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May 2018 Newsletter

It's May 1st and to be honest, and I think April was the shortest month of my life. Or at least the shortest month of the last few months of my life. Is it just me, or did April go by really fast?

The good news is that I had time to savor, and cook with, strawberries, asparagus, bear's garlic, ail frais (fresh garlic), and rhubarb that were at the markets, with cherries and apricots (and peaches, plums, and nectarines) hopefully right around the corner.

Right at the end of the month, though, the temperature took a turn from the welcome sunshine we had in Paris in mid-April. The chill descended on us last weekend, just when I started a short trip to Normandy, on a poterie expedition with Eric Goujon from La Tuile à Loup, who sells beautiful French pottery at his shop in Paris. While it was brisk and chilly (it snowed in Normandy the day after we left!), we had a lovely time eating terrines, local oysters, white asparagus, and drinking good wine...and lots of Normandy cream, bien sûr.

Asparagus Mimosa recipe-15

While in the region, we braked for a couple of Dépôt-Ventes (bric-a-brac stores), which are fun to peruse when you're in the French countryside. I picked up some vintage drinking glasses which didn't quite make it back to Paris; when I was rummaging through my bags for something, I heard that unfortunate sound of glass cracking.

What did make it back home was plenty of meat, which we got from a butcher in Normandy who also raises his own animals, which is rare these days. He told us that locals starting buying their meat at the hypermarché (giant superstore) in town, when it opened, but returned to his butcher shop, because the meat was better - and cheaper! So I contributed a bit to the local economy and now have several cuts of beef in my refrigerator, and am stocking up on potatoes (and Burgundy wine) to go with all that bœuf.

On the other end of the food spectrum, i.e.; dessert, thanks to everyone for the lovely reception and kind words about the revised and updated edition of The Perfect Scoop, which was recently released. When I originally wrote The Perfect Scoop, I wanted to create a fun, comprehensive guide to making ice cream, with all the basics that we know and love, but also the mix-ins, sauces, toppings, and swirls that I can't resist adding to my scoops. Glad so many of you are churning your way through the new edition.

It's also been inspiring to hear from readers who've read L'appart, the story of renovating my home and kitchen in Paris. Some have told me they were surprised that a book about renovating an apartment could be such a page-turner. There were certainly some challenges, some of them quite funny, uh, in retrospect! And there were lots (and lots) of surprises at every twist and turn. I still can't believe everything in the book happened. But am glad it's over, and I now have a nice kitchen to cook and bake in, after the dust cleared.

On a related note, if you've enjoyed either (or both) of the books, I'm always appreciative of readers who leave positive reviews on Amazon. So feel free to head over there and leave one, or two :)

Pickled-Strawberry-preserves-recipe-10-640x960

Speaking of cooking and baking, today is May Day in Paris, so most stores and shops are closed, but the food markets are open, as always. They are the only places in Paris that are always open - even on Christmas and New Year's Day.

The May 1st holiday is La Fête du Travail, France's Labor Day, which is a bit fraught this year because the train company and airline have been on strike. While they tussle with the Président, the rest of us are chugging along. I'm working on a new book, which is showing a side of French gastronomic culture that hasn't really been explored, which is fun. I'm taking a deep-dive into the subject, so am staying home and doing a lot of recipe testing, and writing.

Taking advantage of finally having a kitchen (!), I picked up some strawberries at this morning's market, as well as potatoes, a slab of Tomme de Savoie cheese and a clover-shaped aged goat cheese. I also brought home couple of heads of lettuce for salads (which I plan to eat the rest of the week, to work off all that Normandy cream - when I'm not eating meat), and some radishes to snack on* while I watch the last few episodes of Lost in Space on Netflix, which I'm currently hooked on.

- David

*Okay, who am I kidding. I've got popcorn lined up for that...

caramel corn recipe-9
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Chocolate pot de creme recipe-6

Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

Asparagus mimosa makes the best of the season's bounty!

I finally tackled Jerusalem bagels, from one of my favorite cookbooks of the year.

The Martinez cocktail may have been (or not) the inspiration for the Martini, but both are now part of my permanent cocktail repertoire.

I had a great weekend tasting my way through Edinburgh, Scotland. There was so much good food (and Scotch) I divided it into two posts: part one and part two.

Chocolate pots de crème (above) - what more can I say?!

 
 
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