My French Heaven

FOOD, PHOTOGRAPHY & JOIE DE VIVRE IN BORDEAUX, FRANCE

Month: January, 2013

Sweet, sweet little pastry shop – Mon pâtissier

Nous avons tous dans nos villes de France au moins un roi de la pâtisserie. Ses mousses sont plus légères, ses chocolats plus profonds en couleur… Dans notre ville de Libourne, entre Pomerol et la Dordogne, le roi de la pâtisserie s’appelle Jean Lopez. Mais comme une photo vaut mille mots:IMG_4079 _Snapseed

In every French city, there is at least one exceptional pastry chef and one very good baker (bread maker). The exceptional pastry chef (pâtissier) makes his mousses lighter and his chocolate eclairs darker… The pastry shop in France, although it sells croissants, specializes in cakes. Croissants, chocolate bread and other danishes are best made by the “boulanger” who also makes the bread. So, if you may find croissants in a pastry shop, you’ll never find bread there. I find that bread makers make the best apple pies, but that’s about it. In Libourne, our town, between Pomerol and the river Dordogne, the king of pastry is Jean Lopez. But since a picture is worth a thousand words:

 

Go slow!

Have you ever noticed how old people do things? Most of them don’t have much of a choice I guess, but I love how slowly and consciously they do everything.

I find that doing things slowly (when I can) is very therapeutic. Especially cooking. “Joie de vivre” has a lot to do with living in the now (see the Dostoïevski’s story here). It is about being at peace with oneself and the world… or learning to be…

My Grandma passed three years ago. She was a 101. We were picking cherries on the tree together just days before she died. We were doing it slowly… consciously.

I miss her everyday.IMG_0060_2

No leftovers in this house! – Pas de restes chez moi!

Ma meilleure amie, qui n’a jamais grand appétit, m’a laissé hier avec un second homard sur les bras. Je l’ai fini au court bouillon et ce sera homard/mayo pour le dîner. Moi qui voulais des coquillettes et du jambon…:0(

My best friend, who doesn’t eat much, left me yesterday with an extra lobster. I steamed it and will have it for dinner, chilled with mayo. I really wanted Mac & Cheese for dinner though. Oh well, I will make an effort…:0(_MG_7951

Roots – Racines

(In English below)

Je dois être idiot, mais je ne me suis rendu compte que récemment que les légumes d’hiver étaient essentiellement des racines et que ceux d’été poussaient au dessus du sol cherchant la lumière et la chaleur du soleil. Cela a déclenché une crise aigüe de réflexion philosophique dans mon petit cerveau.

C’est vrai que l’hiver est la saison de l’hibernation pour nombre d’animaux qui se réfugient sous terre. Nous mêmes avons besoin de nous ressourcer et de ralentir… En cette saison grise, froide et pluvieuse, nous avons aussi besoin d’aliments qui nous réconfortent. La boucle se referme donc ici, puisque les plat d’hiver, les plats réconfortants, sont souvent à base de racines: soupes de légumes, pot au feu et autres ragoûts délicieux… Le monde est bien fait et le marché, débordant de patates et de navets, reflète mon état d’esprit… Mon état d’hiver:0)

I must be an idiot, but I’ve only realized recently that winter vegetables were essentially  roots when summer vegetables and fruits were growing above the ground, stretching towards the sun. This triggered an acute crisis of philosophical reflection in my little brain.

It is true that winter is the season of hibernation for many animals who take refuge underground. We too need to recharge our batteries and slow down… It is also during these gloomy, cold and rainy few months that we need comfort food the most. It is quite fitting then, that winter dishes, comforting dishes, are often made with roots as their main ingredients: vegetable soups, delicious stews… The farmers’ market, full of potatoes, carrots and turnips, answers my need for comfort food. It also reflects my state of mind… My winter state of mind:0) The market tells me it is OK to slow down; to seek comfort and warmth…

Here are some pictures, so you may forget all the nonsense I just wrote:0)

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