Rendezvousing with a Wooden Spoon and a Cup of Cream: French Cooking

It’s parka weather in North Florida now. At the moment, saying “the sweats” refers to pants and hoodies, not the moist high-summer insecty trickle, when walking to the mailbox seems like an audition for a wet T-shirt contest. Colder days and nights invite a certain degree of nostalgia for winter and cold-weather, stick-to-the-ribs types of … More Rendezvousing with a Wooden Spoon and a Cup of Cream: French Cooking

Cordon Bleu, Paris

The lobster just wouldn’t die. Neat black-and-white drawings in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking fail to tell the whole story. Nothing there about squirming bodies, queasy stomachs, and misplaced stabs to crustacean heads. “While professionals simply cut up the lobsters with never a qualm nor a preliminary, you may find this difficult.” … More Cordon Bleu, Paris

La Mouffe

It was Julia Child‘s favorite outdoor market in Paris. La Mouffe. Or rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondisement. Ancient street, cobblestone-strewn. Romans trod there, and marched, too. In the third century, Legionnaires laid the first rock in the town they called Lutetia Parisiorum. And that thoroughfare stretched all the way to Rome via the modern … More La Mouffe

Florida Oranges, and Other White House Desserts

Desserts and sweets served in the White House reflect the culinary history of the United States. The patterns of cooking, eating, and serving food in the White House originally relied heavily on the British heritage of the Thirteen Colonies, a pattern that generally continues until the present day.  Although wars and economic depressions plagued the … More Florida Oranges, and Other White House Desserts

Muscling in on Mussels

In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheel’d her wheel barrow Thro’ streets broad and narrow (Chorus) Crying “Cockles and Mussels alive, alive O!” Alive, alive O! Alive, alive O Crying Cockles and Mussels Alive, alive O! She was a fishmonger, … More Muscling in on Mussels

Paris, Mon Amour

Paris will always be my first love, at least as far as cities go. I’ve spent many, many days and nights loving Paris, and France, in the company of people I deeply love, as well as on my own. Yet another ode here, yes, among many. I cried when I heard of the mayhem in Paris, not because … More Paris, Mon Amour

Vivre en l’Outre-Mer, or, The Trials of Living in French Congo ca. 1923: Part III

Once settled into their bungalow overlooking Stanley Pool in Brazzaville, the Vassals faced the problem of hiring household help, especially a cook. Unlike many Europeans, they found a cook who knew his business, of whom Gabrielle wrote: I am glad, too, to have a change from German cooking.* Our primitive black Matamba is far superior … More Vivre en l’Outre-Mer, or, The Trials of Living in French Congo ca. 1923: Part III