Saturday, June 20, 2009

The people at home

Well, I'll be.

Somehow, I find myself with just a week and a half left before I fly back to the States. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but I will say that this is the first time in my life that I've felt almost ready to go home. You see, I miss my family, friends and boyfriend rather desperately.

I've never been the type to get homesick. People always ask me that question, since I've been lucky enough to have multiple experiences in foreign countries for months at a time, but the truth is, I'm quite happy traveling and living other places. Granted, I've never been gone for more than 4 months at a time, so that feeling would probably change if my stays were longer, but as it stands, I'm happy as a clam when abroad.

Except for one little thing: the people at home.

I wish that there was a way that I could just transport everyone here, so that I could still go to my favorite marchés, but share them with everyone. I mean, who wants to leave a place where you have weekly markets filled with fraises des bois, live animals and gorgeous produce pulled out of the ground the day before?

And, of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg of good things here. I'm not even going to get started on the cheese shops or Hervé's wine selection (our wine guru based in Honfleur). There are no words.

I hope to spend a few days in Paris before my flight to pick up some last minutes gifts (aka chocolate) and a bit of wandering, as well as a final stop at Rose Bakery (sigh...). I'm planning to pick up some macarons from Pierre Hermé to get me through the flight--let's hope they don't get too crushed on their way through security.

I'll try to post again before I head out, but the way my schedule's been going, I make no promises. However, I can promise MANY more recipes come July.

Sorry for such sporadic updates these past few months. If you have hung in there, thank you!!!

See you on the flip side.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Come and gone

Another class has come and gone.

Come to think of it, so has another pair of flats. Unfortunately, these were my favorites, and I'm rather puzzled as to how I managed to wear a hole in them after two months. And there's a rather large hole starting in my other pair, which is really disconcerting. Are cobblestones really that hard on your shoes?!?

Last weekend I took a quick and MUCH needed trip out to see Merrill in Rennes. The weekend consisted of cooking a gorgeous asparagus tart, drinking the best sparking rosé I've ever tasted and sitting with my feet propped up under a shady tree in the park, spitting cherry pits behind me as I read some P.G. Wodehouse.

In other words, it was perfect. Thank you so much, my dear.

My time here is rapidly coming to an end, much more rapidly than I could ever have imagined. I have my first catering gig, a 3-day class, lots of recipe editing, 2 days of classes in Paris and a pyjama party for F before I go.

I'm also hoping to fit in a visit to Bistro Paul Bert with Merrill, a morning rummaging through the Louviers citywide garage sale (foire à tout) and a few days wandering around Paris before I go.

How strange to have to start figuring out if/what I should ship home (books, I'm looking at you), what will stay to donate to The Red Cross and what will fit in my bags. And then, of course, there's all that planning I should be doing to prep for law school which I am happily but pointedly ignoring for as long as possible.

If you're looking for a great new recipe to try or a new book to read, and even if you're not, I would encourage you to drop whatever you're doing and head to the bookstore to buy this book immediately. The unbelievably lovely Molly sent me a copy last week and I devoured it within a day. I smiled, cried, wished helplessly that I had such talent and was generally besotted.

Oh, and in case you feel overwhelmed at the number of great recipes it includes, I can personally attest to the "Winning Hearts and Minds" Cake. I've made it any number of times and it's one of my absolute favorites.

Oh, and the pickled grapes are incredible, as well. I'm just saying.