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Abra

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    http://frenchletters.wordpress.com

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    Bainbridge Island, WA

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  1. Thanks so much for this report, Prawncrackers. We'll be in Reykjavik just for 36 hours in July and you've given me lots of great ideas.
  2. Aloo Gobi

    Thank you for that v gautam. I've printed out your recipes and will work my way through them. I appreciate your erudition.
  3. A Florida Virgin Reforms

    Thanks db, the Columbia looks really good!
  4. I've never been to Florida, and always joked about staying a Florida virgin all my life. But now, I find that in mid-October I will be spending one night each in St. Petersburg, St. Augustine, and Cocoa Beach. What shouldn't I miss? We'd be looking for the best of typical Florida fare, not stuff I can get in Seattle or any big city.
  5. Pork Burgers

    I just made pork burgers last night and they were excellent. I ground pork shoulder, tossed a handful of peanuts and a cut up shallot into the grinder. Then I mixed in a splash each of soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, and sesame oil, plus an egg. The only thing that would have made them more delicious would have been cilantro, but I didn't have any. My husband ate them on a bun with Thai sweet chili sauce, and I had them on a salad. Yum!
  6. Preparing Mushrooms: The Topic

    Interesting and counter-intuitive. I'll try it this week.
  7. I made the Catalan Estifado of wild boar, except that even though we're inundated with wild boar here, I couldn't get any when I needed it, so I used beef. The only other thing I changed was that I cooked it over a three day period, chilling and reheating, as so many of Paula's recipes suggest. When I put it on the table for French guests without saying what it was, the first one to take a bite said "oh good, boar." It's a succulent dish, and I froze the leftovers which were just as good two weeks later. So even if you can't get boar, don't hesitate to make this one. I used paleron of beef, which is a very lean cut that eventually shreds into filaments - I'm not sure what the US equivalent would be. But you want a meat that's pretty lean and pretty tough, to be as much like boar as possible.
  8. Really? You might come to Uzès? Since I live there you'd think I'd be partial to it, but I do have one other recommendation. This past September we spent 5 weeks in St. Antonin Noble Val, and did a ton of day trips to Gaillac, Cahors, Albi, Castres, Cordes sur Ciel, and lots of neat places. I thought at the time, and I still do think, that it's the best possible place for day trippers. Let me know if you want to know more about that. As to Uzès, September is still quite full of tourists, so no worries about it being dead. There are some reasons you might not love it though. For one, it's not a gastronomic region. Almost every time I go elsewhere in France I realize that the foods and wines available elsewhere are more interesting than what we have here. The market is nice, but actually not really special. For example, the Sunday market in tiny St. Antonin was far superior. We always have trouble finding someplace to eat out that's anything like as good as what I cook at home. There's only one chocolatier here and he's really not that hot (there's a nice one in Beaucaire, though.) As for day trips, there are Nîmes and Avignon, but not a lot of small villages in the area that are truly interesting. Of course, if you do come here I'll do everything possible to help you have fun, but really, I'd go for St. Antonin. Have a look at French Letters for last September and early October to get a feel for what it was like there. It's weird, but I think Uzès is a nicer place to live than it really is to visit, especially if food and wine are a big part of your agenda.
  9. If it's whole, I just hang it from a hook on the wall!
  10. Cooking in your Thermomix

    Wow, Andie, that's a really convincing set of experiments! I might have to ask for one for Christmas.
  11. Paula Wolfert's Cooking of Southwest France, hands down. I've cooked from that more than any other cookbook, and I often cook for French friends from it. They're universally blown away that an American can cook such authentic French food.
  12. Christmas in Alsace

    Well, it's two years later and we actually are going to Alsace for this Christmas (we ended up in Barcelona the year I started this thread). We've rented an apartment in Strasbourg for a week, so I'll be able to cook, but of course we'll be eating out as well. I want to spend a day in Colmar, so Markk, if you see this, I'd love to get connected to Le Faudé! Does anyone have any more recent suggestions or additions to what's already been mentioned above? I do have the list of what's open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, by the way.
  13. Cooking in your Thermomix

    I don't have one, but a lot of people here in France use their Thermomix to make soups.
  14. Most Underrated Food

    I'll second the celery root, and add parsnips.
  15. I just got my book and am looking forward to diving right in.
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