Friday, May 17, 2013

Marie Antoinette and the Heart-Shaped Cheese. Now with added cheese.


Castles, Crowns and Cottages.


I'm honoured, and delighted,
to be included In
Castles, Crowns and Cottages
exploration of 
La Belle France.




So here was my inspiration.

A doll with the painted face
of an 18th century princess,
playing at a milkmaid.



With contemporary 18th century portraits
as a reference for the features.


 The eyes suggested with paint
in monochrome, like a grisaille.


The irises in a grey blue,
wide and innocent.


A rosebud mouth, 
small and slightly pouting.


Paint and powder,
a natural blush deepened 
by a touch of carmine.


And finally, soft white hair,
powdered, pomaded and piled high,
to be decorated with 
rows of roses.


And I know what she'd make,
this little princess milkmaid.

She'd make heart-shaped cheese.

(PS. I didn't make this particular cheese. I wish I had.
If I made these wonderful, dreamy cheeses,
 this would be a cheese blog, not a doll blog.)

No, no, my dears!
Not the stuff in the block
by the cream cheeses
at Wal*Mart.

This is the real thing.
Salty and tangy and crumbly-delicious.

I miss it so.

So, I made a heart-shaped cheese of my own,
with herbs and garlic.


And this is the recipe.
 Ingredients.
1 block of neufchatel cheese
(or cream cheese; full fat,
fat free, whatever)

1 or 2 cloves fresh garlic
(To taste.)

A handful of fresh herbs.
I  used parsley,
but any mild, soft-leaved herb would do
either alone or blended.

Method. 
First, puree the garlic.

(My Aunty Joanne who was
 the most glamorous woman I ever knew
taught me this method.)

Peel the garlic cloves
and sprinkle on a good pinch of salt.
Start to chop the raw garlic into the salt,
scraping the knife and gathering the 
chopped bits back together.
 The garlic will start out as little chunks
but will slowly transform into a thick puree.

Chop the clean herbs into tiny flakes.
Yes, by hand.

Line your heart-shaped mould
with foil and sprinkle the base 
with a light layer of chopped herbs.

Combine the remainder of the herbs 
and the fresh garlic puree into the neufchatel cheese.

Spoon gently into the mould
and press into shape.

Chill. 
An hour or two is fine
Overnight is better.

Turn out of the mould.


Serve with good bread,
  buttery crackers
and 
cold, crisp white wine.



(If you don't have a suitable mould,
form the cheese into a cylinder, 
then roll in chopped herbs
 and wrap tightly in foil or cling film.)









64 comments:

  1. OH!!! I like this doll's face so much! She is very cute yet has a character :) You made her features very beautifully!
    Mm...heart shaped cheese! love the idea :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'll have to put my cheese recipe up, now I have it photographed. I'm so glad you like my little doll head. Now she just needs a body and some clothes!

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    2. Clothes is something you are also so good at! looking forward to see :)and the recipe please!

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  2. RHISANNA, is this delicious and fabulous post part of the link party? IF SO, IT IS PERFECT! A combination of the history of one of France's most iconic people with YOU OWN ART that I must say is breathtaking...she is utterly gorgeous and I WOULD WANT HER! Her powdered hair, her antique look...it is simply perfect...and irresistible. The party has begun my dear, and if you would leave this up for the entire week so that others can enjoy it, that would be FABULEUX! Now I want to go out and make some cheese!!!!!!!

    BISOUS! Anita

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    1. Yes, this will be up for the whole week, and I'm hoping to add progress as I go. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and that you like my little Princess Milkmaid!

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  3. Bonjour!
    She is exquisite! I believe she is one of my favorites of yours.. What a fabulous post!
    bisous!
    Penny

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    1. Oh! Penny! Thank you! I need to get her finished, then!

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    2. Yes, please finish her as soon as you are able.
      I cannot wait to see her completion. She is stunning!

      Thank you so much for coming over to see Bebe.. She is having so much fun in France..
      Have a wonderful day!

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  4. Wow! Now that is one beautiful looking doll face. I love the eyes....

    The cheese sure does look yummy and super looking for a party.

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    1. Thank you, Dee, and thank you so much for visiting! I love these cheeses and i could probably get one over on the East coast. but here in sweltering Arkansas, no chance. I'll just have to cheat!

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  5. She is the perfect mademoiselle and companion to the much misunderstood Marie Antoinette. I love the village "created" by Marie, bucolic perfection!

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    1. Thank you! And yes, her little village does sound wonderful. I wish I had photos of my own to post, instead of Wikipedia. Some day, maybe?

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  6. Lovely post:) You are such an artist...I love the faces you paint and this one is so beautiful.

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    1. Thank you, Mary Ann! That's really sweet of you to say. I had fun with this one. I wanted her to look like a painting, and not a person, if you see what I mean. Now, I just need to make her some outrageous 18th century clothes!

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  7. She is beautiful. Your post brought back all the memories when I visited Versailles

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    1. Oh! Shashi! I've been to France lots of times but never, ever got to Versailles! I bet it's wonderful! Thank you for visiting and I'm thrilled the post brought back memories of such a wonderful place.

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  8. She's a beauty and I liked looking at the different stages of her development.

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    1. Thank you! I love seeing other people's WIP on anything, dolls, collages, paintings, so I thought I'd share my own. I'm glad you enjoyed!

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  9. Your doll is sweet. Her painted face is just beautiful, and the soft white hair really makes her stand out. You know, I love hand made dolls. They are so special to me. You did a great job, and are so very talented.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sheri. I've been hoarding the white hair for a while now, and I thought it was time I made a doll to use it. I'm glad you like handmade dolls, and I'm glad you like my little milkmaid.

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  10. Little Princess Milkmaid...her face is perfection! And her coif is amazing. Must have taken you hours to make this extraordinary doll. She is so very special!
    It's funny we both went for our first post for the French Blog Party with thoughts on Marie Antoinette. She was after all the most pampered Queen. I couldn't resist making her my first post about France!
    Just lots of fun to be in this blog party!
    hugs,
    Teresa
    http://amagicalwhimsy.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Teresa! Thank you so much for being so sweet about my little Marie Milkmaid. I have a confession! Once the head was sculpted and dried, the painting of her face didn't take long at all, I think because I've wanted to make this doll for quite some time.

      Marie Antoinette is a fascinating character, tragic and mysterious. But without her patronage, I doubt the mid 18th century would have been as ornate and beautiful.

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  11. First of all thank you for the story.I loved every min. here.Marie Antoinette was alway misunderstood.So I am glad some of us are standing up for her today.
    Your Princess is gorgeous.Her face is so beautiful.
    And I would love to have some cheese.I think I will go buy some today.Even though I shouldn't...LOL
    It was a pleasure to meet you,
    Marie Antionette

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I did wonder if the post might inspire people to go and get some cheese!

      I think we owe Marie Antoinette a lot, not least the delights of the Rococo era. Thank you for your comments about my little Rococo doll!

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  12. I just had to come back for MORE my dear doll-maker! Tell me my dear, are you selling her??

    I hope you have been enjoying yourself; this is fabulous are, and seeing the doll and the mini paintings in the background have inspired me....MERCI! Anita

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    1. Indeed, yes I am! As for inspiration, my dear Anita, your wonderful party is the inspiration behind this little doll. Merci!

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  13. Welcome in France...nice to see you here.......love to do this together...Anita is such a good friend to all of us...enjoy the weekend love Ria...xxx...

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    1. Thank you, Ria and yes, this is a wonderful occasion. Anita ia a star!

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  14. Bonjour Rhissana,
    I am here by way of our darling Anita's party...and you are an incredible artist!!!
    Your doll is gorgeous and dreamy...
    Enjoy the weekend!
    Blessings,
    - Irina

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    1. Oh, Irina! Thank you! Gorgeous and dreamy is exactly what I'm aiming for. What a sweet thing for you to say!

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  15. Visiting via sweet Anita's party! What a wonderful post! Your doll is gorgeous! Happy weekend!

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm having such fun making her for Anita's wonderful travels around France.

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  16. The work of your hands.... amazing!
    Thanks for sharing the beauty!

    ~ Violet

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    1. Now I'm blushing! Thank you so much!

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  17. Rhissanna, how wonderful I can see us making these delightful cheeses and serving the heart shaped ones to our loves with biscuits and jams!

    Come with me on my adventure in France.
    life, possibilities, grace
    a beautiful dream...

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. What a wonderful post, Karen. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. PS Your doll of Marie Antoinette is so lovely!!
    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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    1. Thank you! I need to get her finished!

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  19. Un reportage d'un extrême raffinement ...
    J'ai adoré ...
    Amicalement
    Marie-Ange

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  20. Such a beautiful face. Marie Antoninette is beautiful and you have captured true beauty. the cheese inviting and the heart shape is so pretty for serving. I am coming from Anita's party.

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    1. Thank you so much! I really wasn't sure about combining Marie Antoinette and cheese in a post!

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  21. Your doll is so precious!! I love her! I can't wait for the recipe ;o) Big Hugs ;o) Hope you're having a great weekend ;o)

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    1. I'm having a wonderful time, dearest M L Crow! I hope you are, too! Let me get that recipe posted.

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  22. Oh How Gorgeous your photos are and your doll is so Beautiful!!! Wow, I can't wait to try out your recipe- Thank you so Much for posting it!
    http://tiggyzcabin.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much, Tiggy! I love your hat.I hope you like the cheese!

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  23. This doll is SO beautiful! And I loved the story and the recipe of the heart-shaped cheese!

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    1. What a lovely compliment! Thank you! I hope to get her finished soon!

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  24. You did a wonderful job on the doll, love it.
    You also made my mouth water, mmmmmmmm, cheese :-)
    Di
    x

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    1. Thank you, Di! And yes indeed! Cheese! Now I'm a little peckish myself!

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  25. Coming for a visit from Anita's place. Love that you posted about the Petit Trianon, I have a tiny post coming up on that as well. So happy to meet you!

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    1. I really look forward to that. Thank you for visiting!

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  26. The doll is beautiful and the cheese too! Coming from Anitas!Now following you!

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    1. Oh, Elizabeth, thank you for the follow! And what a sweet thing to say about my doll!

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  27. Your doll is beautiful! You are such an artist... Happy to meet you via Anita's party!

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    1. Thank you very much! That's really sweet of you to say so. Now, if I can just get her finished!

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  28. I don't think my words can express my wonder at your beautiful art and lovely writing.

    Thank you for letting me visit.

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    1. What a sweet thing to say! You're very welcome. It's been a lot of fun to take part in this trip to France.

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  29. You are quite talented. Nice work.

    Heidi @ hi-d's place

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    1. Thank you so much, Heidi, you're very kind to say so. I just hope to get my Milkmaid almost done before the end of the week!

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  30. Oh this doll is so stunning. I can't wait to see the finished product! I just wanted to come by to see you once again my friend, fellow rabbit-lover and artist! Thank you for adding your creative touch and beauty to this unforgettable link party...have a gorgeous weekend! Anita

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    1. Thank you so much, Anita! This has been a wonderful party and I'm still hopping around the blogs! There'll be new pictures of my Milkmaid as soon as I have some.

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  31. What a remarkable doll. I must look through your blog and see more of them. Thanks to Anita for her party and the way she brings people together... marvelous.

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  32. Thank you so much, Deana! She's been a real treat to make and I'm learning all kinds of new techniques from her. Thank you for visiting my blog during Anita's party and for saying such sweet things.

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Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive things you say! I'm thrilled to read them and I reply to each one.