Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I've wanted to drink wine at Willi's Wine Bar in Paris, rue des Petits Champs, for a while, even more so after my helper at Mad med mere worked there a few years ago. We weren't disappointed. The wines were delicious, a 2004 Jurançon sec from Cahaupé and a Tokaii, 3 puttonyos - sorry, no details, I'll have to get used to taking notes - that was perfect with our rasberry dessert.

The food was good, the waiters were freindly and knowledgeable. I've more or less lost my desire to comment on the food and wine. Both were the way they should be, 'just' there, a part of the experience. Each playing their unique part. There are so many important condtions and choices, that make up the 'just', so it feels completely natural, completely effortless. Elegance, the goal of all my recording and analysing.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Champs Elyseés

It's a bit anticlimactic this year, cheering for the boys with their beautiful shaved legs and colored jerseys on the podium on this mythical boulevard. Sad...


Saturday, July 28, 2007


Back again in this beautiful city. In the apartment we've traded with a French couple through Home Exchange. So good to spend our vacation in a real home instead of a hotel.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A good hamburger

We had a great garden day, dug flower beds, cut down trees, built frames for the roses to climb on, put up the washline. Thanks, guys! And ate some great cheesebugers for lunch.

My local halal butcher has good chopped beef. Made the burgers on the barbecue, with just a bit of black pepper and oil. Salt and a slice af aged Irish cheddar, when they were turned over. On toasted rolls with tomato slices, fresh garden lettuce, thin slices of new onions. Ketchup for the boys. Really simple, with prima ingredients... really tasty!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Baking powder bisquits

These are made from Craig Claiborne's recipe from The New York Times Cookbook. I grew up with it and bought a used copy a couple of years ago. Complete nostalgia... The bisquits are more scone-like than those my mom and grandmother made, though. For 6-8 bisquits:

1/2 cup flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 butter in small pieces (orig. hardened vegetable shortening)
3-4 tbsp. cold water
2 tbsp. heavy cream, optional

Preheat the to 400° F. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and butter in a food processer. Blend while adding the water, til the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Form a ball of the dough and roll out to 1/2 thickness. Cut the bisquits out with a 2 1/2-inch cutter. Brush, if desired, with the cream. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.


Strawberry shortcake recipe

My childhood strawberry shortcake is made of baking powder bisquits, strawberries and whipped cream. (No bread - the slice in the photo is a leftover from lunch.) For 4 servings:

4 baking powder bisquits, unsweetened
1 lb. of strawberries, sliced and sweetened to taste
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped with 1 tsp. confectioner's sugar

The strawberries and cream are prepared in advance and chilled. The cakes are assembled when the bisquits are just out of the oven, and eaten while the bisquits are still warm and the berries and cream are still cold. Half a bisquit, cut side up, then a spoonfull og berries and juice, then cream. The other half bisquit, cut side up, berries, cream. Topped off by a whole strawberry with the green still on.

There were 8, 10, 12 people for the Sunday or holiday dinners, where we ate desserts like shortcake. I loved the logistics involved in getting them to the table at the right moment. Somebody cut the bisquits, somebody else put the first layer of strawberries on, the next one dollopped the cream and so on.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Strawberry shortcake

I love strawberry shortcake, and we had it sometimes on my birthday, with the first strawberries from Florida - or somewhere else in the South - when I was a kid. When we weren't having Nana's German baker's Black Forest seven layer chocolate cake. Mmmm....