Monday, January 25, 2021

Sauteed Steak - Jacques Pepin / Youtube


Haven’t we all made surprising changes to our lives during the Pandemic. Me, I never watched cooking videos one after the other in a trance-like state until recently. 

Certainly Jacques Pepin is one of the best out there to watch. What a terrific teacher! What a terrific guy! And I rarely ate or cooked red meat (no pun intended). I never bought a steak in the US. I ate mostly veg + seafood. Moving to France changed that fast. Under Confinement I’ve developed a hankering for hunks of red meat - needing more iron maybe? 

Watching Jacques Pepin sautรฉ a steak it was clear I was doing it all wrong. Thank you Jacques ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

I’m also learning the names of French cuts of meat

Next challenge I’ll get the nerve to visit a proper butcher like Le Boucherie Gardil on the รŽle. 

I used to see Jacques Pepin now and then at the James Beard House, when I was a volunteer house photographer. We shot for our supper several nights a week. And I sketched the chefs as well. When I had a Chef portrait exhibit at the house, I painted the chefs on a jacket to wear to the opening. 
Guests wanted to buy a custom painted chefs jacket, not the portraits. That became my newest profession for the. The chefs offered me dinner at their restaurants instead of payment. I ate very well that year.
 I’m still sketching ‘chef’ bears for the January letter... 
Along with watching cooking videos, I’m obsessed silly cat videos. Are you?
And painting their portraits among other things. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Creating the December Paris Map


We had the annual snow spritz yesterday! Bear was thrilled. 

I was thrilled to by chance land on Le Figaro’s very serious analysis of the best chocolate marshmallow bears in Paris. Perfect for the (late) December map๐Ÿ‘

I’d sketch these bears for a Salon du chocolat post. 

1st sketches made on the bus last Saturday while doing galette des rois research

1st idea = Chocolate Bear balloons floating over a Paris skyline (thank you Pompidou) + monuments. 

7 days later and too many bears consumed KISS (keep it simple stupid) kicked in๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿพ‍♀️.

Tourists visit Paris for fine food; wine, foie gras, 365+ fromages, tarte tatin, macarons etc.  But the French love best les bonbons de notre enfance,  l’ourson guimauve! Ourson means bear cub. Since 1962 French kids and adults have been wolfing down annually 400 million chocolate-covered marshmallow bears! 

I tasted quite a few too many of Le Figaro’s best bears this week. The ourson guimauve is a hot Christmas item. ร€ La Mere de Famille was cleaned out completely. The bears are a high/low product. You can spend a lot of dough for bears from haute cuisine chefs like Christoph Michalek or Cyril Lignac. Or buy a bag of Cรฉmoi bears in any supermarchรฉ for under 2 €. I love these too much. 

Personally I prefer the smaller bears to the giant fancy bears, which are generally of finer quality. Its a little snack. Not a sandwich in my opinion.

I loved ❤️ Jeff de Bruges bears #2 on the list. 

New big discovery = Fauchon makes ourson in a gorgeous teddy tin for mail-order. 

A new marshmallow kid on the block is artisanal NWAJ popup shop in Hotel Chavenal. Guimauve is their specialty. Their bears come in many flavors including passion fruit. 

L'ourson guimauve have been around Since 1962, candy inventor, Michel Cathy got the idea. He had to fight to get it produced. Confisieur Cรฉmoi bought the rights 40 years ago. In 2015, the bears made their French producers 900 million euros. Will you try l’ourson guimauve next trip to Paris? Your Paris map art is finished and going in the post tomorrow ๐Ÿ’Œ๐Ÿ“ฎ๐Ÿ‘Stay well and safe dear PBers ๐Ÿ™❤️๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿป

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Best Galette des Rois Ile de France


Bear ๐Ÿป loves doing galette research every January. Early Saturday morning we went to find the Best Galette des Rois (King’s Cake) in Ile de France according to the soc of Boulangeries

I’ve done it before. Its always an adventure visiting the hinterlands of Paris where few tourists venture, me included.  

La Fabrique aux Gourmandises is in the further reaches of the 14th. Its an excellent boulangerie. The line was short at 9:30 am. Much longer when we came out. 

Bear made a big study. 

The winning boulangerie gets to keep the smaller cup. The grand trophy cup is passed on to next year’s galette winner. The golden winning decal stays forever on the window or on roof. La Fabrique won best croissant in 2019 (see facade shot). 

These feves are unusual (the hidden porcelain charm in each galette) - portraits of the boulangerie chefs.

It’s very unusual to get a feve and a crown with the smaller size galette. 

It was instant love when Bear saw Cyril Lignac’s little bear charms. Guess who gave in to ๐Ÿป. 

Back home a stop in Boulanger de la Tour to taste test galettes. 

Outside, the street cleaning guy was ‘lechรฉ vitrine’ de la Tour’s pastry window. I said,”they’re good aren’t they?” He said, “j’aime le tartelette citron ❤️“ I said I preferred Pierre Hermรฉ’tarte, “plus de citron.” He said, “trop sucrรฉe ici?” I nodded yes. I asked, “ever tasted de la Tour’s viennoisserie? Jamais. Stay here” I ran inside to get him a Pain aux raisin (the best in the city imho).

The last 4 days I’ve been eating, 

Sketching and painting galettes. And putting a bird on them ๐Ÿฆ Back to finishing the December map๐Ÿ’Œ๐Ÿ“ฎ XOXO ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Friday, January 08, 2021

Fauchon Thรฉ et Infusions

 Yesterday I continued my hunt to paint Fauchon’s rose bud tea.

They have a new shop 
At 11, Place de Madeleine. ๐Ÿ‘ Granted its tiny and mostly teas, plus tea accessories. 
Inside endless cabinets of exotic teas. 

Inhale and choose. 

But its Fauchon. You can order way more goodies online. Do they ship overseas? No idea.
They still have those hot pink Grosgrain ribbons ๐Ÿ‘

And their logo mugs ๐Ÿ‘
For years I’ve flirted with their hourglass tea timer. Could it work for procrastination? 
3-4-5 minutes to get down to work. Then maybe an alarm could go off - Notre Dame’s bells? 
Mariage Frere’s Teas is a few doors down. 

A little further, red-tinned epicerie Hediard may re-open in the distant rosy future. I got home in time for curfew at 6 PM clutching my tea. Sometimes a bottle of rose buds is the best distraction from all the chaos going on.  Bonne rosy weekend PBers