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October 2017 Newsletter

Italian prune plums Damsons

We take our annual vacation in September, not in July and August as most French people do, because places (especially beaches!) are much quieter than during the summer crunch. We headed down to Provence, and you know you're in the south of France when you get into a lively discussion with the cashier when buying boat tickets, about what makes a proper soupe au pistou, and which bakery makes the best tarte tropézienne in town.

He was surprised that I knew what socca was, (in fact, I have a recipe for it in The Sweet Life in Paris), but he told me about cade, which I'd never heard of, but is similar, and made with cornmeal, "like socca," he said. I corrected him, saying that socca was made with chickpea flour. After consulting Google, he laughed - and said, "You're right!"

I was looking forward to having a real vacation, the kind where you make a dent in the stack of books you've been meaning to read. If you haven't read Dark Matter, I read it in 1 1/2 days - it's a wild ride of a book.

Utopie baguettes

We got some sun, until the mistral blew through, the famous violent winds of Provence. As we held on to our hats, we ate fresh seafood on terraces, drank iced rosé, and even sampled a tarte tropézienne or two, the famous "cake" made of brioche, filled with custard and a hint of orange, topped with crunchy sugar. (Yup, there's a recipe for that in My Paris Kitchen, and a cheater's version in my upcoming book, L'appart.) It was lovely and very relaxing...and all those pastries were very (very) filling.

Breaking the calm for a bit was the server on my site going down, and I spent a few frantic days on the line, from our maison in the Mediterranean, trying to get help from the people in Michigan, pleading to get it back online. Kudos to Andrew Wilder of Blog Tutor for his heroic help.


Anyhow, it finally got fixed, and I got fixed, too, after blowing a gasket in my brain with them. And a jellyfish gave me a nice going-away present that's still healing on my thigh from when we took our final plunge in the mer, before saying goodbye.

In other news, I spent September saying au revoir to the beautiful mirabelle and quetsche plums that were spilling forth at the markets in Paris. I made some mirabelle jam with the little yellow orbs, and a silky plum compote with the inky, purple prune plums to go with rice pudding.

My site also got a tune-up and some upgrades, including a move to https, and some spiffy new social media buttons, so you can share posts easily to Facebook, Pinterest, and on Twitter. Which is nice, since I think we could all use a break from some of the less-pleasant stuff happening on Twitter. The site's speed should also be improved for your viewing pleasure as well.

And...I finally got off my duff and finally put up my Paris Pastry page on my blog, a shortlist of my favorite bakeries and chocolate shops in Paris. I'll be updating it as I find new places - in fact, I added two this week! So check back before your next trip to Paris, and I'll probably have added more, in the meantime.

- David

French Provencal Pastis Chicken Recipe-2

Fall Book Tour News


Now Available for Pre-Order!

I've added a few dates to my Schedule page, including events in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The event I'm doing in New York with Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen sold out quickly. They're considering finding a larger venue so if you're interested, put your name on the waiting list. If not, maybe we'll all go out for ice cream with rainbow sprinkles since I think Deb may be the only one who likes rainbow sprinkles as much as I do. And yes, she shares. (Unlike me...)

There are also ticketed lunches in Washington, D.C., and in Seattle. If those are sold-out (which I just learned the Seattle event is), or you just want to come and say hi, like every city I'm visiting, there are other events that are open to all.

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Links I'm Liking

Who knew the Soviets had their own version of the Concorde? [Spoiler: The Russian version didn't go so well…] (YouTube, Video)

James Taylor sings Wichita Lineman, a moving tribute to the late, great Glen Campbell (YouTube)

Wow – photos from Les Halles marketplace in Paris, circa 1950 (Mashable)

Care for a spot of cheese tea? (CNTraveler)

French court bans using ñ in baby's name (Geo TV)

Yes, vanilla has climbed in price. But a little reminder why that cheap bottle of Mexican vanilla isn't worth it (but the real stuff is) (FDA)

Why is the food at French airports still not up to snuff? (The Local)

Game changer? This Amazon Fire tablet (with Alexa!) may have me switching from my iPad (Amazon, Affiliate link)

The famed Le Drugstore in Paris, on the Champs-Elysées, gets a reboot (Hungry for Paris)

The alluring lines of striped Breton clothing in the fashion industry (SMH)

The cheesemaker of China (South China Morning Post/video)

Price Changes for Consumer Goods in the U.S., 1997-2017 (Our World in Data)

Paris Votes to Remove Offensive Chocolate Factory Sign (France24)

Do's and Don'ts of Travel Boasting on Instagram (The Telegraph)

Balsamic Glazed Pork Recipe-6

Recent Posts & Recipes on My Blog

I plumped plums to accompany this extra-creamy rice pudding.

Lots of ginger, and garlic, went into the marinade for this balsamic, soy sauce, hot sauce, and honey-glazed pork loin (shown above)

Looking for a great baguette in Paris? Stop by Maison Landemaine.

A classic Paris bistro (that's open Sunday!) gets un relooking (as they say in French), and is looking better than ever.

- dl

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