Results tagged fruit from David Lebovitz

Bircher Müesli

müesli

I have quite a few “issues”, including an aversion food that’s blue which wasn’t intended by nature to be so (I don’t understand what’s up with that ‘blue raspberry’ soda), I don’t like getting dressed first thing in the morning or talking to others for at least the first hour of the day, I get uneasy when being driven anywhere by a taxi or hired driver, and I’m so terrified of my bank back in Paris that I avoid making money so I don’t have to go in there and do anything scary like, say, make a payment or deposit money into my bank account.

swiss yogurt

But nothing strikes fear in the heart of me more than one thing: Hotel Breakfasts.
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Potimarron (Roasted Pumpkin)

potimarron slices

I won’t lie to you; fall is a very difficult time of year for us bakers. It’s not that I don’t like apples, pears, quince, and apples and pears, but it’s always sad to see summer fruits like peaches, nectarines and the line-up of strawberry baskets disappear from the markets. And I know I’m not the only one to see stone fruits go, as there’s even a variety of peach called “Last Chance” that gives you fair notice that it’s truly the end of the line.

I was lamenting the end of summer (and fall, apparently, judging from abrupt arrival of our brisk weather) to a French friend who said that fall was all about l’espoir, which struck me as kind of odd since ‘hope’ isn’t a topic that’s often on the agenda around here.

romain with potimarron potimarron slices

In France, big, hulking pumpkins (potirons) are sold at the outdoor markets. No one would think of buying a whole one—if you made a big circle with your arms, you can get a pretty good idea of how big they are. (And besides, one would not fit in my elevator with me. I can barely get in there with my always bulging market basket as it is.)

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Plum and Rhubarb Crisp

serving crisp plum rhubarb crisp

I’m not sure if I just returned from lunch, or if I was privy to a top-secret breeding ground for a race of super attractive people, that also happen to be amazing cooks. When I walked into the home of Rachel Allen, who’d invited a few of us traveling through Ireland for lunch, I was stunned by A) The stunning kitchen, b) The stunning view, and C) The stunning people.

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Le glaneur

colander plums

There is a French term, un glaneur, which describes a person who who glanes. If you don’t have any idea what that means, you’re not alone. I had to look it up in my French dictionary and there it was, just above the word glander, which they translated as, “to fart around.”

There’s a heckuva lot of French verbs out there, and I’ve been trying to learn them as fast as my little brain can absorb them, but that was a new one on me. Would one say, “Je vous glande”, or “I fart around you?” I hope not. (At least not around me.)

2 buckets of wild plums

A glaneur (or glaneuse), is someone who picks or forages for fruits and vegetables. And in fact, there was a well-known film called Les glaneurs et la glaneuse about French people who hunt for food.

When we were recently driving around the Seine-et-Marne, a bucolic region just an hour or so outside of Paris, where we were spending the waning days of summer, we rang the bell of a friend of ours, who unfortunately wasn’t in. Yet being the eagle-eyed forager that I am, I fortunately noticed a whole bank of trees across the street, each heavy with branches bearing a multicolored line-up of itty-bitty wild plums that were ripe ‘n ready.

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Apricot Jam

apricots.jpg

A lot of out-of-towners who visit France are always surprised to wake up in the morning and find themselves with a few pieces of baguette or a single croissant for breakfast. Those are in contrast to our breakfasts, which can be groaning-board sized, featuring some—or in more extreme cases, all of the following: eggs, sausages, pancakes, bacon, oatmeal, cereal, toast, orange juice, and waffles.

cafe au lait

Tartines are the popular breakfast in France, a word which comes from the verb tartiner—”to spread”. So along with the basket of bread offered, there’ll be lots of butter (which is one of the few times you’ll see most French people spreading that on their bread) and generally some sort of confiture in a pot alongside.

jam

Instead of deciding between fluffy cheese-and-spinach stuffed omelettes with a side of smoked bacon strips, a New York bagel piled with cream cheese, lox, capers, and thinly-sliced red onions, char-broiled steak with three fried eggs and golden hash browns, a big stack of hot bluberry flapjacks flowing with maple syrup and dripping with melted butter, spicy huevos rancheros, or a mound of crisp-fried corned beef hash (hmmm…can someone remind me why I threw away that return ticket?) the choice in the morning here boils down to which flavor of jam to offer.

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Quince tarte Tatin Recipe

quince

When I moved to Paris, almost immediately I went looking for a tarte Tatin mold. The one I’d bought years ago in Paris, I’d left back in San Francisco.

I suppose could’ve packed it with me, for its third overseas journey but that would be one heck of a carbon footprint for a simple little pan, wouldn’t it?

So I went to my least-favorite kitchenware shop in Paris, where the over-eager salesman, hearing my accent américain, tried to talk to me into a very, very expensive copper mold; the priciest option available. Extricating myself from his clutches (and his hand from my wallet in my back pocket) I left and walked over to Bovida, and bought a far less-expensive non-stick tarte Tatin mold, one that I’ve come to love.

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Rosy Poached Quince

quince

It’s annoying to come across a recipe raving about the taste or beauty of something exotic or unattainable. You can’t please everyone (no matter how hard I try…) and although not everyone can find quince in their local market, they’re not necessarily all that hard to track down. Heck, sometimes they’re right in your own back yard.

Yet even if you do scope some out, the bummer is that quince aren’t all that easy to prepare. But like most things that we so desperately want, they take time and patience, and they take work. If not, all us men would be walking around with abs like Daniel Craig. No matter how hard some of us try.

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Fresh Grape Sherbet Recipe

grapes

I’m really fortunate to have two friends, Mort and Jeanette, who live on a boat in the Seine.

When Paris gets crazy, as it does in September when everyone returns from their vacations, it’s a lovely respite to have a glass or wine on the deck and watch the world leisurely float by.

(Along with a few other things bobbing around in the mix of the river…)

But it’s a great escape from a bit of the madness of la rentrée, when everyone’s come back to Paris and although they’re initially in a good mood, as their tans fade, they slip back into the big-city mode.

And soon, I’m back to cursing the motor-scooters who cut me off—on the sidewalk, I’m making appointments with the kinotherapist to re-align my back after losing too many games of “chicken” with Parisians on the sidewalk, and I need to keep myself from throttling those people who sit in front of me at the movies and spent their time texting their friends on their flashing, illuminated cell phones.

And, worst of all, I’m coming to the realization that the stinky guy has returned, and is probably never, ever going to move.

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