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  1. kitwilliams

    Making Butter!

    I started making my own butter/buttermilk about two years ago. I'm hooked, not only on the fresh butter, buttermilk and creme fraiche I get out of the process, but the process itself. I love making butter. From making the creme fraiche to churning (I have an old 1940s glass churn which is fun, but mostly use the KitchenAid), to washing, squeezing in butter muslin, kneading in the salt until creamy and develops beautiful waves of golden goodness. But here in Southern California, I have exhausted my resources, which aren't a lot in the way of fresh, local dairy. I usually use Clover or Humboldt cream (everything else is tasteless and/or ultra-pasteurized). But I want to find someone with a Jersey cow(s), from whom I can purchase cream. There MUST be people outside of LA/Orange/Riverside counties who have a cow or two. I just have no clue as to how to find them! Do any of you have any ideas? And, one thing: I just started using Icelandic Skyr as culture for my cream. It was wonderful!
  2. I was just bemoaning the fact that I have never found forced rhubarb in this country so, thought I'd ask on eGullet if anyone knew otherwise. Turns out, I asked the same question eleven years ago (see above posts from 2005). So...eleven years have passed. Does anyone know where I can find forced rhubarb in the USofA?
  3. Those are stunningly beautiful and you should be thrilled with the fantastic puff you got. The reason yours are so beautiful and each one different is because YOU made your pastry, not a machine. Be proud! Gorgeous.
  4. I'm with you - I typically make shortbread only at Christmas. But Dad wanted it. A couple of weeks ago it was chocolate cake. Doesn't really eat a lot any more now that he's 94 - but still wolfs down desserts and cookies. Aren't we lucky to have dads who love their sweets? A word of caution: Don't let those dads read this month's "National Geographic"...the article about sugar (cover story) has put my dad on edge and he now is suspicious of me and the sweets I love to feed him!
  5. So sorry to cause you to endure a longer period of PPD (Post Paris Depression), Linda, but thank you for your help. La Flute Gana (I agree: truly annoying website!) was a nice morning walk in the 20th, from our fun stay at Mama Shelter, up Rue des Pyrenees. Never enough time when in line to take in everything and make up your mind by the time someone greets you with a "bonjour madame"! Loved this boulangerie, sad they weren't open Sunday as well. The Kouign Amann, although not traditional in shape or in its shimmering lightness, was glorious and, literally, glistened in the morning sunshine with the butter and sugar. I'll dream about it for some time to come and will start working on duplicating it asap!
  6. Brownies most definitely. In fact, I don't like room temp brownies at all. Uno Bars, for the candy bar category. If you can find them. Chocolate chip cookies. But I have to disagree, ruthcooks. They're not any safer in the freezer than in the cookie jar, as I think you know!
  7. We were successful in finding some more than decent goods. The macarons at Patisserie Bouche were divine...the passionfruit especially so! And their croissants were the best I tried. Patisserie Wagner was another good stop for a morning pick me up...their kouign amann, although not traditional, were very delicious. And their canelles were perfection: crisp exterior going into perfect chewiness and then creamy custardiness! But the best, of couse, were in Paris. We only had a weekend there but I can't sing the praises enough for La Flute Gana on rue de Pyrenees in the 20th. Ganachaud's daughters have a rustically beautiful place there and everything we tried tasted as beautiful as it looked. Their kouign amann were, again, untraditional, but one of the best pieces of viennoisserie I have ever eaten. It absolutely glistened with sugary-butter...buttery-sugar. Maybe my new boss will send me back to Paris for more research...
  8. Again, many thanks to you all for the expert advice. Needless to say, WE LOVE BEAUNE and all of Burgundy. Our apartment was perfectly charming, the kitchen well-equipped, so centrally located. I'd gladly recommend it to anyone and, if anyone wants the info, just contact me. We rode bikes to Pommard, picnicking in the town square under a blossoming cherry tree, and walked to Chorey-le-Beaune in the rain (thanks Lesliec!) We had our favorite meal with new friends at Ma Cuisine (oh how I loved their jambon persille, not to mention the perfectly cooked plump pigeon) and another at Le Gourmardin (thanks Julian and Kenneth). We took the train to Lyon for a weekend and fell in love with France's second largest city. Unfortunately one horrid dinner at a bouchon in Vieux Lyon (long story but we were already laughing about it during the meal so it was an adventure); but the next night went to Brasserie Georges which was so French and so bustling and the food was darn good (simple steak frites and tete de veau) and it all made for such an entertaining evening! And the view of Vieux Lyon from Croix-Rousse made for one of the most beautiful photos I've ever taken. Having two fabulous rivers in one fabulous city is unbelievable to this girl from southern California! We rented a Smart Car for three days, visiting Autun and Bibracte and Alesia (gotta love that Vercingetorix) and Fontenay and Chateauneuf, stopping and walking along the Canal du Bourgogne and thinking about a possible barge trip NEXT TIME! Our favorite macarons in Beaune were at Patisserie Bouche, just around the corner from our apartment. At Wagner's Patisserie, the had a very un-traditional Kouign Amann that was very delicious, and their canelles were superb: evenly dark and crisp, chewy, and creamy, custardy interior. But, overall, I was truly disappointed in the breads and pastries around town. Fromagerie Alain Hess was Disneyland for us. We couldn't stop ourselves from purchasing everything we wanted yet were always surprised at how reasonable their prices were. I think we still smell of Epoisses. That's it in a very small nutshell. Will post more details in the appropriate spots but just wanted to thank you all for your generous recommendations.
  9. Okay, folks, the last post here was seven years ago...updates of Parisian boulangeries and patisseries, s'il vous plait! I'll be in Paris on Friday, lucky me. And does anyone know for sure when a la Flute Gana is open? Are they closed both Saturday and Sunday??? Merci beaucoup.
  10. We had cocktails with our landlord last night and a neighbor of hers, a chef, confirmed that most boulangers are resorting to purchasing frozen product (I'm talking viennoiserie here), and even he could not heartily recommend anyone in town. That said, I've worked with frozen croissant and puff pastry in the US and, when proofed and properly baked, have more than passable results. I'm with you, Dave...I printed out quite a list of local shops to try and am working my way through it as well as pounding the pavement in search of the most rustic looking boulangeries of which I have found a few (will head to a couple tomorrow morning now that we are back from Lyon!) Will revert. Julian...not fair. Email him and post the location of his purchases! Thanks for all your kind replies, opinions, and information.
  11. So here we are in Beaune, and loving it. Cooking to our heart's content (couldn't tear ourselves away from the Saturday market). But I am shocked at the lack of great breads and pastry! In four days, I've tried three different boulangeries/patisseries. The croissants - bleh. None of them would I describe as "buttery" (and I did order the "au beurre"). The breads, not one of four loaves would I write home about. Although one pain au chocolat looked promising, I lifted it and was blown away by how heavy it was...and it was not due to an excess of chocolat! So my questions are: 1) Does anyone know a great boulangerie/patisserie in Beaune; and 2) Do all the talented bakers head straight to Paris?
  12. Ooh. Thanks, Dave! Had to look them up...stunning and functional. What could be better?
  13. I'm bumping this up, in case someone else with lots of Burgundian experience hasn't seen it! Thanks again, everyone who has offered advice!
  14. Oh, this is all fantastic. Thank you all for sharing your time and expertise. Frogs legs and escargot are way up there on our "to do" list. We'll probably get a car for a day here, a weekend there...would rather save our money for the important things! I have nearly every issue of SAVEUR so pulled out Issue 30 from November of 1998 which is all on Burgundy and has Ma Cuisine's recipe for Jambon Persille Maison which looks amazing and if we can't get a reservation, we'll make our own! Wouldn't mind finding a nice old terrine to refrigerate it in, and a copper bowl for whisking my egg whites for the raft to clarify the stock! I understand there are lots of antique shops in and around the Cote-d'Or...hope to find one specializing in kitchenwares. We will most definitely check out Alain Hess as "Hess" is my boyfriend's last name! Is he from Alsace? Again leslie, Julian, nibor and Kenneth, MANY thanks! I'll be thinking of you!
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