If it’s food porn with no pictures, does that make it food erotica?

I realize that apart from the description of that macaron, I have been mostly delinquent here in my duties as ex-food blogger and provider of Paris pastry porn (pppp). The thing is that I don’t really like food photography, and I also don’t like the feeling of “well I have to eat something here, my public expects me to”—contrary to everyone’s warnings, I still fit into all my clothes, and I’d prefer to keep it that way; shopping here is expensive. But it’s not like I’m living on some boring student diet of ramen noodles, or even just baguettes and cheese. I am definitely eating some exciting things, and even the unexciting things are exciting in their own way: I’m still generally impressed by the quality of produce here, for example, and a hardboiled egg sandwich I made recently on whole wheat Kayser bread with grainy French mustard was especially delicious and satisfying. And I guess I haven’t really blogged about what my days are usually like, either. So seeing as the last two days were on the good range of typical for me, here is the rundown of what I’ve done and eaten.

Friday morning I had French class at Middlebury, which was a remarkable waste of time—we spent a full thirty minutes talking about ways to cook eggs. Afterwards I had a salad with lettuce, chickpeas, corn and avocado—I’ve been bringing a Tupperware of salad for lunch with me a lot because it’s good and incredibly cheap—and an apple. Then I went to Paris-III for the third ever meeting of my 19th century lit class. The professor, who is really smart and interesting yet easy to follow, gave us a rundown of the bourgeoisie’s role in French history from the Revolution through 1851. This was especially useful to me because I don’t know shit about French history. The strikes are still happening and Middlebury is telling us to jump ship at the Paris universities, but I’m going to try to stay in her class—she’s promised to grade my paper and give a final, so I think it will not be a problem.
Hungry again afterwards (salad for lunch will do that I guess), I stopped into the Gerard Mulot patisserie on my way home and bought a lemon tart. They were also giving out free chocolate samples, so I tried a cinnamon ganache. So good. But the lemon tart was EVEN BETTER. I already have a thing for lemon desserts, but this was just superb. It had a really thin, brittle crust of what I would call the graham-cracker variety—not that I think they made theirs with graham crackers, but you know, it wasn’t pie crust—which was full of sweet and intensely citrusy custardy stuff. I reveled in that for a few minutes, and then I ate some cashews. I don’t know why. I guess because I have a big bag of cashews in my room.
Later my friend Sage and I went out for drinks and got some free bar pistachios, so I ate those with my beer. Then we headed to a concert and discovered the venue had a restaurant, so we shared a mozzarella-zucchini-and-eggplant breadcrumb melty thing and a simple but rather interesting salad involving both wasabi and guacamole (also had some bread, which was unmemorable, and a glass of wine). The concert was entirely of bands I’d never heard of: a guitar-playing singer-songwriter type whose set we missed most of but who seemed boring; some group from England called the Ralfe Band who were not bad; and a group from Portland (I think) called Wladimir Anselme, whose creepy lead singer reminded me alternately of David Byrne and that scary tall guy from Twin Peaks, and whose adorable androgynous girl drummer reminded me of a less-cute Kate Kraft. It was fun.
Yesterday I went food shopping because there’s a big outdoor market every Saturday morning literally around the corner from my foyer. I’m not sure the products are all that different from what I’d buy in the supermarket, but the variety is good and it’s just a fun and easy way to buy things. I got fruits and veggies and some cheese—a small round of chevre and my current favorite, manchego. Then I went home and made lunch with some old fridge contents and some new ingredients: the last two eggs in a carton, half an onion I’d been saving, the end of a can of sweet corn, half a red pepper and a bit of the chevre. It was some highly great scrambled eggs. For dessert, a chocolate truffle from the little box my dad bought me when he was here and a clementine.
Then I went to the Galleries de Lafayette to ogle the designer clothes with Yael. This was fun, but then we found the gourmet food section in the basement of the men’s department, which consolidates all delicious, expensive and/or weird food products in Paris into one mindboggling supermarket. Bread and sweet things from Poilâne and Eric Kayser, chocolates from Sadaharu Aoki, Amorino gelato, Mariage Frères tea. Booths selling pre-prepared high-end Greek, North African, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes. A massive table covered with mounds of multicolored spices—everything from flavored sugar to zaatar to curry powder to star anise—to purchase by weight. An organic section offering fancy rice cakes, overpriced muesli and vitamins. Even a few shelves organized by ethnicity, including a Canadian/British/American section with such items as Pepperidge Farms cookies, white bread, and maple syrup, and a Mexican section with what looked like mostly tortilla chips.
I somehow managed to emerge empty-handed, but fortunately I had the thought of making dinner to console me. I’d been planning for a long time to make curry, and last night I finally did it. I’d never made curry before, so I was a little nervous that I’d screw it up, but it turns out the recipe I had was basically the easiest thing ever. You put curry paste in a pot and heat it with coconut milk. Add red onion and garlic. Add water and more coconut milk. Add chopped vegetables (green beans and broccoli). Cover and simmer for a few minutes. Add toasted cashews. And that’s it! It took like ten minutes, and it was so tasty that I licked all the remaining sauce out of the pot. I forgot to make rice, so I ate it with a slice of Kayser bread, but that was pretty much fine. And for dessert, apple with a little peanut butter and some tea. This was maybe one of those meals that doesn’t sound that exciting but was for some reason thrillingly good.

So this turned… really long. Is this kind of thing at all interesting, or do you prefer shorter and snappier updates? Let me know, dear readers, how best to please you.

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Published in: on March 8, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I like these everyday kind of updates


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