Suivre une étoile….following a star….

DSC_0013 (2)A very happy new year to you! I have two resolutions for this year of 2018. The first is to face my fear of making viennoiseries – pastries – and I am on the right track. I mean, isn’t it difficult to tear yourself away from the above photo? Hmm? Did you cast your eye over the exquisite multitude of paper thin layers, all rising up in a victory celebration for little old me?  I wish you could see my facial expression right now. Try to imagine me standing at a podium, palm to chest, humbled and disbelieving, as I accept my gilded, pastry layer statuette for ‘flakiest bake and baker’. Then recounting to an enraptured audience,  my deepest, darkest fears that home made pâte feuilletée would always elude me and thus I would forever be chained to the refrigerator section of ready-rolled. I thank my husband and my dogs, for eating all my failed recipes without complaint, but the same can’t be said for my children. But most importantly I wish to thank my supermarket, for never succeeding to have the product supply to meet the demand.

Continue reading “Suivre une étoile….following a star….”

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Financiers

DSC_0031Financiers are little gold almond ingots of sweetness that in my eyes are as valuable as any bullion. These small, dense bars of cake evolved from the clever idea of a patissier called Mr Lasne in the 1890s to revive and repackage an old cake recipe, visitandine, invented by an order of nuns of the same name and baked since the 17th century. Continue reading “Financiers”

Ménage!

DSC_0801 (2)“Huh?” I hear you saying. You’ve never seen a raw sausage sitting on top of a dinky vintage toy cleaning set? Well perhaps you might want to settle in so I can explain a little. More than a decade ago, arriving in France completely green, clutching a sheaf of less than a dozen words of french, I discovered straight away the existance of a host of linguistic minefields. There were and still are words that I like to take a detour far, far around to avoid accidentally saying something that will make me sound an utter fool. But because I like you, and I am a tad more toughened up by embarrassing language slip ups under my belt, I can share with you at least an absolute doozy of a confusion that beseiged me at the very beginning of my french life. Continue reading “Ménage!”

Puceron a volonté – The all-you-can-eat aphid bar

DSC_0866From time to time we find someone who goes against the flow and it stands out pretty sharply. But when that little black sheep, or in this case, red coat, black spotted ladybird is the stand out, well it isn’t quite so obvious. When I linger in the pool, I have a lot of time to do nothing, to stare at the mountain ranges both east and west, to look at the grass that needs cutting, to skim the water or like yesterday, to spy a ladybird actually sitting on a rose for once (see A cultural misunderstanding). Continue reading “Puceron a volonté – The all-you-can-eat aphid bar”