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Babbette's Feast Original Story

On 14 Apr 2007 at 13:27,Cindy wrote:

> I have seen the movie "Babbette's Feast", but I would like to read the
> original short story written by Karen Blixen and published in the
> Ladies Home Journal in 1953.  I have checked their website and Googled
> every topic I can think of, but cannot find the story.
> Can you?
> Thanks,
> Cindy

Hello Cindy,

Karen Blixen wrote under the pseudonym Isak Dinesen. She also wrote "Out of Africa."

The short story "Babbette's Feast" is in her book "Anecdotes of Destiny" by Isak Dinesen.

The text of the story is not available online, but you should be able to find "Anecdotes of Destiny" at your library. You can get it from, either a used copy of "Anecdotes of Destiny" or combined with another of her books in:

"Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard" (Paperback)

by Isak Dinesen


Armenian Gata

In my searches, I found someone requesting a recipe for Gata.  I thought 
I'd share what I found:

Here's a recipe with the filling, but not made with Mahlep - perhaps you 
can combine two recipes:

Other bread recipes:

Recipe with filling:

Source: /'Hamaink'/, March 2006, a newsletter published by the Armenian 
Community & Church Council of Great Britain

/Wednesday, 22nd of March in the Armenian Church Calendar is Michink or 
Mid Lenten Day. Our Editorial Committee member, Matilda Megerdichian, 
informs us that a common way to mark the occasion from a culinary point 
of view is to prepare a festive meal to be shared with family and 
friends. A touch of fun is added to the occasion by cutting and dividing 
the freshly baked gata to discover who gets the coin that was placed in 
it before baking, which is viewed as a symbol of good luck and 
prosperity for the year ahead. Here is a recipe for gata, which you may 
enjoy with or without the symbolical coin. Anoush! /



4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 packet dried yeast
1 cup butter
pinch of salt
1 egg (for brushing the gata)

*Filling or Koritz:*

1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 coin for each gata (wrapped in foil)

If desired, add:
1/4 cup chopped nuts, 1/4 cup sugar,
cinnamon to taste

Soften yeast in one cup of milk, melt the sugar in the other cup of 
milk, then combine the two. Add melted butter, savingtwo tablespoons to 
use for brushing the dough. Gradually add the flour and salt to the 
liquid and when all of it is absorbed, knead well. It should be a soft 
dough. Cover and let it rise (takes two to three hours).

When dough has doubled in size, divide it in to six portions. Take one 
portion at a time and roll out to thickness of 1/4" or a bit less. Brush 
the entire open dough with melted butter, then fold the dough to a 
square 5"x5". Divide the Koritz into six portions as well and place one 
portion in the centre of this square, now hide the coin in the Koritz 
and bring over opposite corners of the square to cover the Koritz. Then 
roll out the dough to the size of a small pie, brush with eggs, and 
design the gata with a fork or some other gadget. Let this rise again 
for 15 minutes, then bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until browned 
(about 1/2 hour).


Melt the butter and blend in the cup of flour, on very low flame, keep 
stirring until the flour and butter are well blended and the colour of 
the koritz is pink. If you are going to add the other ingredients, do it 
after you take the mixture off the heat.

Eat Drink Man Woman

On 9 Apr 2007 at 17:56, Marya wrote:

> Dear Uncle P:
>It has been a long while since I've queried, but you've been ever
>so helpful before that I must bother you again.  It took me 12
>years to get around to it, but I've finally seen the movie Eat
>Drink Man Woman.  Now I want some of the recipes.
>I am especially interested in the dumpling skins that the middle
>daughter is making on some sort of griddle with what looks like a
>blob of yeast dough; but I wouldn't mind hearing a word or two on
>the dumplings which have skins made of thin slices of tofu (how do
>they stay closed, will they be steamed or fried?) Once again,
>thank you in advance. Yours,

Hello Marya,

I wish I could help with the dumplings, but I cannot locate any dumpling recipes from the movie.

There are some recipes from the movie Here:

Jade Dragon

Things Asian

And there is a Taiwanese dumpling recipe here:

Eating China

And below.


Taiwanese Dumplings

1 head Napa cabbage, quartered
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 bunch Chinese chives (or scallions), trimmed and minced
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus 3 Tbsp. for frying
51/2 cups flour
2 cups water, plus 1/2 cup for steaming
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar (or white vinegar)

To make the filling, put cabbage into a large pot with water to cover, 
top with lid, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium 
and simmer until soft, 15-20 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Squeeze out excess 
water.  Finely chop cabbage and transfer to large bowl.  Add pork, chives, 
ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and vegetable oil.  Mix well with your 
hands.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

For the wrappers, put flour into large bowl and gradually add water, stirring 
with a fork until dough can no longer be stirred.  Turn out onto lightly floured
surface and knead until smooth.  Transfer to clean bowl, cover with plastic, 
and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.  Divide dough into 
8 pieces.  With hands, roll each into a 1-inch thick rope.  Cut ropes into 
1-inch pieces and roll into balls.  With a rolling pin, roll out balls into 
31/2-inch circles.  Keep remaining dough covered to keep from drying out.

For each wrapper, put 2 tsp. of filling in the center and fold dough over to 
form a half circle.  Pleat the edges together with your fingers.  If they don’t
stick, use a little water in between to seal.  Transfer to a floured baking sheet 
and cover with plastic.  Repeat.  Freeze on individual trays until frozen.  Then
 store in freezer bags until ready to use.  

To pan-fry, heat 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
 Working in batches of no more than 8, add dumplings with 1/2 cup water, cover, 
 and cook until the bottoms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to
 medium-low and continue cooking, covered, until filling is cooked through, 
 8-10 minutes.

For the dipping sauce, combine equal parts soy sauce and vinegar in a quantity 
that makes sense.


Uncle Phaedus,

I saw that someone had requested a recipe for
Monaco style barbagiuan.  Well I found one that
you could post if you should have need to in the

It actually was posted on the website hosted by
the Principality of Monaco.  There is also a second
recipe for Semolina Arancini posted there as well.
I have never had it, but it sounds like a similar food.

Here it is, in English:
Best known for its beauty, casinos and fairytale wedding between Prince
Rainier and Grace Kelly, Monaco is also known for a savory filled pastry
called a Barbagiuan. And this week, some of New York's best chefs are
competing to see who has the best recipe. Laurent Tourondel is executive
chef and owner of BLT Steak, Scott Conant is executive chef and owner of
Alto and L'Impero and Johan Svensson is executive chef of Riingo and they
were invited to share their tricks of the trade on "Today." Here are their

Riingo’s Barbagiuans

Chef Johan Svensson

Makes about 40 pieces



• 200 grams flour
• 2 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp water
• Salt to taste


• 2 shallots, minced
• 1/2 lb ramps
• 2 cloves garlic: one minced, the other whole
• 1/2 lb morels, roughly chopped (or other meaty mushroom)
• 1/2 cup grated parmesan
• 1 tsp butter
• 3 sprigs thyme
• 1 cup olive oil
• 1 cup butternut squash puree
• 2-3 drops truffle oil (optional)
• Salt and white pepper to taste


To make the dough:
Arrange the flour in a ring; pour in the oil, water and salt, and mix the
dough well. Knead it and make sure to get the dough’s consistency is similar
to pie crust dough. Chill for at least one hour; you can also refrigerate

Chop the ramps. In a sauté pan, lightly sauté the shallots, minced garlic,
and chopped ramps.  Add the morels and let the mushrooms wilt slightly.
Remove from the heat and let it cool down.  Mix in the parmesan and
butternut squash puree, and season with salt and pepper.  If desired, add
the truffle oil.

Thinly roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a baking table dusted with
flour.  Use a cookie cutter to cut small rounds, and place a teaspoon of
filling on circle piece.  Fold the dough over and use a little water to seal
the packet together.

In a sauté pan with high sides, heat the olive oil and add the thyme sprigs
and the remainder of garlic (make sure to crush the garlic before putting it
into the oil).

Making sure the oil doesn’t get too hot, let the barbagiuans fry for about
3-4 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain well on a cloth or paper towel and

Second Recipe for Arancini:

Semolina Arancini

Scott Conant, executive chef Alto and L’Impero

Makes about 40 pieces


• 1 quart chicken stock (white)
• 1 cup semolina flour
• 1 cup ramps, chopped
• 1 cup spinach, chopped
• 1 cup Fontina cheese, cut in quarter-inch squares
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Panko crumbs


Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add semolina flour and reduce heat. Add salt
and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes. In a separate pan, blanch ramps and
spinach. Shock in ice water and squeeze dry. In a blender, puree the
semolina, ramps and spinach until a smooth paste has formed. Spread mixture
on a sheet tray and cool. Once cool, form into small balls and insert
Fontina cheese into the center. Coat outside of the balls with ground panko
crumbs and pan fry in vegetable oil until golden brown on all sides.

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