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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    Lyon, France

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  1. It should be noted that the suggested Gastro is short for gastroenteritis in the French language...
  2. I'm enjoying every word, and very excited to hear more details about your diet for food enthusiasts book when things are really rolling on that project. I certainly hope you'll be keeping us updated with the details on your regular writing blog... Going with you as you run your errands has been wonderful. The breads really look great. I hope they taste as good as they looked. When we lived in Los Angeles, my husband kept a mother and baked his own bread every morning. We couldn't find real bread anywhere near where we lived and it was one of the main things he missed from home in France. Once he got a routine going it really didn't take much effort at all. There were books back then that he used to guide him through the steps as well.
  3. I couldn't help but chuckle there.. About the blue cheese hating thing. I have a personal experience with this because my husband has a long standing aversion to it. He began as a cheese hater in general, having had it forced on him as a child. (I'm writing from France here for those who aren't familiar, so the cheeses I mention here will be French) A Munster tasted while hiking at the source seduced him into becoming a cheese fanatic well into adulthood, and the last bastion remains blue cheese. I know there is hope. I have come to some understanding of his aversion. It can have two sides, and one side may hide the other. For a complete conquest of bleu, you must approach it with a two pronged strategy. Conquer the visual. It is intertwined with your flavor aversion. Your first step is to go and get a cheese that has an ash element to it. Stay with me here. Like a Selles sur Cher which is a goat cheese covered in ash, or a Morbier, which is two raw cows milkings seperated by a stripe of ash, for example. Of course neither of these two cheeses are blue cheeses at all, but just in case you have any aversion to the colors and idea, you can get used to the idea of having dark colored areas in the cheese. In enjoying these cheeses, you will train yourself to let go of any reflex to reject cheeses with added color elements. You'll warm up to the idea that these colored aspects are not only good for you, but can be interesting in flavor. Second, when you are ready to tackle the blue cheese itself, I suggest that you talk to a professional cheese monger, explain that you are looking for a mild, and young blue. I say this because many of the blues that develop that majestic and beautiful flavor begin as quite different animals. My husband, who could not even stand blue cheese on the same plate with the others, finally was convinced to try a young one. The tanginess and strong flavor hasn't quite developed in the younger cheeses, but a certain clean promise and freshness is there. As you transition to getting more mature cheeses, that promise develops into an appreciation of the wonderful world of bleus. A thought - a cheese that is readily available in the states that begins as mild and never goes too far, is the bleu de Bresse. It is standard pasturized fare, but at the same time for transitioning yourself, it can be helpful. If you're trying to conquer this aversion, don't try mixing it with food - my suggestion is to learn to appreciate it on its own and then once you're ready, pair it with walnuts, for example, then in salads, and then use it as an ingredient in foods. Hope you keep us updated on your conquest, moreace01.
  4. Great to get a glimpse into your food world, Diana! I got an ice cream machine for Christmas and I still don't have your favorite book of 2007 yet (I have all of his others), but after seeing how wonderfully that ice cream turned out...
  5. I see the feast continues. I am dreaming of bone marrow, oxtails and champagne, while we make due with spinach and eggs and the walnut tartelettes prepared in your honor. That mill/bakery looked like a great find. How was the bread? Nothing short of stupendous, I'm sure.
  6. Well, the train pulled away as I ran to the platform, but there was another one a 1/2 hour later, which gave me time to buy 2 Christmas presents. You know, they are so good about people who miss trains. I was doing my best to put up a good harrowed missed my train act, feigning being destraught and apologetic, and the lady just handed me another ticket with a kind of "now now there dear" pucker and got back to her knitting. Seats galore in the next train which didn't make the stop in Valence, so it was almost as if I hadn't missed the train at all. Wow that lunch looks like it was just what the doctor ordered.
  7. After having slept like a baby I awakened to hot steaming coffee and breakfast. My order was taken and within minutes, a croissant fresh from the bakery was in front of me on the table. The sunlight in the morning is really beautiful here. In fact, it was the first thing I noticed coming from the train, in just one hour the sunlight transforms into kind of a liquid that bathes everything. I should not have scheduled such a short visit but I have to get back to work on Lyon. We'll make time to do this again, I hope. Dinner was such a celebration of friendship, in the kitchen with Klary and Abra, I felt right at home. Abra is quite a hostess. Thank you both for thinking of me and inviting me to come. And bringing me into the fold the way you did.
  8. A large dent was made into the cheese plate, consisting of a St. Marcellin, a palette de chevre, Reblochon fermier au lait cru, Comte fruite, arome de Lyon, and Epoisses. We enjoyed a glass of the Prieure-Brunet Mersault-Charmes Priemier Cru and a bread called Pain des Champs from my bakery in Lyon.
  9. The first course was an everything but the kitchen sink slaw, consisting of red cabbage, radis noir, onions, shallots, apples, prunes, lots of spicy hand whisked mayonnaise seasoned with walnut oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. The slaw was surrounded by the last of Abra's romanesco broccoli, and topped with grated deep violet carrot called the carrot noir in these parts.
  10. We're just getting ready to sit down at the table but I wanted to add one thing, there's another cook with us. The one we've been referring to as "she". "She said it should take an hour and a half..." "She said that it was originally made with puff pastry..." "She thinks we should do it this way," If I were Paula, I would be very happy knowing that she is going to be referred to for generations as the "she" we look to not only for inspiration but valuable knowledge she gathered and shared for us to transmit.
  11. Clary is working diligently on the tarte, another one of Paula's recipes. Psst. The tripe & trotter dish smells and looks wonderful. It took all I had not to reach in and snag a piece straight from the cooking pot. Just to confirm it's properly cooked, of course. I heard the knife sharpening. Abra's man came down to handle the ham, a gorgeous Spanish beauty fed on acorns and walnuts during its living days. The knife slid through it like butter. I remarked on the smooth cut, and complimented the sabatier. He said that he wished he had one with a heftier handle, and a bigger blade. "The knife I want is right now in my mother's kitchen" he said, smiling. I am in the livingroom, and I can hear them discussing (alright, arguing about) the meaning of "well blended". They are putting the tart together, and finishing the last steps to the tripes and trotters dish. I'll go take some pictures.
  12. While Klary sits with her arms folded and relaxes as she gazes at the two of us with a mysterious smile, and Abra types furiously in order to head me off at the pass, let me begin by saying that indeed the trip to Les Halles was fruitful. I have been put in charge of the cheese plate. I also brought wine to go with the course, but that's for later.
  13. Coffee, check. Pyjamas, check. Presents, check. Vin de Noix, check. eG apron, check. List, check. I am outa here! (written from Lyon)
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