It’s been a goofy month. I don’t know if the word “goofy” exists or translates into French, but c’est comme ça, as they say, or “that’s how it is.” It seems like everything got discombobulated; even my vacation plans were thwarted by a server outage and a nasty jellyfish sting, whose only upside was that it was on my thigh – near, but not on, my génitaux. (I’ll spare you the details, but you can look that one up if you want.)

My iPhone also mysteriously died one night, which I discovered the next morning and I couldn’t get an appointment at the Apple store for a week. When I went in to the store in Paris, they told me the wait to speak to someone was three hours. (!) And when I went to put up a new recipe on the blog, I realized that I didn’t write down the baking time. Zut.

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One great thing about France is you can drive around, stop in any number of small towns, from the Jura to Normandy, and check out regional specialties. People often come to Paris and ask about where they can get a good cassoulet, or bouillabaisse, and they look positively crestfallen when I tell them they really need to go to Gascony or Marseille, respectively, if they…

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It’s a great day when a new bakery opens up in your neighborhood. I don’t mean to brag, but there are six bakeries in my neighborhood. One of those “great days” was when a particularly lame bakery closed, and a really good one opened up in its place. And although I don’t like seeing people go out of business, another bakery that was, for lack…

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News of a favorite classic French restaurant, Moissonnier, closing from a reader (thanks for the tip, Annette) reminded me of the challenges of running a good restaurant. The food was traditional French, done right, prepared with care by the chef/owner, with his wife tending to the details in the dining room. A drive-by location, and a younger generation not as interested in quenelles in cream sauce…

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In France, you’re either a juilettiste or aoûtien, meaning you take your annual summer vacation in July or August, although many get more than four weeks off (and some get less), so there’s room for a few crossovers as well. I don’t know what the word for someone who takes their summer vacation during both months is…chanceux? (lucky?) – or if there is a word for…

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“Je n’en ai pas besoin, mais…” Those are words I constantly tell myself when I’m at a flea market or brocante (antique or secondhand shop) and come across something that I like (or want). Piles of gorgeous French linens, mortars without (or without) pestles, French jam jars, and no longer loved café pitchers, get a once-over from me, as I ask myself that question: “I…

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Staying with friends in the countryside for a few days last week, we were fortunate to discover that a neighbor was making his own bread, which was excellent. The young man bakes just a few loaves a couple of times a week. Romain, in his wisdom (a trait he may have picked up from me: buy as much as you can, when you come across something…

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Being a baker, summer is my favorite time of year. Not only are peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums abundant at the market, but as the seasons progress, the volume of fruits lowers the price, and I stock up on whatever I can, whenever I can. At Paris markets, I try to search out producteurs, the vendors who grow the food they sell, and every summer, one in…

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Two things have surprised me recently*. One is the sudden surge of small-scale ice cream shops that have opened in Paris. Which means my ship has definitely passed on opening my own place as others got to it first. Shops like Senoble, Glaces Glazed, Une Glace à Paris, Sucre Glace, and La Paleteria are churning out ice cream across Paris, some even staying open in…

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