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July 2019 Newsletter

Summer really heated up around here with a canicule (heatwave) that hit Paris, and much of Europe, bringing temperatures up to, and over, the 100ºF (38ºC) mark. The temperatures were the hottest ever recorded in the history of France. Having lived in a rooftop chambre de bonne, what used to be maid's quarters, right under a zinc roof for nearly ten years, I was used to broiling in the summer.

During previous heatwaves, the temperature in my apartment soared to 110ºF (43ºC) and I drank gallons of water, took cold showers, wore damp towels around my neck (and old line cook trick), and even tried to get into the public library to work, which promised air-conditioning, because my laptop got too hot to touch, but was turned away because I didn't have a reservation. That was a first for me; who knew you had to make a reservation to go to the library? Live and learn...


Coincidentially, due to publishing schedules, I always seem to be editing a book in the heat of summer, which isn't the ideal time to be hunched over a computer. But so be it. Right now, I'm weeding through words, trimming sentences and removing things here and there so there's room for all the photos. When you write a book, you don't really know how it's going to look once laid out. And no one really wants a book with a recipe that runs one sentence over and continues on the next page, or takes away an opportunity for a full-page photo. And judging from how much readers (and I) like pictures, I prefer to trim a few words rather than omitting a photo.

So I'm working on directives from the production team, such as "David, you’re running 14 lines over on this page" (yikes...) for one recipe, and "Cut 7 lines from text to fit" on another page. Truth be told, the book is more substantial than it was initially intended, because I took such as deep dive in the subject and fell in love with it, so is about 35% longer than anticipated. But I'm paying now for my generosity and will trim and tuck, to get things just right when the book comes out in March of 2020.

Re: les photos, last month I crisscrossed Paris with Ed Anderson (who shot My Paris Kitchen and the revised edition of The Perfect Scoop) to finish shooting the photos for the book, in addition to eating and drinking our way around Paris. We captured everything I love about France so perfectly, I can't wait to share it with you.

Marais Miznon Paris-6

In other news, I'm putting the finishing touches on my final Paris tour that starts today. The tour filled very quickly, so to those of you who wrote inquiring about a spot, apologies for being unable to accommodate everyone. (We'd need a few double-decker buses...as well as a clone or two of me.) I've had a great time taking people around to my favorite places in Paris over the years, but I've been doing them for nearly two decades, and I'm going to focus my attention on other things on my docket. Like...my book!

As of today, summer in Paris becomes one big wind-down. To me, it's my favorite time of the year. (As long as we don't another heatwave.) A majority of the people clear out and you have the city to yourself, although in recent years, more people have stuck around. Still, bakeries and other businesses close their doors for the congés annuels so the staff can take a break. But don't worry, the city requires bakeries to stagger their closing, so no one goes without fresh bread in the summer. Although, most market vendors also take part of July and all of August off, which is when all the great summer fruits are bursting forth. But for now, I'm getting back to work so I can go en vacances (hopefully!) too.

- David


Summer Fruit Desserts

Now that cherries, apricots, nectarines, and peaches are cascading forth at the market, I'm stocking up as much as I can. Well, as much as I can carry home. Here are some of my favorite recipes for using up the bounty of summer:

Plum Sorbet - colorful & tangy.

Gently simmered in red wine, these Cherries in Red Wine are the most colorful (and tastiest) thing on your summer dessert table. Perfect with Angel Food Cake or Gâteau de Savoie.

Plum and Rhubarb Crisp is the best of both seasons, great with vanilla ice cream.

The French classic - Cherry Clafoutis...

And the cousin of clafoutis, Plum Flaugnarde, lets you use all those tangy plums that show up at the markets.

Chill down with this Strawberry Cooler Cocktail...or a Strawberry Margarita.

Roasted Strawberry and Miso ice cream adds a touch of umami to one of the summer's favorite scoops.

Plum-Strawberry Jam preserves the best of the season.

Summer Fruit Galette - this freestyle tart is proof that something doesn't need to look picture perfect, to taste amazing.

In a jam with too many apricots? Make this colorful Apricot Jam.

This Summer Fruit Tart with Almond Cream is adaptable to whatever fruits float your boat.

No dairy in your diet? No problem with this Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream.

Questions: What's better than drinks by the pitcher in the summer? Answer: Nothing, and this Rosé Sangria indeed, is pitcher-perfect.

Fig tahini chocolate chip cookies cookie recipe-15

Recent Recipes and Posts on My Blog

Favorite bakeries and restaurants in New York.

Fig and tahini cookies (above) get a boost from chocolate chips in these big, chewy L.A.- and Paris-inspired cookies.

A list of Links I Like

Wondering what salt to use, and how? I explain, in About Salt.

Faced with a windfall of apples, I paired them with summer blackberries in this generous Apple Blackberry Slab Pie.

An updated list of favorite bistros, restaurants, wine and cocktail bars, and a few sweet shops in Paris.


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