Weekend Links

La vache! as they say in France, or “Holy cow.” It’s been quite a week, with temperatures hitting 108ºF (42ºC) on Thursday. With little reliance on fans or air-conditioning, the city melted down for the day as people stayed indoors with their windows closed (on the belief that opening them lets hot air in), and the curtains drawn. I defied the odds and rose from bed at 5:30am on Thursday to make apricot jam, like I did when I rolled out apple-blackberry slab pie during the last bout of intense heat a week or so prior.

Many wondered how I did it, and the answer is that as a former line cook, I can cook and bake through anything. Imagine standing in front of a gas stove with six burners going full blast for eight hours sautéing and plating food. Or reaching in and out of a fiery-hot bread oven all day and night in the back of a kitchen. Now that’s hot. Making jam at home is a piece of cake, and I have a cupboard of apricot jam (as well as rhubarb-berry jam, which I made this morning) to prove it.

I had a great trip to Normandy before the chaleur (heat) arrived, mingling with cows and cheese…and yes, with French butter, too. When the heat simmers down, I’m going to share those stories and pictures here on the blog. In the meantime, here are some reads to tide you over…


Weekend Links


  • KB
    July 27, 2019 11:42am

    Maybe you should travel and go get some of that Swiss Chocolate right from the source. Reply

  • July 27, 2019 12:10pm

    Former line cook, I recall some heat stories too, especially on my Culinary schools final exam. Puff pastry was one of the items I had to make, and the marble tables we had were slick with humidity pools… lets just say I passed my test, by this much! Reply

    • David Olachea
      July 28, 2019 8:26pm

      Hi David, I really enjoy your recipe’s and reading your blog.
      I was wondering if you have tried or are going to try the newly redone Laperousse restaurant. I’ve heard good things!
      Thanks, David Olachea Reply

      • July 29, 2019 8:39pm
        David Lebovitz

        I haven’t been to Laperouse although I know the renovation has gotten a lot of attention. Reply

  • July 27, 2019 1:19pm

    have you looked at oliveoiljones?
    we are huge lebowitz boosters. Reply

  • claire silvers
    July 27, 2019 2:17pm

    Its thanks to you that I now make apricot jam every June (Massachusetts. best source: Trader Joes). Your posts on jam making are engaging, amusing, and reliable: the very first batch was incredibly delicious. Also so beautiful, and so easy with your guidance. Reply

    • July 27, 2019 2:20pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks Claire, am glad you like to make jam, too! (And right now is certainly the season…) Happy you’re using the recipes :) Reply

  • Sam
    July 27, 2019 4:20pm

    I agree that Sauternes is not an obvious pairing with lobster, but maybe it’s good? Lobster can be quite sweet when it’s high quality, which might complement the wine. Surely the scandal would have been greater had it been a Napa Valley cabernet. Reply

    • July 28, 2019 8:27am
      David Lebovitz

      Mostly what upset people was the price of the bottle of wine (and it probably wasn’t the best thing to post a picture of online either.) Richard Olney served Yquem with steak so perhaps it does go well with lobster. If someone sent me a similar bottle (I think they drank a ’99?), I’d be happy to try it out! : ) Reply

  • Mary Karen Euler
    July 27, 2019 6:01pm

    I so look forward to your postings, David. Besides containing delicious and inspiring info on all topics near-and-dear to my heart, they’re written as though we “faithful readers” are sitting across the table from you. Very warming. And your Suggested Readings are always interesting. French Press Sangria…Mais Oui! Reply

  • Linda Fernandes
    July 27, 2019 6:43pm

    Loyal fan here. I visit Paris once a year and follow your recommendations for culinary and cultural delights. So reliably authentic! You’re this travelers best friend! Thanks for making it fun! Reply

  • Linda Ravden
    July 27, 2019 8:01pm

    So happy to find my very first DL blog post in my inbox this morning (I only signed onto your blog last week and now wish I had known about it sooner.) And thank you for all your wonderful information on Paris restaurants – it has helped me make a list of where to eat in Paris when I am there in September :) Reply

  • Genevieve Thiebaut
    July 27, 2019 8:25pm

    Confiture à faire en ce moment fraises et rhubarbe Reply

  • Carol
    July 27, 2019 9:03pm

    The brown butter financiers recipe is different from the one in My Paris Kitchen, which includes baking powder and salt. Perhaps that is why the financiers made from the blog recipe didn’t bake through, and remained like batter in the middle. Reply

  • karen lander
    July 28, 2019 4:30am

    Dear David
    While your are from SoCal, you didn’t grow up in the VALLEY so you are not acclimated to the heat!
    Love your books, cook from them frequently
    Anywhere other than La Merenda you would recommend in Vieux Nice?

    Ps. Your sardine spread, vegetable tian and chicken recipes are requested over and over in this home.
    Your recipes are simple, brilliant and soul satisfying thank you so much. Met you at Luques and have your signed copies for our entire table. You’re the best Reply

    • July 28, 2019 8:25am
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Karen: Thanks : ) I don’t know Nice because we don’t go often but Chez Pipo is great for socca…and cups of rosé on ice! Reply

      • Karen
        July 29, 2019 7:58pm

        Thank you! Reply

    • July 29, 2019 5:05pm

      I’m not David (obviously!) but we had a delightful meal at La P’tite Cocotte (reservations essential): https://www.facebook.com/laptitecocotte06/ Reply

      • Karen
        July 29, 2019 7:59pm

        Thank you Krystal Reply

  • July 28, 2019 5:09am

    Thank you for the Betty Fussel story. She lived across 13th street from me. Someone with enodless joie de vie. Reply

  • Bernadette
    July 28, 2019 8:01pm

    I love apricot jam but am a hesitant jam-maker, will have to try yours, David.

    That ice cream scoop video made my day. :) Reply

  • July 28, 2019 9:18pm

    I just finished cooking the last recipe from “My Paris Kitchen” for our group, “cookthebookfridays”. I had such a fun time and enjoyed all the recipes. Thank you for such a delightful and interesting cookbook. Reply

    • Andrew
      July 28, 2019 10:17pm

      Re your wine pairing comment, you are incorrect. Lobster and sauterne are a classic pairing. (See Robert Parker) And what better than d’Yquem Reply

    • July 29, 2019 8:58am
      David Lebovitz

      Bernadette: Wow – great job with the recipes and so glad you enjoyed cooking your way through My Paris Kitchen! : )

      cheznana: As mentioned, I haven’t tasted the two together (and noted I’d be happy to try the pairing in my previous comment) but in the French press, some criticized the pairing: France Info, Breizh Info, and here. I was referring to them. Reply

  • Cyndy
    July 29, 2019 11:42am

    I greatly recommend reading the linked article, Can I Wear Shorts in Paris. It is spot-on. It’s amusing and so true. As an American living in France half of each year, I can attest to the fact that those of us half-expats are so self-conscious about fitting in/not acting like a tourist. To the point that I keep a skirt parked on the living room couch to throw on my otherwise “short-ed” person in order to take the dog out for a whiz. Even in the 103* heat of SW France last week. Oh my. Reply

    • July 29, 2019 11:54am
      David Lebovitz

      I think it’s interesting how the “rules” have changed. Now, everyone wears sneakers and shorts aren’t uncommon, although there are certain places and times where you wouldn’t wear them in France. But those things don’t really mark you as a tourist as they used to, however French men don’t often wear socks with sneakers (or shoes) and shorts; if they do, they are the kind of socks that are invisible. My socks tend to stick out, and I always get disapproving looks from my French partner, although he knows not to say anything anymore ; ) Reply

  • Carolyn
    July 29, 2019 9:44pm

    Yesterday my neighbor gave me half of the apricots from his tree! Oh my, what to do? Then I thought of your blog and the jam is currently cooking away. Thank you! Reply

  • Naomi
    July 30, 2019 12:50am

    Thank you, David. Always, your writing adds to my smile. You’re a treasure. Reply

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