Monday, August 31, 2015

Gargoyles of Notre Dame + FOOD: Potato Soup

A Parisian Post Card showing: a Gargoyle atop Notre Dame; and the Eiffel Tower.

of Notre Dame

There are few sculptures in western art history that are as intriguing as the Gargoyles that peer out from Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the middle of the River Seine. The purpose of Gargoyles is to frighten off and protect the buildings they guards, from any evil or harmful spirits. 

The gutters on the building lead to long waterspout gargoyles, and the water pours out of their mouths. The Italian word for gargoyle is doccione or gronda sporgente, an architecturally precise phrase which means "protruding gutter" and the term originates from the French word gargouille, which in English is likely to mean "throat" or is otherwise known as the "gullet". Latin gurgulio, gula, gargula ("gullet" or "throat") and similar words derived from the root gar, "to swallow", which represented the gurgling sound of water. 

(Portuguese and Spanish garganta, "throat"; gárgola,"gargoyle"). It is also connected to the French verb gargariser, which means "protruding gutter."

The free-standing birds, mythical monsters and hybrid beasts pictured below should not actually be referred to as gargoyles, but the correct architectural term for them is "cimera". To me, they have always been called gargoyles - they are the epitome of the word gargoyle! Here on Notre Dame these freestanding gargoyles are not as old as you may think, the sculptures were added to the church during it's reconstruction in the 1840s.

(Source: The 19th century photos shown are from a series of antique posters about Notre Dame Cathedral.)

Potato Soup

2 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced into small bite sized pieces
1/2 regular package uncooked bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 bunch celery, diced
8 cups whole milk
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 bunch freshly chopped parsley
(for extra rich soup - 1 cup whipping cream)
garnish with:
Shredded cheddar cheese
real bacon bits
chopped green onions

In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon fat and place on paper towel over plate to drain more. Add onion and celery to bacon pan over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes. To the large potato pan, add milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil. In small, heavy saucepan melt butter. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in parsley and reserved potatoes (+ cream if desired). Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, onions or all three. 

Serve hot!

(Source: Atkinson Family Cookbook)

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD is an online magazine dedicated to providing artists and collectors around the world with highlights of current art exhibitions, and to encourage all readers to invest in and participate in "The Joy of Art"® and culture. All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2015 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Any gallery, event, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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