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

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310 comments

  • I love your blog and will take as many posts as you can stand to write, regardless of typos. Your humor makes me laugh out loud. Your insights about people and places (and food) are so enjoyable. One of my frustrations with blogs, especially food blogs, is that they are often trying so hard to please and to network and to monetize. I often feel as I’m not getting the writer’s real voice. I don’t feel that way about your writing. Please write more about Japanese women in pink outfits. Please write more about ANYTHING you want!

    If it’s ever a goal to clean up the posts for posterity, I’m a fair proofer and would be happy to send you the corrections I notice. I never miss a post and it would take less than a minute. But perhaps it’s too much of a drag to go back and change that which is already written. Better to keep you motivated and focused on new ideas and new posts. Regardless, my offer stands.

    P.S. Sorry to hear about your manhood deficiency thing. Kristine

  • I recently wrote an e-newsletter for my business which went out to about 800 people. i had proofread it about 17 times, hit the publish button, and turned of the computer, smug and satisfied that my English degree was helping me after all.
    The next morning, I opened the email to a friend’s message telling me “thanks for letting us know about your full panty.”
    What a difference one little “r” can make.

  • I’m a newcomer to your blog and am enchanted already – you sense of humor is hilarious.

    What IS that cereal toy????? Do you have a child handy to figure it out?

  • I was afraid you would stop writing, now that I have discovered your blog. Who cares if it’s it’s or its, your posts have been so inspiring and funny! Because of you I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes, and I substitute at will because I’m contrary and don’t need permission. Sometimes I fail, but people in my household will eat stones if I bake them.
    Thank you and keep sending your blogs, I’m an expat in your country and I relate to a lot of what you say.

  • I love your blog, David, not for its perfect spelling or grammar/usage, but for its insight, recipes and humor. I also love how openly you share your love of food and your joy and frustrations of living in Paris. Keep on blogging, I’ll take it however it comes, as long as I don’t come across anyone with an enhanced “manhood”!

    BTW, loved the comments from Kristine and Julie. Made me giggle out loud!

  • I started reading and panicked, because I thought you were going to tell us that you were giving up! I love reading your blog, and feel as if you are an old friend sitting at the table with me as I read. Please feel free to clean up whatever you think needs cleaning, but don’t worry a whit about spelling or punctuation or grammar or other nonsense. And if you want to stop writing about replacing the chocolate in a recipe with beef fat, I’m sure it will be fine.

    David, you’re a prize. Enjoy the sunshine, but don’t think it means that Spring is right around the corner. And then sit down and write to us about that pan of bar cookies!

  • Noone is reading this site for the grammar! Make as many errors as you want. I will keep reading –for the humor and the insight and the recipes!

  • It’s a Light Saber, David. Think Star Wars! :)

  • We welcome any change you make. It is good that you are rethinking, prioritizing and focusing your time/energy. We enjoy your writings, observations and delicious pictures in all aspects.

  • I think it’s a laser. Hope Paris warms up soon! Rome has been 65 degrees for weeks. No surprise the Italians still dress like it’s Moscow, and I go outside with wet hair. You can take the girl out of Massachusetts but you can’t take the Mass. out of the girl.
    We all love your blog :)

  • I feel that you are speaking directly from the heart. Just want you to know that I appreciate the time and effort you put into your blog, and that I’ll take authenticity and passion over slick commercialism every time. I’m looking forward to future posts more than ever.

  • My cerebral cortex turns bright colors all over when I see your name in my inbox.
    Happy Valentine’s Day et al.

  • Jen in TX is correct. It’s definitely a Light Saber =)

  • Dear David,

    let me just say that I will be more than happy to read anything you write, in any which way you chose and find the time to share. A blog is a blog is a blog, no copy editors needed, what precious gift to us readers, and yours is one of the most precious of them all.

    We want you to have a life, so please go and have coffee with that friend of yours! You will show us a picture of the coffee cup, will you? ;-)

    Warm greetings and best wishes for gorgeous spring weather in Paris,
    Merisi

  • Sorry the Blogosphere is getting so intense! I agree with your other commentors…we could care less about a typo or “mistake”. What I care about are your thoughts and being in Paris “with” you, reading about your process and your creativity. You’ve inspired me (and yes, I’ve changed some of your recipes to fit our GF diet) and will continue to do so!

  • Tiny purple lightsaber, obviously. Star wars, anyone?

  • I love your blog.I don’t care about grammar errors or typos.I love your recipes and the information which you share about Paris,food,cheese,chocolate etc.I have learned a lot from your blog.

  • The toy looks like a lightsaber to me… Too bad it’s not a real one. If it were, you could… well, you could do all sorts of stuff with it. Small stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Maybe it could be used in place of a salamander? A really small salamander, of course :)

  • A mini light saber! That’s what your toy looks like!
    I didn’t realize you put so much work into your blog to make it so great! I think it’s great that you care so much to do that, but I agree with others that typos are no biggie, and I believe that the point of a blog is for it to be what you want it to be. You want it to be good so people will read it, but your recipes and having fun are definately more imortant that some extra proof reads and figure all that website mumbo-jumbo out! Good luck! Thanks for the post. I’m glad you wrote about this.
    Katie

  • I first started following your blog because of chocolate and your Chez Panisse connection. But after being an avid following for some time it is your sense of humor, honesty and personal style that keeps me coming back for more. Yes, I also blog and continue to remind myself to be true to me and not an imitation of someone else….typos and all. Thank you David Lebovitz just keep doing what you do!

  • It’s totally a lightsaber!! Very cool.

    I too love the blog, and am relieved to see that you’re going to continue to push on. Your posts always make me smile. :)

  • Hi David, Love your blog. The stories and pictures of what is going on in your life or what interests you is great. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in Paris.
    How ever you want to change the blog is okay by me.
    BTW – you got a Star Wars’ light saber as a prize.

  • If it’s a light saber, it’s a very bad rendition. The saber to handle ratio is wrong. By all means bring it to the dinner; I’m sure everyone will get a chuckle out of it.
    I never see typos until after I hit publish…and then I don’t worry about it (usually) :)
    Shake off the stress about posting. Your posts are informative and honest and fun.
    And I know the universe is in balance when I bring home a box of Mexican chocolate (Abuelita) in Canada and find that you, in France, have just written a post about it!

  • Normally, I’m a stickler for spelling accuracy and have no patience for reading blogs filled with typos. However, I’ve learned that if the writing style, content and intent are fulfilling I don’t even notice the typos or spelling errors. Your blog falls in that category — I bought my ice cream machine based on your blog and it’s recipes! I love that you cover many regions with great depth and your photos transport me on mini vacations. So, thank you very much and enjoy your time feeding your passions. Best wishes from New York City.

  • Ah, looky there — I made a typo with “it’s” instead of its.

  • Its something to poke her eye out with.

  • Wow, with the number of comments you’d think you were giving away an afternoon of baking with David Lebovitz! Instead our prize is much better. We get your almost daily musings and baking as we sit beside you, elbow to elbow.

    And as Billy Joel sang in his song, Just the Way You Are, “don’t go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before…….I love you just the way you are.”

    The only change I’d like to see is for you to take more time for yourself and I thank you dearly for your generosity of spirit, talent and time. Paris will never be the same.

    Merci bien and à votre santé! xo

  • Bonjour, David,
    I love reading your writing, both in your books and blog, and have learned much about food~your travel pieces are quite delicious as well! Your humor and knowledge makes your writing a delight and so fun to read and I know your many fans will follow your words no matter where you decide to publish them…….
    Thanks so much!

  • Twenty or so years ago, I awoke one morning to a brilliant sunshine after months of dismal cold and snow; I raced outside. It seemed so warm; I decided to wash my car as it was covered with salt and dirt.

    The water from my garden hose froze on my car as I was washing it; well it had warmed up thirty degrees. It just wasn’t above freezing yet.

    David: your non pristine post will be better than 99% of the posts out there. Turn them loose!

  • any mistakes you might have made are just part of the charm that keeps me coming back. you’ve made France (and the other places you’ve written about)more accessible to those of us who’ve only read about them. thanks

  • David,

    I must thank you because I made your Fresh Ginger Cake today and it came out absolutely perfect!!! Ever since I got Ready For Dessert for Christmas, life has been a whole lot sweeter.

    I took lots of photos of it on my blog, Mad’s and Marathons, and it will be enjoyed tomorrow evening at a wine and cheese party in Venice Beach!

    Thanks for sharing your awesome recipes!

  • That toy is totally some of Kazoo – right?!? I mean it could be a light saber, but a kazoo would be way more fun. Just sayin :)

  • I love, love, love your blog, and think that any reasonable member of the blog-reading public understands that the medium is a warts-and-all gimpse into one person’s thoughts, experiences, and (in your case) expertise. We are all lucky that you are so generous with your time, thoughts, and talents! So, please hear the sound of my fingers crossing for you, and enjoy that caramel ice cream, flea market, or lunch with a friend without another thought about spelling, syntax, or spam!

  • Goodness, David, you scared me. I thought you were hanging up your keyboard for sticky flour and butter fingers forever. We get the idea of your wonderful humor and all the great quirks you pick up despite any possible future grammatical errors.

    Back to your hands in the flour :)

  • Hate to “spam” you with another similar comment . . . but please do keep writing whatever you feel like. It’s hard to find an authentic voice in the blog world these days, especially when it comes to lifestyle, food. I’ll take real over perfect any day! And also adding to the chorus of thanks you no doubt constantly receive — I followed a few of your recommendations on my recent trip to Paris…wish I had time to check out more (and next time will bring bac 10 lbs of the J C Rochoux bars instead of 2 bars!)

  • Ditto what everyone else has said. Your blog is great because an authentic and highly likable person shows up as its author.

    Maybe you can think of grammatical errors and typos as the blog’s mezuzah – a reminder that only God can create perfection! Regardless, just continue to be yourself and take us along on all your journeys, both real and metaphorical.

  • WoW I thought my inner critic was a demon – do you have to top me at everything? ;-)

    I am a huge fan of your writing. Wish I had more time express how your authentic ramblings have inspired me.

    Happy that you are shifting your gears to maintain your own sanity.

    I look forward to your posts

  • Excellent post! Bravo! Why worry about the placement pf an apostrophe when there is so much good food and wine and people to enjoy in life!

    I look forward to the twists and turns that your blog may take in the future and, of course, all of the great recipes and cooking ideas.

  • David,

    I have been reading your blog for the past year and I must tell you it’s a highlight of my evenings. You write well and have a great sense of humor. Don’t be so hard on yourself. 80% of the folks who read your blog get it, understand you and don’t feel the need to ask inane substitution questions or make snarky comments about grammar & punctuation. The other 20% will never get it and it’s not your problem. You can’t make all the people happy all the time. Stay true to yourself. You rock!

  • Don’t you see? We all love how you think, David. While writing is, indeed, a craft, I think we’re happy with your freshest musings.

  • I got married in 1998, I wrote my own bulletin and had 6- yes 6 people proof read it- including myself, which I did a number of times. Only after the wedding was over did the priest approach us and ask if we had anything we needed to share…. on the cover of our wedding bulletin was the date with the year 1996….. don’t worry about a few misplaced participles. I enjoy your irreverent sense of humor and the way you make Paris come to life. I love Paris and can’t visit it often enough. Berthillon beats proofreading any time. Cheers!

  • I look forward to receiving your blog in my email box. Who cares if you make a mistake? Nobody! Don’t let the grammar/vocabulary police in France get you down…..language is poetry in motion. Cheers from Seattle where “pie is the new cupcake!”

  • David, I love your writing. And even if you did end up with a typo, and IF you wanted to fix it you could go back and do so. Otherwise, peu importe!

  • I was so afraid that you were making a decision to post less frequently or stop all together. I am glad that you care about good writing and it is one reason why I enjoy reading your blog. There is some pretty bad writing out there in the blogosphere and even if the content is good, bad writing and poor grammar are a turn-off for me. I understand how intensive, difficult and tedious it is to proofread, especially your own writing, so I really appreciate the effort you make. I work as a part-time copyeditor myself and am constantly struck by how frequently I make these errors that OBVIOUSLY I know are wrong (it’s vs its, your vs you’re, etc. etc.). But these slips are usually in the context of rapid-fire communication and you are right to recognize that the immediacy of a blog would be lost if you took the extra step to hire a copyeditor. Add my voice to the large body of your suporters. Whatever decisions you make to help you continue your excellent blog are fine by me! Life wouldn’t be the same without your blog!!

  • I loved the part about women walking around with eye patches. Your sense of humor has been stepping up, lately, as I recently spat and sprayed out a cup of hot cocoa
    reading your rather recent post of a prim and proper co-worker blurting out “So, who do
    you have to b— to get some carrots around here!”, on later to your imagining the un- speakable acts you might have to perform to get the hazelnuts on your shopping list.Your timing and tie-in and your delivery were perfect.
    A blemish on the apple won’t show up in the applesauce, so, such a thing will not deter
    your readers. Glitch away!

  • David,
    I’m new to your blog since I am planning an eating trip to Paris in March and a friend told I had to visit your site before going. I”m an American living in Hong Kong and also a food blogger (http://chopsticksinmysuitcase.typepad.com).

    Good for you to just do what you do best, and not get hot and bothered about all the technical blogging stuff. I have the same angst with my blog and it really does put a damper on the postings. So have fun and enjoy those Rice Krispie Bars! And if you some sweet obsessed woman stuffing macaroons in her purse at Lauduree, it will be me!

    Mabs Potter

  • Goofs and glitches? Your writing is so fabulous and colorful and enjoyable that I don’t even notice them! Hit the “publish” button (“publish, publish, publish…”) and then go have some ice cream! Love you!!!

  • Phew. Like others, for a moment you wrestling to stop blogging! Like so many others here, I love your posts, and as an expat Aussie in Bussels fund myself nodding at some of the stories you tell about fitting into your adopted country. Typos, punctuation and gammar be damned, we love your stories.

  • It’s easy to get wrapped up in the minutia of blogging– I’ve blogged about 3 sweet recipes in a row, this story wasn’t as good as that story, I wish my picture had turned out better… it’s refreshing to hear that you agonize over the same things and are letting go in order to keep the true mission and enjoyment of your blog alive!

    PS- Dave, I just made your Belgian Hot Chocolate. I could close my eyes and be in a cafe overlooking the Grand’ Place, if it weren’t for the sound of my dishwasher in the background! Thank you for sharing that one!! It’s truly a winner!! I’ve been waiting for this for a long time!!

  • I couldn’t agree more with your take on blogging. If somebody can’t handle an occasional typo, oh, well. I’ve even been known to make up a word or two so I guess anyone who can’t handle it can either get over it or get a life. Loved the post of Mexican Hot Chocolate–had to make some immediately.

  • Nice to know that you care so much (but then, if one follows your blog for just a few posts, it is easy to conclude that you are a very nice bloke indeed) – so, thanks for caring and agonising but hope you know people will continue reading and loving your posts regardless – just because you are (judging from your blog) soo lovely and generous and, most importantly, interested and interesting writer. And I don’t even share your love for all those American type sweets or salted butter caramel :)

  • I love reading your stories about French life, and the gorgeous pictures of it that accompany them. Concentrate your proofreading efforts the recipes (Don’t you hate when the ingredients list 5 items and the instructions only use 4? I don’t mean on your blog, but in general.) and screw the rest of it! Enjoy the Parisien life that most of us only dream about – and keep writing about it so that we can live vicariously through your posts. :) You might want to hold on to that light saber, it might be worth something someday. ;)

  • I’ve always found the occasional typo to be genuinely endearing (and sometimes inadvertently funny). Looks like hundreds of other readers agree. David: see the happy doughnut, not the complainers’ hole!

  • My handy dandy 8-yr-old says, “A purple light saber! Sweet! Cool! Can we go to France?”

    I told her, “Certainly! We’ll go as soon as you learn to like French cheeses.” (Mwahahaha!)

  • Like some previous commenters, I, too, was afraid this was going to be the story of your decision to quit blogging – and I’m so happy to hear that’s not true! I’m a huge fan of your work – here on the blog as well as your cookbooks and the wonderful “The Sweet Life in Paris”. Your writing style is so welcoming and (seemingly) effortless and the glimpses into everyday Parisian life help me get through the days until I can plan another trip to France!

    Your work here has been an inspiration to me, too, to start my own food blog. Thank you for all the tips and research suggestions (“Will Write for Food” was extremely helpful). Thank you for all you do!

  • I am so happy you are focusing on what is important to you, because if you are not happy with what you are doing then your writing will have way more problems than an occasional typo.

    You spoil people. You give way over 100%. I was hoping for this day that you would ease down a bit.

  • Humor outweighs grammar any day! Publish away! Although I ‘found you’ a couple of years ago when I was searching for elderberry syrup recipes, I am a newcomer to your blog and thoroughly enjoy reading it. I have no idea what the toy is you got in your rice krispies, but that photo made me LOL and I love the fact that a pastry master is taking rice krispie treats to an American party. I live in Sweden and took chocolate chip cookies to my American party at my Swedish class. I’m going to be starting a blog about food and life in Sweden so I’m curious what platform you were using previously for your blog, and what you are switching to if you don’t mind sharing. I have seen some blogs I like that use wordpress and was planning to go that direction.

    Hi Maia: I was using Movable Type but am now on WordPress, which is much easier. I recommend it! -dl

  • David, I just wanted to tell you (like so many others) that whatever you write and no matter how many typos are in it, I will read it. Really love your blog and love that you share so many of my frustrations as a foreigner and keen cook/baker living in france. Keep up the great work and please do do other things like that coffee with a friend. If you are ever in Normandy/Seine Maritime I’d be your friend for coffee!

  • Hi David,
    YOU BLOG is one of the two that I can stand to read each time it arrives. The joy and laughter with information you donate to the public is priceless. DO NOT ever think of stopping, remember I too work with sharp knives and razor blades being a baker …..::::::insert smile here::::::::

    Years ago I wrote a daily for something called Astronet. The notes were about food and Astrology. THE EDITORS almost put me in a mental hospital. Always writing in the first person, thinking faster than I could type caused so many problems…and then using WORDS THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF…it was a nightmare. You keep up the great work with out an editor, you do not need one.

    Understand the cold you suffered. Southern Spain had a SIBERIAN WINTER last year, thought we would die of the cold. This winter has been our normal two weeks of FREEZE your tush off and then cold mornings and Sunny Afternoons! I’m about to start planting the Spring Veg Garden.

  • I LOVE IT HERE! :) :)

  • It’s a light saber! They come in different colors too. I think I got a green one.

    And good for you for making the blog more of what you want it to be and less of a stress-inducing chore that it wasn’t meant to be.

  • Overpolished is dull and soulless – love your blog the way it is, it’s fresh, funny and brings Paris and food alive!

  • Wait… Rice Krispie Treats are supposed to have prizes in them?! How come no one ever told me this?

    And I, like all the others, will love your blog unfiltered, unpolished and uncut. It’s what makes a blog a blog.

    That said, your “How To Write a Food Blog” post somehow maybe got published for a second and the first few paragraphs ended up in my reader and I’m DYING to see the rest. I hope you do decide to publish the rest of that, as I’m a blogging newbie.

  • David, as they say around here, don’t sweat the small stuff! I love your blog just the way it is. It is informative and humorous and I’m so glad to have a ” friend ” in Paris who tells me what’s new and interesting there and has wonderful photography and recipes to boot. Keep up the good work!

  • I love the blog, and it always takes me to some dreamy place. One of my favorite things about living in Europe was the focus on just being – eating, drinking, talking to your friends, but less of a focus on what you do. Your blog brings me back there, and I love it, and making the recipes is a great reminder. Yum!

  • David:

    I’m an English professor and my students’ latest writing project has been to write a blog. I’m going to have them read this post of yours as homework and as a great example of a personality-driven, topic-specific blog. Also, it stands as an example of the fluidity of language rules–a blog it seems to me, is where it is, as in conversation, much more acceptable to see a few typos (as long as they are not in the recipes!), as long as the content is entertaining and the pictures relevant and good…

    –LK

  • p.s. I burst out laughing at the eye-poking comment! My husband came into the room to see what I was laughing about. Humor goes a lot further in a blog that correctly placed apostrophes.

    –LK

  • Love your blog, sure it will be great no matter what. And agree – the point of the blog is offer your unique perspective, perfect or not. And, really, what IS that toy?

  • A blog is a gift and we accept it as such. It’s your musings put into a form that is a combo of thoughts both great and small, opinion, observation, action, and creativity explained, all wrapped in your unique personality.

    If, while you share yourself with us, you miss a beat or two, so what? That’s just David letting his brain and his fingers work independently for a second rather than in sync.

    We love you and send you cyber-hugs.

    .

  • I too feel the same as many here. You have to listen to that voice and create. The technical stuff can be quite distracting. Good luck making the transition to the next place. And thanks for taking us with you! Looking forward to more of your blog.

    Carolyn Z

  • David,
    like many others have said here– I look forward to your blog posts- daily. They make me laugh and often make we want to pack up and move to Paris just to try all the things and places you recommend. At least if I can’t go, I’m able to travel through the city through your blog… merci :)

  • My unfortunate incident eye-patch takes on a new dimension.
    You rock David.

  • I triple-echo anyone who said they were worried you were going to tell us all “Have a Nice Day” (that phrase being the Southern for something scatological that New Yorkers used to say when they actually meant “have a nice day”). As for the cereal prize–boy, I sure hope it’s a mini light saber. If only it weren’t purple and didn’t arrive in a French cereal box…

  • LKMemphis: As a teacher, as you know, writing is a skill and an academic pursuit. And I, too, expect printer matter to be textbook perfect. Yet blogging is still a relatively new form of writing that intersects both the print world (with the newspapers, which have blogs, but aren’t fact-checked or proofread) and the cyberworld.

    I guess as blogs gets more popular, expectations grow. Plus those of us with blogs have the technical aspects to deal with, which other kinds of writing don’t demand on the authors. But it’s nice to be able to express yourself more freely, using language and writing styles that aren’t necessarily correct. I think that this “new media” is going to have to experience a lot of breakthrough moments, and this was kind of mine.

    DebbieN: Oddly, everyone seemed to know it was a mini-light saber, but me. Seeing as I haven’t seen a Star Wars film since Harrison Ford was in one, I guess I have some catching up to do!

    Nan + Claire: That’s what I’d like to get back to, I think. I have a bunch of posts and writings that I’m going to work on and publish, then I think I’ll take myself out to do more things in Paris that I’ve missed. After all, what’s the point of living here if I have to spend my afternoons coding text when I could be out there eating pains au chocolat?

  • Dear David,
    I am a new subscriber to your blog and I can´t tell you how much I love it! Thank you for putting in so much time for all of us to enjoy. I loved your story on Princess crepes and hope to visit it the next time I get to Paris since I don´t know when I will get back to Harajuku. Like you, I am an American abroad, I am in Italy, and know all about substituting one ingredient for another since many items cannot be found here in the countryside. This weekend I too have decided to make some rice krispie treats, thanks for the idea, and cupcakes which are practically unknown here (no, they are not muffins but tortine di tazza) for my children´s birthday party.
    Thanks again and look forward to reading more!

  • I’ve been enjoying your writing, and recipes (and modifying them when necessary) for a while now, and was also worried you’d be announcing that you are stopping your blog. it is your voice, and excellent recipes and tips, that i appreciate – if it is a little more ‘raw’ so that you can actually enjoy other things in your life, i appreciate that too.
    recently, some friends have said (separately)i should start a food blog, to which my reply was that i am not sure i want that to become my life/job.

  • I love your blog, David, with all of its (it’s) faults.
    May the force be with you!

  • Thanks for sharing all your thoughts and insights about your blog, about baking, about Paris, and about your dreams. You make us feel important and you make us feel like you care what we think. :) So, on that note, IMHO, that’s what makes your blog so great. Your writing is wonderful and your sense of humor is charming. I don’t want to trade that in for perfect syntax and grammar. And I agree, there’s something to be said for a more “raw”, stream-of-consciousness writing style. Especially in a blog. I say go with your gut–pun intended. Do what you love.

    No one remembers their perfect punctuation on their death bed…oh, but remember that single scoop of caramel ice cream on the first warm day of the year? You bet.

  • Oh my, by all means DO NOT stop the wondrous articles. Sometimes they sit on my screen for a few days….and even pile up. I view them with great anticipation..until the time is “right”. I never want to be rushed…and the mood has to be just right.

    It is a gift I give myself…like today. Happy Valentines Day!! I love Paris and you!

  • I recently finished “The Sweet Life in Paris” and didn’t want it to end, so was delighted to discover your blog. So I, too, am relieved that you’re not closing it down.

    When they were kids, snarky commenters were dressed funny by their moms, so I guess we should feel sorry for them. They should, however, find better hobbies.

    BTW, the galettes post you linked to in the Harajuku creperie post is priceless!

    If you find the right button to press on your Rice Krispies prize, you’ll find that it becomes a tiny little wrench.

  • I say, go for the ice cream (and that’s definitely a sex toy).

  • I love your blog because it seems like we are having a conversation, maybe not perfect for a written document…but it is perfect for a conversation!! Thanks for your insights on food and France!

  • I, too, love your blog! It is always the first thing I read when I see one in my inbox… nothing else matters!! You take me away to a lovely place and although I may see a typo or two (I’m an ex school teacher) it is of no importance. The fact that you are putting yourself out there sharing your life experiences regarding food, travel, and the kitchen sink trumps any silly grammatical error!! I appreciate you and your blog.

  • Hey David, I love your site and try to read it regularly. Actually I try to read a lot of blogs since I recently launched my own food blog. But for the most part I find most blogs lacking.

    About blogging in general, I love the immediacy of them, but miss a well thought-out narrative. I like stories. I guess that is from working in publishing for years. But back to your site. My favorite postings of yours are the ones where you capture the feeling of living in Paris, and cooking and eating there—your story of finding bergamots and making marmalade—and better yet, your “How Much Butter…Croissant?” story. There is a strong experiential thread in your writing style.

    I recently launched a food site with a dear friend and colleague and I can SO relate to your angst. I now find myself wearing so many hats (programmer, marketer, strategist, graphics guy, cook, taster, writer….ACK!!) and then there’s the part about getting out a story at least once a week (more like one every 10 days), when all I really want to do is cook and write.

    The site is http://www.122streetkitchen.com, I don’t mean this to be a place to plug our site, but, well, guess I do, but more than that to share in your conversation about blogging and where it is all going. Like so much in the digital world, the rules and ways of blogs are still evolving. It the worse scenario they can be very narcissistic and at their best they can transport you to another place—like Paris. Or they inspire to do things—like cooking. I think your site does both.

    BTW, I use both a copy editor and a proofreader for our posts. I hate bad grammar – unless its intentional.

  • Can’t resist joining the love fest! As a Franco-American who grew up in Europe and now lives in the US, I love your experienced eye for the best and the silliest of both cultures. Through your posts I experience so many of the things I miss, it’s lovely. My American side laughs with you at things like the perplex French relationship with the post office, and my French side claps when you get the nuances of little interactions with specialty merchants and foodies or ingredients or regions just right. You are awesome and your blog is an enriching conversation that takes your books one step further to be even more enjoyable. Un tres grand merci, cher David! (Oh, and it hurt me to read that sentence about the beef fat because I laughed so hard… I read comments on recipe sites for sport… if one is reviewing a recipe for poule a la creme and one replaces the cream with broth and replaces the tarragon with cinnamon and lamb because they were out of chicken and added sweet potatoes and goood grief… how is that in any way a review, I ask! Too funny.) Bises!

  • Cher David,

    Your blog makes me so happy and I don’t even like sweets! But I love Paris and I love your sensibility and sense of humor and your writing. I’m also gay, so of course I love that about you. :) I’m a professional editor, own my own company, and would be honored to do your proofreading – gratis, of course! I’m originally a Texas girl, lived in Paris when I was younger, and your experiences in Texas are a hoot! Give me a holler if you need some proofing. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • I’m only two months into this blogging thing, and I’m just finding my voice and what I want to blog about. This was great to read as I can already feel myself losing my focus on the reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Thanks for taking the time to write this, and keep us up to speed. Good luck with the changes.

  • I laughed so hard when I got to the picture of your prize – too funny. I’m sure my 5 yr old could figure out what it is (some new trendy toy I know nothing about). I’m like that with the prizes in Christmas crackers – what the heck?

    Good luck with spring cleaning and I hope it gives you what you hope for. I love your writing and the recipe inspirations and the glimpses into France and other places you travel to that I (at the moment) cannot experience – so thanks.

  • I hope that your marmalade jelled! Or is that gelled…or does it really matter? I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t. I love your blog, your writing and your books. If the marmalade didn’t work this time, I have a recipe that has never failed me on my blog…which doesn’t have ay following or writing that could hold a candle to yours. It is no wonder you have so many fans!

  • buon spring cleaning!

    I love your humor, pictures, recipes and as a fellow expat your POV about living abroad.

    I don’t notice typos when I’m reading posts I enjoy. I understand why a typo in a recipe would be a big problem but in the text…life happens.

  • I love your blog in whatever way you decide to continue with it.
    It should be fun and not a burden and I totally agree with you about people following their gut feelings. I have yet to understand comments where one asks if the hazelnuts can be substitutes for walnuts – how about you try and report back?

    Everyone knew what that toy was, even I, and I have never seen a Star Wars movie.

  • Hiya David! 1st time commentor, long time reader. Just wanted to let you know I love your blog for your stories and the recipes and the pictures. It brings me joy and I think it only fair that it bring you the same. I hope it does!

  • I think a blog post should be as spontaneous as possbile and I find it offensive when, after a great story and recipe somebidy point out that there is a letter missing in a word or that you made a mistake that is easily interpreted. This from someone who just pointed out another mistake you hadn’t mentioned in the menu you photographed on your latest post, but I was just palying along.
    Your blog and your posts are great, and it is not a mispelled word or the lack of a million variations for the millions of readers out there that is going to change my mind!

  • Naf: I don’t mind if folks bring to my attention a typo or other errors (writer’s usually work with copy editors on books, so I am used to it) – but I just wonder why people can’t do it like normal people and just say, “I think you made a goof in the 3rd sentence, and meant to say ____ ” It really doesn’t seem that hard to me, but I guess it’s hard for some people.

    Blogging is a medium that crosses a few lines and I think there are a lot of growing pains. On on hand, we’re writing spontaneously and without editors, but on the other, we should not be responsible (well, partially) for the downfall of the English language. Like I said, I want things to be a good as possible when I post. But on the other hand, I don’t want it to hinder spontaneity and enjoyment.

  • I have just returned from a dark, cold place with bad food (at least the hotel room was blue and beige rather than mauve!). Naturally there was no internet either. It was a long week; i am recovering this morning with caffeine and the perusal of the blog that makes me smile most often.

    Bring on whatever changes that will allow you to post easily and more often. The world needs more of your posts! My world certainly does.

  • OK, I’m a copy editor, and I read your stuff because it’s wonderful, not to check picky little details. And if someone wonders if they can substitute beef fat for chocolate, they should just take a leap out into the big world and go for it! Sheesh!

  • Love your blog, the writing, the gorgeous photos and of course the recipes! It must be an astounding amount of work at times and I am only grateful that you put it out there for us to read and I do hope that it continues to give you enough satisfaction that you can continue it (okay, that’s the selfish part of me speaking but you would be sorely missed!)

    And as a mother who has seen a Lot of star wars toys, I too think it’s a light saber.

  • Typos schmypos. It’s all about the content and the consciousness, and you’ve got oodles of both. So glitch away my good sir, because we’re all with you!

    p.s., Did you really see canned corn on a Caesar salad? HYSTERICAL!! I love it.

  • Frankly, I’d read you helter skelter and upside down. What I like is the humor, the gentle and humble way you put things, and of course your take on Paris and all things food, not just the baked stuff.
    English being my third language I tend not to focus too much on errors and such, (as I make way too many of those myself). I guess it’s like eating: I am not too bothered to eat at a place where they have tacky vinyl floors and kitchy lamps if the food is fab. Conversely, I resent eateries that are stylish but where the food is sub par. Your blog is like a stylish eatery but WITH fab food. :-) Best of both worlds.

  • No worries about typos or imperfections. I prefer a “voice” that is not over-produced. You are so charming and funny as yourself – or, the person you play on your blog.

    By the way, my daughter who has bookmarked many recipes in Ready for Dessert – for her to make, not me – refers to you as if she knows you well. “I think David Lebovitz would really like this.” or “Don’t you think David Lebovitz would make this?” She also wears purple, sparkly eyeliner in tribute to another idol – Justin Bieber. Perhaps we’ll come see you on your next tour to the Bay Area.

    Keep writing and, please, keep taking us on virtual tours of France.