Sunday, January 30, 2022

Valentines ❤️ Day ideas ?

This week I went out researching
 Valentine letter ideas but let’s face it, I’m too early.

Only the perfume companies are ready. They probably plan years in advance. Chanel has this lovely, light, delicate new red No. 1 L'eau Rouge Body Mist  made from red camellia water.

has a rather suggestive poster out in bus stops for his três originally named, Flower.

My local corner flower shop is thinking Valentines maybe❤️ They have bevies of pink, red and white cyclamens. I bought a pink. They said it only needs water 1 X a week 🤞🙏

I went looking for reds in the Marais and bought this ❤️ Heart-shaped cookie, which isn’t red at Pain du Sucre.
They also had a raspberry and rose 🌹 pastry which I admired from afar.

Belgian Pierre Marcolini always has his caramel-filled little chocolate hearts❤️ every year. You can buy just one and try it❤️

Which put the mad idea in my head to run off to Brussels, home of Belgian chocolates, for ❤️letter ideas this week!

But…and a big but. All Thalys trains are canceled until 13 Feb 😬 Wouldn’t that have been fun 😊

I put up some other Valentines if you’d like to receive lovely early bird ❤️mail 💌📮 from Paris.

Meanwhile, Monoprix is ready for the year of the tiger 🐅 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Prada has a popup if you want to wear Emily’s bucket😊
Meanwhile, yesterday I went to rue Montparnasse to do Chandeleur/pancake/crepe research. 
And meanwhile I painted some ‘bonus’ watercolors for new letter subscribers!
Stay warm dear PBers, those of you who are digging out from 2-4” of snow ⛄️  hourly ❤️💋🐻🌹
PS if you have any good ideas for a Valentines letter put em in the comments (as anonymous if Blogger is stubborn). You could win a letter from PARIS! ❤️💋

Sunday, January 23, 2022

What To wear in Paris, Jan Letter

While chasing around Paris after black truffles, galette des rois and rue Cler

I kept seeing the message tote bags everyone is carrying, 
Instead of this year’s designer ‘it’ bag. Or in addition to.
Over and over, big white running shoes 👟 available in all price points. Some by Prada for a grand+
Are de rigueur this winter and with a flash of bare ankle showing. And the temp is in the 30’s-low 40’s.
Speaking of ankles, this year’s black leather ankle boots 🥾 have laces and buckles. Girl on the right with bare ankles and essential winter accessory - un petit chien 🐶 The print du jour (on the left) is léopard 🐆 in a fausse fourrure. Le Grande Epicerie pastry counter on Saturdays is a good place to people watch.
Another look- black pantalon de jogging tucked inside. 
The color palette 🎨 as usual is neutrals.
Which brings us to Netflix series, Emily In Paris. No Parisians dress like Emily. No one. Period. Checkout comments of youtuber Hautelemode.
To keep up with Parisian haute couture follow Loic Prigent with subtitles in multi-languages.
With so much Paris fashion in my sight lines, drawing ✏️  a January fashion letter was a must-do. Its up on Etsy. One thing that never goes out of style in Paris is big fluffy bears 🐻 Stay warm PBers xxx ❤️💋😊

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Le marché de la truffe noire à Courbevoie

Yesterday I went black truffle hunting in Paris at Le Marché de la Truffe de Perigord in the suburb of Courbevoie, just a bit north of Paris, near Pont de Levalloise (end of line 3). And then a short bus ride (275) to Stade.

But first I ate lunch. The renown truffle pasta at Big Mamma East to fortify myself for the jaunt to Courbevoie. ‘Pâte à la truffe’ with freshly made ribbon-shaped pasta with frilly edges, mascarpone, black truffle cream and little mushrooms (18€).

If I’d waited and I could have had truffled eggs instead. 
This is an annual controlled marché with a guarantee of buying fresh, quality truffles. An approved inspector checks each of the truffles. They are weighed and classified by species and quality. 
Only Tuber Melanosporum and Tuber Brumale(from Burgundy) species are accepted for sale in the winter markets. Most of the marchés take place in the Dordogne so it is quite a treat to have them come all the way to Paris to share their treasures.

The first truffier was very helpful explaining the differences between Perigord black, Italian white and Provence Summer truffles. By the way you don’t need to smell the actual truffle to get their amazing scent. Instead inhale the glass cover and float away on a dreamy cloud.

When you go snuffling for truffles, you dont want to get the wrong thing.  Learn this word. TUBER MELANASPORUM. Read carefully the ingredients on any black truffle-flavored product you buy. If it says bits/brisures or extract of so-called ‘black truffle’ you could be getting an imported fake treated with aroma chemicals instead. It must indeed say ‘Tuber Melanasporum’ and Perigord if it is black truffles.
I can’t begin to tell you how rare these treasures are and how difficult it is to find them. And climate change is reducing the available quantities yearly.

Some of the displays were sooo tantalizing.
It was hard to know what to buy 

And what to choose…

My haul of truffle-flavored (all made with Tuber Melanasporum) olive oil, mustard and salt. I felt a bit nervous about buying an actual truffle 😬 They have a short shelf life unless you freeze paper-thin slices or know of other preservation tricks. The flavored salt will be for occasional  inhalation purposes only. Ah…the smell of it. Truffle-flavored brie made a terrific breakfast sandwich with a hint of the truffle mustard. 

Truffles are not a piece of cake to paint by any stretch of the imagination…hmmm

The way my coat and scarf smelled after the marché was incredible! Like a walking truffle.

Later I passed by Maison de la Truffe and le Grande Épicerie Petrossian Comptoir de Truffe to comparison shop their truffles. Their prices for fresh truffles were +600/700€ more than buying directly from the Périgord producteurs charging 1300€ a kilo.

I was quite tempted by the truffle cleaning brush at Maison de la Truffe and well within my budget. 

Look at this terrific gastronomic weekend truffle trip in Perigord. It looks good to me.
I came away from the Courbevoie marché, heavily and heavenly smelling of Perigord black truffles. I may go back today for another ‘dip into the truffle pool’. Yum Yum I hope you love truffles too or are ready to give them a try after today’s post. Do tell. Another Paris shop facade on Etsy. Bonne Sunday PBers❤️

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Stroll down rue Cler


Yesterday the weather outside was frightful, but never mind. The kids were wearing black shortie puffer jackets open in front.

I took a stroll down Rue Cler, one of Paris’ best Foodie streets.

We’re in Clementine orange 🍊 season, the main fruit to get us through the winter. Do not buy those charming ready-filled sacs or prepared cartons of fruit. You’ll be throwing out quite a few. Instead hand pick just what you need.

Chocolatier À La Mere de Famille
 has expanded from a closet-size to a much bigger shop.

And now they carry yummy pastries from Stohrer of rue Montorgueil!

I wish I’d had Bonnie along who knows Italian traiteur Davoli on rue Cler really well. Later she wrote me,” 
Check out the case…there are little signs on everything. 
For sides: the arronchini (rice balls) filled with ham & cheese are excellent and their purée (mashed taters) are exceptional. Don’t know how something so simple can be so good! We had their duck a la orange (hunks of duck w/orange slices and sauce, chicken & mushrooms in sauce, risotto w/seafood. Tell them “for one person…or two”, if you want leftovers.  They give you a receipt and you pay at the outside register (on the left). Then they give you your food.  Very nice and efficient. Inside they have NY-style cheese cake, bags of truffle chips, etc. 

More from Bonnie - “Jeusselin directly across the street has the best quiche in Paris…no lie!  (I spotted those good looking quiches). They will also fry you up a cheeseburger from their wonderful ground beef.” Next time Bonnie.

What I did get was a chevre goat cheese sandwich from the boulangerie on the corner. I fell hard for their pumpkin seed bread and bought a matching baguette. The pain au pistache/chocolate pastry was a mistake. Too sweet. I tossed it :((

If you want to sit down there’s Le Petit Cler. I ate there a long time ago. Classic simple, reasonable French bistro food from the same owners as La Fountaine de Mars.

 has a small shop on rue Cler if you’re in the mood for their praluline cake with the candied pink praliné rose bits on top and who sn’t?

Do you love ❤️  classic French shop facades too?

At the rue Cler Fromagerie

Piles of chevre goat cheese inspired me to dig out my Paris cheese 🧀  map and put it on Etsy. Just the tip of the iceberg of all the foodie possibilities on rue Cler. Plus when it’s market day and the street is full of food stalls, you can really go to town. A wee taste of wintery Paris to tide you over till you can come for a visit. Stay warm dear PBers where ever you are 😊🐻❤️💋☕️