.

    Today is the 30th anniversary of our first date.
    We’re heading out to celebrate!

  7. Pingback: Answers to Friday Food Quiz number 66 « PinkPolkaDotfood

  8. They forgot your birthday? Man, that totally stinks, however sounds like you more than made up for it. I didn’t know about the history of the champagne, beautiful really. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  9. My town here is covered in Jacaranda’s at the moment and blogged about it yesterday also with inspirational colour …the streets are amazing at the moment…we also have the red flaming trees and our Aussie bright yellow chrsitmas trees in flower, such wonderful colours a long call away from my usual European Winter. Trying to catch up on my blog reading…have a great day. x

  10. I love the ‘Hug a Bug’ pic the best…what’s the story behind it? A kindergarten? Nursery?

    BTW, a fantastic idea for the b’day ring! 🙂

  11. Pingback: Answers to Friday Food Quiz number 66 - Pink Polka Dot Food

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