Sunday, February 28, 2016

Salon de l'Agriculture 2016

Yesterday I attended opening day of this year's Salon de l'Agriculture. Here's some of what I ate, not counting the chickens.
I think this is my favorite event in Paris. Everyone says I should have visited a country fair as a kid. I'm making up for it at the Salon. Its held at convention center Porte de Versailles. Metro Line 12
I love all the educational aspects of the Salon like how wheat is grown.
I came home exhausted and was revived watching Michael Pollan's 4-part series, 'Cooked' on Netflix.The perfect accompaniment to understanding long traditions of using Fire, Water, Air and Earth for  cooking. The process of fermenting foods like chocolate was fascinating. Don't miss this beautifully produced series.
Playing with piglets or porcelette looks like fun.
I was surprised last week to find I have a pig for a neighbor. It was cold and rainy. The Seine had overrun the quai. A man came out from one of the houseboats with what I thought were 2 dogs, one an Australian sheepdog. The other much bigger with grey fur and a few black spots like this piggie. My jaw fell when I realized it was a huge pig. The man looked up and smiled.  He held a metal bowl of greens. The pig pretended disinterest at first, then started to drool and made a lunge for the bowl. Why didn't I have my camera.
Hard not to feel 5-years old again with all the animals. I petted a sheep.
Farm scene photographs everywhere at the Salon
Natch I bought this years prize cow carryall (3€). Barb gave me hers last year. I'm building a serious collection.
So much food preparation. Food from every region of France.
Why is crepe-making so much fun to watch?
A top MOF chef made an elegant dish for tasting with such simple ingredients (for the most part) - lentils, red onion, cream, a little ham. Added white asparagus and Champagne made the lentils celestial.
Chef Philippe Mille is from the divine chateaux Les Crayeres in the Champagne area. 
Trés celestial!
Oysters from Noirmoutier, Normandy were yum. I could eat oysters everyday anytime.
This French child mistook a mini sausage display for a sample. Her mom promptly put it back. Easy to put myself in that kiddie's shoes instantly.
Somehow, as tired as I get wandering the regional food halls, I can't bring myself to sit down and relax.
I'd much rather munch and walk with a heated Alsacien cheesy pretzel.
Miracles do happen. I resisted eating a Kouign Amann from the Brittany stand. They had just been heated up too...
Endless French wines to taste from every region in case you were wondering.
On the ride home I was reminded you don't see big cow-like dogs on the London Tube. No dogs at all ;((
And you don't see cows in the London/New York metro stations.
Two more reasons to love living in Paris, along with the annual Salon de l'Agriculture.

Friday, February 26, 2016

23 Reasons to visit London

Have you visited Penhaligon's perfumery at 42 Wellington Street. What a delight.
Spring has hit early in London. The magnolias are out!
Buy a bouquet from a street stall like Londoners do.
Or just take a sniff
Buy a proper hat for no reason at all.
I would dress in Cath Kidston from head-to-toe if I could - all polka-dots.
Tiptree classic Little Scarlett strawberry preserves should be in everyone's bucket list.
Did you know you can Not get proper baking potatoes in Paris? I dragged back a bag. If you're coming to visit Paris please bring me an Idaho!!
I did not taste a traditional hot cross bun
London cakes are soooo pretty.
It's true. You can eat breakfast all day in London.
Ride the tube please.
Picadilly station has been completely redone and quite tastefully too (probably for Olympic visitors?).
Occasionally you might see a London information guide on a street corner. "Where's Harrods please?"
Everywhere you'll find Very helpful Street Maps. Most useful indeed.
English spoken, plain and simple. A nice chain just called EAT. Very good cheap eats in London for a quick snack. Even organic if you're so inclined.
Buy a tin of tea at Fortnum and Mason and get a free afternoon tea thrown in! WOW
Gorgeous Easter doings at Fortnum and Mason. A must-visit hands down.
Gorge architecture of course especially at night.
What's not to love?
Most Brits are quite polite in case you were wondering.
Bring home the Queen's Corgi.
London, I love you. ;))

Monday, February 22, 2016

Looking for Macarons in all the wrong places..

It's drizzling right now in Paris...comme d'habitude.
I'm headed to London in an hour or so where it will probably be drizzling also
Last Saturday it was not drizzling and I went looking for macarons
These days I'm making a supreme effort to work ahead on my Paris letters. Ta Da
Naturally I headed over to Pierre Herme Bonaparte. I was immediately distracted by all the beauty.
Did you read INTO THE WILD?
Or see the movie? Anyway there's an unforgettable line in both. Something like 'Seek out beauty every day.' It's easy at patisserie Pierre Herme.
I hope this hand does not sue me for preach of privacy
More beauties
2000 thousand leaves of pastry!
Instead of the usual mere 1000 leaves.
Another amazing creation...
And 'Venus' La piece de resistance and the creme de la creme, for your eyes only.
Back to getting ahead on the Paris maps and letters...ahem
Drawing Pierre Herme is not a piece of cake...hmmm
At least I used my own photo so I'm the only one who can sue me. Any thoughts?
I bought 4 macarons on Saturday even though I'm supposed to be sans sucre (like Coco). It took me 24 hours to attack them. At least they were small.
Did you know P Herme did a mini collection long ago? I should have stuck with these minis.
Now I'm off to London to see the Queen etc. Back Thursday evening.
Ta Da
Carolg et Bear