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I decided my entryway was a disaster and got on the stick and pulled everything out and straightened it up.

Actually I didn’t get that far.

I did pull everything out, but lost interest and didn’t put anything back.

The good thing is, I can’t leave.

So I have to stay home and work.

That was really dumb.

This my new mobile phone.


I’ve nicknamed it Darth Vader since it’s dark, scary, and hisses at me a lot.

Last week the charger on my old phone died and since they had every other replacement charger in stock at the France Telecom office…but mine (of course…)—I either had the choice of spending a week searching through all the France Telecom stores in Paris for a new one, and paying 25€ for it.

Or buying a new phone, which cost 15 centimes.

I know, I know. It’s not the écologique choice, but I got the new one. But 15 centimes? My mother would arise from the great beyond and smack me if I didn’t get it.

Oh. And the handle broke off on my oven this weekend, so I can’t open the door without the use of two screwdrivers wedging it between the door and the sides they trying to grab it quickly before the slams back shut. And there’s nowhere in Paris where parts are available for this brand of oven.

Um…don’t they know that Paris is the capital of France and if you’re a French company, making French appliances, that maybe you’d have an outlet somewhere in Paris to find a replacement?

So to get over my frustration…


…I made an entire Absinthe Cake.

And now, that’s all that’s left.
And I’m all out of absinthe too.

But—I know exactly where to get some.

Though honestly, what kind of place am I living in where it’s a breeze to get absinthe… but impossible to find an oven door handle?


I ran out of salt too!

Considering one of my best pals is a salt-harvester, that’s scandalous. I get it by the kilo (2.2#) and go through it like wildfire.

I think I got the last sack just a few months ago.

I also think I need to cut down on salt.


At the market, I saw Seville oranges. They’re pretty tough to find so of course they had them this week—and probably this week only.


So I bought a half-dozen to make marmalade. Which of course is the most time-consuming variety of jam to make of them all.


I wondered if it was time to throw away those white roses.

Then I realized that was too much work and left them.

Besides, the door was blocked so I couldn’t leave to take them down to the garbage room.


Scavenging around my cabinets looking for something to eat that didn’t have absinthe in it, I decided to finally open the Most Obscure Object in My Kitchen: this little jar of ‘moutarde au cacao‘ that Dorie Greenspan gave me.

Except I realized I couldn’t eat it all by itself…unlike the absinthe cake…or the bowl of popcorn I made…or the pistoles of chocolate I keep snitching from the bag every time I pass…or the jar of raw almonds…or the cups of espresso I drink all day…or the (very) old peanut butter CLIF bar I found in the back of my kitchen cabinet….

So I decided I should use the mustard to….


… make a ham and avocado sandwich.

I don’t have anything exciting to say about the sandwich itself, but since food bloggers are often compared to cheese-eating navel-gazers, I thought I’d drop a photo in just for fun. At least I didn’t put cheese on it.


I realized that I $%#@-ing hate the bread at the bakery next door to me.

(I don’t swear often when I write and I almost made an exception right there but I feel like I’m losing and offending readers almost as fast as I’m losing touch with reality and I don’t want you to go. Really, it’s the absinthe. I swear…)

The last baguette I got there would’ve broken my foot if I dropped it, and the woman at the counter (who I am sure is the new owner’s wife) was rather snappy with me. I’m…like, “Missy…I was here before yo’ sorry ass was.”

(I don’t think ass’ doesn’t count as swearing. So you’re stuck with me.)

Finally I realized that the combination of lousy bread and nasty service does not make up for the convenience of just running downstairs to get my bread anymore.

And yes!…I have a new favorite bakery that I love. They’re really nice, their bread (like this Campagrain shown above, which costs 1.10€) is terrific, and last week I didn’t have the extra 10 centimes and…get this…they let it slide!

I outta write them up…oh, wait. I still have to get to part II of the caramel post. Soon…soon…

In the meantime, back to Facebook….er…I mean, back to work…

You'd Better Work



    • Rachel

    David, you are the funniest person on earth! Thanks for making me laugh so hard, it hurts.

    • Coffee and Vanilla

    Hey, weekend is not over yet so can’t be lost yet :)

    I tried to organize my spice cupboard today… I’m half way… and I lost already all energy, so I understand you completly.

    But I bought some cute Japanese lunchbox forks on eBay today… ;) I will post picture on my blog as soon as they will arrive….

    Have a nice (rest of the) weekend, Margot

    • Krooie

    That is the most beautiful ham I’ve ever seen.

    Yes, I get excited about ham. Is that wrong?

    • JEP

    Reading your post today totally made my day—lots of laughs & smiles–thanks!

    • Susan

    Reorganizing the entryway? Making marmalade? Photographing your ham sandwich (I’m having DSLR envy, BTW)? Wow, that must be some serious deadline you’re procrastinating!

    • French Laundry at Home

    Oh David, I think you and I are having the same kind of January. Lost weekends, and all.

    I’m secretly f*cking loving it, though, because I don’t often get to be this way. There, I swore for you. That doesn’t count, does it?

    • C(h)ristine

    If this is navelgazing, then navelgaze away–this post put me in a good mood–thank you for a glimpse of your thoughts. I wish I lived in Paris..JUST for the bread!

    • Cenk

    Am I the only one who thinks those dried roses look great?

    • Georgie

    David-that was hysterical! When we get stuck at home there is usually only peanut butter and maybe some canned chicken soup-no fancy mustards, ham or absinthe. Obviously the larder needs to be stocked better. Check out Apartment Therapy’s website-they have great organizing in small spaces ideas.

    • Terrie

    So now you are subliminally blocking yourself into your workspace to complete the project that’s HANGING over your head?!! Were we twins separated at birth? ;-) …or are you just feeling January and the need to clean and reorganize?
    I hope you can finish soon because I’m starting to feel your stress (of course, that takes my mind off my own).

    • elarael

    Absinthe cake? I think that qualifies you for the crown for procrastination.

    • DebbieN

    1.The dried roses do look great–somewhat wistful, though. Now that you have the picture, it’s okay to toss them.

    2. The mustard–we wanna know if it’s any good. We’re willing to trust Dorie Greenspan, and we realize you’re still alive and haven’t spat it out, cursing like crazy, but that could just be la fee verte talking. We still wanna know. And could you make it yourself easily if it is good, or is it just ok? Is there a way to make it look less like dubious organic peanut butter?

    3. You made Seville marmalade, and–let me get this right–you bought 6 ORANGES? Not 6 kilos of oranges? If you only bought six oranges, did you at least save the seeds to plant while procrastinating (ok, where’s the boutique in Paris with the Gro-lites?)

    4. You need to clear a path to the door. Put everything on or under your bed, find your jacket and wallet and Darth Vader (a little red lacquer could turn him into Darth Maul? be creative) and get on a train to Lille. I hear they have practical low-rent stuff like hardware and appliance stores for regular people. Take the broken oven handle with you for reference (it’ll also guarantee you an empty seat on the train…)

    • David

    DebbieN: Six kilos of oranges? I get 6 big pots of marmalade out of the 6 oranges I bought. If I had 6kg, I’d never get anything (else) done around here. That’s a s&#load of marmalade.

    Cenk: I guess you are since few others said anything. And lay off that chickpea drink; or your $%@# is going to end up on a few other websites(!)

    Carol: Great. Now all those other people searching Google for ‘paris f%$king’ are gonna land on my site!

    • DrBehavior

    Me thinks you need to get yourself out of your apartment and away from your computer for a hell-raising evening. A guy like you shouldn’t have any trouble having a ‘blast’. It’ll do ya the world of good and then, perhaps, maybe, you’ll be able to concentrate. :)

    • Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy

    This weather definitely makes me want to stay in. But unlike you, I’m not even looking towards the corners in my house that need cleaning and straightening. I will embrace the tunnel vision this weekend :)

    • kayenne

    i love you, david! you make me laugh!

    • Abra

    David, which French flour do you use for the Absinthe cake? I’d love to make one this month, but am still finding my way through the flour maze. I’m good to go on the Rumford, though.

    • krysalia

    i really love those doodle posts, i feel like watching this fun and weird movie “dans la peau de john malkovitch” ;)

    • David

    Abra: I use organic type 65 flour, which I buy either at the supermarket or at Monoprix. You can read more about flour and other French ingredients at my post: American Baking in Paris, which might help with a few other things too.

    (And I always bring a tin of Rumford from the US back with me as well, too.)

    • Bob Spencer

    I was surprised by the comment you made about the bread. I would be so dismayed if I ever got a baguette like that. The roses don’t look like their ready for the trash just yet.

    • sonya

    ha ha ha, i $@!*.%* love when something is so uproarious it actually makes me belly laugh while sitting at my computer. thanks! of course, i’m procrastinating by sitting here and reading your site – but i will chuckle at the thought of 6 kilos of oranges being made into marmalade – reminiscent of an episode when lucy and ethel baked a huge loaf of bread – as i (hopefully) finish my tasks today.

    • Charlene

    Wow, you are a procrastinator extraordinaire! I bow to the master of the Fine Art of Doing Everything But What You’re Supposed to Be Doing. I almost feel guilty posting this comment because I feel I am enabling.
    Still, I’m wondering: can you taste the “cacao” in the “moutarde”?

    • David

    Charlene: Yes, you can. And it’s not as weird as one might think.

    It’d probably be good alongside some roast meat or slathered on salmon before roasting—but that would mean I’d have to leave my apartment to get some!

    I think I’ve become too photosensitive to be outdoors…

    • Alisa

    Wow! That is some gorgeous looking sandwich!!!

    And I am guessing that it must have been a year ago that I was blessed with a jar of your amazing marmalade. Where the #@!*! does the time go?


    • Abra

    Thanks for the link to the great baking post. Somehow I’d missed that one,and I’ve been blending Type 45 with 55, with not always perfect results. Now I’ll look for Type 65, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen here.

    • Babeth

    Absinthe ;-) well well David you should pay me a visit down here in Antibes. I’m living next door to a great Absinthe bar (with a nice vintage Lautrec look).

    • dhyana rose

    I love this post.
    I think you need absinthe more often.


    • Maryann

    Wow. I think you have to get out more ;)

    • Kate

    Thank GAWD! There is mania alive and well in more than just my body?! Wahoo!

    • Sandra

    Cleaning one’s cabinets go really well, especially when one is surprised by one’s adult daughter does the cleaning for you–that and the fridge, etc. Care for some company to do the remainder for you?–we can be there in an instant( well a few hours flight from Boston anyway.).

    I have the fondest memories of your mother–she was a gem and she really would have be proud of your “upgrade” to a cheaper phone.

    Our late aunt and uncle of SF always enjoyed your Seville orange marmalade back in the USA, and if I’m not mistaken, you gave some to Mom and Dad as well, one time.

    I read in the Boston Globe, not too long ago, that although the absinthe isn’t legal for general sale, a pub or two in Boston has had it available there for consumption recently, but I could be wrong. There are a lot more things in this world that when consumed, that make people see pink elephants, let alone green fairies. The powers that be, need to either change the laws or try some absinthe ( and find it isn’t the horror claimed unless one is very loaded I guess) , and then change the laws.

    • Dancing kitchen

    You are loved…and this too shall pass.
    Your procrastination sounds oh too familiar and I am absolutely delighted that others lose touch with reality and create…instead of pursuing deadlines.
    Take care of yourself…maybe you need a hug and some tea. Fabulous sex also works to get me out of a procrastination slump.
    Good luck to you!

    • Rose

    That was hilarious. and now I totally want that ham sandwich – but with cheese!

    • David

    Sandra: Absinthe is legal in the US, and my friends at St. Georges in Alameda, California, made 3600 bottles and have it available, but just enough to sell only at their distillery. So you’ll just have to come to Paris to get yours. (And I’ve been eyeing the freezer to clean, but I’m still working on my entryway.)

    Dancing Kitchen: Thanks for your suggestions. The tea sounds kinda boring, but rest sounds great!
    : )

    Babeth: You’ll have to come rescue me if you want me to come…svp?

    • Ga-l

    I just wanted to say that I am glad I found this food blog. My mother is Bretonne and I have a great love for all things Breton which includes food. I live in Orange County and it’s impossible to find a real galette saucisse so I have to make my own around here.

    I usually only listen to my family when it comes to Breton recipes however I can see that you have a healthy attitude towards Bretagne as well and I’m glad you have so many recipes from there. Especially the Kouing Amann.


    • David

    Ga-l: I love Brittany and Breton food. I’m perhaps the only person in Paris who makes Kig Ha Farz; I don’t know anyone here that knows what it is (except my Breton friends.) I bet your mom makes it?

    There’s an upcoming post about something Breizh…soon…

    (Your name got mangled in some html error, sorry I didn’t get it right.)

    • Gael

    My mom has never made Kig Ha Farz (at least not in the USA) but I’ve certainly heard her talk about it. I was fortunate enough to get a good Homard a L’Americaine from her though.

    The main problem is that it’s difficult to find LIGHT buckwheat flour. All the buckwheat is the whole grain stuff because it’s usually associated with health foods. I can’t even find it at Whole Foods. It’s impossible to really make a galette with that stuff. In California there’s a lot of Japanese markets and I found buckwheat flour that was made for soba noodles. Since soba is even more delicate then galettes I would think they use a light flour as well. Now the quest for a true cidre breton is another story…

    Gael(I can live without the accent)

    • Linda H

    I suspect many of your readers are like me, too bummed out by January to comment, but procrastinating on work enough to spend time reading what you write. Thanks for writing such an entertaining post.

    • Marni

    leave it to you to have a friend who’s a salt harvester. that is SO cool!

    • craig

    You have become too comfortable in your environment. On several trips to Paris I walked blocks to find a good baguette, and finally discovered bakers that were closer to my apartment and better. It does only take one mean-spirited Madame to enlighten our shopping experience. Food is greatly effected by the people involved. I have enjoyed mediocrity in a great setting better than excellence in the “Wake of the Inquisition”. Thank God, Paris has enough variety to move you off your block for a good loaf….provided you can get out the door… Thanks for the grins!!!!

    • Kathy

    It is interesting reading about the foreigner experience in Paris. I will try to share some of the viewpoints from Tokyo.

    That said, Tokyo is the gastronomic capital of the world. You just can’t have a bad meal here. The quality and quantity of the restaurants is mind boggling — the service is excellent — you get to yell for your waiter from across the room and no one is inssulted.

    More later, Kathy

    • ladyvictoria

    HA! Ha, ha, ha. I laughed so much, my husband came into the room to make sure I was okay. And I thought I got destracted easily! Your blog is fun and great. But you always leave me hungry! And we do not have anything like your shopping options here in notheastern Oklahoma. Thanks so much!


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