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Hello, Emily here. We are now on day 27 of official lock-down in Paris and day 32 since we decided to stay home with the kids. With other cities and countries also implementing stricter social distancing measures, I thought I would share our routine, favorite recipes and ways to pass the time, and hopefully pick up some ideas from you in the comments below!

Emily

Lockdown in Paris – plus some easy recipes for kids

With a one-year-old, an eleven-year-old and a dog (not to mention I am also 6-months pregnant, which is wonderful, but can be overwhelming even during the very best of times!) in a Parisian-sized apartment, we had to quickly adapt to keep things manageable. I am self-employed so am working hard to keep my clients for as long as possible while supervising cyber-school and an Evel Knievel-like mini daredevil, who has just learned to walk. My husband Jérémy is also working from home but at a much more structured 9am-7pm job that is continuing as “normally” as possible. Renovations were scheduled to start on an extension to our apartment next week, to accommodate our rapidly growing family, but they are now on hold indefinitely as we try to figure out how best to welcome our upcoming baby with our current living situation. 

Watching airports close and friends panic back in Australia (where I am from) has been scary and sad, and I’ll admit that I’ve been tempted to do the same. But we knew that the best thing for us, and for the greater good, was to avoid travel and stay where we are: here at home. We are thankful that France had a reasonably quick response to the crisis (although only time will tell) and has solid healthcare and social security systems in place, with free medical care available to all and an admirable commitment to supporting citizens and businesses throughout this crisis.

We have our worries; How long will this last? Will we keep our jobs? How can we safely bring a baby into the world? etc., but as we have no answers to those questions, we’re focusing on the little things. Being kind, checking up on our elderly neighbors, and just taking things slow, knowing that apart from staying home, the situation is out of our hands. I also worry for those for whom home is not a safe place, or have no home to go to.

Paris (like many other cities) is built with small apartments and large public spaces. We have no garden but incredible parks nearby. Our kitchen is small but we have some wonderful restaurants just downstairs. Our apartment doesn’t have a lot of space to hang art, but there are world-class galleries a few minutes away. So we miss these and other public places that are extensions of our apartment and our lives; ‘our’ park, ‘our’ barista, as well as the art galleries and restaurants that have become integral parts of our lives. But we know it’s temporary, and are ready to help our community and neighborhood rebound as soon as we can.

A new daily routine for us

Our day begins when the one-year-old wakes…anywhere from 6 to 7am…and comes into our bed for cuddles before my husband (who is a morning person – before I met him, I assumed those people were just a myth), takes him into our kitchen/living room and gets the day started. He has breakfast with the two kids while I take a few minutes to properly wake up and prepare myself to engage with the world. 

Once Jérémy shuts himself away to work, I prepare a makeshift latte, sans barista, and settle on the sofa with our son to check in with my mum in Australia, thankful for the technology that allows us to do this, especially with all her future visits now canceled. I also try to speak to other family members (I have 4 brothers scattered between Sydney, Berlin, London, and Jersey – the island, not the state New Jersey in the U.S.) and a few friends here-and-there, making an effort to keep my morning cheery to set the tone for the day.

Our daughter is set tasks by her teachers and had her first ‘Zoom’ class which was slightly chaotic but nice for her to connect with her school friends (special shout out to all the parents like me, having to re-learn math and science in order to teach it back to their kids!). We are rather more relaxed on “screen time limits” at the moment so she has also become more acquainted with Netflix kids, and chats regularly to her friends and grandparents on Whatsapp. She is still too young for any social media, much to her disappointment…and our relief.

There are many new resources available online to keep kids entertained but our daughter’s favorite time of day is her skipping rope competition with her dad. So far she is proud to be the undefeated champion. (Although not sure if the neighbors below feel the same way!) We have discussed with her why we are staying home, that some things are bigger than us and that hopefully our mild discomfort is helping to keep other people safe. I also make a (somewhat failed) effort to stop discussing the daily virus figures or listen to informative, but scary, podcasts while the kids are about.

While our son naps I type away furiously, responding to emails and other work. Or, I occasionally waste the whole precious nap hour down an Instagram hole. Now is not the time to feel guilty that I never work on ‘my novel’ and I have firmly established that I will never complete some of the tasks that I set out to do in past moments of productivity, which can now safely be filed in the poubelle (trash bin), lightening up the self-imposed load on my shoulders.

We eat together at 1pm and 7:30pm and our daughter gets to decide whether the cheese course will be served after lunch, or après dinner. We are currently enjoying an aged Comté, a soft goat’s milk cheese, and Port Salut (a mild, smooth, semi-soft pasteurised cow’s milk cheese from the Loire available in most french supermarkets). 

Setting the table nicely helps us to switch from ‘work day’ to evening and if you don’t use the good china during a pandemic, when will you? The supermarkets are well stocked (we go once a week for food, taking all precautions) and I alternate between making elaborate meals such as Coq au vin or slow roasted lamb to pass the time, and wonderfully simple things such as basic omelettes or delicious and comforting roast chicken. Dessert has taken on a new meaning, although we cut some recipes in half so we can try out a new one each day. Sticky toffee pudding, Fondant chocolate (warm melting chocolate cake), and fruit crumbles and crisps have all been winners. Our son has no idea about the situation and continues to gobble his puréed (mushed) vegetables, yoghurt, fruit and milk. He is becoming more adventurous and wants to taste everything we have, now that he has a few new teeth.

Taking out our dog, Noisette (Hazelnut), has become much more appealing as it allows both of us a few minutes of fresh air, although we need to fill out a little form (as directed by the government) and carry it with us each time we go out in case we are stopped by the police. She is the real winner in all this (along with lots of other dogs), so happy that her family is home all day, staying put for once.

At 8pm every evening we stand by the open window and clap with our neighbors to show our appreciation for everyone working in the hospitals, and across Paris, to save lives and to keep essential healthcare services running. We wave at strangers across the street and occasionally our friend Cyril plays his saxophone for a few minutes beforehand, to get things going. Each night I get teary as we cheer and reflect on everything we’ve taken for granted in the past. For some, this will be the only time they see other people all day.

Finally, the kids go to sleep and my husband and I sit for a few minutes to unwind, too tired to go to bed and too awake to watch TV, before we remember that the ironing needs to be done (I don’t think any clothes need to be ironed during a pandemic but my Frenchman, Jérémy, insists that we have to keep up standards) or the dog needs a walk, and get moving again, slower than usual, but always looking forward.

Celebrating 

I turned 36 during the first few days of the lock-down in Paris, having canceled a long-planned birthday trip to Amsterdam. We made a small cake and I can’t remember what we had for dinner, but we did have a refreshing, and very welcome, glass of champagne. The lovely local florist called the day before and asked if he could deliver flowers that had been ordered for me a day early. I was his final delivery before he closed for what was said to be two weeks, but turned out longer. 

Our daughter will turn 12 next week, one of many kids worldwide who will watch her or his birthday pass while in quarantine (we will reschedule her party when we can) and I will be teaching her how to roast a chicken for dinner, her favorite. We are enjoying this time together as a family before she decides we are altogether uncool and generally embarrassing (so far we’re averaging at least two eye-rolls a day). She will make her own cake but hasn’t decided which flavor yet (probably chocolate!).

Easy recipes for kids

In a thinly-veiled attempt at homework procrastination, our daughter has shown a newfound interest in baking. So far we have made brownies, pancakes, apple pie, victoria sponge cake, cookies, chouquettes, chocolate éclairs, fondant chocolate, and marshmallows (as well as savory basics for lunch and dinner). She has learned to read a recipe all the way through before starting to bake, and now knows where everything is in the kitchen that she needs for her baking projects, and needs not rely on me so much. 

Now is not the time for beautiful, Instagram-worthy food. It’s time to let the kids mess up the kitchen, leave edges rough, make substitutions and mistakes, and enjoy the process. We use all the shortcuts we need to, including ready-made puff pastry or tortillas to make ‘pizza,’ open packages of instant ramen noodles to bulk out a stirfry, microwave popcorn for movie time, and don’t feel guilty eating previously-frozen french fries or fish finger tacos! It helps to change things up, to keep things fun. Some nights we have a floor picnic, do ‘breakfast for dinner,’ or have dessert first. 

Brownies

I have been making this brownie recipe since I was 8 years old, when a family friend passed it to me on a scrap of paper (above.) It is very forgiving, so if you only have self-raising flour, use that. No vanilla? No problem. Add in chocolate chips, swirl in some Nutella, omit the cocoa powder (just add another ½ cup/70g of flour) or scatter white chocolate chips or raspberries (fresh or frozen) on top. It is such a basic recipe that it can be easily adapted.

Cooking time varies between 25-40 minutes (30 minutes exactly in my Parisian oven). If you use a larger pan they may bake quicker as they will be ‘thinner’, if you add lots of Nutella or chocolate chips they will have some extra moisture so will bake a little longer. It also depends on how gooey you want them! Just set a timer to check after 20 or 25 minutes and take them out when they smell ready.

250g (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter, cubed
70g (¾ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
400g (2 cups) sugar
200g (1 ½ cups) flour
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt

Set the oven to 180C (350F.) Line an 8-inch (20cm) square pan or 9 x 13-inch (22x33cm) with parchment paper, or use a non-stick one. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Mix in the cocoa powder, sugar, and flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon before adding in 4 eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and salt. (Now is the time to add any chocolate chips, or other additions.)  Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and pop it into the oven. 

Pikelets (mini Aussie pancakes)

These are little pancakes that we make in Australia and again, the recipe is very flexible. We used to make the sweet version all the time as kids, for breakfast, an after school snack or anything in-between. You can add chocolate chips, blueberries (fresh or frozen), or mix in one whole mashed banana or some shredded coconut. Alternatively, keep them savory by leaving out the sugar and adding some crumbled soft goat’s cheese or some ricotta (we used a 250g tub). This evening we doubled the mixture, added a small tin of corn to the batter before cooking and had them with a salad and some yoghurt with mint chopped through for dinner.

185g (3/4 cup) milk – whole or lowfat will work
1 egg (any size)
140g (1 cup) self-raising flour (or 130g/1 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder & ¼ teaspoon salt)
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt

Mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl with a whisk or wooden spoon. Crack the egg into the dry ingredients along with about one-third of the milk. Mix well until it is a thick paste, then slowly add the rest of the milk (making it a paste first helps avoid lumps), then add in any extra ingredients (ricotta, blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.) Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have the time but not essential.

Melt a little butter in a frying pan (a non-stick one is preferable). Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the mixture to the pan. Once the batter is bubbling on one side, it is time to flip it over and cook until golden brown on the other side (it’ll take approximately 1 minute), but will depend on your heat!

Sponge Cake

My grandmother taught me this recipe when I was very small and the recipe couldn’t be easier – 225g self-raising flour, (1 ¾ cup), 225g sugar (1 ⅛ cup), 225g (1 cup) butter (plus a little extra for preparing the pan), 4 eggs, a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It is best if the butter and eggs are at room temperature if you remember to take them out of the fridge in time. The vanilla helps the flavor of the cake but if you don’t have it, try a little almond extract or lemon or orange zest, or adding the seeds of a scraped vanilla bean. Or swap out 1/2 cup of flour with the same amount of unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolate sponge cake.

Set the oven to 180C (350F) and butter an 8-inch (20cm) round cake tin or a 9 x 5 inch (22 x 12 cm) loaf tin. If your tin is slightly bigger or smaller it will still work, just keep an eye on it as it bakes. If you have parchment paper, it is useful to place a sheet on the bottom of the cake pan, but again – work with what you have! Pour in a little sugar and shake it around so it sticks to the butter on the sides of the tin, then do the same with a little flour. 

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy in a medium bowl. (Or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Slowly add the eggs, one at a time. If you want to cheat, add in a little of the flour when you add the first egg to prevent the batter from curdling. (If it does, don’t worry, no one except my culinary school teacher, more about that here, will notice). Continue to slowly add the rest of the eggs, then beat in the flour, vanilla and salt. (If adding another flavor, such as citrus zest, it can be added at the end or with the butter at the beginning.) Scrape the batter into the prepared cake tin and put it in the oven on the middle rack. Start checking it for doneness after 15/20 minutes, using a skewer, toothpick, or knife to test when it is ready. (It should come out clean when poked in the center.) Cool on a wire rack and listen to it gently crackle. After a few minutes run a knife around the edges and tip out of the cake pan and let cool.

To serve, decorate with some whipped cream and berries, or use the glaze from David’s Orange and Polenta cake.

Bread

This is a great recipe as it gives kids a hands-on experience in the kitchen. The recipe is very simple and you can divide the dough into half (or thirds, or whatever works for your household) and let each child knead their own loaf separately. Have them shape each into a round blob (hiding any messy parts underneath) and try to remember whose is whose; you can cut a shape into the top with a knife, or sprinkle flour or different seeds on each, to distinguish them. When they come out of the oven, you can see whose is whose.

500g (3 ¾ cups) strong flour (such as bread flour, or T65 if in France)
1 tsp salt
11g (usually 2 sachets) of instant yeast. Check the back of the box as it should be written there how many grams/sachets to 500g flour.
300ml (1 ⅓ cup) warm water (the only thing that kills yeast is excess heat so make sure the water is not too hot)
20g butter (melted and cooled)

Mix the flour, salt, yeast and melted butter in a bowl and give a little stir. Add ¾ of the water and stir with a butter knife (the dough sticks less to a butter knife and it is easy to wipe the sticky mix off on the side of the bowl – I do this for pastry also) to mix in the water. Feel the dough and add more water as necessary until it comes together and is quite tacky. This will depend on a range of things, such as the weather and the type of flour used, and can change every time you make the recipe, too. In general, more water is better than less.

Feel the dough and it should be tacky but not really sticky. Lightly flour the kitchen counter and knead for at least 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should “bounce back” when you gently poke it with your finger. 

Place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel. Put in a warm place in the house and leave to rise until it has doubled in size (about an hour or so). Turn the dough onto your floured surface and knead it for another minute. Shape your dough into a short sausage and place in a lightly oiled 9 x 5 inch (22 x 12 cm) loaf pan (or if you have divided it into smaller sections, roll them into balls and place directly onto an oiled baking sheet). Cover lightly with the clingfilm or tea towel and leave to rise again for around 30 minutes. Now is the time to switch on the oven to 200C (400F.) When your finger leaves a little indent that doesn’t spring back when you poke it, it’s ready for the oven! You can glaze it gently with an egg if you like, drizzle with honey, sprinkle seeds on top, etc. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes (keep an eye on it if you have made smaller loaves). To know it is ready it will:

a) Smell like bread
b) Feel light for its size
c) Sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom

Fondant chocolate

100g (½ cup) butter
100g (⅔ cup) chocolate, chopped
130g (⅔ cup) sugar
50g (⅓ cup) plain flour
3 large eggs
Pinch salt

Set the oven to 180C (350F) and butter 6 ramekins (not sure what size mine are but they hold 130ml/130g/4.5oz water when filled to the top). Gently melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl, either over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave. Stir together, then whisk in the sugar, flour, eggs and salt (either with an electric whisk or just vigorously by hand). Fill the ramekins until ¾ full and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are squishy but set (like an undercooked cake). You can pop them in the fridge and cook later (about 14-16 minutes in the oven if they are cold). Serve with vanilla ice cream if you have it! 

How are you doing? Do you have any easy recipes that you would like to share or tips on how to keep things as normal as possible in this abnormal situation?

 

148 Shares

125 comments

    • Jennifer Jo

    Such a fantastic post!

    This part — “solid healthcare and social security systems in place, with free medical care available to all and an admirable commitment to supporting citizens and businesses throughout this crisis” — makes me wish I was a Parisian. I can’t even imagine.

      • Linda

      ah, but nothing is free, great recipes and thank you!

        • Carolina

        Happy to have my taxes go to something like this.

          • Jennifer Robertson

          Thank you Emily – love the recipes which I’m definitely going to try with my kids. Had to laugh – only a fellow Aussie would recognise the lamington tin in your brownie recipe! I live in Switzerland now and one of the easiest sweet treats that the kids normally take to school to share on their birthday is Honey Joys. I make good ol’ jelly slice too in my lamington tin! Stay safe and sane – and good luck with the new baby when he/she arrives!

            • Gavrielle

            @Jennifer: as a New Zealander I also smiled at seeing the lamington tin reference – and the pikelets! Lovely post, Emily.

          • Mary

          Agree with you, Carolina

        • Fiona

        Me too. Living in the UK I know I will be treated when I’m ill . Can’t imagine the horror and worry when you can’t afford private health care or it runs out. We are blessed

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          It’s so gratifying to see people cheering on the British NHS (National Healthcare System’) which has become, especially right now, such a cherished part of society. I saw children’s drawings of heartfelt messages that they were posting in the windows of their homes, thanking the workers of the NHS who are truly deserving of national praise.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Jennifer Jo, wishing you all the best! Emily

      • Jacqueline DeWolf

      Yes we are the only developed country that does not have decent healthcare, etc and the GOP tried to eliminate preexisting conditions voted to abolish ACA (Obama care) 45 times. Greedy, corrupt Republicans

        • sundevilpeg

        Kindly leave politics at home, please. This is not the place for it at all.

          • bonnie groves poppe

          How does one leave politics at home? It is omnipresent in all of our lives at the moment, especially for all of you living in the US. You are not the arbiter of our comments. Don’t take it upon yourself to tell us what to say.
          bonnie in provence.

            • Mike

            Shall I talk about baseball now? It’s certainly on my mind and I have some thoughts. Serious thoughts, in fact. What’s stopping me from sharing them here on David’s marvelous cooking blog? Relevance. Nobody can dictate what you say or don’t say, but social norms suggest that being relevant is desirable, productive, and considerate. People come to this website to learn about David’s life as a pastry chef living in Paris.

          • jane

          Part of living in France is the fact that political discussion is totally connected to gatherings around food – no one should be put out by a couple thoughts about politics here, imo.

          As an American I can say that it is likely one of the reasons our politics are currently so corrupt; people need to discuss these things much more often and openly, as the French do. We would all be better off for it.

            • bonnie groves poppe

            yes yes yes

        • MICHELLE BEISSEL

        I hear you. Thank you for speaking the truth.

          • MICHELLE BEISSEL

          my reply is to Jacqueline

            • bonnie groves poppe

            And I say the same. Since when do we not have the privilege of speaking our minds?
            bonnie in provence

    • Debra Connell

    Thank you for this lovely letter.it has made my day as my children are raised and it brought back such good memories of the fun we had in the kitchen. Vancouver Canada

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Debra, Thanks for your comment – I bet your children have great memories in the kitchen as well. Emily

    • Greg Michaud

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post. The recipes are something I will try here at home. At 72 my children are long gone but it is fun to hear about your life in Paris. You have your hands full with a one year old. Thanks

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Greg – enjoy the baking! Emily

    • A

    As all of us process the stress of our new world, baking is a good distraction from schoolwork. I think all of us are trying to figure out how best to navigate. While adults will tend to say children are resilient, in truth, children are reacting to the confines. Baking and cooking are certainly a good release.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks A, I agree with you!

    • Andrea

    I have never read a post from Emily but am so happy to do do today! We have an 8 year old and a will be 11 year old next week. Excited to try the bread with them tonight after work.

    The 8 year old had a wrecked Lego creation this weekend and was upset because that was the only thing he remembered from 2018! Well 2018 was the year we went to Paris for Easter and we sat and looked through pictures and memories yesterday. Eight year old misses chocolate macaroons and mimolette most.

    Thanks again for sharing!

      • Laurie Lasala-Tuttle

      Thank you for writing Emily! I loved reading all about your family, and also your bio. David is lucky to have such a positive & talented employee!

        • Emily Cunningham

        Thank you Laurie, very kind!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Andrea, hope the bread is a success! Mimolette is one of my favourite cheeses. Emily

    • Jodi Kennedy Gaffey

    Great post! I am American and in Provence. And while I don’t have children (just two dogs), I am using the lockdown to work to enhance the marketing of my business. You are my hero with all that you have going on! P.S. I agree with you…no need to iron during a pandemic!!!

      • bonnie groves poppe

      Hi Jody, I am also an american (californian) in Provence with no kids and 2 dogs. Long retired. Hope you are doing well with this, I am getting so many projects finished (and started).
      best
      bonnie in Vaucluse

        • Jodi in the Luberon

        Bonnie,
        I am so sorry that I didn’t see this earlier! I hope this year was productive for you and that 2021 will be better for all of us!

        Happy New Year!

        All the best,
        jodi

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Jody – good luck with the marketing and the business! Emily

    • Kim B

    A lovely post. It is so interesting to see how different families are handling the lockdown.

      • Vnyc

      What a fabulous post….. able to show empathy for others and the world at large while describing a lovely routine… good luck!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Kim!

    • Barbara

    Loved your post. Congratulations on how well you are coping. It cannot be always easy. I am elderly in body mais pas dans ma tête living alone in the Paris I love.
    Also bless you for checking on neighbors. Not everyone does.
    Good wishes to you and your family

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Barbara – sending good wishes to you as well!

    • Kathleen

    I’m starting cooking classes with my grandson this week, via Skype (I’m in Mexico, he’s in the U.S.). Some things we’re going to make are French toast and scrambled eggs, so he can make his own breakfast, also 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies and Amazon (one bowl) chocolate cake. Thanks for your recipes!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Kathleen, that sounds wonderful. Good luck with the Skype lessons, great selection of recipes. Emily

    • wildbill

    Terrific post, Emily. Absolutely love your story, the photos and the recipes. Sure, DL writes a terrific post but yours is right in with the best. Thank you, wildbill

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Wildbill, I learnt from the best!

    • Susan Pressentin

    Really enjoyed the post….and loved the pictures and your dog looks so sweet. It sounds like you have adapted quite well and that is encouraging to me. I am alone, just me, myself and I in Carmel Ca. but have also tried to keep a routine and a structure to my day with balancing necessary household chores with reading, knitting and puzzles. What I don’t understand though is your connection to David.

      • pat filteau

      If you go to the first sentance of the post and click on the highlighted Emily it will give you her bio. I really enjoyed the post also-especially the pictures

        • Emily Cunningham

        Thanks Pat! Emily

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Susan, Carmel is on my (future) list of places to visit. I have been helping David on the back-end of the blog for a while and just started to write the occasional post. Sending you my best wishes – we also love puzzles. Emily

    • Richard Allan

    What a wonderful posting, especially the photographs, I feel as if I was in Paris not New York. I will be 89 in two days and because of the shutdown I will not be with my 4 grandsons to celebrate. Thank you so very much for making today shine!!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Richard – wishing you a wonderful birthday, and hoping you can see your grandsons soon. Emily

    • Deena

    Great post, thank you! Just a note for your own information, I live in the beautiful Garden State of “New” Jersey in the US. Many people outside of our lovely state refer to it simply as “Jersey“. We don’t refer to New York simply as “York“. We are a bit sensitive about it so I just ask when people are referring this beautiful state, to please kindly don’t forget the “New“ in front. Thank you.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Deena, thanks for pointing that out! I have edited it in the article now. Sending you all my best. Emily

    • Francine Helene

    Very nice Emily. I couldn’t help smiling when I read on that little piece of paper–to use a Lamington pan. Oh, how I love Lamingtons. One of these days, please give us a few variations of these. Lovey Emily, just lovely.

    I am French born but living in Montreal now, and the French French influence here is now really taking off. We have great products here.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you’re enjoying Emily’s post!

      I have a recipe for Lamington’s here which you might want to try. But perhaps in the future, Emily will share a recipe too.

        • Vickie

        What a wonderful post! I live in Montana and things are as different here as night and day! I’ll be following your future blog posts.

        • francine helene

        Merci David. I really miss France. We lived in Strasbourg (Neudorf area). But things are hellish there now with Covid–a very hard hit area with some folks being taken to Germany! Merci David. You often make my day!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Francine, I can confirm that David’s leamington recipe is a winner. There real question is jam or no jam in them. Wishing you all the best in Montreal! Emily

        • Francine Helene

        Hi Emily,

        I’m actually into NO jam in them! (:))))
        I absolutely adore Lamingtons. I waltz around the house saying:now I’m going to have a Lamington!!

        Thanks Emily. Look after yourself.

    • Joanne

    What a lovely post, and makes me yearn for my Parisian days in the Marais. I can only imagine the challenges of having a small family, a “puppy” as well as expecting a baby! You have your hands full but seem to be mastering it so well! Thank you so much for the photos of a beloved city, the sense of solidarity with your community and the fun recipes! Looking forward to further posts!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Joanne – hope you can visit the Marais again in the future, what a great place to have lived! Emily

    • Sarah Howard

    What a lovely post! I love the recipes and how you and your family are adapting to the pandemic situation in Paris. I want to download the whole post to get the recipes—they look easy and delicious. I am writing you from the Central Valley of California! How I wish that I could meet someone who I could fall in love with and be a Frenchman!!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Sarah, thanks and sending you all the best to California! Emily

    • Terry

    Dear Emily,
    Thank you for your lovely post. It has brightened our day and given us a peek into the daily life of a young family in Paris. And thank you for sharing your special recipes!
    I live in Southern California with my husband. My only daughter, her husband and their 3 1/2 year old son live 10 minutes away. My husband and I babysit daily, since they both are working from home and pre-school is closed. Early on, we decided we would not come into contact with anyone other than the 5 of us, so have had much quality time together. I am so grateful for this precious time, yet know this is a time of great heartache, loneliness and despair for many.
    We spend our days with our grandson playing with Duplos, baking cookies and bread, making paper plate animals and doing yoga.
    Thank you again for your sweet post, Emily.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Dear Terry, really nice to hear that you have positives during this time and I am sure your grandson will have fond memories. All the best, Emily

    • Sherry

    Loved reading what life in Paris is like during these times. I’m in Texas and thinking of everyone (everywhere) hoping they are staying safe. Tell your daughter Happy Birthday. One of my six grandsons had a birthday a few days ago. We drove 1 1/2 hour and drop his gift at the gate on their farm and after we left, took a picture of it and texted them and said Happy Birthday, your present is waiting. It’s really hard not seeing the ones that mean so much to us.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Sherry, I bet that made his day! Hope you can see your grandsons again soon. Emily

      • Lea Abiodun

      Just made the sponge cake which is in the oven. I realized after making it that it has no leavening agent. Is that right?

        • Emily Cunningham

        Hi Lea – I am so sorry you have made me realise I wrote flour instead of self-raising flour (which has leavening agent incorporated). The cake will still be ok as it has so many eggs but it will be denser. I will go and correct it now! Really sorry and hope you can enjoy it anyway. All the best, Emily

    • Lisca Meijer

    What a lovely post! (I have no idea how I got your blog. It just arrived in my in-box and I’m glad it did).
    We live in southern Spain, (near Granada) and have been in lockdown since the middle of March, so I know what you mean.
    I love your recipes and I plan to try your brownie recipe as it doesn’t involve melting chocolate over a pan, which is what has always put me off making them.
    I wish you all the best with the remainder of the lockdown. Stay safe, stay home and stay healthy.
    Lisca

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Lisca – same to you! Hope you enjoy the brownies. Emily

    • Rosemary Chiaverini

    Thank you Emily! I am very homesick for France right now and loved reading your newsletter. I became an Irish citizen so I could move to France eventually. Alas, I am a woman “de certain age” who is just learning how to cook and will enjoy being on this journey with you as my coach. HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY to your daughter

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Rosemary – I hope that you can move to France soon! Enjoy the cooking. Emily

    • Pat Murphy

    What a great post Emily. Being Canadian we also enjoy great health care and safety social nets which are so vital right now. My husband and I were meant to be in Paris last month but as with so many things it will have to be postponed. We have a 4 year old grandson and a 2 year old granddaughter so we understand the challenges you are now facing. Be well and stay safe. Pat

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Pat – I hope that that you and your husband have a wonderful time when the trip goes ahead in the future. Emily

    • Beverly Burgoyne

    Thanks for your wonderful post, Emily. It sounds as if you are coping admirably well. It helps to have the gov’t supports such as income supplements (already rec’d last week in Canada) and free health care. I feel so sorry for Americans who are struggling way more than we are here in Canada. I will be forwarding your recipes to some younger friends of mine who have kids at home. Many thanks!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Beverly, thank you and hope they enjoy the recipes! Wishing you all the best, Emily

    • suzanne small

    I had a trip to Paris planned for May when I would take my two oldest grand daughters to Paris. Of course that can’t happen now. But I will forward your wonderful message and photos to them so they can get a “feel” for the city and it’s charms and try the recipes.
    Merci!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Suzanne, Hoping you all have a great trip full of long lasting memories when you do get to visit. Emily

    • Kathryn Duchene

    Thank you Emily for this beautiful post and sharing your life in Paris during the pandemic. Besides the many self distancing coping strategies you shared, the “lightening up the self-imposed load” is a very good one for all of us to remember!

    Best wishes to all of you!

      • Artie

      Love the phrase “self imposed load” …so very true.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Kathryn and best wishes to you too! Emily

    • Artie

    Thank you for your lovely glimpse into your life right now. It helps me get some perspective and know that we are all in this together. I’m just outside of Chicago and I’m taking it day by day and sometimes hour by hour with my 3 year old and 6 year old. I feel like a daycare and Kinder classroom! Thankful my children are young. We tackle all our big feelings daily but all agree that we will be ok and we do the best we can ❤️

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Artie, sending you all the best and I know how you feel re ‘hour by hour’! Emily

    • Sally

    Great post Emily. Liked the recipes for kids.
    Don’t know how you cope with two kids, pregnancy , a dog and a working husband in a Parisian flat.
    My hat off to you.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks Sally – hats off to everyone who is getting by at the moment! Hoping you are safe wherever you are. Emily

    • mumbie

    Delightful post,<3 Im impressed your daughter has become quite the baker!
    For Brownies I usually use Dave & Kate's recipe from his great book of Chocolate. Similar to yours but a friend recommended that I under bake so that when they cool they become sticky and slightly gooey…hmm
    Stay safe xx

    Stay safe!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Yes – slightly under baked is so good. Great recipe! Stay safe, Emily

    • true2myword

    Possibly my most favorite post I’ve read since the Shelter in Place started. Thank you. It made me happy, teary-eyed, proud and hopeful (and hungry). I can’t pinpoint what it was about it, just felt very honest and real, I very much appreciate a look into your everyday in Paris. Hoping your florist opens again soon and your daughter can skip rope outside with her dad (and still beat him).

      • Emily Cunningham

      Thanks so much – lovely to hear. Hoping you are safe wherever you are! Emily

    • Louise

    Loved the post. It brought smiles to my face. Good luck to your entire family as we navigate Sheltering in Place. I live in California and my granddaughter (just 13) is also baking up a storm. Addicted to the Great British Baking Show! Unfortunately they live an hour away so I can’t sample her efforts, but I love the pictures and texts they send.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Louise, I am sure she will be so excited for you to sample once you can see them again! All the best, Emily

    • Jewels

    “At 8pm every evening we stand by the open window and clap with our neighbors to show our appreciation for everyone working in the hospitals, and across Paris, to save lives and to keep essential healthcare services running.“

    I’m in tears of over this. And angry as heck about how much this whole virus issue has been botched by the current administration here in the U.S.

    Love your writing. And I LOVE your parquet flooring and those tall floorboards. :)

      • Emily Cunningham

      I didn’t photograph the place where my puppy chewed the parquet ;)

    • Wanda

    What a genuine, heart-felt post! We usually spend April in Paris, and were scheduled to be there now – with our daughter joining us for her first visit to the City of Light. Obviously, not happening – but we will return! Meantime, stay safe and strong, and please continue posting! Aloha from Hawaii.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Wanda – April is so perfect (usually) in Paris. Hope the trip goes ahead next year. Bonjour from Paris to you all. Emily

    • R. H.

    Think of Aung San Suu Kyi who spent a total of 15 years under house arrest and our confinement pales into insignificance.
    A lovely post Emily, I love your positive attitude.
    Keep well.

      • Francine Helene

      Dear RH,
      House arrest is dreadful indeed. And then there are all the young people in the world who have chronic illnesses, like MS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, and Lupus and other serious illness–often entirely bed bound, and never leaving the house. I know about this intimately, as I have a very sick adult daughter who is housebound and bed bound now 18 years.

        • Emily Cunningham

        Dear Francine, sending you and your daughter all the best. Emily

        • R.H.

        We really do have to stop being so self indulgent and perhaps this has given us the opportunity to spare a thought for the millions of people who would willingly change places with us and count a mere lockdown as a non event. My heart goes out to your daughter and indeed some of my friends with terminal and debilitating diseases.
        May God bless and keep you.

      • Emily Cunningham

      Dear R.H. thank you and you too, Emily

    • bonnie groves poppe

    Bravo Emily, you have a lot on your plate but it seems like 2 great kids and a likewise partner, not to mention the dog! I am Californian living in Provence (11 years) and watched Macron’s speech tonight. I thought he did very well, no surprises either. What a contrast with certain other heads of state who shall remain nameless…..
    bonnie in the Vaucluse

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Bonnie – yes indeed they are all great and I am really very lucky! May 11th seems so far away but Macron did a great job this evening. Sending you all the best in Province, Emily

    • Sarah N-J

    Thank you so much for your post, Emily. It made me smile and cry. I enjoyed hearing about your new routine and seeing the beautiful photos of Paris and your dear dog. You and your family are weathering this well. Happy Birthday to your daughter and best wises to the whole family.

    Oh–and thanks for the recipes; will be making some of them!

    • Sarah N-J

    Sarah again. After posting my comment, I went back and read your bio and was interested that you attended Prue Leith’s cooking school. I adore the Great British Baking Show and have been binge-watching it during the lockdown. (I’m in Ontario, Canada). I love the former judge Mary Berry but I love Prue Leith too, and I think she keeps Paul Hollywood a little more in line than Mary did!

      • Emily Cunningham

      Hi Sarah – oh yes Mary Berry was so great on the show! It is perfect for a lockdown binge-watch. Hope you enjoy the recipes, Emily

    • Libby

    At first I was a little confused when I opened the post and it was not written by David but as I continued to read I was so delighted to read about you, your family and your new way of being. The recipes were such a lovely bonus to a well written story. As with so many of us baking has become a way of coping, I was very impressed with your daughter’s eclairs, I had a go at profiteroles yesterday to share them with our neighbours. I hope to read more from you in future posts. All the best from an Australian who loves all things Paris.

    • Gemma

    I loved this Emily, thank you. I love your writing style and I didn’t want to stop reading. I am a fellow Aussie, and loved seeing your recipes – which I will be making with my girls. Pikelets are a fave in this house! Now that they’re 11, this might be something they can tackle whilst I try work from home (school holidays over here in Perth!) Thanks again, take care of yourself. Gemma

    • Kerrie Cresswell

    Dear Emily,
    a lovely post and enjoyed the pictures too. Your apartment looks charming.
    Anzacs are another easy recipe.
    Funny how we are reverting to recipes we grew up with in this strange time.
    Can;t add a photo but I’m looking out at lemon gums.

    • Celia

    This is a great post, Emily. Thank you for sharing about your family life.
    I have been cooking a lot now that we have two college students home with us. I noticed the lettuce in the picture of the pikelettes. Is that mache rosette?
    Wishing you and your family the best-

    • Teresa B Engebretsen

    Thank you for this glimpse into your life at this moment in time. And the recipes! I plan to make the fondant au chocolat. I am passing this on to my French students in the US to read.

    • Debbie Barham

    Emily
    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post. You are managing extremely well and are making the absolute best of it all. Cooking is an extremely satisfying activity. I have never cooked as much in my life!!
    My husband is extremely pleased.
    Paris looks beautiful as always. What part do you live in?
    Thank you so much again for your lovely insightful post. Debbie

    • Debbie

    Emily
    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post. You are managing extremely well and are making the absolute best of it all. Cooking is an extremely satisfying activity. I have never cooked as much in my life!!
    My husband is extremely pleased.
    Paris looks beautiful as always. What part do you live in?
    Thank you so much again for your lovely insightful post. Debbie

    • Susan

    This is an awful situation to be in, but it does afford opportunities that we normally wouldn’t even think about, let alone have time for.
    This is going to be a story in your 11yr old’s life, I do hope she is chronicling it as a memento of the time spent locked down with family learning to cook. It would be wonderful for the babies, too, when they get old enough to understand that they were part of it also. As a writer, you could help her relate the experience. It’s wonderful that you are all filling the time as a family the way you are doing it. Keep up the good work and keep up your spirits!

    • Sandra Alexander

    Great post Emily and thank you. Writing from Sydney, and appreciating the absolutely Aussie no-nonsense practical prose of your recipes. Love David’s too of course! Dog gorgeous – lamington pan mention a delight!

    • Elaine

    Wonderful reading at such a scary time for all of us. I’m a cookbook lover and reader, lover of food and entertaining. Can’t wait for your book! Asheville NC USA

    • Joan

    Hi,do you have your own site,blog Or book I really enjoyed your writing I am in Adelaide SA and love Paris.

    • Jean Lewis

    Loved your post Emily. Do you have a blog? I would love to hear more from you. You are one lucky girl working with David. He’s amazing.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Emily doesn’t have a blog. (At least not that I know of…!) Part of the condition of her working for me was that I forbid her from having her own ; ) Just kidding!

      She has a lot on her plate and I’m grateful to have her help around here, and was thrilled when she agreed to write some posts for the blog. Happy you are enjoying them!

    • Merelyn Chalmers

    What a lovely post Emily! I lived in Paris in my 20s and now have friends there who are my chosen family. I speak with them regularly during this ‘confinement’ but loved your personal story of a typical day. Can’t find you on instagram to watch more of an Australian in Paris? Merelyn – Sydney Australia

    • Fran Tunno

    Thanks David for Emily’s post. I’ve always wanted a go-to recipe for brownies, as the Betty Crocker Original Supreme is hard to find anymore and felt like cheating anyway. For me a great thing to keep in the freezer is this: I mix together minced garlic, chopped parsley and softened butter. It stays beautifully in the freezer. Then I defrost it and use it to saute mushrooms, or any vegetable, and it’s a fabulous base to spread on a baguette to make garlic bread. Just sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake it. That way you can keep parsley before it goes bad! Thanks for a great post. Can’t wait to try the brownies!

      • Sarah N-J

      Thank you, Fran, for the suggestion of freezing a mix of garlic, parsley, and butter. That’s what I use on a baguette for garlic bread, but I didn’t think of freezing it. As you say, a great way of using up parsley before it goes bad.

    • bonnie groves poppe

    Yes, baseball! Let’s talk about baseball! I followed it ardently for some years, what a game! I follow david for more reasons than food and recipes, I share a berkeley past with him. I didn’t know him, but I know Chez Panisse and what went before in the 60s, so its of interest to me. Do you have a baseball blog? The world series during the 1989 earthquake? And Gibson’s winning home run in 1988? What a moment….. Let’s talk baseball!
    bonnie in provence

    • Nancy Sullivan

    Hello Emily – your sponge cake recipe was a highlight to our day! I did a lemon version and if only it could last until fresh strawberries arrive. Merci beaucoup!!!

    • Lucy Burdette

    Emily, loved, loved, loved the window into your life in Paris. We are now in a chocolate butter coma from your brownies. Good luck with the baby!

    • Elspeth

    Lovely post and photos – I recognise the area. I loved living in Paris in a tiny little flat 20 years ago but I have been thinking how hard it would be to be there just now. Wishing you all a safe lockdown and that the city of light can return to its loveliness as soon as possible. For now I shall try to enjoy some of your flavours..

    • Cadry

    I really enjoyed this post – seeing how you’re spending your everyday during these unusual times. It’s rare that globally we’re having a similar shared experience like this. (I’m in the Midwest of the United States.) Thinking of you and your family from across the globe & your continued health!

    • Jennie

    HI Emily I love this post. As others have commented, the reference to lamington tray couldn’t be more Australian!

    I was in Paris in February and March before lockdown and will keep those memories alive as long as possible until I can return again.
    P.s Noisette is so adorable.

    • Liz Flynn

    I have enjoyed reading this. These are strange times and everyone’s experience is different. I am on lockdown in the UK. I work from home and I now have three of my four children to homeschool. I have taken a very felxible approach to this. My lessons have included growing our own fruit and veg because one of the science topics is plants. I have also used cooking to teach maths, literacy, science, and technology. Good luck with the lockdown in Paris, and stay safe!

A

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