Brebichon is a soft artisanal pasteurized sheep-milk cheese. The light wheat coloured rind is washed with apple cider. Brebichon has a soft mild creamy texture that is luscious with a light apple flavour and aroma. 

Brebichon is produced by Les Fromages du Verger operated by Michel Guérin et Brigitte Maillette, situated on a lovely apple orchard located in St-Joseph-du-Lac in Quebec.
Apart from harvesting fourteen varieties of apples, the farm produces a variety of both fresh and refined sheep milk cheeses. The dairy ewes of East Friesian and Lacaune breed of sheep are fed apples from the orchard, which results in a rich and unique milk that is highlighted in their original and consistent cheeses produced at Les Fromages du Verger.


Corsu Vecchiu

Corsu Vecchiu

Corsu Vecchiu is a traditional semi-firm unpasteurised sheep milk cheese from the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea.

Corsu Vecchiu is aged between 6 to 9 months. The cheese has a washed rind that is light grey with golden overtones and the ivory colored uncooked pâte has a dense texture with a few holes.
Its flavour is rich, buttery, nutty and somewhat sweet with a subtle saltiness that comes through at the end. 

Corsu Vecchiu pairs well with dried apricots and Pinot Noir wine.

Most of Corsica has a Mediterranean climate but in the mountains it has a colder Alpine climate. The mixed climate, varied terrain, robust vegetation and semi-wild sheep are ideal ingredients for a rich variety of cheeses. I recommend you try Fleur Du Maquis another excellent sheep-milk cheese from Corsica.


The Mavericks - Dance The Night Away

The Mavericks

The Mavericks is a country music band from Miami, Florida. This hot single is taken from their 1998 album "Trampoline". This track just lifts my spirits up and gets me movin' and I can’t help but want to "Dance The Night Away".

"I just wanna dance the night away
With senoritas who can sway
 Right now tomorrow's lookin' bright
 Just like the sunny mornin' light"



This past Saturday, I ate Tartiflette for the first time. Let me tell you, this French dish from Haute Savoie, can easily become one of my favourite comfort foods. Potatoes and Melted Cheese – Mmmmm!
Tartiflette is traditionally made with potatoes, Reblochon cheese, garlic, onions, cream and lardons.
If Reblochon cheese is not available in your area, one can easily substitute it for another ripe, soft paste, washed rind cheese. Lardons can also be substituted with smoked salmon for a tasty alternative.  
Reblechon Cheese for Tartiflette

Tartiflette in the oven
I would like to thank Jacinthe, our wonderful hostess and the gang from La Fromagerie Atwater for the delightful experience of relishing this yummy dish.  
Tartiflette Recipe
Serves 4
1.5kg (3.5 lbs.) medium-sized red potatoes
1 large white onion, peeled and diced
2 thick rashers of smoked streaky bacon, diced
25g (1 ounce) butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe Reblochon cheese
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 5.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the onion and bacon in the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat; they should sweat but not brown.
Drain the potatoes and as soon as they are cool enough to handle peel them — the quicker the better. Slice thickly across.
Choose an ovenproof earthenware dish and rub it well with the out halves of garlic. Layer half the sliced potatoes across the base, season, then scatter over the onion and bacon mixture. Add the remaining potatoes and more seasoning.
Place the whole Reblochon on top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/350’F/gas mark 4 for a further 20—25 minutes. The Reblochon should melt within its skin and the fat drip down while the potatoes crisp.
Tartiflette is a filling dish and all you really need to go with it is a nicely dressed green salad.

Recipe source: The Food of France by Sarah Woodward

Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez posing with her pottery at San Ildefonso 1976

Maria Montoya Martinez was born in 1887 at San Ildefonso Pueblo, a small Tewa Pueblo community north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Maria learned pottery at an early age from one of her aunts. In San Ildefonso, polychrome pottery was dominant and this is what Maria made at first. Red clay was used to make the body of the pot and over this a white clay slip was applied and polished. The wares were then decorated with either rust-orange, brown and black paintings over the white background.

Maria Martinez Ceremonial corn storage jar, ca. 1920 H. 15.2 cm
Maria had a strong interest and willingness to experiment with techniques and this helped in preventing the art of pottery from going into extinction, in a developing world where inexpensive Spanish tin ware and Anglo enamelware was replacing the traditional containers and cooking vessels made by the Pueblo potters. Maria paid attention to quality of line and form and perfected the art of making pots in the traditional method of making pottery with coils instead of with a potter's wheel. Maria was able to coil large pots with thin walls and perfect symmetry.

Jar and plate by Maria and Julian
Jar, ca. 1935-40, H. 38 cm. - Platter, Maria and Julian, ca. 1940 D. 38.1 cm.

Maria married painter Julian Martinez, he along with other members of her family through the years, helped with the decoration of her pieces as she expertly executed pots at three times the speed of other potters.
In 1909 Maria was asked to replicate examples of black-on-black pottery that had been excavated by an archaeology dig led by Professor Edgar Lee Hewett. After many challenges and experimentation Maria and Julian's skills and techniques developed into a business for the renowned black ware pottery.

Maria and Julian black jar and platter
Maria and Julian, Jar, ca. 1939, H. 45.7 cm. - Platter ca. 1936, D. 50.8 cm.

Maria continued to live in San Ildefonso till her death at age 93. The pottery of Maria and her family has become increasingly more collectible and difficult to find.

Above photos taken from The Living Tradition of Maria Martinez by Susan Peterson
Read more on Maria and her family who continued the tradition of making pottery.

My inspiration
It was Maria Martinez' pottery that inspired me and ignited my interest and appreciation in the art of the Pueblo Pottery of the American Southwest.

My own Maria Martinez inspired pottery
Here are examples of some of my own hand coiled pottery pieces inspired by Maria Martinez.