I knew that food would be delicious in Provence, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how much more incredible it would all be. The cheeses, fruits, milk, butter, wine — it was all like a slightly electrified, more saturated version of itself. Dorade stuffed with wild fennel. Strawberries macerated with fresh mint. French cheeses. French wine. Tomatoes stuffed with parsley and garlic.
Of course, these things taste magnificent here at home, too, but it does feel like some of that local magic gets lost along the way, dissippates just slightly during the long flight over the ocean. That’s a big part of why I love traveling so much — it’s a intimate opportunity to experience food in its proper home, in its unique context and climate, surrounded by the swirling, dry coastal winds and the heady sweeps of rosemary.
I was cleaning out my hard drive and found some things that, for whatever reason, never quite made it onto here…
The late afternoon sun creates some remarkable, sharp shadows in my office, courtesy of the best cactus of all time. Every time I pick it up (rarely), I get so nervous that its stalks will break. It’s so fragile!
The first cupcakes I ever made for my work. They were a visual disaster — I couldn’t find any cupcake liners, and I utterly failed at piping frosting, resulting in little cakes that resembled dark brown turds — but they were undeniably delicious. Dark chocolate cake with a properly light, airy crumb, topped with a creamy, sweet peanut butter buttercream. They sold out in less than a day.
During the winter, I have soup almost every day. This was a simple, no-frills, tomato-black bean soup, finished with cilantro, chili oil, and lime juice.
At my first trip to downtown brasserie Chez Alexandre, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that despite its touristy Parisian vibe, the food is pretty damn good. My seared filet mignon was juicy and rare and spiked with rosemary and white peppercorns; the frites were reminiscent of McDonalds, extra salty and pliant. I also couldn’t resist ordering their cassoulet, one of my all-time favorite Toulouse dishes, mostly for its liberal application of goose fat. Despite a bizarre dearth of cannellini beans (unacceptable!), it was delicious, salty, and rich with goose and duck fat.
My favorite red pants and what my bf calls my ‘cave woman’ shirt, bought in Bali for $2. Is it just me, or have I been seeing red, stretchy cotton pants everywhere on the internet lately?