Summer Salad

New Server

It’s niçoiseish salad days around here since we’ve made the long-awaited and much-needed move to a larger server. The site should be loading much faster than it was before on the dinky server I’ve been limping along with. Hence we called it a day.

However all was not without a glitch and you may have encountered some error messages recently. Sorry about that, but it should all be fixed by now including the search engine. If you don’t hear from me for a while, that means my web master has tied my hands behind my back to prevent me from tinkering with the site any more.

And now if you leave a comment it should ‘take’ much quicker and there’s no need to hit the button twice or three times then see it get published multiple times and think, “What the heck?” So there’s no need think around here anymore.

I mean, there’s no need to hit the Send button more than once. Thinking is still okay.

Bad dog!

Les Images

My images are being hosted on my Flickr page, which seems to be doing a good job of making the photos accessible and if you want to see them, as well as lots more, you can visit my Flickr page where I’m constantly adding lots of photos.

It’s my addiction, believe me.

Please note that images on the site as well as on my Flickr page are copyrighted. I don’t watermark them and put a bunch of legalese on them. Nor do I want to. So if you’d like to make use of one, please let me know since permission is required for use elsewhere and I’m normally happy to oblige.

Paris Knife


I’ve updated my FAQ page and if you’d like to know if I think you should go to cooking school, how to move to France, why there are typos on the site, what bakeries and chocolate shops in Paris I recommend, or Ginger or Mary Ann—that’s the place to go.

Pet Peeve du Jour

Am I the only one that’s being driven crazy by people calling anything thinly-sliced ‘carpaccio‘? If I see one more plate of sliced zucchini or strawberries labeled carpaccio, there’s gonna be trouble.

Carpaccio‘ refers to beef pounded until paper-thin. If someone out there is giving zucchini the same treatment, they can call it carpaccio. (And if anyone is pounding slices of strawberries until they’re thin enough to cover a dinner plate, that’s one technique I’d like to see.) But thinly-sliced vegetables and berries do not a carpaccio make

I will, however, make allowances for tuna ‘carpaccio’ since it’s in the same spirit as its carnivorous cousin. But otherwise, cut it out.

Movable Type Question

Is there anyone out there that’s a whiz at Movable Type?

I seem to be the only one out there in blogland that has to hand-code with HTML all the accents and symbols that appear in other languages, specifically French. It’s a heckuva lot of extra typing and coding and we all know where that leads—to typos!
Sorry Steve ; )

If anyone knows how to fix that, I’d be forever indebted. If you’ve left a comment with an accent or tilda and see it come up as gobbly-gook, that’s why.


Newsletter Subscription

I send out a newsletter about 5 times a year via email. There’s stories, recipes, upcoming events, goofy stories, and stuff that’s unprintable on the site due to its mature and sensitive subject matter.
Hint: It often involves chocolate.

If you’d like to be put on the list, enter your email address in the subscriber box to the lower right. I won’t give away your email address to anyone else. And I promise, no more racy pictures either. Unless I hit the wrong button again.

(And if you saw those photos, no…it really didn’t hurt that much.)

There will likely be one sent out shortly so if you want to get it, then get on the stick.

I mean, get on the list.

Bartlett Pears


I’m in the process of adding some new links to the site, which I can only do on a very infrequent basis. You can find a list of them here, and there’s more here.

If your site isn’t listed, If it doesn’t mean I don’t like you or that I don’t read your blog or use your product. I love you all and if I could meet you for a drink and, well..let’s just say that
what happens in Paris stays in Paris.

(Which obviously doesn’t apply to Paris Hilton.)

It’s simply because there’s so many great sites out there that I can’t possibly include them all.
Although I can be bribed with chocolate or caramel corn. (If you can believe it, I’m almost out. Where’d it all go?)

Feel free to leave your site and its URL in the comments here, hyperlinked, if you wish, and I encourage readers to browse through them; there’s some real gems in there.

Chocolates from Josephine Vannier

Paris Chocolate Exploration III…and IV

Due to popular demand, my next Paris chocolate tour in May of 2008 is almost sold-out and we’ve added a second week to my Paris Chocolate Exploration with Mort Rosenblum next spring. It will take place May 18-24, 2008 and we’ve already started filling spaces.

You can view pictures from last-year’s tour here to see the fun, and roast chicken-flavored potato chips, that you missed.


I love your comments!

In fact, I love them so much that many nights I lie awake wondering what’s going to appear in my Inbox the next morning.

Honestly, some of them are pretty funny and really crack me up. And you know who you are…

However, because of spam, did you know that sometimes your emails and comments can get blocked at various places on the internet? (I believe it’s because spammers hijack your IP address.)

Here’s what you can do:

1. Look up your IP address here.
2. Write those numbers down (or highlight and cut them).
3. Enter (or paste) those numbers here.
4. Follow the simple instructions there to unblock your IP address.

That will insure that your comments here and elsewhere always go through.


The Perfect Scoop

Lastly, thanks to everyone who’s been so kind as to pick up a copy of my ice cream book, churned up something delicious and enjoyed the wacky stories. Lord only knows what the Miss Martinique beauty pageant or why the Good Humor™ man refused to come back to my neighborhood or how I got my comeuppance by the mysterious Lemon Lady has to do with ice cream. I don’t know, but somehow I connected them all and I’m glad folks are finding it an enjoyable read in addition to all the recipes.

Now if I could only find that darned Lemon Lady (page 152).
Where are you? I need closure…

The book’s gotten a wonderful reception and a major cookware chain in the US says it’s become their best-selling book in their history and there was a really terrific, spot-on story about me in the Boston Globe recently that you might enjoy reading as well.

I don’t mean to get all dewy-eyed…(well…maybe a little)…but it personally means a lot to me. People often cite baking as one of the things that spreads joy to others and that the kind of people who bake are exactly those kind of people. I don’t know if that applies to me, since truthfully…I do have my days. And you’ve seen them.

But I’m glad to have brought a little extra sweetness to some of you all the same.

Even if I’m not always so sweet myself.

Merci Beaucoup à tous


  • August 23, 2007 5:55am

    But carpaccio is Italian and the Italians say it means thinly sliced. You are taking on 59 million people who think there is carpaccio of smoked swordfish, of mushrooms, of bresaola and lots of things other than manzo.

    Your Italian aside, you always tempt me beyond endurance and I like your comments, too.

  • August 23, 2007 6:11am

    Judith: Does that mean you’re challenging me to a strawberry pound-off?

    I’m fairly certain carpaccio, in the food world, means it’s gotta be beef (or meat), but I could be wrong.

    Although as we all know, that rarely happens…
    (But if I’m gonna take on 59 million people, I’d like to enlist some help. I’m gonna need it!)

    A friend who writes and is an expert on Italian food had a waiter in New York City tell him that confit meant “anything drizzled with olive oil“.

    I guess I’ll go confit my salad now…

  • August 23, 2007 7:09am

    Great article about you! You have black belts in both karate and aikido? Boy, I sure wouldn’t want to get between you and your caramel corn..

  • August 23, 2007 7:16am

    No thank you! That new book of yours is just DREAMY. I have never been so excited about making ice cream. I have my own egg supply (7 backyard hens) and vanilla too (a friend has a partnership with his friend’s plantation in Java) and amazing Bay Area produce from the le marché fermier. Combine that with your EXCELLENT book and the results are to die for.

    So again, thanks.

  • August 23, 2007 7:35am

    Kudos on that great book, David. However since I didn’t own an ice cream maker, I loaned it to a friend in the village who did. All summer, we have enjoyed many helpings of creme fraiche ice cream with raspberries and mures from the potager. So yesterday, I finally found the perfect ‘barge size’ maker and have no book. Don’t worry, another is on the way! But if I even hear that you are drizzling olive oil on duck legs, you’ll hear me screaming all the way from Gascony!

  • Maria
    August 23, 2007 9:38am

    I am in love with the Perfect Scoop…it is making my summer perfect:) All the recipes are fabulous!! Thanks David!!

  • Janet
    August 23, 2007 11:11am

    I am proud to be associated with THE PERFECT SCOOP which still provides many many pleasures thanks to you.

  • August 23, 2007 11:11am

    Oh, who are you kidding – you’re the sweetest. xoxo

  • Dr Fred Seals
    August 23, 2007 11:14am

    Just started reading your blog when I returned to the Bay Area in May. You’re a treasure and your fabulous photos of food and handsome young men….what else do we need in life? I spent 25 years in the Bay Area before I moved to Texas in 1996. Can’t believe our paths never crossed. But now I’m back where I belong (in Piedmont in the Oakland Hills). My partner and I are planning Christmas in Paris…only wish you had the chocolate thing going at that time. But just reading your blog is a great travel guide. Thanks.

  • denzylle
    August 23, 2007 12:17pm

    Surprised to see no other comment to this effect, but – your ‘site took much longer to load than previously, and also again when I ‘continued reading…’. I’d estimate it took about four times as long as before.

  • August 23, 2007 12:22pm

    I love The Perfect Scoop. My family laughs that I’ve gone ice cream crazy. Our freezer is packed with ice cream and whenever anyone comes over they get a taste testing. So much fun! Thanks!

  • August 23, 2007 12:26pm

    Denzylle: It probably has to do with Flickr, since that’s usually what takes the longest to download. They get overwhelmed sometimes and me putting 7 pics in this post probably didn’t help the cause…but I couldn’t resist, especially that “Ooh my God” sign I saw in the Marais.

    Kate: You mean that’s not how they make confit in Gascony? How disappointing.

    Dr Fred: Christmas is a great time to be in Paris since all the chocolatiers really pull out all the stops. Don’t know where you’re seeing all those pics of handsome young men around here, though.

    Perhaps you’re confusing this with another site?
    ; )

    Melissa: I have a second-degree black belt in aikido. So hands off that caramel corn!

  • August 23, 2007 12:39pm

    oh yes yes, I read the article in the Boston Globe. Super cool, David la vedette ! Loved it. Now you are getting techie eh?

  • August 23, 2007 12:52pm

    Thanks for all of the directions and tips. On your pet peeve, here’s something that will frustrate you even more: I went to an Ethiopian restaurant and ordered beef tartare, completing confusing it for beef carpaccio. It was disgusting and I was horrified. I still need to satisfy my beef carpaccio craving!

  • August 23, 2007 12:52pm

    “I’m fairly certain carpaccio, in the food world, means it’s gotta be beef (or meat), but I could be wrong.”

    You mean those people who come to Italy and order a latte grande and get all pissed off when they get a big glass of milk? That food world?

    In Sansepolcro, up the road from me, there’s a nice enoteca with a menu all carpaccio. You can get it of Black Angus, of Chianina, swordfish, tuna, salmon– the fish are all smoked. All the local dives serve insalata carpaccio which is rucola covered with thinly sliced mushrooms and shards of Parmigiano Reggiano. Now of course they’re challenged by the fact that they speak only Italian!

    What the heck is a strawberry pound-off? I am just a simple Italian farmerette, ya know.

  • Connie
    August 23, 2007 3:10pm

    By the way, Thank you for all the smiles .

  • Jules
    August 23, 2007 4:16pm

    Is that chevre on that Salade Nicoise??? Cheese???

  • Debbie
    August 23, 2007 5:19pm

    The photo in the Boston Globe reminded me suddenly of something that had been poking at me about the cover of The Perfect Scoop: the ice cream scoop is small by American standards. It’s what Baskin Robbins calls “a junior single cone.” American cookbooks would have gobs of ice cream on the cover, something on the order of (unappetizing comparison warning!) Karl Rove’s head–because quantity is obviously so much easier than quality. This also goes to the journalist’s line about you eating rich food all the time and staying thin guarding your caramel corn (it’s good to have the right motivation). The thing I like best about the Florentine gelato shops, and something you’ve captured, is the intensity, accuracy, and variety of the flavors. To an American, the little flat spoon seems like a joke at first, but then you realize you’re tasting so much more of it than you’re used to doing at home.

  • JEP
    August 23, 2007 5:50pm

    Thank you for sharing more about yourself & passions in life!

  • August 23, 2007 6:52pm

    Oh, I used to think that you received loads of comments so I wouldn’t add to them. I will start leaving them now.

  • Steve
    August 23, 2007 9:16pm

    Mais j’ai dit que les typos sont charmant! (Can’t recall the specifics now but I remember one of them was very naughty and had me laughing out loud.) Sometimes they’re just felicitous–those are my favorites. Your readers can only hope that you get even one-tenth the pleasure from writing this blog and seeing our reactions as we get from reading it.

  • Joanne
    August 23, 2007 11:38pm

    Don’t worry David… What’s 59 million Italians against a Vedette with a 2nd degree black belt in aikido

  • August 24, 2007 4:50am

    Jules: I said it’s niçoise-ish— so I think that lets me off the hook!

    Whew…thank goodness you didn’t see the avocados tucked away in the back…
    : )

  • August 24, 2007 7:47am

    David and Judith,
    The word Carpaccio for thinly sliced red beef with an ochre yellow mustard, drizzle, was created by Arrigo Cipriani for the Carpaccio exhibit in Venice, using the colors from Carpaccio’s paintings as inspiration.

    So now.. anything thinly slices becomes carpaccio..
    even cooked meats!

    I really like when you get what you ordered..
    unless it is specified..

    I have problems with American favorites being tweeked!!!

    Congrats David on your book sales..

    The big Question.. What next???

  • Dr Fred
    August 24, 2007 10:45am

    All the handsome young men on your Flickr page. You’re better than “those other sites” because yours are real people.

    Went to dinner last nite at Oliveto’s and what was on the menu: Zuchinni carpaccio ! Needless to say I dominated the spirited conversation with quotes from all on your blog. At least you’ll get some new readers from the evening.

  • August 24, 2007 12:11pm

    to be honest, I was a bit skeptical of all the lavish praise of your book… But then I bought it, and realized that it’s absolutely deserved and then some! Everything we’ve tried has been amazing so far…and next on the list is the one with arborio rice. I just love all the creative twists and it’s so packed with recipes and info to be worth its weight in gold. Clearly, I have joined the converted. :) Of course your blog is wonderful as always. Thank you!

  • Jules
    August 24, 2007 2:07pm

    I saw that avocado…but I was willing to let that go uncommented, because…avocado, yum!

    Well, chevre, yum, too—don’t get me wrong.

    OKAY. Nicoise-ish.

  • Jennie
    August 27, 2007 2:03pm

    David – How do you make those perfect hard boiled eggs?

  • August 28, 2007 3:37am

    Jennie: I start with room temperature eggs and carefully slide them into boiling water. I cook them at a low boil for 9 minutes, drain away the water, and add a handful of ice and cold water to cool them quickly.

    Elise has a post about How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs using a different technique, which I haven’t tried but is interesting reading.

  • August 28, 2007 1:53pm

    Wow. So much newsy information. And here I just clicked on the Continue Reading thingie so I could congratulate you on the new server and ask you to please pass that gorgeous salad. And I thought the scoop of ice cream in your most recent post looked good. . . ; )


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