What to make of the lavish feasts that come after a funeral? When I attended my first funeral, at age 27, I cried a lot, even though I didn’t know the deceased, my sister-in-law’s father. My grandparents all died before I turned 20 and lived 1250 miles away. Living as my family did on a […]Read more "Foods for a Funeral and a Farewell"
Macarons. Truly an example of “Don’t try this at home.” But how I longed to recreate the taste and the crunch of the macarons I greedily ate as often as I could, when I passed that fairy-tale bakery on the Rue de Rivoli, close to the Hotel de Ville metro stop: Maison Georges Larnicol. Although […]Read more "Macarons – Food of Dreams and Fairy Tales"
…visions of sugarplums danced in their heads. ~~Clement C. Moore~~ ” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” Happy Holidays to all readers and visitors to Gherkins & Tomatoes / Cornichons et Tomates! I will “see” you again on January 2. ‘Tis soon the season to be jolly. And to bake cookies, the sugarplums of today. I’m […]Read more "SUGARPLUM VISIONS: Christmas Cookies"
Ginette Mathiot wrote books that bring up long-lost taste memories in France, much as Marcel Proust’s oft-quoted prattle about about madeleines. Only her work proves infinitely more readable and enjoyable. She also basically sticks it to Julia and makes French cooking seem less like a prolonged session at the dentist’s. One of her books, Je […]Read more "Who was Ginette Mathiot? And Why Should You Care?"
In France, you’ll find sablés, buttery cookies that originated in Normandy. (You know they had all that butter to get rid of there.) Most sablés are sweet. But in Provence, for the famous Thirteen Desserts of Christmas Eve, cooks prefer savory little disks perfumed with fennel and cumin. Cumin? How did cumin get into mix? […]Read more "The Provençal Thirteen: Fennel- and Cumin-Scented Sablés"