November 2016 Newsletter It's fall, which means one of our (and when I say "our" I mean, "we, the people of America") favorite holidays is upon us th

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November 2016 Newsletter

Pumpkin Jam recipe-3

It's fall, which means one of our (and when I say "our" I mean, "we, the people of America") favorite holidays is upon us this month. Most of the French have a deep knowledge of their history and are stunned that I (or "we) don't know the meaning of the happiest of all American fêtes, Thanksgiving, or what the feast means. (One of us always has to Google it at the table, in Paris, to explain it.)

It's a holiday filled with foods that aren't familiar to them, nor do they have any nostalgia for the specialities that show up on our tables, like we do.

Sweet potatoes with marshmallows aside (which freaks out anyone who isn't American...and even a few who are), the meal brings bring back all sorts of memories and is more about being gathered around the table, rather than assigning meaning to all the different dishes and so forth. It's a day off to spend with friends and family, which is where I plan to be.

German Apple Almond Cake recipe-6

It's also a chance to bake a pie or cake, roast a turkey, mash some potatoes, or dig out your mom's stuffing recipe - although most swear by the one on the back of the bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix. Yup, even expats in France. If you want to make an overseas American happy, bring over a bag before November 24th. (I don't need one, though, since I'll be with my family in New England.) We also stock up on butter and cream for purée (mashed potatoes), and make sure to have enough wine, or bourbon, to deal with all the stress of putting that meal together! Or after the election, to celebrate our candidate's victory, or...

Which brings me to something else important this November: Vote!

Years ago I was traveling in a somewhat remote country, and was talking to a local. I was blathering on and on about some of the things that our country doesn't do as well as I thought it should. The woman stopped, looked at me, and said, "Do you have any idea how lucky you are to be able to vote?" It hit me that she was right. It's something we take for granted. In many places in the world, people don't have that right, as well as others that we just assume are universal. Even though it may be inconvenient, or a pain to stand in line, or find a parking space, it's a right that we Americans should cherish - and to exercise*. So don't forget to vote!

- David

*And who doesn't love exercise? ; )

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Upcoming New York Appearance

COVER Classic-German-Baking-e1474302065402

I'll be with my friend Luisa Weiss, author of the new cookbook, Classic German Baking, on November 2nd at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, New York. We'll be chatting about baking (German and French) and there will be treats and laughter as each of us argues whether the baking of our respective countries is better. (Just kidding!) If you're in New York, come join us for the chat, q+a, and treats from her book. We'll each be signing our books, too, if you'd like a copy for yourself or for gift-giving.

Please RSVP at the venue here, to let them know you're coming, and you can also let us know on my Facebook page as well.

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Thanksgiving Recipes!

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Recent Recipes and Blog Posts

Pumpkin Jam recipe-7

Judging from the comments, quite a few people had a lot to say – more than I did – on the subject of Cold Toast.

I love Merguez & Pastrami, a hybrid deli/restaurant in Paris, where everything's made in-house, including the breads, smoked meats, and terrific desserts.

This German Apple-Almond Cake made good use of apples my neighbor picked and shared with me. (Yes, I returned the favor and split the cake with them!)

My French better-half wasn't sure about Pumpkin Jam, (above), but when he had his first taste swiped on toast, he was won over by it. It may be because I bypassed the 'pumpkin spice mixture' route, and used vanilla...

The Cheese Ball got an update…just in time for the holidays. A great do-ahead addition to your appetizer table.

- dl

My Paris Kitchen hi res
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