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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A while back, a reader suggested that I do a post about my pottery collection. When I told Romain about it he looked surprised and said that it wasn’t a collection but just stacks of pottery. However it’s considered in the world of les collectionneurs that if you have three or more of any object, that’s a collection. And I certainly have more than three…

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I’ve been taking a breather writing about American-oriented businesses in Paris. Not because I don’t like them, but because there were so many of them that it was hard to keep up, and they were no longer a novelty. And while the hamburger craze was fun when it was just one lone (and very good) food truck, when the Paris café at the last annual Agriculture Fair…

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I’m never quite sure what to say when people ask if they can reduce sugar in a recipe. My inclination is to say Non! right off the bat. Not because I’m in France, and it’s reflexive, but because when I test or develop a recipe, I get the sugar balance just to where I like it before it goes into a book or on the blog. It’s…

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The funny thing about having a blog is that you become “searchable.” I’ve changed my tune many times, which astute readers often note, on everything from where my favorite croissant can be found (in 2007), where I get my falafel fix (a change from 2005), to what French butter I prefer (in 2008). C’est normale. Bakeries change hands, restaurants slip in quality, or, more recently,…

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If I had a nickel for every time I heard, “You should go to_________,” I’d have enough money to upgrade on all those flights that I’d be taking, which would make that prolific quantity of air travel a little more tolerable. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate suggestions and people looking out for me, so I don’t miss anything great. But for anyone who has ever…

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We sure do have some goofy-named foods in America. Britain has their “fools” and “messes,” and France has “bêtises,” which translates to “stupidities” – as well as pêts de nonne, which, because I’m polite, will only say that refers to the wind that comes out of the backside of nuns – and leave it at that. Stateside, we have our grunts, buckles, and pandowdies, as well as burgoo. And…

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It was quite a summer, starting with sipping homemade cherry wine, a picnic at Versailles, checking out the Le Creuset factory, and frying up a batch of “French” fried chicken in a sizzling pan of duck fat. A few weeks later in the season, I was pulling a cherry clafoutis from my oven, grilling deviled chicken, and pickling strawberries, to take care of the overload from the outdoor…

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