Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pierre Herme Tarte croustillante aux cerises

Pierre Herme Cherry Strusel Tarte, watercolor, 9" x 11"
Normally I wouldn't picked out a strusel-covered tarte at Pierre Herme, but Amy and I discussed having a 'crumble' taste test at Les Deux Abeilles.  I took a shot of the tarte before gobbling it down Sunday just a week ago - I usually forget. M. says cherries/cerise = June/juin. This being the last day of June it seems appropriate to do an homage of sorts to cherries.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New York Girls

I always wonder how Bill Cunningham does it?
Capture the New York Girl with such dash and ease..? Yesterday as I was slogging through the 90 degree heat, the New York Girl was everywhere! New York tourists are always looking up, so they completely miss her... Or they're looking and shooting each other at New York 'monuments' like Rock Center...The way to find the TRUE New York Girl (or NYG) is to look at the ground... Fab sandals everywhere. Does this NYG have a twisted ankle? Divinely simple Gucci sandals - how could I miss the logos all over... The Gucci's owner - quite soigne and all in neutrals.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Champagne for Breakfast

Champagne et macarons, watercolor, 9" x 11"

This past weekend I was remembering some Champagne days of yore.

I got to spend a week at the then newly decorated manor house owned by Veuve Clicquot set in the vineyards of Verzy.
Roselyne de Casteja graciously invited me to stay and paint the house and vineyards.
 Champagne for breakfast was available everyday if I was that kind of girl. The refrigerator was chock full of huge jeroboams and nothing else!
I don't mind a tiny frigo full of macarons, but I do like my hot chocolate 1st thing in the morning, not that I want to appear fussy.
The landscape was idylic. Perfection really.
Sitting out in the middle of the Champagne grapes, I felt like Van Gogh minus the straw hat.
Focusing on how to paint vineyards
I missed out painting the manor house/domaine and only figured out how to paint chateaux later on.

 Here's a terrific book on the widow Clicquot.
Another on the famous 'Yellow' of Veuve Clicquot.

It's possible to have
your name put on a Champagne bottle!

Like Pierre Herme.
 Perhaps someday there will be a Champagne Parisbreakfast...qui sait?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Eton Mess

In London I spent time messing around with teapots and boxes.
And I browsed more in supermarkets than museums.The names of products are so enticing. An Eton Mess is an English dessert I felt an instant affinity to, being a master mess-maker myself.Squeak the cat could expound on the subject at length. Here he steps none too gingerly onto my 'work table'/bed. Squeak does an inspection of the Gillott mess...
In disgust, Squeak gazes out the window for some relief from chaos.
A natural still life waiting.
Finally Squeak chastises me,
"Why R U SUCH a mess?!"
Ultimately he gives up and goes to sleep.
Making watercolor 'messes' in London and Paris is a good way to warm up.
I even made a mess on AirFrance with all my drawing stuff laid out on two seats. Who knew many AF flight attendants were former artistes?
Doing warmups can be fun - except when you thought they weren't going to be just a 'warm-up'.
Enfin, not a warm-up, but an Angelina I'm happy with.
Back home the mess continues minus Tom the cat.
I wonder if Squeak makes house calls?
Here's what I'm listening to whilst I get messy.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Il fait beau...

When I came back to Paris I got an email from Vicki, still in London, asking me,
"How's the weather in Paris?"
I always find this a funny question. In one day in Paris you can have brilliant sunlight... Parisiens, like New Yorkers, at the first hint of sunshine shed their clothes... Or not - this Parisien is ready for any possible inclement weather...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

bien elevee

 A little French paw clutches the patisserie counter in anticipation. I wondered
Mom, how come my 1st sandwich cookie was an Oreo?

Not a framboise macaron..?

I've no remembrances of things (madeleine) past.

I cut my eye-tooth on home-made, rock, hard oatmeal cookies.

I never made religieuses with the aid of a kid's cookbook. Thanks Mom for letting me place raisin 'buttons' on the gingerbread men. C'est comme ca.

My marshmallows were not exotically flavored delicate affairs like these pastel guimauves.

Mine came in a puffy bag and I popped them one-by-one into my mouth without thinking. I enjoyed roasting them over the stove on a fork, especially when you were out of the house Mom. How I never burnt down the house is amazing.

Claes Oldenburg got it right.

Our cakes are clutzy

Everything is so darn big.

No wonder we go nuts over delicate Paris pastries?

When we grew up eating this?

Where was our early taste-bud training?

French kids learn to become little locavores early, cooking what's in season.

Mom, I'm a bit miffed. A bit deprived.

I have a lot of catching up to do. And it's such hard work.

I'd like to send you all bites of everything I have to taste to catch up. The next best thing is, Paris patisserie guide. I met the editor at BEA last month. She was telling me what hard work it was, having Paris pastry chefs drop off new cakes everyday to taste. It took heavy arm twisting to get those chefs to divulge their secret recipes. Pastry isn't all fun and games you know.

Pictures in this book are almost better than the real thing in fact, so take a bite.
bien elevee = qui a reçu une bonne éducation.