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Friday, September 30, 2022

Jambon du canard or how to make some ham out of a duck breast

First you need a duck breast, of course.
Then we dredged it in our seasonings.
Specifically, this stuff. And did you know that the herbs de Provence does not have lavender in it in France? I bought some here in the U.S., and it has lavender.
In addition to the herb de provence we also used some pimento. Not like in the olive in your martini. It was dried.
Now comes the coarse salt--lots of it. Both sides. And lots of peppercorns.
We then put our duck breast in the fridge....hmmmm, overnight? or longer? I'm not quite sure. I'll look into that. But when we took it out of the fridge, we rinsed it, wrapped it up in cheesecloth and hung it up from the kitchen light fixture. Not something you see in your average American kitchen.
And the curing duck breast hung there until the end of the week. In another post I'll show you what happened to it.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cooking in France; A new life for this little blog

Thanks to the Virgina Center for Creative Arts, I spent a month in France in 2009. I started this blog there and wrote quite a bit during my blogaholic month. Every now and then when something French popped into my daily life in subsequent years, I posted here again. But then life got crazy and full of turmoil as life does, and the enjoyable French things fell away. I posted on my other blog now and then, but not here. Now I've just come back from a week-long cokking vacation in France and I want to organize what I learned so I can easily find my photos as I work through the recipies provided by the vrai chef du cuisine who ran the workshop. I won't be sharing recipies, since they are not really my creations,but the photos, I think, will be pretty helpful for any beginner working through a recipe. And just plain pretty. Here's where the four participants, two chefs, the administrator of the program, Let's Eat the World, and our kitchen helper stayed and cooked.
Every room in this house, constructed originally in the 1500s was gorgeous.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Le Café des Chats

I've always thought of Paris as more of a dog town. I've never seen another city with those nifty green street and sidewalk cleaning machines--which seems perfect for all that residual dog poo.

But cats have a place in Paris, too.

Reservations are strongly recommended. And no, you can't bring your cat. Here's the website.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My French Valentine

Last evening when the man who loves me arrived at my place, he came bearing groceries, as he often does.
"Brussels sprouts? Would you like some brussels sprouts for dinner?" he asked. I laughed and asked him if that was a Valentine's Day thing because earlier I'd noticed that my chic neighborhood market had displayed brussels sprouts prominently and that there were people in line with wine and fancy cakes....and brussels sprouts.
"No," he said. "It's a Korean thing."
But still, it left me wondering. And remembering that, in France, "mon petit chou," is a term of endearment.
It translates to "my little cabbage." And isn't that what brussels sprouts are? Little cabbages?
If they're not a Valentine's tradition, perhaps they should become one, mon petit chou.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Ange Passe

The other day while having lunch with some French speakers (in a fancy Chinese/California cusine-y place,) there was a sudden silence as the dozen or so of us stopped chattering. "Ah! Un ange passe," said the facilitator from the Alliance Francaise. The expression was new to me. I can't think of an American equivalent.

I love figures of speech and colloquial expressions. The way one culture sometimes chooses to express something so differently from another. I seldom get to hear or speak French these days.


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