September 2016 Newsletter Americans are pretty good at making up words, especially when one single word on its own just won't do. "Staycation" is one

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September 2016 Newsletter

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Americans are pretty good at making up words, especially when one single word on its own just won't do. "Staycation" is one of them. It's a hybrid between saying at home, and being on vacation. So far – at least as far as I know - no one has come up with a term for 'a vacation where you work,' but that's just what I did in August. We hopped in the car and drove out of town, about two or so hours from Paris, to Burgundy, where our very good friends have a summer house…and a pool! They also have kids that do the dishes. Talk about #heaven!

It was heaven (well, until day 5, when the weather turned decidedly un-pool friendly…) but it was lovely to be in the countryside, going to local markets, hitting summer flea markets, eating gougères, and feasting on local tomatoes, cheeses. And being Burgundy, there was no shortage of good wine, especially Chablis, which is one of my favorites. If you've not had a good Chablis, it can be a spectacular experience. (And no, not the stuff sold in half-gallon jugs in the U.S.!) My allegiances have moved to white wine over the last few years and Chablis is one of my favorites of them all.

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Whenever we are driving around France and I see a sign for an antique store or depot-vente, I no longer have to implore my partner, Romain, to slam on the brakes; he know instinctively to ease up on the gas and turn into the parking lot. He's gotten as hooked at I am on finding treasures in the various shops and flea markets of France.

I have no idea why I bought the pretty terrine/pâté mold (below), or those beautiful old French cheese knives (above), one at an antique shop in Troyes and the other two I pulled from the wreckage at a brocante. But I couldn't resist! If you want to see what treasures I picked up on my last road trip a few weeks ago, check out this video of what I got flea marketing on this trip.

At the local food market (because I need food, to fortify myself for all the bargain-hunting), I picked up our provisions, including wheels of Chaource and a lesser-known cheese, Soumaintrain, raw cow's milk cheeses that sometimes comes in pasteurized versions. But I bought them right from the producer, who also made a barnyardy tasting fromage blanc that was great with a plum compote that I stewed up with local fruits.

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The "work" part of my vacation wasn't shopping and cooking for a family of five, plus Romain and a few assorted others that lived nearby. Or making sure the kids loaded the dishwasher to my exacting standards. But I was working on a book that's going to released in September of 2017.

My editor is on leave with a bun in the oven, soshe'sis taking a break for a few months (and no, she's not working during it – or at least she's not answering my emails…), which gives me a bit more time to fine tune it. So I spent a few hours each day perched over my laptop, giving it extra run-throughs and testing a few of the recipes on my unsuspecting hosts.

I was back in Paris for a few weeks, now about to take an actual vacation during the first part of September where I'm going to unplug, and relax on a beach somewhere. Unfortunately I ate a little too much cheese, and drank too much wine in Burgundy, so any gains I made over the last year of doing pilates (which helped me recover from knee surgery) were shot. Well, that's too bad I guess. I'm going to enjoy the break anyways. I won't be updating my site for the first few weeks of September. So in case you don't hear from me, don't touch that dial.


September newsletter

Recent Posts & Recipes from My Blog

Salted butter caramel ice cream recipe-7

Some recent recipes and posts on my blog...

I revisited my favorite ice cream ever! - Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream.

Not far from Paris, I went to La Ferme de Viltain, a u-pick and market, offering the best of the region.

Basil vinaigrette became my sauce of summer. (Readers went nuts over it, too.)

Swirl basil into soupe au pistou, the Provençal classic soup, using seasonal vegetables.

I had lunch at Bistrot Paul Bert, a favorite bistro in Paris that serves classic French food in a traditional setting. And those frites...

Yo, summer - not so fast! There's still time to make caponata, to use those lovely seasonal eggplants. This summery Sicilian recipe is one of the best things I've ever ate.


My Paris Kitchen hi res
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