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October 2018 Newsletter

I spent a lot of time last month cooking figs. They starting really coming on strong at the market and one of my vendors, who knows I do a lot of cooking, sold me entire cases for €4 (about $1 per pound). I didn't know what to do with them all, but I couldn't resist them. Could you? I didn't think so...

So into my market bag they went, taking up most of the room. It was almost worth having my arm fall off by the time I got home to have such an overload of figs. A lot of them went directly into my mouth, some got roasted, and others were turned into a few delicious jars of sweet-and-sour fig chutney.

There were plenty of other things going on last month as well - book deadlines to race toward, new recipes to share on my blog, trips to plan (we're going to Vietnam in early 2019!!), and my annual tour where I took guests to my favorite chocolate shops, bakeries, and restaurants in Paris and Bordeaux. (I noted many of the places on my Instagram stream.) It was all a lot of fun, but no sooner had I bid my guests goodbye than I landed back in Paris with out-of-town friends arriving. It's always fun to catch up with people, and even though my tummy was full from the previous week of non-stop eating, I enjoyed dinners at Septime, Chez Omar, and Le Rigmarole, some of my favorite restaurants in Paris.

(Just an FYI if you're coming to Paris, I list my favorite restaurants on my Paris Restaurants page, which I update frequently. Those three restaurants are definitely on there. There's also a Paris Pastry Shop favorites page, too.)

Plum flaugnarde clafoutis custard French recipe-2

Now that the days are getting shorter in Paris, I finally accept that tomatoes are going away, but not before mixing a few of the end-of-the-season beauties with basil, olive oil, and fresh shelling beans, which will stick around at the markets in Paris for the next few months.

I also took full advantage of les quetsches, aka prune plums, that still were beckoning me at the market. Not only did I make a flaugnarde with a riot of colorful plums, but I also updated the Rhubarb Plum Crisp recipe on my blog, and like an old friend, I found it just as good as the first time we connected...although it didn't come to Paris and take me out to dinner, like my other visiting friends did ; )

plum rhubarb crisp cobbler crumble recipe-2

Speaking of fruit, and being such a stellar recycler of everything that passes through my kitchen (or that's too good of a deal to pass up at the market), I found myself with a big pot of cooked fruit that was an experiment that didn't go quite as planned. Yet I couldn't bear to toss it away because I know how precious all those cherries, raspberries, plums, and apricots are. (And rum! I think there was a whole bottle used in my experiment...)

So I finally unpacked the slow cooker I got 3 years ago (which is next to my sous-vide machine, that I still haven't unpacked either...) and plugged it in when Cathy Barrow suggested I turn it into fruit butter.

I had tried cooking the very thick puree on the stovetop for a few minutes, and the fruity mass gurgled and burped, sending huge splotches of searing-hot fruit paste all over the stove, and me, when I tried to get in there and stir it. After transferring the sticky fruit puree (that, admittedly, smelled heavenly) to the slow cooker, a speedy 24 hours later, and after a fairly substantial clean up of my stove, and kitchen, I ended up with two (little) jars of fruit butter. Thankfully, that's one project I could cross off my list.

Now, it's on to the next...

- David


Links I'm Liking

plum rhubarb crisp cobbler crumble recipe

40 Little Ways to be French (My Little Paris)

A grain-forward bakery on my list for the next trip to NY (Bon Appétit)

In Paris, AirBnB blamed for all kinds of ills (ABC)

Love the look of these Super Dark Chocolate Cookies (I Will Not Eat Oysters)

Changes to France's TGV trains (The Local)

Tons of fake Eiffel Towers seized by French police (BBC)

A video trip through the streets of Paris, in 1927 (YouTube)

The Best Thing to Make in an Air Fryer isn't Fried (Taste)

Food critic Mimi Sheraton rails against maple syrup...who knew that was possible? (Seattle Times)

Fig chutney recipe

Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

I revisited a favorite fruit dessert; Plum and Rhubarb Crisp, with a hint of spice in the crunchy topping.

A taste of France in New York at Bistro Pierre Lapin.

Everyone's favorite - and now mine again, too: Crème Brûlée.

It's time for Fig Chutney (shown above)!

Le Petit Grain bakery in Paris raises the bar on croissants, and other treats, with natural sourdough leavening. Put this address on your "to go" list in Paris.

The other Negroni (actually, one of many others...) is the White Negroni. And it's delicious.

Fall plums make a great Plum Flaugnarde, but don't fret - pears can be used instead.

- dl

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