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August 2017 Newsletter

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One of the curious (or cruelest?) things about Paris is that in the summer, when fruits and berries, and seasonal vegetables, are at their peak, the markets slow down. After August 1st, most of the outdoor markets are half-full, or less. I don't blame the merchants; they want to go on vacation, too. But it seems a shame that when all the fruits & vegetables are at the peak of the season, the people selling them split.

Fortunately, I stocked up last Sunday at the Bastille Market (which takes place Thursday & Sunday), the largest outdoor market in Paris, with enough tomatoes, basil, fresh beans, lovely yellow summer squash, and the last cherries of the season, to get me through this week. So at least I've got the first few days of August figured out...

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Last month I took a long weekend to visit friends in Chablis. The finicky French weather wasn't super-cooperative, so pool time was split between eating giant Gougères and drinking - yup - lots of Chablis, as well as a trip to a flea market, where I picked up a few things, including this magnificent mortar and pestle.

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I've been looking for a classic mortar & pestle like this since moving to France. My Thai mortar & pestle has served me well, but is being retired to make space for this beauty. I bargained hard for it, taking it home for €60 - score! And I saved extra by lugging it around the rest of the day, not needed to go to a fitness class. (Which wasn't really necessary, since all the fitness instructions in Paris are also on vacation, too.)

[Tip: If you're coming to France, here are some addresses and tips for antiquing and checking out Flea Markets and Thrift Stores in Paris.]

Reliably this time of year, I get messages from people coming to Paris, concerned about restaurant closures. The folks at Paris By Mouth did a round up of What's Open in August in Paris, that you'll find helpful. Sure, some bakeries will be closed, and chocolate shops, since chocolate + soaring temperatures aren't a good combination. But you'll find a number of cafés and neighborhood bakeries open...and (nearly) empty, which is remarkably enjoyable to those of us who stick around.

I did a bunch of traveling this spring. I finally acted on all the invitations and "You should go to_______" requests, and took some time to see family and friends here and there. I also scrutinized the pages of L'appart, my upcoming new book, one last time with my editor in New York - who I think went home every day and poured herself a giant glass of wine afterward. My eyes are now kaput, and I've got an appointment with my 'ophtalmo' (eye doctor) next month (she's on vacation, too), for new glasses.

Speaking of books, and travel, my publisher is finishing up dates for my book tour this fall. I'm trying to hit as many cities as one person can. I've got a few dates already up on my Schedule page and will be adding more as soon as they are confirmed. I can't wait!

- David

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Links I'm Liking

Hmmm, wonder if it's too late to go back to college: Community College Abroad in France Makes Sense (Good Call)

How to Sell a Billion-Dollar Myth Like a French Girl (Racked)

Unimpressed with Paris? You might have Paris syndrome (Mental Floss)

What's up with the friendship between the French and U.S. President? (New Yorker)

How to navigate Italy's coffee culture (NPR)

Coming to France? Leave extra time for "critical" airport delays, which I can attest to after arriving off an international flight and there was only one border patrol kiosk open...and a large queue of arriving travelers (Connexion)

Did Airbnb Kill the Mountain Town? (Outside)

Frenchmen's Dirty Secret (Only click if you really want to know…) (Ozy)

A new take on France's Favorite Pastry (BBC Travel, video)

Much ado about nothing? Or do they have a point… Are Tiki Bars Cultural Appropriation? (Gazette Times)

Could horsemeat be back on the menu in America? (Washington Post)

How Instagram Made All Places Any Place (Flung)

The ins and outs, and risks of writing a cookbook (Grub Street)

Should you cancel your trip to France? (Inspirelle)

Watch Janis Joplin and Tom Jones dancin' to the music (YouTube)

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Recent Posts & Recipes on My Blog

I loved these Green Pea and Radish tartines, crunchy and fresh.

Sparkly, Fresh Ginger-Spiked Lemonade - and yes, feel free to add gin, vodka, or a splash of Champagne, cava, or Prosecco.

A visit to Yafo Houmous Café in Paris.

Summertime S'mores Ice Cream Pie with Salted Butter Chocolate Sauce. #major #yum

You can have this Vietnamese Caramel Chicken, from The Slanted Door in San Francisco, on your table in 30 minutes.

- dl

 
 
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