I don’t like cliques (unless I’m part of it, of course…) and I have to say, one that I’m happy to be a part of is the brotherhood, and sisterhood, of ice cream makers. I wasn’t the first person to write a book, The Perfect Scoop, about making ice cream. But it landed on the cusp of something that was happening: People were rediscovering ice…

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I’ve had a long love affair with Chartreuse liqueur, even before I visited the monastery back in the 1990’s. We were led through a somewhat terrifying display of hooded monks (not real ones, fortunately, but long-face replicas), the kind you see in historical or agricultural museums in France that are meant to depict a historical representation of something, even drying prunes – likely for educational purposes, but always…

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Next week, I’ll be doing two events in San Francisco… Booksigning at Omnivore Books The event is from 2 to 3pm at Omnivore Books in San Francisco (3885B Cesar Chavez Street). Super-duper chocolate treats will be provided by the fine folks at Charles Chocolates of San Francisco. There will be a short talk at the beginning followed by a booksigning. Due to the size of the shop,…

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When I was in high school, our principal came up on stage during assembly one morning and stood there for a moment, until he got our attention. After a long pause, he inhaled deeply, and said, “We have a very sick person in our midst.” Nobody moved, and we were all kind of stunned for a minute, hearing such a grave pronouncement. Finally, we learned the…

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French Keys

I was never afraid of keys until I moved to Paris. People have all sorts of phobias, many that seem curious to others who don’t share them, such as auroraphobia, a fear of Northern lights and euphobia, which is a fear of good news. Papyrophobia is a fear of paper, and macrophobia is a fear of long waits. But I’ve never heard of a fear of keys,…

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Marshmallows + chocolate + Graham crackers x ice cream = Bliss. A few people, including Deb, intimated that my beloved combination of marshmallows, chocolate and spiced crackers might be in danger of becoming passé, which was the first I’d heard of that. I don’t want to quibble with her, because she knows her cocktails, and dumplings. But on the other hand, I guess in the…

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With over 1200 pastry shops, Paris has no shortage of places to satisfy one’s sweet cravings. That is, unless it’s after 8pm, when all the bakery shelves are wiped clean and they close up for the night. Then you’re kind of stuck. That happens to me a lot. And while the cocktail scene has revved up in Paris and there are plenty of places to…

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This year seems to be a banner year for cookbooks and there are so many that I’ve leafed through and bookmarked, that even though it’s early in the cookbook season, I feel like I already have the next twelve month’s worth of great recipes to try on my docket. Lately I’ve been impressed by books that make cuisines that people might feel daunted about tackling, accessible. And even…

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Mirabelle Jam

My favorite fruits are plums, which, confusingly for anglophones, are called prunes, in French, or pruneaux, when they are dried. (And boy, are they delicious!) They show up late at the markets in Paris, but stick around longer, overlapping with apples and pears, which arrive in early fall. Most of the plums that you see in Paris markets aren’t the tart varieties that are eaten out…

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