I’ve been feeling a little removed for just about everything lately. Mired in administrative stuff, I’ve been swamped with paperwork and technical issues – neither of which are really my thing – and haven’t been able to spend all that much time cooking or baking, except for regular meals. (And, er, copious snacking in between.) I’ve really missed sticking my hands in doughs and batters and was happy when I took a break from technology and the staggering amount of paperwork that seems to arrive faster than I can process it, and headed out to the countryside.
Results tagged jam from David Lebovitz
Lest anyone think I spent the entire week in Chicago wolfing down nothing but Mexican food, gobbling up hamburgers, and chugging hot chocolate, one day I actually took a breather and headed up to Lincoln Park to Floriole.
The minute I walked in, I knew I’d found somewhere special.
I’ve sometimes been surprised by how cavalier bodily functions are discussed in France. I consider myself a pretty open person, but sometimes things get discussed that make me a little uncomfortable. And I’ve learned that being undressed in front of others is no big deal. I’ve always been fine with public nudity—well…as long as it wasn’t me—but I’ve had to modify that stance a little since I moved here.
Last week I went back to my sock store and they had a man come and measure my legs. (That may be because my last visit probably sent the elderly salesclerk into her early retirement.) I stripped down to my euro-briefs and he ran that tape measure up and down my legs and around my calves, at one point using his thumb to firmly hold the end of the tape measure down on the end of, um…somewhere relatively private…that would not have made me all that uncomfortable except he did it with all the care of someone trying with great purpose to jam a thumbtack into a concrete wall.
I wasn’t really planning on posting about this. But last weekend, when about four crisis were swirling around me, threatening to make my head implode, I did something rash: I took an unplanned trip out of town.
Yes, I know. What a concept. I didn’t freak out for weeks searching train or plane tickets, or researching hotels or restaurants. I just called up Romain, we got in the car, and split. We made it about an hour outside of town and then settled in for the weekend, warming up the house with a raging fire and stocking the refrigerator with my new love, Vinho Verde, a light Portuguese wine that invites leisurely weekend drinking.
I hope for your sake that you’re nothing like me. If you are, you’ve probably saved every single glass jar that’s ever crossed your path. (Don’t even get me started on reusable plastic containers, which merit a whole separate post.) Once something lands in my apartment, it’s there for the duration. Someone once attempted to give me a smackdown for advising my favorite people in the world, my readers, to cover their cookie dough in plastic wrap.
But little did she know that I’ve been using the same sheets of plastic wrap, and plastic bags, since my arrival in Paris many years ago, which I rinse and dry methodically. Believe me, if a plastic bag or jar ever exits my threshold, it’s destined for only one place, and that’s the Smithsonian.
I have two areas in my apartment specifically dedicated to the preservation of glass jars. One is for jars I use for jams and jellies, and the other is for jars I’ve used for pickles, kimchi, and other things that are stinky. And nary the two shall meet: we all, somehow, have learned to co-exist in my tiny garret.
Yes, bergamots aren’t something one runs across everyday in the supermarket, or even at greengrocers. But mid-winter, depending on where you live, you just might get lucky and happen across some, as I recently did. Twice! (Although the second time took a bit of moxie.)
There’s conflicting information what a bergamot actually is, but it’s definitely a member of the citrus family and most consider it to be a relative of the bitter orange, which might have been mated with a lemon at some point in its dubious past.
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.
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.
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.
Do you know what media training is? If you don’t, it’s when they teach people to behave on television and radio. They work with politicians, business executives, and, of course, in this day and age, they work with a lot people (and I mean, a lot…) that are involved in corporate and celebrity crisis control. But there’s a special group of media trainers that teach you how to cook on television, which is trickier than just sitting there getting grilled by Stephen Colbert, I’m sure of that.
Cooking on tv is much harder, because instead of just sitting there having a casual chat, you need to be fielding all sorts of goofy questions at the same time as measuring out and explaining fourteen different ingredients to the weatherman, wondering where that damn spatula is and how you’re going to fold egg whites without one, cursing yourself because you forgot to turn off your cell which is vibrating like mad in your back pocket, trying to get the name of the book you’re supposed to be promoting into the conversation when the seriously-skinny host only wants to talk about her diet, and watching out of the corner of your eye because the camera crew is impatiently waiting for you to finish so they can pounce on your brownies.
About ten years ago I had media training, a one-on-one weekend where it was just me and the media trainer—who basically yelled at me for 48 hours, non-stop.
In fact, I think he blew out my left eardrum.