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 🙂


73 Comments Add yours

  1. souldipper says:

    What a coup! Both Madams have twinkles in their strategies!

    1. theonlycin says:

      A girl’s got to have here wits about her, Amy 😉

  2. leigh says:

    Jozi could not look prettier 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Even appears to be less road rage out there 🙂

  3. Sue Green says:

    Morning! have a good week.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope yours is going well too, Sue 🙂

  4. 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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh I love gazpacho too, James 🙂

  5. inzwakazi says:

    I just can’t get over the purpleness. I want to breathe it all in.

  6. Enjoy your day off today.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      I napped through much of the day, Mandy 😀

  7. Leeswammes says:

    Love the pictures of Johannesburg in bloom! We’ve had the first frost (night only) so we’re heading for winter now.

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’ll have your own kind of beauty, Judith, when you get snow 🙂

  8. adeeyoyo says:

    The Jacarandas do seem more profuse this year! Beautiful pics, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, adee 🙂

  9. dearrosie says:

    Your top jacaranda photo is a prizewinner! Love how you captured the light and the purpleness!

    1. theonlycin says:

      The pics don’t begin to do the trees justice, Rosie 🙂

  10. Pseu says:

    Oh! oooohhhhhhh!
    Jacarandas: so beautiful, they strike a chord like a bluebell wood does.

    Love the idea for the ring

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope to see a bluebell wood some day, Pseu 🙂

  11. Tandy says:

    I had to stop reading half way when I saw the quiz! Love your new ring 🙂 See you in one week xxx

  12. Tilly Bud says:

    I have drunk much real champagne this week, in France 🙂 Hic.

    My son used to call the jacarandas ‘the purple trees’. I miss them.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am jealous, Tilly, but glad for you and Viv 🙂

  13. earlybird says:

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

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am glad, earlybird 🙂

  14. nursemyra says:

    Sydney is blooming with jacarandas too at the moment. and the perfume of star jasmine. heavenly.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, Myra, the jasmine is heavenly indeed 🙂

  15. kyker says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you for the visit, Kyker 🙂

  16. Hotly Spiced says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, Hotly, I hope you enjoy the bubbly 😀

  17. colonialist says:

    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.

    1. adeeyoyo says:

      I agree, Col. They must be quite blind!

      1. theonlycin says:

        Blind as bats, adee!

    2. theonlycin says:

      They’re very silly, Col!

  18. granny1947 says:

    I hope you milked that lapse in memory for all you were worth.
    I would have!!!!
    Love you.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Still milking it 😉 xxx

  19. Madame Clicquot is an inspiring lady! The Jacaranda’s are simply gorgeous and oxtail… mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmm-mmmm! 😉 Have a great week, Cin!

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, my Lee 🙂

  20. SidevieW says:

    Jimmy would have felt right at home in this season 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, I think so, Sidey 🙂

  21. Ruth says:

    The jacarandas are so beautiful!

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re breathtaking, Ruth 🙂

  22. nrhatch says:

    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!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Fine idea about the scarf, thanks and enjoy your 30th festivities, Cheers 🙂

  23. slpmartin says:

    Love the ring idea…and the photos Johannesburg are lovely.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Charlie 🙂

  24. Tes says:

    Wow those pictures are so gorgeous! Like a purple Sakura!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I shall have to Google Sakura, Tes 🙂

  25. Thanks, Cindy – excellent answers!! I am misiing Gauteng at this of the year!! I just love the jacarandas!! So beautiful!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Don’t be greedy, Pinky, you have that beautiful fynbos 😉

  26. …still wanted to sya that your pics are really beautiful!!

  27. 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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was great, thanks Cheffie, hope yours was too 🙂

  28. Spectra says:

    Thanks for the lesson in Champagne! Love that ring, too. Very inventive of you…who dares to forget your special day now???

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh, I will leave reminders all over, make no mistake, Spectra 😉

  29. Oh, Cindy, the pictures are just captivating. Such gorgeous blossom….beautiful…..

  30. OH those trees are heavenly! Cool ring. In my house it’s me who forgets my own birthday!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahaha, no chance of that, Linda!

  31. The Hook says:

    Beautiful pics! A visit here is a journey through the wonders of the world.

  32. Yvette says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am also waaaaay behind on my blog reading, Yvette, don’t worry too much about it 😀

  33. Mal says:

    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! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, Mal, it is a nursery school, sweet hey?

  34. bluebee says:

    You are so good at revenge – love it!

  35. Seeing your jaccies in flower as the one in my backyard is blooming and dropping purple all over us reminds me that we’re on the same side of this big blue ball.. 🙂

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