Luckily, we can sneak a peak of what some of the front looks like.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Luckily, we can sneak a peak of what some of the front looks like.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Open for almost a century, the place is an old-fashioned, wood-paneled deal with a gorgeous tin ceiling and knick-knacks dating back to its glory days. It reminded me a lot of the Hemingway Bar, only tremendously less expensive. Fittingly, Harry's was one of Hem's stomping grounds-- I'm never very far from him here *sigh.*
Another of Harry's claims to fame is the invention of the Bloody Mary. Now, a lot of bars claim to be the place where the delicious concoction was invented, so who knows what is really true, but Harry's story is that the head bartender threw it together in 1920 as a way to help the regulars get over their hangovers from the night before. Judging by the way Hem and his crew drank, I'm not surprised by the need for a Cure. Jon and I decided to try one for ourselves to see how "The Original" held up to others.
Combined with a chien chaud (or two), I'd say not bad. A little too much Worcestershire for my taste, but by far the only decent Bloody I've found this side of the Atlantic.
But, it was obvious by the sheer volume of whiskey bottles covering the walls on both sides of the bar that one should not pretend to visit Harry's without sampling some of the golden drop. There was a whole shelf dedicated just to bourbon-- how could I resist? We ordered a Maker's Mark Old-Fashioned next. Wowsers!!!
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 Maraschino cherry
Add ice and fill the glass 3/4 full with whiskey or bourbon. Mix.
- 1 orange slice
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 brandied cherry (this almost killed me-- Dad, your recipe has a run for its money!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I was nervous about this. I mean, she looks SO cool. And, her work is SO cool. I was worried about interrupting her opening night at the gallery. I needn't have been so silly. Jenny was SO nice. She chatted with me for at least 20 minutes, answering all of my questions and filling in any gaps my questioning might have missed. I think the neatest thing about her, besides her work of course, is the amazing fact that she only learned how to embroider 9 years ago!! I mean, this is amazing! Take a look at her work here or here. Not only is the woman prolific, she's really good. She also runs an amazingly successful company (Sublime Stitching in case you missed it earlier) that she is very proud of having built all by herself in less than a decade. I found her to be inspiring, as well as kind. Her philosophy is that anyone can stitch, and she designs her products around that. If you look through her tutorials on her website, you'll see what I mean. I'm ordering her books as soon as I get back to the States, so watch out, friends! I think they'll be more than one baby or mamma running around with a bitchin' stitch on their shirt-fronts done by yours truly! Oh and the drum-set on a tee for Jonny? That too.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I think it's the perfect statement of the current weather. On one side, summer in all its glory is hanging on for dear life. On the other, Fall has taken hold quite securely.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
- Mashed potatoes (aprox 2.5 lbs)... we have no means of mashing potatoes, so Jon bought refrigerated pre-made (I know, I know), BUT-- they worked really well and made the dish easy!
- 2 c. flour
- 1 large egg
- Zest of 1 lemon OR Bruniose of 1/2 a lemon (this is a tiny, tiny dice)
- Salt to taste
- Grated nutmeg, to taste
Making the Gnocchi
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- On a floured surface, knead the mixture until a firm dough forms.
- Roll the dough out a bit at a time into a tube shape and then cut it into mini-Tootsie Roll-sized pieces.
- Press each piece onto a floured fork and roll up (see photos). Voila- you have a little gnocchi. I will say that it does take a bit of practice. My first few looked more like balls of misshapen Silly Putty, but I got it down after a while.
- You probably will want to cook the gnocchi in two batches- they need room to wiggle in the pot.
- Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.
- Drop in the gnocchi and cook until they float.
- Remove from water and drain in a colander for 2 mins.
- Gently sautee them in a pan of foaming butter (the stage just before it turns brown) until reheated, aprox 1-2 mins.
- Dig in!
The day after he made this dish, I picked up the latest copy of "Food and Wine" (I was looking for "Gourmet," but alas, there were no copies left in Paris-- moment of silence, please). Imagine my excitement when I saw that there is a whole article on making gnocchi in the October edition of "F & W" (p. 166). It also has two "superfast" sauces for serving over the little guys. Looks like Jon's on the cutting edge of cuisine (or I'm just biased. Both are possible).
Monday, October 12, 2009
Lucky for us, the sale of the house timed perfectly with the start of oyster season here in France. Jon and I both L-O-V-E oysters! We've been deprived since May (you can always get them here, but they really aren't any good over the hot months), so celebrating our new homeless state seemed like the perfect occasion to get slurping! We dolled ourselves up and headed down the street to the Hotel Lutetia and its brasserie, where we treated ourselves to a bottle of champagne and the grand plateau. Delectable heaven!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I'm working on a new feature for the AWG Website- a "Meet the Board Members" spot in the form of a Proustian Questionnaire. If you read "Vanity Fair," you'll recognize the format as the last page of every issue- the one where a famous person answers questions about his or her esprit.
For those who don't know, Proust was a French intellectual and writer whose weighty tome, A la recherce du temps perdu, has overwhelmed and intidmidated many a student of French literature. I will say, however, that his famous description of the taste of a madeleine (a delicious French tea cake) transporting him back in time to a distant memory is one of my favorite images in literature, perhaps because it is so true. Don't we all have those Proustian moments when biting into a sweet or smelling something cooking creates in our minds powerful images of times past? It happens to me often, and after my memory recedes, I always, always think of Proust's madeleines. I'm knutz-- I know.
Back to the point: The Proust Questionnaire is based on a popular party game from the late 19th century, wherein guests were asked to answer certain soul-searching questions which were then shared around the room, and everyone oohed and awwed and enjoyed learning deep things about their friends. Thrilling, I know, but this is what happened when people didn't have t.v. or Wii. The questions are now called "Proustian" because he answered them twice in his life, as a young teenager and then later as a young man, and the change in his answers apparently shows the depths of his literary genius. I can't attest to that, but I can say that answering these questions is an intellectual challenge. They really make you think about yourself, and the results are fun. I just did it and thought I'd share my answers, just for shits and giggles. Maybe you might want to play along too? If so, leave your answers in the comments or link to a similar post on your blog.
Here goes... Kate's Proustian Questionnaire, Age 30.
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Comfort—a cozy couch, a glass of red wine, a crackling fire, a good book, a dog at my feet (or on them, whichever the case may be)
- What is your current state of mind?
I am Unsure.
- What is your favorite occupation?
- What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
- What is your favorite journey?
To a new place.
- What is your most marked characteristic?
My good looks. No really—my sense of humor? I have no idea.
- When and where were you happiest?
- What is it that you most dislike?
- What is your greatest fear?
- What is your greatest extravagance?
- What living person do you most admire?
- What is your greatest regret?
Not getting a useful degree.
- Which talent would you most like to have?
To play the piano.
- Where would you like to live?
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being incapable of providing for oneself or one’s family.
- What is the quality you most like in a woman?
- What is the quality you most like in a man?
- What is your most admirable trait?
- What is your most deplorable trait?
- What is the trait you most deplore in others?
- What do you most value in your friends?
- Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
- Who are your heroes in real life?
Those who attempt to improve life for others.
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- Who are your favorite writers?
- On what occasions do you lie?
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Like- I use it entirely too much-- makes me sound like a Valley Girl.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My career (or lack thereof).
- What are your favorite names?
Jack, Elizabeth, Bernard (must be spoken with a British accent, “Ber-nerd”)
- How would you like to die?
- If you were to die and could come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
A beloved dog.
- What is your motto?
“If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.”
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Aside from train rides and too much wine, how else have I been keeping myself busy lately, you ask? Well, I've been very crafty and am currently working on several Christmas gift projects (Family- you are fairly warned), and I've been volunteering for the AWG, the American Women's Group of Paris. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am SO not the Junior League type. I barely made it out of two years of sorority life alive! But, this group couldn't be further from what I initially thought it would be. Instead of lots of boring requirements before any fun can be had, this group exists mainly to provide the Anglo residents of Paris with a means to socialize. Yes, there are many charity activities one can participate in, but during any given week, I can also tour a museum, go to an antiques auction, a fashion show, or sample wine with an expert. In other words, it's a lot of fun! And, because I needed something to do, I offered to help out in the office. This quickly turned into my wowing the ladies with my oh so exceptional computer skills (you should be chuckling now) to the point that I am now producing the weekly newsletter (okay- make that, you should be guffawing). I am also writing articles for the website, the first of which was just published: http://www.awgparis.org/2008/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=69. I know- the photos are wonky (I had nothing to do with that), but the writing is all mine. And unlike that horrid harpy over at the Shakespeare site, my editor here did not impede on the integrity of my work. So while I'm not going to be paid for this (sorry, Dad), I'm enjoying the fact that I am serving a greater purpose than just fulfilling my own daily desires. That's not a bad feeling at all.
And, just to keep all in the loop as to The Broad's non-abroad life, the house closes tomorrow. That's right, as of 3 pm on October 7, Hubby and I will no longer be home-owners. THANK BLOODY GOD!!!! This also means that the adventure, while drawing to a close in Paris, is no where near over. Goody!
- ▼ October (8)