It has been over one week since I told you about the Light Wheat Bread (and just as long since we’ve been out of it, sob), a post I ended with a promise to tell you about my new favorite sandwich next. But instead I told you about Clementine Cakes and then Mushroom Bourguignon and Chouquettes and do you know what happened? Not a single person griped that they were owed a sandwich. Because really, who does that?
Our first night in Paris in October, we had dinner at a great, inexpensive Moroccan restaurant in the 3ème called Chez Omar. The specialty is couscous, and the various stews you ladle over it. Alex had the chicken, I had the vegetables, but I hear we really missed out on the Royal, which is a big mess of meat. Served family style, the food was unpretentious, light and so healthy, I made a mental bookmark to try my hand at it when I got home.
As Cathy so eloquently navigates on her site, cooking in New York City isn’t exactly a given/mandatory act, or certainly not the way it would be in a place that doesn’t have umpteen restaurant and take-out options in a four block radius. It very much a choice, something one opts to do out of interest in choosing what goes into their mouths in a place that makes it really easy to forgo this choice. Honestly, it’s not uncommon to look at an apartment in New York City and exclaim “Awesome! They just renovated the kitchen!” only to learn that new cabinets and appliances were put in two tenants ago, but neither got to turning on the oven. (Ahem.)
Every morning, I wake up and I have to remind myself that it is not spring yet. I push past all of the cute spring clothes I’ve overeagerly purchased and reach for one of the sweaters and lined pants I swear I have worn ten hundred thousand times since September and I was tired of them then: It’s not spring yet. I read food blogs from people in Paris and San Francisco, fawning over the new strawberries and colorful produce at their farmers’ markets and go to ours and see the same cabbage and potatoes (though I’m crossing my fingers for ramps today) as before: It’s not spring yet. And I honestly don’t know why I would expect to be spring in the first week of April when it is never spring in New York during the first week of April but still, I have never been more impatient for the world to warm up around me.
Here’s a typical Deb story for you: Still making my way through my awesome bean sampler from Rancho Gordo, I decided to conquer the flageolet beans next–they’re the ones that look like miniature white kidney beans, about half of which have the prettiest pale green hue. Since they’re often used in cassoulet, but I find traditional cassoulet to be way too heavy and fatty for my tastes, I started scheming my way to a delicious vegetarian version, keeping the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), thyme, tomato, garlic, etc. but nixing the duck let confit, pork fat and garlic sausages. I looked at half a dozen recipes, taking notes, keeping this, skipping that, and when I told my fellow cooking geek my plan, she said, “oh, you mean like the Vegetarian Cassoulet from the March Gourmet?”
- It only took us four months, but we have finally set up a store where those of you who are interested can buy prints of our photos. We ordered a couple of prints a few weeks ago to verify that the quality was what we had hoped, and were pleased with the results. We hope that you will be too. We’ve uploaded some of our favorite photos, but if there are any photos from our Flickr page or from this site’s archives that you’d like to purchase, just let us know and we’ll add it to the store. Unfortunately, you will find that many of our older pictures are not big enough to yield more than a small print–believe me, we’re kicking ourselves too! [The Smitten Kitchen Photo Store]