Monday, February 26, 2007

Wowzers - I just had the best sandwich of my life! Who can recall that scene from twin peaks where Jerry & Benjamin Horne devour butter and brie sandwiches from France. Now picture me sitting in drizzling rain, across from this food cart in the shadow of the Chateau de Chantilly. This was a Jamon et Burre sandwich on a Baguette. WE'RE TALKING HAM AND BUTTER, PEOPLE. The French have been keeping this little baby a secret. When you think french you think cheese and wine but not HAM AND BUTTER. Team lunch is turning into Ham and Butter lunch - I'm sorry but Bart and Buddy you will have to start eating meat again

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I havent thought about bagels in over 3 weeks...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Few Notes on the French...

1. They eat chicken mcnuggets with a knife and fork

2. They use pink toilet paper

3. They have dessert and espresso coffee with every meal

4. They dress up fancy

5. They hold their nose and make a funny sound (pwa-pwa) when something smells bad

6. They don’t smoke as much as everyone says

7. They’re not afraid to dress up in black face

I love continental breakfast!!!!

Jams and bread and coffee and hard boiled eggs and yoghurt and danish and fruit galore.

Sorry for more chocolate Bart...

But another Haute Savoie specialty is Meringue. I ate this bad boy like an apple. It is a ball of dried meringue with a layer of chocolate ganache in the middle and covered in glossy dark chocolate. OMGood!

Also ordered my first authentic Fondue while sitting Alpside. The pot was for two but I managed to finish her off. Turns out there are strict rules to eating fondue. Secure (and I mean secure) the bread to your fondue fork. Dip the bread into the cheese and twirl the fork to ensure no cheezy strands follow from the pot to your mouth. If you drop the bread into the fondue you are issued what is called a Gage or punishment from the table. It could be anything from kissing a dining partner, running around the house naked, or as Maxons and Virgile demanded, luging down the hill with them.
Woooo hoooo I'm in the French Alps and light headed from the altitude. Thankfully I have plenty of cheese and bread to keep me grounded. Seems every local specialty is made of (guess what) cheese, bread, potatoes and ham. Above you can see me modeling a Tartiflette - amazing casserole made of a mixture of potatoes and bacon, with a whole round of Reblochon cut in half and laid across the top.

In the Middle-Ages, farmers in the mountains of Haute Savoie used to pay their taxes with part of their milk production. They did not fully milk their cows so as to lower their level of production. Once the tax officers came to measure the milk produced and left, the farmers went back to milk the cows again. The milk they got was much richer and was used to make Reblochon! Reblochon is aged in cellars or caves in the mountains. The cheesemaker turns the cheese every two days and washes it with whey in order to speed the aging process.
Just to let you know -

This is called a Fagot du Pain

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thankfully picking up the wee-one is helping shed the pastry pounds.

Nathalie brought home a deevine box o choc from La Maison du Chocolat. The dark chocolate bon bons had slight floral notes to them. The milk choco ones were fabooo as well.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gateau au Choc de Sophie

6 oeufs (eggs)
90 grammes farine (flour)
250 grammes chocolate noir (dark chocolate)
250 grammes de sucre (sugar)
2 sachets de sucre vanille (vanilla sugar)
250 grammes de beurre (butter)

Mix everything with a blender. Cook at 160 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes. Gateau should be undercooked in the middle.

Nathalie's fantastic friend Sophie was literally sweet enough to share this recipe with me. Even in Euro measurements you know this cake is easy and so so delicious.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Lady & the Unicorn

Two days ago I visited the Musee Cluny and sat in one of my favorite rooms in Europe. I am not one for medieval art but the 6 tapestries of The Lady and the Unicorn are so beautiful and serene.

In the tapestries a noble lady, a unicorn, her servant, a lion and a monkey depict the 5 senses plus one - A Mon Seul Desir (To my only desire) or Love. I thought taste, in which the lady is eating candy out of a dish held by her servant, was particularly appropriate.

Every time I touch a Parisian pastry I feel as though a majestic unicorn is by my side & there is a little monkey at my feet to eat the crumbs.
Valentines Day Edition

No real pastries today but I did happen to lunch at a restaurant famous across the world - McDonalds. I just haaad to try french mickey-ds for myself.

Turns out:
- Chicken McNuggets are not as plump and moist as the American ones
- Fries are not as salty (not a good thing)
- Coke was delish but came without ice and was definitely not filled to the brim

p.s. I could not find out where the napkins and straws were. They were cleverly hidden in a garbage looking container.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pastries Aside

Paris is filled with far less dog poo than I expected. In fact I'd say the streets of New York are suffering from a far greater poo epidemic. Something to think about.