March 19, 2013 § Leave a Comment
More snow came down last night, and I think it is safe to say we are both feeling just about done with it all. Done with bare trees and slick roads, done with plows and cold hands. While it is nice to know the Equinox is on the horizon, the reality is that spring and all the warmth it brings with it has not quite gotten the hint. Give us something green please. Let us see the little shoots push through the earth. Let us have even just a whisper of the heat to come. I want to open a window so intensely…
The local farmer’s market is still months away, so I have the grocery conglomerates to deal with in the meantime. I’ve made my peace with the fact that if you want leeks or other wispy green onions this time of year, you’re going to have to buy ones that traveled all the way from Mexico. I select the brightest non-wilted gems the shelf has to offer and console myself with a countdown to the first Sunday in June – when the market tents will go up hovering over baskets of bundled emerald stalks. I do enjoy a good vegetable dish from time to time and I like living within a few miles of where my food is grown, but I’m not what some people would call crunchy by any shade of the imagination. What I am really partial to is a meal I can cook in one pan on a busy weeknight that packs a lot of color and vitamins. In the summer, between the market and our own garden, we’ll have the greens right outside our door –literally.
If you’re like me (a planner on good days), you can make the galette dough on the weekend and have it ready to use for a weeknight. The dough recipe is interchangeable for sweet or savory dishes, but what I really like about it is the cornmeal, which helps keep the filling juices inside the galette and off the parchment paper. I used it to make a berry galette last year, so I knew the results this time would be just as promising.
The greens can truly be a bouquet of anything you can find or like to use. We love leeks for many reasons so that was a must-have for us. The leafy greens were more or less based on what the sad little store had that week – kale and spinach leaves. I would have liked to try rainbow chard or dandelion leaves, but there were none to be had. Pick a nice bunch; you want a big handful of greens because they do cook down a lot in the pan.
It seems a bit silly to share a recipe that isn’t really even a recipe at all. There isn’t much to it besides a glug of oil and some garlic tossed with edible flowering plants! The filling will change a hundred times I’m sure as the months go by. I’m thinking tomato slices and basil in August or even different colored squash. Maybe by then we’ll be eating outside in the yard with the crickets and a slow-setting sun. I’ll take whatever treasures Jim pulls from the ground and brings inside. I’ll wash their dirt down the sink and pull a meal out of my hat. Right there in the kitchen – where the window will be wide open.
For the dough:
Recipe from Baking with Julia
3 Tbs sour cream
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
7 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Stir the sour cream into the ice water until smooth. Set aside.
Place all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
Add the butter pieces and continue pulsing until you see pea-sized pieces in the mixture.
Add the sour cream/water mixture slowly while the machine runs, just until the dough starts to come together.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap with cellophane and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to use, roll the dough out onto a floured board until it is very thin but still workable. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before filling.
For the filling:
A couple Tbs of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 leeks, trimmed and cleaned, sliced thinly
Leafy greens – (such as kale, chard, spinach, etc) – a large bunch or two of different kinds, roughly chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and add the leeks, cooking them on medium until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the leafy greens, a handful at a time, until they begin to wilt. Once they’ve all been added to the pan, continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes more, just until all the greens are combined, softened, and fragrant.
Spread the mixture on top of the dough, leaving about an inch near the border. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling into pleats.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden. Allow to set for a few minutes before slicing. We got about 4 large slices out of this galette.
March 5, 2013 § 11 Comments
I’ve heard it said that if you can learn to bake a croissant, a real genuine French croissant, then you could learn to bake anything. The dough is supposed to be so finicky and the process so daunting, that few home bakers ever take the time to try it. I think it’s one of those projects that you just have to enter knowing full well you’ll be tied to a rolling pin for most of the day and clumps of flour will collect all around. Mounds of butter will have to be manipulated and you just have to get over the feeling that maybe this much lard just isn’t healthy at all. Basically, you have to know what you’re getting into and accept the challenges along the way. It just occurred to me how the act of forming a pastry is so much like life itself – a little unpredictable and sticky at times, but hopefully worth it all in the end.
I am no master at this task by any means. I had trouble achieving the desired 6-spiral shape of the croissants. I had trouble proofing and clearly mine are not very bronzed. Yet when I think of all the times I tried other croissant recipes or methods and came out with rocks in my oven, I think these were a huge improvement and quite tasty! As you can see from the photo, my “wallet” fold was textbook. I even acquired a marble slab for the project (thank you sweetheart!), which was heaven and will get a lot of use (not to mention extra chocolate batons).
Jim and I keep joking with each other about opening a bakery someday. It’s a joke for many reasons (cash, cash, cash), but when he shot the photo of all the croissants in the sea basket like an offering to the masses a part of me wondered what it would be like to see your own creations in a shop window.
If I could learn to bake anything, who knows what could happen?
February 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
These days, when we’re either digging out from a blizzard or listening to the winds whack the windows or starring at the leak in the bedroom ceiling (from the blizzard), I do like to get the oven going. And not just for dinner. I decided on a whim to make bread when I stumbled on the Sunday Dinners feature at Food52. I’m not as avid a follower of their site as I used to be, but Sunday dinners in general tug at my heart so I started lurking. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a dinner bread, but that’s just because I prefer a lighter crumb with a heavy meal. This loaf is to me better suited for either sandwiches or as breakfast food spread with butter and drizzled with honey (or sprinkled with sugar Texas style). What makes it special is the presentation once it’s braided. Braids are not just for challah I suppose. No matter how deformed your dough is, braid it like a schoolgirl and suddenly you’re a pro.
I think I will bake this often, given how many poppy seeds I now own. Those tiny containers cost a small fortune and seeds end up all over the counter, but they add so much flavor and texture to the crust, which I rarely eat by the way. This time, I didn’t waste a bite. If you make this, don’t skimp on the seeds. Even sesame will do nicely. I like the combination of honey with buttermilk and whole wheat with bread flour. It cuts the weight of the wheat a bit and lends a mild flavor to a typically intense grain.
Bread making is definitely an art form and a rarity for most people, I imagine. We’re lucky to have many decent bakery options locally, but there’s something to be said about learning to work with yeast and kneading dough so intensely that your muscles ache. Homemade has become a luxury – a real labor of love. In Winter nothing feels as good as having the oven on, so I don’t mind the triple rise. I don’t mind at all because I usually have a good book to read between the timer buzzes (currently reading The Lost Art of Mixing) and Jim to eagerly await a slice.
Farmhouse Whole Wheat Bread
Adapted from Tom Hirschfeld of Food52
Note: I cut the original recipe in half as this was my first try with it. I’ve written what I used, but next time, I might cut the whole wheat flour down to only 2 ½ cups to lighten the loaf even further. Or, I might double it all back to the original method since the bread was that good!
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, warmed slightly
1 Tbs honey
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
2 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup bread flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg (look for the smallest egg in your carton)
1 ½ Tbs unsalted butter, softened
poppy seeds for sprinkling
1 egg white mixed with a Tbs water for egg wash
Place warm buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the yeast and honey and whisk together. Allow mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Add both flours, egg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients in a circular fashion until the dough starts to form.
Put the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead it until smooth and springy.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and allow to rise in a warm room for one hour.
Punch down the dough and allow to rise again for one hour.
Punch the dough down again and divide it into three pieces. Roll each piece into a log and braid them together.
Place the braided bread into an oiled loaf pan and allow to rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for about 45 minutes. Release the bread from the pan and allow to cool before slicing.
February 3, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I guess I can’t ignore the obvious. Four months have passed since my last post, and in the blog world I’m sure that means all manner of bad things such as Followers un-following or the Faithful losing faith. All I can say without saying too much is that we needed to shift priorities for a while to focus on my health and shut the door on 2012, an unlucky year.
Now I am here typing at a beautiful new (to us) desk we purchased second-hand, with my favorite books and pens, organizers and calendars around me. It is just the kind of space I need to put my thoughts in order and get back to the music of writing.
This year will be better I tell myself in my best que sera sera mood. Not every day can be a good day, but I always find my way to the kitchen eventually. Baking – the focus of measuring and timing has soothed me many times before. So, when Ina Garten writes in her new book Foolproof about these doughnuts and how one should eat them for dessert with hot chocolate, I just had to make them. You need a special doughnut pan, and while I’m not a fan of buying pans that can only be used for one purpose (except madeleines because what would life be without them?), I have to say that for only $10 per pan it was money well spent. My lesson for the day: buy two. Even after cutting the original recipe in half, there was too much batter to fit into just one pan.
These are not your doughnut shop fried variety. They remind me a little of cider doughnuts from the farm stands in autumn. More like muffins, denser, but without the grease and glaze of the mass-produced ones. If you want to experiment, you could try substituting half the milk with cider or adding other spices, mixing in cocoa for chocolate doughnuts or drizzling them with ganache and sprinkles. I stuck with sugar and cinnamon for my first batch just to see if the recipe worked, but adventures will be plentiful in future doughnut whims.
For now, it feels good to be back in my world of words, among whisks and spoons and things like freshly ground nutmeg!
Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Foolproof
*Note: the measurements below are the ones I used to cut the original recipe in half. If you fill the doughnut wells too much, you’ll get muffin-top doughnuts, not the pretty circles you want. Fill them only halfway at most and you’ll get a dozen out of this recipe (assuming your pan is similar to my six count one).
For the Doughnuts:
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 egg (I picked the smallest egg in my carton)
2/3 cup whole milk
1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Topping:
4 Tbs (half stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 six count donut pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a smaller bowl, beat the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
Fill the doughnut wells only half way up and bake for about 17 minutes.
Allow the donuts to cool for a few minutes before popping them out of the pans.
For the topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Dip each doughnut slightly in the melted butter and roll in the sugar mixture.
October 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have become something of a cliché these days. It’s October and the leaves are turning all shades of flame. I have mums on my front stoop. I’m considering buying a pumpkin. Freshly sharpened pencils would be nice too. Fall in the suburbs in New England brings out a lot of stereotypes. Yes, I pick apples and buy cider by the jug-full. We like to leaf peep. As I write this post, a double-crust apple pie bakes in the oven. Someone reading this in say, Southern California, is probably rolling their eyes. Those New Englanders and their apples.
I can’t help it. The nice thing about baking with apples is that you automatically have to throw certain other things into the mix, because they simply have to go together. Like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. I still get a little thrill every time I have an excuse to whip out the fresh nutmeg we purchased in Mystic. I love the way it sprinkles the fragrant mocha-colored dust from the zester. This is what baking is all about for me; what the ingredients remind me of, the memory of the places where I’ve eaten and the people I was with.
So as to not be so traditional and homey, a couple weeks ago I made a french tarte aux pommes. It might as well be the french equivalent of apple pie in its steadfast-ness, but let me tell you, it is more like the sexiness of Paris than the valleys of central Connecticut. It is pretty. It has concentric circles. It’s something I bet you won’t see at every upcoming holiday table (such a shame) and tastes very much like a sweet apple sugar cookie – if anything like that ever existed. The recipe is a bit of a mish-mash of different techniques. For example, the dough is Julia Child’s Pâte Brisée Sucré, because, well, it’s the best. The filling, while not keeping to the standard french apple-sauce mixture, was found on one of my favorite sites Sweet Amandine. It is as uncomplicated as can be and when served with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream – is like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.
There are advantages to any place, but I’ll take the apple orchards and the cider mills. I’ll take the mums and corny carved pumpkins. I’ll also take the pies and tartes and anything else that you can bake when the leaves start to fall and the skies turn dark before you even get home.
Tarte aux Pommes
Pâte Brisée Sucré
Adapted From Julia Child (Mtaofc)
I doubled Julia’s original proportions because my tarte pan is closer to 10 inches.
1 1/3 cups flour
2 Tbs sugar
¼ tsp salt
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 Tbs cold shortening, cut into small pieces
5-6 Tbs ice water
I like to throw all the dry ingredients into a food processor. Pulse to combine. Then toss in the sliced butter and shortening and pulse 8-10 times until you get course crumbs. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until everything starts to come together.
Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat round disk. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before using.
Adapted from Sweet Amandine (who adapted it from someone else)
2 apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 dashes of cinnamon
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs turbadino sugar (if you don’t have any, just use granulated)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out the dough and fit into a 9 or 10-inch tart pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork, and arrange the apples over the dough in concentric circles.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and flour. Pour the mixture over the apples. Bake the tarte for approximately 50 minutes or until the filling is slightly puffed and golden.
Once the tarte has cooled, sprinkle the sugar on top and either place beneath the broiler for a minute or use a kitchen torch to brown the apples a little further.
Serve at room temperature.
September 18, 2012 § 16 Comments
The first thing I did was cut this recipe in half, and now I regret that decision. We are, in general, not whole wheat eaters in this house. I foresaw having two loaves that would need to be eaten as a waste of ingredients. How much bread does one really need? If I had only known that this bread is not your grocery store cardboard variety. Only using half whole wheat flour along with honey and molasses made the loaf un-typical as can be. Yes, I used molasses in mine simply because malt extract was nowhere to be found in this suburbia.
Someone recommended a slice could be breakfast food. I have fallen in love with butter and honey as a spread. Now, this is all I want to eat every morning and the loaf gets smaller and smaller each day. Baker’s remorse has set in. Two would have been better.
Just as you live and learn, you bake and learn as well. The dough hook for the KitchenAid had never been used before. You can tell by the way the steel still shone brightly (a perk of having the 90th anniversary model). I’m similar to a helicopter parent when it comes to my mixer. I watch it carefully for signs of all kinds: signs of wear and tear, of neglect or malfunction. When the top began to jump and bang loudly against the bowl, I had had enough. I was not about to break the nicest appliance in my kitchen. Onto the floured board went the dough and a bit of good ‘ole hand kneading finished the job. Maybe I over-reacted. Maybe that’s just what happens when a machine encounters lots of heavy material. But, I didn’t want to risk it. Jim had bought me the mixer for Christmas one year and that candy-apple-red beauty is my pride and glory. We’ve been through many batters and creams and now breads together. Jokingly, I like to say it is my Toy Story type of friend, with a mind of its own and a personality kept hidden until I leave the kitchen floor.
Next time I make this I might just go the traditional route like my grandmothers before me, all by hand with the infamous “well” in the middle for the wet ingredients. I’ve always loved the way dough feels when it starts to form under your fingers. The warm wetness of the yeast squishes through the flour. A good baker should get to know that sensation. The palm and fingers are mightier tools of kitchen creations anyway.
For the recipe, check out Baking with Julia or this week’s hosts:
September 4, 2012 § 16 Comments
Now that I think of it, I wish we had taken a picture of the fruit before I cut it up, peeled it, and made concentric circles. Nectarines, among other things, won’t be around much longer. Neither will the warm sun that is slowly disappearing minute by minute every day. It shouldn’t be a sad time though. There will be apples and crumbles, cobblers and pies. There just won’t be fruit bowls from the market. Galettes will have to wait.
This week’s assignment was admittedly harder than the last two. I get nervous about cakes that need to be inverted. I also hate toasting nuts. Shortcuts happened and insurance came in the form of a parchment paper cut to fit the pan. I used pecans instead of almonds (trying not to go broke here). The brown sugar and butter combined with the fruit juices formed a syrup that oozed out slightly, but in the end, the circled slices of nectarines stayed beautifully on top when I flipped the whole thing. I enjoyed the oat-based streusel filling, and I’m not even an oat fan.
The container of cinnamon is going to stay at the front of my shelf for a while, I have a feeling. Fall mingles well with warm spices, deep flavors. This was a nice way to start bringing it all out.
For the recipe, check out Baking with Julia or this week’s hosts:
August 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I am really very proud of this chocolate mousse. It came about in a bit of a domino effect of circumstances. First there was our marriage, which inevitably resulted in a 2nd anniversary this summer, which in turn led to my signing us up for a cooking class as a gift (not weird at all, Jim loves to cook), which then featured this dessert in the lesson plan. So things do happen for a reason!
The thing you have to understand is that I love chocolate mousse, not just the traditional served-in-a-cup version, but also mousse as fillings in cakes as well as mousse in triple layers of different chocolates. But, I’ve hesitated for years to make it because I have a bit of a phobia about uncooked eggs. I have to be mindful of an overly-sensitive digestive tract and all the recipes I’ve tried with cream just didn’t measure up to my expectations of an airy chocolate suspension. What we learned in class is that the yolks (where most of the bacteria in raw eggs lives) actually are cooked, or rather heated, hot enough to kill the germs. The whites are whipped like a meringue, technically uncooked, but they really aren’t the culprits anyway.
So there I was one night, whisking the yolks over a double boiler and feeling very brave in facing a fear, trying hard to make sure that the mixture was truly too hot for my finger, just like we were taught. In went the whites, in went the Grand Marnier, and two helpings later I’m happy to report that we are all still healthy and quite alive! To think that I missed out on the perfect mousse all of these years…because of a little egg paranoia.
I don’t even think we ordered chocolate mousse at any of the places we ate at while we were in Paris in 2010, which is a shame because it is the quintessential French dessert and one I imagine Julia Child served to her dinner guests at the rue de l’Universite on more than one occasion. It was probably a highlight on the menu, something to look forward to, maybe even a reason to collect different kinds of flavored liqueurs. The recipe we learned in class was taken pretty much right out of her book and it occurs to me how poignant it is that a dish written and eaten so long ago could still make people close their eyes in mid-spoonful.
*Disclaimer: This post is by no means intended to make light of the real potential for illness when consuming raw eggs (we’ve all seen the warnings one place or another) and I feel very sorry for anyone who has experienced tummy troubles as a result. However, when prepared properly and according to exact directions, recipes like this one are completely safe. From here on out I’m more inclined to pity those who, like me, took forever to become comfortable with the process and as a result, passed up on the magic of mousse for much too long.
According to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, with a few minor adjustments
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar
¼ cup liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Framboise, etc
6 oz semi sweet baking chocolate
4 Tbs strong coffee
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
In a stainless steel mixing bowl, beat just the egg yolks and ¾ cup of sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add in the liqueur and beat well.
Set the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (like a double boiler method) and continue beating for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is too hot for your finger. Place the bowl over a basin of cold water and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mixture cools. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the chocolate and coffee. You can melt the mixture over a double boiler or microwave it (I usually give it 30 seconds in the microwave at a time, stirring until melted). Once melted, add the butter one chunk at a time, until it turns into a smooth cream. Add the chocolate mixture to the yolk mixture and beat well.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the tablespoon of sugar and beat on medium high until you achieve stiff peaks. Stir a fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the rest of the whites gently, making sure not to deflate them.
Pour the mousse into individual serving cups (I was able to get 6). Place a piece of cellophane directly onto the top of the mousse to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight if possible, but no less than 2 hours.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
August 21, 2012 § 13 Comments
What I like about Sunday mornings is the breakfast. Not always out of the ordinary (waffles or pancakes are the usual fare), but the tempo is the real treat. Slow like the song on the radio and mellow as we take our time in the kitchen. I’m not fighting against the clock to get to work. All is well. Once in a while, I like to whip up a non-griddle type of food, so the popovers for this week’s TWD group became a new morning tradition. The best part of all is the ease of preparation: throw everything into a blender and whirl, as Dorie says.
I don’t have a special popover pan and some of the flour crept into the bottom of my blender and hid, but despite all that, the end result was (while not as pretty as a cookbook picture) simply divine. We ate two each with softened butter and honey and an impromptu salad of blueberries and raspberries tossed with a little sugar. Our new NY Times subscription came that day, which I had really been looking forward to (Book Review! Hurray!). Fingers sticky from the honey and well fed, I devoured every page.
It occurs to me that there are a lot of recipes in this book, and I probably would never have bothered to learn how to make half of them if it weren’t for this group. I’m only two recipes in, but so far, they have both not only worked and tasted good, but also came together with minimal kitchen disasters. You really can’t ask for much more than that on a quiet morning off. No one wants to witness any tears or swearing, after all…
Here are the links to this week’s hosts. The recipe can be found there or in Baking with Julia.
August 15, 2012 § 2 Comments
It’s a pretty safe bet to say that today foodies everywhere will be thinking and writing about Julia Child. I’ve heard that restaurants owned by famous chefs will serve a special French menu in her honor just for this day, what would have been her 100th birthday. A lot has been said and written about Julia already, and I don’t want to overkill the subject with one more piece of cyberspace prose, but let’s just say I’ve often felt that I could relate to her on many levels, so today seems more about remembering a long lost friend than dishing about a celebrity.
I’m sure there are countless amounts of people in the world who think they should be doing something different professionally-speaking than what they currently have to do (to pay the bills, to eat well, to maintain the Mercedes, what-have-you). And then there are secretaries like me, like Julia once was. Oh it’s an honorable job and all, but at the end of the day, it really is the bottom of the pits. She found a thrill in cooking and made a new career out of it. I’m still trying to figure out how to make a career out of writing, but in the meantime, I come home to my quiet suburban house and take the frustrations of corporate servitude out on pastry dough and measuring spoons.
Then there’s Paris. There will always be Paris. I can imagine that the post-war version of the city she saw was very different from the way it looked to me as a new bride in 2010. Maybe it was a little darker, a little less flashy. But the “moveable feast” quality to the city that Hemingway described has always been there. One week on the rue de Laborde was the happiest of my life. I think I know exactly how mesmerized Julia must have felt sitting on her balcony or shopping for bread.
And Julia had Paul. I have Jim. It really is uncanny how a man just picks up a camera and self-learns how to manipulate the light and change the scenery just so. All because his wife baked something she wanted to write about in a book or a blog. I once read somewhere that Paul was an innovator in the realm of cookbook photos, coming up with the idea to shoot on a ladder, above Julia’s tall frame, looking down from the perspective of the cook. It gave an amateur at home a real sense of how the food should look from a very specific angle, almost as if she were there – showing you exactly what to do. He didn’t do this for profit or for glory or extra kisses along the Seine (at least I don’t think he did!). You know what I think? As corny as it sounds, I think he did it simply out of love; love for a woman he met later in life, a legend made in part through his encouragement and support. I have my own version of Paul and believe me when I tell you how rare such men truly are. Tonight he will go with me to a cooking class to learn about making hollandaise and chocolate mousse and soufflé. We’ll do things to scallops we never thought of trying. He’ll probably be the only man there: my personal cheerleader, confidence-booster, and photographer extraordinaire.
So, cheers to you Julia: from one secretary to another, from a woman who misses the streets of Paris, and who would be nowhere without the love of her life.