Archive for July, 2012

Zabaglione Recipe

By 1800FlyEurope in World Cuisine Wednesdays | on July 26th, 2012

World Cuisine

 

Summer is in full swing in the northern hemisphere, and it is during this time of year that most people are venturing off on vacation, throwing outdoor soirees, and basking in the warm glow of the sun. If you aren’t able to jet off to Italy this summer, bring a taste of Italy to your next alfresco event. Zabaglione [zah-bahl-YOH-nay] is a delicious addition to most any dinner gathering, and it isn’t difficult to prepare.

A Little Info about Zabaglione

Also referred to as zabaione, sabayon, or zabajone, this Italian specialty is thought to have originated as far back as the 16th century, in or near the city of Florence. It is similar to custard, but the consistency is more like a fusion of eggnog and mousse. Traditionally zabaglione is prepared with Marsala wine, egg yoke, and sugar; the eggshells were used as measuring spoons. Many variations of the recipe exist today, which incorporate different dessert wines and liqueurs. The addition of whipped, heavy cream is also often used and gives the dish a richer composition.

Serves: 4

 

Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine (dry Marsala wine, sherry, sweet vermouth, or amaretto make nice substitutions)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipped) is optional, and this may be a better option if you are preparing the recipe ahead of time
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Directions:

1. Heat water in a double boiler to a slow simmer. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together, and then begin warming the mixture. Continue stirring vigorously throughout the entire preparation of this recipe.

2. Add the Marsala wine and vanilla. You don’t want to overcook the eggs (curdling is a bad thing), so it is ok to remove the zabaglione from the double boiler to cool for a few seconds.

3. Cooking time should take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes. The volume will eventually triple in size and the liquid will thicken. When the texture lightens and appears to have almost a meringue-like quality to it, remove pan from the burner. Whisk the contents for another 1 to 2 minutes.

4. If you would like to add the 1/2 cup of whipped, heavy cream, fold it into the mixture at this point.

5. Ladle the sauce over the berries; it is delicious served either warm or chilled. If you are preparing this beforehand, keep the zabaglione and fruit separate until you are ready to dish it up. This dessert looks especially nice when presented in a trifle bowl.

If you would like to experience the most authentic Italian cuisine possible, book flights to Florence and create your own taste of Italy tour. Buon Appetito and enjoy the rest of your summer!

 

 

Evolution of the Flight Attendant

By 1800FlyEurope in Travel News | on July 18th, 2012

 

Cabin boy, steward, stewardess, fly girl, flight attendant, and cabin crew are just some of the titles that have been designated to this vital sky-profession over the decades. The image that airlines have portrayed to the public regarding the role of this animated career has changed drastically through time, as much as its label has. From RN of the skies to mid-air show girls, the following timeline highlights key points of the flight attendant’s ever changing obligations.

Ellen Church photo courtesy of AIRPORT (1965-2065)

1930’s

Prior to the 30’s, air travel was considered risky and a means of transport that only the affluent could afford. There may have been a cabin boy or steward assigned to assist passengers during this period, but this wasn‚Äôt a consistent service that was provided by all airlines. Ellen Church, both a pilot and nurse, became the first female air hostess in 1930. Originally, she had applied for a pilot position with Boeing Air Transit (now United Airlines), and although she wasn’t so much as considered for the task (the workforce was not seen as an appropriate place for women to enter then), she did convince the carrier to take her on as a stewardess. This marked the arrival of women to the flight attendant career and set forth the strict criteria that these ladies would have to possess in order to assume the globe trotting role. They were nurses, had to weigh between 100 to 118 lbs, stand 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches tall, and be 20 to 26 years of age.

1940's photo courtesy of Sky Girls

1940’s

RNs were needed to care for wounded military men during WWII, and the women of this time were proud to carryout the patriotic call of duty. This caused a shortage of nurses in the 40’s, and the medical background required for the stewardess position was dropped. As a result many more women were suddenly qualified for the highly sought after job.

1950's photo courtesy of Vintage Ad Browser

1950’s

During the 50‚Äôs, the allure of becoming a sky girl appealed to the female population as a glamorous and adventurous career. Stewardesses were not permitted to marry, and she was considered to have reached retirement age at 32. Uniforms, which once resembled a nurse’s attire, shifted towards a more feminine and stylish couture. These ladies attended “charm” classes and catered to the passenger’s (mainly business men) every need.

1960's photo courtesy of bloggers.com

1960’s

The signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was only the beginning of the battle to rid airline discrimination against a flight attendant’s gender, race, age, and weight. A loophole by the name of Title VII still existed in the industry, which allowed air carriers to continue hiring and firing their workers based on the same prejudicial grounds the Civil Rights Act sought to abolish.

1970's photo courtesy of Dark Roast Blend

1970’s

Unionized airline employees fought for equal rights in the 70‚Äôs, tackling discriminatory issues one by one. It was during this era that the politically correct term “flight attendant” replaced the title of “stewardess.” Flashy polyester uniforms made their debut, and some airlines featured trendy styles like mini skirts, go-go boots, and vibrantly colored fabric. Then, in 1978 airlines were deregulated and initiated the corporatization of the industry we see today. (The government retained its authority of the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA).

1980's photo courtesy of PSA History

1980’s

There are now male flight attendants on board the aircraft, and women can’t be terminated for being married. Once again the uniform is modified to reflect a more professional appearance, and neutral tone suits replace the loud, polyester fashion of the 70’s.

1990's photo courtesy of Airlines Past & Present

1990’s

Female flight attendant weight restrictions are finally removed from airline regulations.

Today

The horrific events that occurred on September 11, 2001, not only shook up the country but also pushed the flight attendant’s primary responsibility to that of focusing on passenger safety. The title “cabin crew” is beginning to replace that of “flight attendant”, and some people say that the glamour of flying has disappeared. A recent article on Forbes.com comically sums up present day air travel:

a flight attendant responds to the author’s complaints about not having enough salads to serve everyone in first class by exclaiming

‚”We are not here to kiss your ass, but to save it!”

To try and compete with a market that is continually changing, Virgin America has updated their cabin crew’s uniforms with chic designs by Banana Republic. Perhaps the future function of the next era’s flight attendants is a bit unclear right now, but making passenger safety the occupation’s primary concern certainly puts my mind at ease when I stand in line to board flights to Europe.

Banana Republic Uniforms photo courtesy of Gadling

 

5 Stellar Stargazing Destinations in Europe

By 1800FlyEurope in These Five Things | on July 11th, 2012

If you happen to be an urbanite like me, you know that catching a glimpse of the starry sky is rare. Even without clouds and smog, the metropolitan glow outshines nature’s glittering extravaganza. Only once the city’s halo has faded in your rearview mirror and the night’s canopy begins to quiet the white noise, do the stars come out to play. The following five European destinations possess unrivalled backdrops for stargazers.

photo courtesy of Turismo La Palma

Canary Islands | La Palma

The “Land of Eternal Spring,” otherwise known as the Canary Islands, is a paradise within itself. Breathtaking volcanic mountains jut up from the Atlantic just west of Morocco and form the Spanish nationality archipelago. La Palma Island is home of the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (one of Europe‚Äôs most prestigious astronomical observatories), but you don’t have to be an astrophysicist to enjoy a spectacular view of the galaxy. Llano del Jable and Llano de La Venta provide astonishing lookout points for constellation admirers of any level.

photo courtesy of Galloway Forest Park

Scotland | Galloway Forest Park

Galloway Forest Park was the first Dark Sky Park created in the UK. The nature reserve’s goal is to conserve energy, leave a minimal impact on the environment, and educate the public about light pollution. By day, bike or stroll along the wooded trails and by night, appreciate the cosmic vista. The 300 square mile preserve boasts a Sky Quality Meter (SQM) scale reading of 21 to 23.6, of a possible 24; this places visitors of this southwestern Scotland haven in almost complete darkness.

Italy | Tuscany

Walk in the footsteps of Galileo Galilei, and appreciate “La Dulce Vida” (The Good Life) at the same time. Begin in Florence atop Arcetri Hill where Galileo recorded his astronomy observations through a refracting telescope; today the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory rests upon this bluff. About a half hour trip north of the city center is Villa Demidoff Park, which hosts stargazing and cosmic themed events. Remember to bring a flashlight along, so that you can scope out the perfect grassy spot to lie down and stare up into the Tuscan sky.

Sweden | Kiruna

Set amongst the relatively unspoiled, Swedish Lapland territory and 90 miles north of the Arctic Circle, is the old mining town of Kiruna. From the end of May to mid-July, this region of the world experiences days filled with 24 hour sunlight; then, the months of December and January bring with them a period of perpetual darkness. Don’t assume Kiruna goes into hibernation mode, though. The winter season is the prime time to try to witness the captivating glow of the northern lights. Your chances of seeing the radiant waves of colorful light here are high, and the local tourism companies cater to sightseers with a number of enticing excursions. From snowshoeing to dog sledding or taking a sleigh ride to boarding a tour bus, there are guided trek options sure to please most anyone. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, spend a night at the ICEHOTEL while in this neck of the woods.

England | Stonehenge

What better setting is there to admire constellations than in the company of one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Access to Stonehenge is generally restricted to looking at the prehistoric monument from a roped-off distance, but there are a few exceptions to this constraint. During summer and winter solstices, people are permitted to get a much closer encounter with the massive circle of bluestones. It is also possible to arrange an evening visit to the World Heritage Site outside of the general admittance hours, but this needs to be requested in advance.

Whether you are an astrophysicist or someone who simply marvels at the beauty of a starlit sky, the stargazing destinations above are the perfect addition to anyone’s trip itinerary. For the best rates on flights to Europe, book your airfare to one of the above stellar locations with 1800FlyEurope.com.

ice bar from an ice hotel

 

 

Pink Side of the Moon

By 1800FlyEurope in Destination Highlights | on July 3rd, 2012

photo courtesy of LaNotteRosa.it

Notte Rosa | Pink Night

Each July, the Rimini Riviera coastal region transforms, and city and village downtown facades morph into a sea of pink. Notte Rosa (Pink Night) is similar to a “New Year’s” celebration; well over a million people flock to the Adriatic’s shore to jubilantly ring in the arrival of summer. Buildings and bridges are aglow with pink spotlights, and pink roses and balloons prettify the streets. Men and women hit the beach dressed in their finest pink attire, and restaurants feature pink tinted food and drinks. The midnight hour brings with it a shower of synchronized fuchsia fireworks, which are set off over the 120 km stretch of sandy beaches.

Pink Night is a relatively new festival, which was founded in Rimini in 2006. Originally it was a day that was established to celebrate femininity and was Italy’s take on Paris’ Nuit Blanche (White Night). Today, the event has grown to include all the cities and towns along the Rimini Riviera. The parties begin a few days before the big event, and although the pink theme has stuck, it is no longer gender specific. Now the color has come to represent the gathering of friends, family, and couples.

photo courtesy of LaNotteRosa.it

There is a different motif each year, and the “Pink Side of the Moon” is the motto for the July 6th 2012 holiday. Inspiration for Notte Rosa’s 7th anniversary emerged from Pink Floyd’s album title, “The Dark Side of The Moon” and Apollo’s 1969 landing on the moon. This year’s event-goers will be entertained with parades, live music, theatrical performances, an abundance of food and drinks, 24 hour entrance to many museums, and shimmering pink fireworks that will illuminate the sky.

photo courtesy of LaNotteRosa.it

Major resorts will try to outdo one another with their creative interpretations of all things pink and lunar. It will truly be a spectacular scene, and a bright Waning Gibbous moon will make a captivating backdrop to the extravagant firework display. If you are fortunate enough to have your flights to Europe booked for this week, the Rimini Riviera is the place to be.

photo courtesy of LaNotteRosa.it

 

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