Spring Cleaning

We’ve had some really nasty weather in Paris during last couple of weeks. Some days were so bitter, dark, and cold that even though I had my heater on full blast, I was bundled up a wool coat and scarf inside of my apartment. And you know it’s really cold in Paris when the normally indifferent teenagers (who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything but a t-shirt and perhaps a down vest, no matter how bone-chilling cold it was), were bundled up in hats and scarves. Chic women had gone into survival mode, slipping off fashionable pumps and wearing bulky winter boots, with their faces tucked under hats with long side flaps.

For about a week I thought there was a national holiday because the streets and outdoor markets were deserted. Hardly anyone was in the bakeries buying bread or on the sidewalks. But no, it was just too cold for anyone to even think about going outside.

Then, this morning I woke up and the sky was blue and it was so warm that I could open the window and breath in some of the fresh air, hopefully signally that spring is almost around the corner. It also prompted some thinking today about a few things I’ve been considering, which I’ve decided to put them in action, some involving changes to the blog. A few you likely won’t notice, but there’ll be a few more substantial ones in the coming weeks.

The technical stuff (ie: the stuff you, fortunately, can’t see) has finally won its battle against me and I never dreamed I would be squinting at a screen for hours trying to figure out how to configure servers, write recipes in html code, decipher what the heck is an Apache error, or why mSQL matters. Last fall I made a major change to the site by moving to another blogging platform as I was no longer able to find support for the one I was using. However there were massive technical glitches and I spent weeks trying figure out what was wrong and how to fix it, which included many nights of being awake at 4am just so I could work with people as far away as in New Zealand and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am a baker and I started the site to share stories and recipes, and now I want to get back to what I do, namely sticking my hands in flour and writing about places in Paris that I think others might like more informally. And while the technical glitches are still there, I’m hoping they’re minimized and am working with a talented team that I hope will fix them for good. (I am hoping that sound out there is the sound of crossing fingers.)

I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of weeks, as I’ve been sitting on some posts that are resting in my queue, waiting to be published. However I’ve been terrified of hitting the Publish button because they’re not pristine. I haven’t closed all the points and arguments that are sure to arise, I’m certain there is at least one syntax error, and I probably wrote “it’s” instead of “its” by accident somewhere in that 8603 word document.

For the past couple of years I’ve decided to focus on the blog because I’ve really enjoyed doing it. For one reason, I like the freedom and I can share anything instantly, without someone telling me “no” or “Our sales team thinks that readers won’t want to read about a crêperie in Paris run by Japanese women dressed in all-pink who look like they just stepped out of Harajuku.”

However what that means is that unlike in books or magazine articles, there is no editor, nor is there a copyeditor or proofreader; it’s (not its) just me and my computer. I’ve also been having some vision problems lately, and as much as I try to read and re-read every post dozens of times (yes, really), things go up with goofs and glitches. But the main thing I’ve learned living in a foreign country is that no matter how hard you try, you not going succeed all the time and you’re going to make mistakes. You can agonize over it, and it might not make others happy either, but in the words of the great Miss Diana Ross; “There ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.”

Blog have changed and evolved, and in some cases, became “showpieces”, and you can read articles about how to blog, and all that you have to do. (And one of those unpublished posts of mine talks about that). And that’s all great and something to consider. But on the other hand, as I get older, I realize what’s important and what isn’t. Is it more important to re-read a post with eagle-eyes like a madman before I hit the publish button? Or should I walk over the Berthillon for a scoop of caramel ice cream? Do I want to spend the weekend figuring out how to code a page, or do I want to hit a flea market or catch up with a good friend at a café for lunch?

I know a certain number of bloggers have hired copyeditors and I had this same discussion with another blogger the other day. But to be honest, what I like about blogging is the raw nature of getting stories and recipes out, rather than planning weeks in advance and going through layers of people before I finally put something up on the site weeks after the idea was fresh in my head. Although even books and magazines have errors, but in those places at least writers can blame their editors ; )

(I met with some blog platform developers a while back who were interested in the steps I took to write and publish a post, and I didn’t realize how involved it was until I spent a little too long explaining to them the trail of steps that I take before I hit “Publish.” They were hard-core web people and they almost dropped their laptops.)

So in future posts, although I do my darndest to make sure everything is spiffy, like a tart whose crust isn’t perfectly even or an apple with a blemish, that’s what I offer readers. And as much as I love sifting through html codes and figuring out if a period goes inside or outside quotation marks (which depends on where you live), in the future, I’ll be moving the blog in various directions, some familiar—but expect a few twists and turns along le route.

The scourge of the universe, spam has overrun the comments in older posts, or they’ve become questions that are seemingly obvious. So unfortunately I’ve had to turn those off. If you go to an older post and there’s nowhere to comment, it’s because the site gets over 3000 spam comments a day (yes, really…), and as much as I’d love a to have a manhood that will “poke her eye out”, if everyone who read the site had the same wish as I do, there would be too many women walking around with eye patches.

I love comments and have learned more than I have ever imagined about your various cultures and countries, places I previously knew nothing about, and the interaction with you all is one of the things that I enjoy most about the blog. I’ve been taught by you about food and customs from other countries, I’ve learned language and cultural lessons about France and other European countries, quite a few of you have given me really good laughs (I hope, intentionally!) and I’ve even made some really good friends, both virtual and in real life.

But I’ve also been inundated by messages asking about modifying recipes and have found myself now writing posts composed almost entirely of phrases like, “Some bakers might ask if they can replace the chocolate with beef fat”, because I am sure someone might ask me that.

I understand and respect tinkering with recipes, and love to hear how people modify recipes to make them work for specific diets and situations. No one is more frustrated than I am when I want to make something and can’t find the ingredients. And I realize there are people from different places that don’t have access to the same ingredients or equipment as I do. However instead of me writing paragraphs and paragraphs on what you can and can’t do to the recipes, I’d rather people also learn to trust their instinct and use recipes as inspiration, and prefer to write a story about the recipe, or what prompted me to share it with you.

I’ve learned that those who are on special diets, like my gluten-free and vegetarians friends and such, are generally better equipped than I am at figuring out how to make substitutions and adjustments. For more about this, please refer to my Baking Equipment and Ingredient Substitutions.

Regarding authenticity of recipes on the site, I live in a country where things from other places are often, um, modified for local tastes. I don’t always agree with the results (especially when I see canned corn on a Caesar Salad) and I go on about it sometimes as well, but that’s that and it’s not the end of the world. As horrible as things like cheese, papaya and lobster quesadillas sound, instead of getting upset, they make me laugh.

Perhaps it’s an American thing to want to reproduce what we like and to be inquisitive about the food of other cultures. Or maybe because I worked in restaurants that featured American, French, Italian, Southeast Asian, and vegetarian food at various stages of my professional cooking career. On the site, I will often play around with foods from Asian, Central America, and European countries outside of France. I know not everyone is comfortable with people modifying dishes to suit their circumstances. But there’s not much I can do about it, unless I subsist on croissants and Comté cheese. And as much as I like them, often I need me some kimchi or Kosher dill pickles.

So my project this weekend is to do some spring cleaning and tossing out a few unnecessary things. I’ve also got a big pot of marmalade on my stove (that doesn’t seem to want to jell), a pan bar cookies waiting to be cut up (and sampled). But most important of all, I’m making a batch of Rice Krispies Treats to bring to a brunch Américain this weekend that a French friend of mine is hosting. And in case anyone wants to know, like their American counterparts, French Rice Krispies also contain prizes. But for the life of me, I’m trying to figure out what mine is…

Rice Krispies Prize

Categories:

Uncategorized

310 comments

  • Your generosity in sharing your talent, skills, humor, travels, photography, tales, and knowledge is a most wonderful gift, and I want to thank you. I look forward to reading what you’re up to every day, and never realized all the work it entails for you to share that with the world.
    So please – have fun. When you have fun, we do, too. Screw the typos.
    Slainte.

  • The ideal world of blogging should be spontaneous, impromptu, self indulgent with a heavy dose of ‘I-don’t-give-a-damn-about-the-traffic-count’ callousness…. bottom line- it’s your site and it should be self liberating first and the rest are secondary. Ideal world…

  • I totally support you with any new twist you decide to go with the blog, is your blog and that’s the reason I like it!
    David,
    Do you have trouble blogging in English and living in a French speaking country? I’m so many times searching for proper words in my maternal language, I hate it.

  • No technically perfect blog comes close to your own brand of spontaneously sharing…thank you for remaining true to yourself!!!

  • Your prize is a ‘light sabre’ …from Star Wars!

  • Great honest post. I had to crack up at the “poke her eye out” part. HIlarious!

    As for the substitutions in recipes…I love experimenting! Cooking/baking/eating is all about the whole experience. Not about following rules. To me, recipes are just guidelines. I almost never follow a recipe exactly. I modify all the time to make it work for me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But its always fun!

    The story behind each food experience, whether you cook it yourself or someone else does, is what makes it special and worth writing about.

  • Just thought I’d add to the chorus of appreciation – your blog is fantastic (I’m vegan and have been so since I started reading it probably three years ago, yet still enjoy every update), and life’s too short to worry about silly things like typos. I’ve noticed them before and just thought it was part of your quirky charm, honestly. Keep on keepin’ on, and thanks for all you do to keep us entertained. <3

  • David I think people enjoy your blog because it’s really about you and bringing your particular slant on foods and events. That’s the joy and charm of it all. Please do whatever you want – I will be reading!

  • I’m a technical writer and an editor, and I don’t look here for that sterility; and I say Kathleen and emmy have expressed my sentiments exactly. Your warmth and generosity should not be constrained by an apostrophe. Larger typefaces and black, not gray fonts, are also my bidding as I, ahem, age. Looking forward to your next iteration with appreciation. .

  • I’m always surprised when I visit a recipe site or blog, to see that most people’s comments are about how they changed the recipe, sometimes very drastically. I don’t get it.

  • Oh …it’s a light sabre. Yes I can see that now.

    Typos – I’m guilty of that. Aren’t we all?

  • Ah, is there some sort of program that you can write to vaporize spammers? I get so irritated with their creepy messages I often wish I could hit a very special reply and fry their hardware. Grrrrrrr. I can’t imagine what you go through. N

  • I totally agree with you, David! Your blog is such a happy place for me to visit. I had no idea the stress and work it was for you, though I can imagine how it could get that way with so many readers. I think of blogging as something kind of casual and homemade, just like the treats we food bloggers regularly post, which is why I was totally thrown off when I read the words “blogger” and “copyeditor” in the same sentence (really?!).

    I say keep up the good work. Yours is one of the blogs that I regularly read, and not because of your sentence structure and punctuation. I read it because I enjoy your (virtual) company, your stories are hilarious, and I love your recipes. Whatever you do with your blog, I’ll be reading!

  • Re: February 11 blog

    Nice!

  • Thank you for taking the time to entertain us. I don’t think typos scare anyone away. They are part of being human.

    By the way, my nephew would have been sooooooo happy to find a light saber in his cereal!

  • Your posts have enriched my life. I grew up in Orleans and have now lived in Texas for the past 37 years. Your stories are vibrant and real and I cherish them. Your recommendations and recipes are what I love to read, i don’t check for typos and syntax.. Spammers, wow. I’ve not had one since Blogger updated, but I don’t have 1/10th the volume you do.. Good luck. Thank you.

  • You are amazing and I have learned so much! Thank you for all your hard work, I wish you all the best!

  • You are an extraordinary writer. Your way with words has the power to tickle, teach, provoke, and move me. I love reading what you’ve been thinking about. I feel lucky to know you through your prose. May you never stop sharing with us all, you amazing man, you!

  • I have just discovered your blog and I want to thank you for the wonderful ‘reads’. I like your style – never change it or compromise for the sake of others. And never stop blogging.

    I am currently reading The Sweet Life in Paris (funny stories – great sense of humour – you are living your dream) and am drooling over Ready for Dessert. Must try something from it this weekend i.e. Valentine’s day.

    Ahhhh, to live in Paris. Such a beautiful lady she is. My one week visit 6 years ago only wet my appetite and I will be back.

    Take care and keep baking.

  • typo/shmypo..I love reading about your life with food and friends in Paris as I sit out here in the Arizona desert creating my first in a series of Baudelaire comic books.
    I often make your recipes and they are wonderful, but even when there’s not enough time to bake, it’s inspiring reading about you doing it step by step. Your blog is a gift. Merci, Merci, Merci!

  • I think it’s a dreidl!

  • David, You set the standard! I wish you as much joy as you bring others. Your kindnesses and lovely sarcasm are very endearing and a treat to read. In other words, let ‘er rip!

  • David,

    It certainly sounds like you have experienced “A Harajuku Moment” (described in
    the 4 Hour body).
    You have an amazing blog! I love your stories and wonderful details regarding everything from soup to nuts, travel, and your impressive people tales.
    I smile and laugh heartily at your wry and witty dialogue. This is the only “Blog” I read no matter what, and I am often intrigued, comforted or impressed.
    I agree, you have a gift and I appreciate you sharing.
    Happy Spring Cleaning……

    Mercy Buttercups!!!

  • the “inaccuracies” make this a humanizing experience, which the world is lacking in our modern time. i feel, when i partake of your blog, as if i sit in your kitchen, or meander through the fresh markets, or smell the wonderful aroma of cheese as you share your experiences. please do not change “too much” for the sake of perfection.

  • Relax, David. It’s a great blog, and everybody knows it. Just publish those posts in your queue. All of your posts have errors. It’s no big deal. We’re reading for content, not for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. :-) And we all appreciate the content.

  • I love your blog! Thank you, thank you. I read it all the time. Definitely go get some ice cream instead of spending time proofreading!!

  • It’s a toy microphone. Time for some kitchen karaoke!!!

  • Great post, David. Yes, I echo all the others who have commented. Thank you for your blog! I never know what you’ll be writing on and exactly what you’ll say and I love that. So if errors exist, they fade into the background quickly. Keep writing and hitting “Publish” without taking extraordinary measures to ensure everything is perfect. As the saying goes, perfectionism is highly overrated. I’d much rather read your writing when it’s fresh and passionate rather than practiced and perfect. Oh, and ROFL on the poking out of eyes comment. Fantastic imagery!! ;-)

    All the best,
    Shirley

  • Hi David! This is my first comment and I want to chime in with so many others and let you know I love receiving your blog. I love it. It’s perfect, errors and all. It is an artistic creation and I love the freshness of it. Don’t be overly concerned with the “small stuff”. Thank you so much for what you are doing!!! Keep on enjoying your life and sharing with us. That’s the key. Thanks for your honesty.

  • I am a stay at home mom in Northern CA and am passionate about baking and cooking. Your blog really inspires me -I loved your book too! You’ve got great ideas and you crack me up. Thanks David!

  • Your blog is an adventure, immensely inspiring and one is happy every time one reads it. You write so well and with a writer´s precision and exquisite balance
    on any subject and one does envy you your many extraordinary talents.
    Agree with you altogether on the HORRORS of the Paris Winter. Having spent much of my life in Sweden I thought I knew about Winters (I have lived in Minnesota too) but I have never known cold as in Paris. Not only because buildings are miserably isolated but because of the humidity enwrapping not very remarkable
    temperatures resulting in a bonechilling horror – add to this a permanent lack of sun and a windy climate.
    No use complaining to someone, one is met with a surprised look:- Madame, this is the Winter season.”
    By the way beware of April in Paris it is not rarely a terrible month with icecold rain.
    Of course one cannot live anywhere else. To wake up in Paris is having Christmas every day.
    Mais oui.

  • David so long as you continue to be you and enjoy what you do the rest will fall into place. I appreciate the time you take to share with us, both your recipes, your adventures, and yourself.

  • Just wanted to say that what I enjoy most about your blog is that it is “so you.” I think that’s what we all want — a blog that reflects what you are thinking, what you are discovering about cooking and life, and the “getting to know you better” stuff.

    If your blog was total perfection, it would read like a newspaper or magazine — and it wouldn’t feel personal. Magazine articles are everywhere, but the personal relationships between people who love to bake are so much more meaningful and rare.

    So please do keep writing your little stories, your recipes, your thoughts — and let’s keep this as a friendship thing, not a professional publication.

    Anyway, that’s just how a feel — and my thoughts on why I enjoy your David Lebovitz blog so very much. (And, by the way, I do enjoy your cookbooks too! I especially love Ready for Dessert, but thus far have not been able to find Room for Dessert. Maybe someday I’ll stumble on a copy of that. I hope so.)

    Judy

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I’ll read whatever you write and bake whatever you bake. I have a Fresh Ginger Cake in the oven right now and the whole house smells divine.

  • My heart was racing and I was on the edge of my seat! I had to skip to the end to be sure you were not quiting! Whew!

  • I have been so busy enjoying your posts that I totally missed any typos or other imperfections. They are perfect in my eyes! By the way, my 18-year-old son is totally spoiled now, thanks to The Perfect Scoop (which I bought way before I even knew about this blog or that you lived in Paris or anything). He poo-poos storebought ice cream now and says “the texture isn’t right!” I SO love that book, and I really appreciate all that you share in your blog. Yours is the only blog I receive that I always read. Thank you!

  • I too was afraid that you were announcing your departure. I love your blog. I love that almost everyday I can plop down in front of the computer and have a little break in Paris – or Tunisia or Mexico or Texas – or wherever you are. It takes me away from the messy house and screaming kids for a few wonderful minutes and transports me to a different world. And then I go back to mine, refreshed. I thank you for those minutes everyday and try to do so in a concrete manner by buying your books when they come out.

    And yes, it would irritate the heck out of me if – while providing this free but no less valuable service – people snottily corrected my grammar and proofreading (there was someone recently that I really wanted to slap on your behalf), or couldn’t just appreciate the insight into another culture and its food but instead had to pick away at the ingredient list with a million questions that they could just look up on their own if it really mattered to them that damn much, or people who refuse to just try cooking something themselves with the smarts they were born with and instead want some iron clad guarantee that it will work with 2% milk instead of whole. As if you had the time or energy to answer all those questions after going out, having the experience you are sharing and then writing it all up and posting the pretty pics with it too.

    I hope you can brush past those irritants and continue to share with us. I hope you find a service that allows you to do so with the minimum of technical restraints. You owe me nothing, David, and yet I hope that you will continue to give so generously of your time and experiences.

  • Toy screwdriver? or is there a button to make the saber extend? because we all know that the handle is not longer than the saber. :)
    Seriously, I love you and your blog just the way you are. (I sound like I’m about to ask you to be my Valentine :)

  • Just want to say I have enjoyed evrything you have written.

  • In all my years reading blogs, recipe sites, etc… I have never felt the need to post. David, you have given me so much pleasure with your blog entries. For what it’s worth…

  • Ach! you’re not perfect! Who knew? “it’s” for “its”? Shudddddder.

    Please forget about offering us alternatives. As you say, we’re smart. And it’s (its?) irritating to have you jump hoops.

    Go find your true voice again, David, unadulterated. THAT’s what we want to hear, THAT’s what we’re listening for.

    A big YAY for this post. Needed to be done.

  • David, Your blog is my #1 blog. The way you bake, cook, write and photograph – all combine to make this special indeed! Your sense of humor is wicked!!!

    I myself have wanted to slap a couple of the commenters also…. Their kids have probably flown the coop and they were running short of nits to pick.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself through this blog. I love the song that you are singing.

  • You are my heart’s delight, I read every post and always learn something, have a laugh, and a nod to your insight into the food and cultures you write about. I look forward to your next iteration and your next iteration and will be sad when you decide to retire your world view. Until then, laissez les bon temps roulez!

  • Your blog keeps me going in between visits to Paris. Thank you so much. Keep writing with your special style of honesty and joy. I’ll be in sweet Paris in October for two weeks and all of the information you dish out enriches my life in Denver and in France. Thank you.

  • David, I think you’re so cool. I love your style of writing, I don’t care what you write about, you always make me smile with your humerous and lighthearted view of life.

    Thank you for your blog, whatever you choose to do with it.

  • Dear David,
    I have no clue what a mSQL is, or html for that matter. But I do know that now that I have found your blog, I hope never to lose it.
    I have been reading religiously since I planned my trip to Paris, for the very first time. My notebook is filled with restaurants that you have written about, and my recipe folder is filled with your wonderful recipes. (Thanksgiving’s pain de’ epice was great, and I have you to thank for that.)
    So, please, for your sake, and for the sake of your readers, chill! (Not outside in the cold Paris weather.) I truly enjoy reading everything that you write.
    My husband and I will be there next month. Let me know if we might bring you jalapeno’s or tortilla’s, or anything else that you might need from San Francisco/Bay Area. It would be our pleasure, and a way to say thank you for all of the great information you’ve shared with us.

  • I stumbeled onto your blog a few years ago, trying to find something special to do for my upcoming trip to Paris. You made me fall in love with the city in an entire different way and I thank you for that. And I’ve been following your blog ever since. It took me a while to have the courage to leave a comment and I am guilty of asking for substitutes, purely out of enthousiasm. But I understand that this is not why you started this blog and it takes you away from the reason you took up blogging in the first place. I follow you because I love the way you write about your culinary life and you should stay true to yourself! I can figure out myself how to tweak a recipe and then tell you all about it. So there!
    By the way, out here in the Netherlands there are no gifts with our Rice Krispies :-( *jeleaous

  • Dear David,

    Thank you for a heart-felt, honest, courageous (and of course funny) post. Your posts definitely make me look forward to my evenings, and this was no exception. It reminded me how I can get a little too wrapped up in pursuing perfection when the only person that will notice the errors is…me. It’s so much more important to stop and smell the roses, and bake up a batch of your lovely cheesecake brownies.

    BTW if Lavinia is willing, you should ask for a batch of Trader Joe’s blue corn tortillas. I also bring some back with me to Montreal. Yeah, funny how I live in a place known for good bread but still insist on schlepping back tortillas!

  • What I like about your blog is that you post so often. Perfect proof be danmed [sic].

  • We all love you for your easy and relentlessly entertaining style! When I first started reading this post I became stressed that you were going to quit blogging. Ugh. Seriously, never do that! You’re a joy to read, regardless of any real ( or not) “errors”. Simplicity is divine!

  • DEar David, Thank you for all the great blogs. I had no idea how time consuming they were to post. Just be yourself, don’t sweat about the spelling etc. we read them and enjoy your wonderful writing style and wit. I also love your recipes, they are simple and easy to follow. Its wonderful that you are going to put what’s important to you and your life in Paris first and foremost.

  • It makes me sad to see that fans, who are the people who “make” you, are also the people who make you miserable (I thought that’s what family was for)! I experienced the same thing once with my favorite singer, and it made me ashamed to be among the people pestering him after a concert. Sincerely, I hope that you will be able to strike a better balance and enjoy your life more!
    Thanks for all you do,
    Charlene

  • Please understand that, typos notwithstanding, you’re welcome in our house every day.

    Thanks for your efforts.

  • David —- as an American who lives in London and the south of France, I have always been alarmed, and disgusted, by the addition of corn to a number of dishes — salads in France and most horribly, tuna fish (sandwiches) in England. When I first came to France in the early 70’s I was ridiculed for being someone who ate corn on the cob — food for pigs in France –don’t know when or why they started adding it to salads. In London, I think of corn as a “protein extender” — bulking up the sandwich filling which is otherwise an expensive protein — tuna. Yuck.
    As to the American national anthem “I Did (Ate) it My Way” — no where else do you find people who have so many food rules, allergies, dislikes, phobias, who also believe that everyone should/must submit to their personal quirks. The French may be less inquisitive about other foods, but you won’t have them coming into your house and picking apart or rejecting your meal because they don’t like a certain ingredient etc.

  • … here’s a vote for caramel ice cream and I like period after quotes – thank goodness for the little red lines under misspelled words or you wouldn’t have understood what I just said – fast typing, if that is what they still call it – is not my forte.

    Just keep doing what you have been, and I won’t correct you – even though I did proofreading for ten years!

  • Thank you so much for this post. As a definitely-not-large-scale-blogger who sometimes feels the pressure to try and business-ify my blog and learn SEO and get ads and yadda yadda, this post was a breath of fresh air. I’ll never be in a position to hire a copyeditor, and if someone as amazing as you can decide to breathe easier about blogging, so too can I – and be happy with the amazing friends I’ve made through this so far.

    Looking forward to an era of more-free-and-light-hearted-inside David Lebovitz deliciousness :)

  • I’m a professional proofreader/copyeditor, and the day I write in to correct your blog is the day I can write and/or bake as well as you–that is, never.
    Your blog has made my transition to living in France much easier–every time I dodge a bureaucratic bullet or try a new kind of food or stake out my place in line at the market, I silently thank you for the advice. Keep the stories and the laughs and the recipes coming!!

  • ice cream every time!!! Thank you for letting us all live in Paris (or elsewhere) for a few moments every day David – please keep it up!

  • wot typos?
    never notisd any
    2 busy enjoying the read

  • Looks like a lightsaber? I see marshmallows in the back, are you upping the desserts on a stick by putting desserts on a light saber? You cease to amaze me :)

    Canned corn must be European thing…here in Germany they add canned corn by to a dish and call it Mexican!

    Oh no, I am sure I asked a silly question here before and you so kindly answered it. I felt silly after reading your response but was very honored that you eased my frazzled brain (too much holiday baking sheesh).

    You amazing because everything you do from baking to blogging seems effortless because you’re just that good. I hope your spring cleaning goes well, and your team can get your blog in ship shape and easier to use. I wish I had your typos- I miss whole entire words sometimes after re-reading a post AFTER I’ve hit the publish button- d’oh!
    Your blog always looks amazing to me and your style, from reading other blogs, has influenced many! Hope you have a blast at the party. I haven’t made Rice Krispies treats in ages mmmm! Have a lovely weekend!

  • love reading your blog! as I can see so do a lot of others! So definitely the caramel ice cream, flea market and lunch with friend. Have moved a year back to malaysia from india. So really identify with your challenges in france!

  • You are AWESOME David :)

  • David – I love your blog, because it is so real, honest and I learn so much about Paris, from locations, culture, way of life to food. I visited several places which you had blogged about when I went to Paris all the way from Singapore alone and it was lovely to see these places that I’ve read so much about in real life – and it even seemed familiar! When I came back, I relooked some of your posts about Parisien life and laughed as I realized that I really understood some of those sentiments now! I’ll be honest and say that I don’t really use your recipes as I hardly cook/bake and I try not to make desserts or sweets in particular because I have no self-control at all, but I love looking at them. I think if being a perfectionist about your blog starts giving you stress or detracting from the fun of just writing and connecting with other people, there’s really no point in being all worked up about it. I for one don’t really care very much about typos and have really enjoyed all of your posts, whether to dream about Paris, reminisce, or drool at pictures.

  • I love your blog! It’s one of the few that I have bookmarked on my “Must read daily” list. And, as you know, I follow you on Twitter and Facebook, and would love to meet you in person one of these days, if you are ever in London (next time I’m in Paris, I’ll probably be too busy, alas).

    Recipes are a starting-point, surely, not set-in-stone commandments? I have used some of your recipes as written, and adapted others to my own circumstances. The only thing that really worries me is what you – and other American food bloggers – mean by “Dutch process cocoa”. As far as I am aware, we only have one sort of cocoa powder over here – Cadbury’s, mostly, or supermarket own brand which is very similar – and I have no idea what sort of process was used to make it!

  • Dear David, all your posts are great and this in particular for sharing about the transition points of the journey as well! So much to say about that which I can’t express at the moment so then just to say *thank you for that* in the fullest sense….

    And do you think it’s a light sabre??

  • Yours is my favorite blog. Take it in whatever direction you wish – it’s yours!!!
    Those of us who love you will gleefully tag along. Those who get caught up in apostrophes can go elsewhere :)

  • I love reading your blog, and always get inspried to bake after reading it. So keep it up! Also, I love writing my blog for that exact reason – I have the power to publish whever I want!

  • I, too, write a food (and other stuff) blog. I decided this year to just cook, bake, and write when and what I want. Why? Because it’s mine!!!

    Keep up the good work. We bakers and cookies have to inspire each other. We learn from each other.

    I love your blog. Typos? Not a problem. I end way too many sentences with a proposition and have managed to survive. Let the typo cops eat cake.

    Your Midwest fan, Nella

  • G’day and thank you David for the time & effort you put into your blogs! We love ‘em down here in Oz. Bonjour & Cheers, Leisa

  • i love reading your blog! cheers to the new route your taking.

  • What a cute, free light sabre. We had to pay $7 for ours…

    You are a fantastic blogger and chef, with a wonderful pov and voice— one with humor, insight and warmth. Your blog is the one I love reading the most, and the one that I forward the most to my friends. Thank you for enriching my life (and as you see, so many others!)

  • David,
    Just adding my voice to the chorus – You’re the friend I share my morning coffee with, who brings not only witty conversation and choclate, but glimpses of my beloved Paris while I’m back here in the (currently) frozen American Northeast. Please, don’t stop posting, and tell the Grammar Nazis to go suck lemons.

    Not the Meyer lemons, though. They don’t deserve such riches….

  • David,
    You are my hero. Feggitabout the typos. I’m in Cozumel, it’s warm. Come visit!

  • Miniature light saber?

  • David,
    Your blog is the first thing I read each morning. It is always a great way to start the day! The only thing that ever annoys me is those who decide to correct your typos and I actually stopped reading the comments because of that. It’s your blog and your fans will read and enjoy any changes you decide to make. Love you!

  • David, we could all use some of this type of spring cleaning! Hats off to you.

  • Don’t “throw out” too much in your “spring cleaning”!!! All of the links on your webpage are so helpful to those of us who enjoy the French culture aspect of your blog in addition to your food ruminations. Who cares about typos??!! It’s content and personality of the writer that is more important on a blog!

  • As , no doubt lots of other people have said earlier, we do not read your blog for the spelling or sentence structure but for your marvelous recipes,self deprecating humour and really informative restaurant visits.

    As long as the foregoing are still there then forget about the grammar police and their hangers-on.

  • I come for the stories and recipes. I stay for the smiles.

  • I am a week old blogger and this post has given me an understanding of the standards I need to set for myself in baking and blogging. Thank you for being the inspiration you are.

  • Typos – what typos?
    David your content and writing style is so engaging that I too miss your typos. And when I do see them it gives me confidence when writing my own blog. You’ve taught me through example that what really matters is finding my voice; not my high school copy of Strunk and White. Yes you’re right that grammar is important, but if I’m too busy worrying about rules I’ve forgotten, or run out of time for the creativity. I love your writing please don’t stop.
    Cat

  • David- any suggestions for a homemade chicken pie?

  • David I want to make a homemade chicken pie( or pot pie ).. any suggestions for a fabulous recipe?
    thank you ,
    Johnette

  • Dear David,

    I just want to say “thank you”. Thank you so much for your blog! Finding it brought me out of despair while living in Europe. Your writing, photographs, and recipes are beautiful. The depth of information within your blog is absolutely amazing – a true gift! We will take what we get and enjoy it!!!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Lindsay

  • I think you should look at the “new” blog as a galette with its (not it’s) seemingly perfect, un-perfect crust. Shaggy around the edges but oh so delicious!

  • I’d like to second all the wonderful praises above me! They should be taken as testament to what a great blogger you are. You are one of the top three on my list. Just Wish u posted everyday!

  • Well….I thought this site was for cooking, food and the love of it all. Not about writing a term paper that was going to be graded! Leave that to the writers blogs ~ who cares of there is some typos. I had rather you post more and enjoy life and write about the places that you see and visit, than see if you can write a flawless blog. Who cares :O) Most all of us know you can….so there. Go enjoy life and do not worry about the small stuff, I think it makes it feel a little more authentic if there is errors, go enjoy life.

  • Very well said, David. We are all so lucky to have your spirit and particular slant on what you like to cook and eat. Keep doing what you love and we will keep loving the results!

    Thank you!

  • I agree with so many of these comments.

    You certainly don’t have to prove anything to your readers. And maybe you won’t have to prove anything to yourself ? Capricorns can be very hard on themselves. In the process of writing this comment, I had at least 15 typos, some might not be corrected, I’m not sure.

    I really enjoy your photographs also. You have a wonderful artistic gift which finds it way into everything you do. Hope you can enjoy this gift you have, as much as all of are. Blessings to you, David.

  • I follow your blog for the delicious food ideas, and simply to read about Paris and surrounding areas. Thanks for writing this post about blogging, and I completely agree with your thoughts. I have a little blog, and I love that it’s just me, streaming my thoughts out to an audience, without all the red tape. And yes, I’ve stressed over proof reading a post for the 5th time and worrying about missing an error. It was comforting to read a fantastic blogger such as yourself has had the same thoughts. Please keep searching for interesting foods, I love to read it all. Thanks!

  • I’m glad you posted about this, because it’s nice to know that I am not the only one who suffers some of the similar blogging dilemmas that I do, and partly because of them I blog less often. The biggest difference besides content from your blog is readership since I get maybe half a dozen visitors a day on my knitting blog, so I don’t have recipes and variations and answers to comments to contend with, but I still treat it like I get hundreds of visitors. Sometimes I back myself into a corner trying to make what write sound half way interesting and something close to grammatically correct; I drive myself batty sometimes. I look forward to continue reading your blog; I enjoy it very much. “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” as they say.

    By the way, I made the chocolate mousse cake for Christmas dinner last December and it was a huge hit. Delicious! Thank you!

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, David. I love your posts, your writing is wonderful, typos and all; altogether a real joy to read. And the abundance of lovely photos is an added bonus. Really, I don’t care what you post as long as you do!

  • I’ve never commented before but, wanted to chime in with the comments above: Love your blog…looking forward to where you take us next.

    Went to Paris in Dec (early Dec.thankfully as we missed the bigger storms which came later that month) and visited many of your shopping/dinning suggestions. Loved West Country Girl and every other place you suggested that we managed to squeeze into our 6 day visit! We brought back coco powder and worried that we would end up with chocolate covered clothes–but, everything arrived home ready for baking!

  • I love reading your blog and any errors are inconsequential. The spirit of the thing is tremendous, and it is always interesting. Keep up the great work!

  • Your blog is one of the few that I read regularly.So it does not matter to me if your blog is with or without blemishes….I just love it. So please keep on writing in your free time :)
    And thank you for keeping us entertained!

  • David…I learned long ago that one can simply turn comments etc into cyberdust by hitting the delete button in your program. It’s liberating!

    Seriously….Jane Austen surely had typos in her handwritten manuscripts and blogging is merely creative communication to friends..though they be in cyberspace. Don’t sweat the little stuff.

    If you need help re the linux server, wordpress, MYSQL databases etc, I would be happy to help as I had to learn it all for my own business websites. Just shoot me an email and I’ll send you my “cheat sheet.”

    Thank you for making each day so pleasurable as I escape to Paris through your thoughtful writing. As you can see from your readership, you are “loved” and that is all that matters.

  • David,

    Your posts are vibrant & honest…that’s why we continue reading.

    Thanks for your good work,

    Joan

  • It makes me kind of upset to see you agonizing over your blog so much….I, and many others, love it the way it is, because it represents YOU. I don’t like just another high-tech glitz blog, I love yours much more, it’s like reading about a good friend. PLease stay true to yourself!

  • Hi Berit: Don’t feel bad. I was just sitting here this week, looking at my screen, trying to figure out all this crazy coding and dealing with server issues while comments were coming in complaining about a typo or missed comma here and there. Plus lurking in the background was an Inbox full of inquiries asking about how recipes can be changed.

    I sat back in my desk chair, looked at it all, and thought, “This isn’t what I want to do.”

    When I started the blog, there weren’t all that many people blogging and it was just a way to communicate and share stories and recipes as I wanted to. Then as blogging grew up and more people started doing it, the field (and medium) grew and it became something else for a lot of people—for better or worse. And many readers and bloggers started expecting blogs to be ‘perfect’, or showpieces for their talents.

    That’s all fine and good, but I realized that’s not what my blog is about. Other people do that really well. I strive to have interesting stories, point people toward places I like in Paris, and take pictures of what I’m eating or baking. But on the other hand, when it become onerous or people start taking it too seriously, (myself included), it’s time to take a very deep breath, then come back with a refreshed look at things.

    So I am going to be shaking it up a bit, perhaps. I have a bunch of posts I’ve been working on and will be publishing those in the next few weeks. Then hopefully go off in a few less-defined directions.

    Thanks for your comment, as well as everyone else’s. It means a lot to have really good readers. I always tell folks that I have great people who read the blog; I’ve met some of you, or corresponded somehow, or read your comments. And some of you have given me good travel or cooking trips, or left a comment that cracked me up. So I appreciate all who follow and read the blog, and your encouraging comments. Thanks for sticking around!

    xx -dl

  • David,

    tu es le meilleur, le plus intéressant et le plus drôle.

    Tu es un homme libre, surtout reste-le

    Paule