May 2017 Newsletter Nope, I didn't have a pool installed (or a lawn) behind my apartment in Paris. I haven't found any low-hanging grapefruit trees o

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May 2017 Newsletter

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Nope, I didn't have a pool installed (or a lawn) behind my apartment in Paris. I haven't found any low-hanging grapefruit trees on any of the grand boulevards à Paris. And no, Paris cafés didn't ditch the wicker and wooden chairs in favor of benches to put my sneakered feet up on.

The end of April found me in Los Angeles for a family wedding. In my absence, L.A. grew into a great food city. There were always very good things to eat here (hello, Koreatown & the Santa Monica and Hollywood Farmers' Markets!), but Los Angeles has really hit its stride. So in addition to spending time with my family, I ate well, too.

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My California visit came shortly after a trip to Iceland, where I was on the faculty for a writer's retreat. I met many interesting writers, some already published, and others aspiring to be. I dined on fermented shark and Skyr (a cultured, Icelandic dairy product that I found out the hard way, is delicious, but hard to scrub out of the inside of a daypack if the container opens up in it...), and took a few dips in the thermal baths, surrounded by locals. It was great and after hanging out with such an esteemed group of writers, I now have a lengthy summer reading list to work my way through. (I'm currently completely absorbed by Little Bee, by Chris Cleeve.)

To be honest, I get a lot of "_You should come to________" messages, as well-meaning folks try to steer me to go to places. But I can't say I'm in love with flying, or the whole airport experience. Stress, waiting in lines, drinking €2,75 bottles of water, and being crammed into a narrow airline seat for six hours isn't all that much fun. But by the time I landed in the bucolic backyard garden of my friend Anne (below), which was my base for the week in L.A., I was glad I had made the trek.

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My first day started with sprouted wheat toast on the outdoor patio with good, strong coffee, then we had buckwheat waffles and fried chicken at Roscoe's, then headed to Koreatown, then to Little Tokyo for poke (raw fish) and bao (pork buns filled with Korean-spiced chicken) for lunch. The night before we had Japanese food; skewers and maki (sushi rolls) with Goju. And that was just in the first 24 hours!

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After a lovely wedding, and a few dips in the pool (no need to be jealous, I'm just fibbing...I didn't really get a chance to jump in), I'm getting on another plane as you read this. Aïe...

We've got a big election coming up in France next week that's important not just for France, but for the world. Aïe, again. On one side is a woman who would like to make France more "French," and favors the country leaving the European Union (and the euro). France is one of the cornerstones of the E.U., so it would profoundly affect all of Europe, and the surrounding countries and economies. On the other side is a man who would like to make France more economically viable by loosening the country's labor laws - always a contentious topic, hence the frequent labor and transit strikes. And he wants to make the country more ambitious in pursuit of employing more people and making the economy more flexible, and dynamic.

It's a real nail-biter for sure, and a large number of people are saying they may not vote at all, since they don't like what either candidate has to say. In addition to biting my nails, I'm planning on biting on few other things as spring rounds the corner toward summer, namely sweet cherries, fresh apricots, and French strawberries, which I hope will have a sweet (or sweeter?) outcome.


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Links I'm Liking

11 Ways Not to Look French (My Little Paris)

Life's Work: An Interview with Alice Waters (HBR)

Cook a your washing machine? (The Kitchn)

American Masters Chefs series on PBS features James Beard, Alice Waters, Jacques Pépin and Julia Child, starting May 19. (PBS)

D'oh! Turns out you don't really need a $400 WiFi juicer… (Bloomberg)

Taste asks me about my favorite, unusual baking gadget (Taste)

In the words of Ru Paul: You betta work, Monsieur Macron (NYT)

Excited about The Gourmand's Way: Six Americans in Paris and the Birth of a New Gastronomy, by Justin Spring (Amazon)

Enfin, a solution to those zip-top freezer bags that spill in the fridge… (Amazon)

Phooey on fake news. Wikipedia founder launches Wikitribune, anti-fake news website.

Time for a career change? This couple makes up to $9k per Instagram photo. Color me #jealous (Bored Panda)


Recent Posts & Recipes on My Blog


A visit to Mokonuts Café and Bakery in Paris.

My new summer sipper: the Jasmine Cocktail.

Fire up the grill for Kofta, a recipe for spiced lamb skewers with yogurt-tahini sauce.

I almost fainted when I pulled these beautiful loaves of Marzipan Challah, above, out of my oven. (Not to mention how amazing they tasted...)

Iceland ain't just fermented shark and broiled cod's heads. I visited the magnificent Bread Bakeries of Reykjavik.

It's Bear's Garlic season in Paris. If you can't get them, you can make this Bear's Garlic Pesto with ramps or garlic scapes.

- dl

My Paris Kitchen hi res
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