Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kitchen Tales

I've continued to channel my inner Julia Child following my successful pastry experience at the Cordon Bleu (though, to be honest, I am ready to take a break from eating pastries).  So on Sunday, I made Julia's french onion soup.  I had a brilliant plan in which I would make the soup, including the part where you stand over the stove and stir onions for 30 minutes, while Baby Oil napped.  That plan, naturally, was summarily ruined when Baby Oil woke up super early from his nap.  So then I had to stir onions while wearing the baby on my back.
That's right, I'm wearing my Cordon Bleu apron. Duh. So would you.

Today I tackled another personal challenge - a whole fish!  The guy at the poissonerie told me it would be "tres facile" and actually, it was.  Except for the moment when I took the fish out of the fridge and realized I was going to have to touch the fish. Touching ensued, and it wasn't even as gross as I thought it would be.


For good measure, I whipped up this awesome roasted applesauce for dessert.  I definitely feel like I'm rocking the whole cooking-in-France thing - we've come a long way from burned pie! Mr. Oil brought home pain d'epices from Poilane that we thought would go well with warm roasted apples. Which it would have, if it had not been TERRIBLE.  That's right, I'm hating on Poilane.  David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan may love it to no end but we do not feel the love. At all.  Mr. Oil goes there regularly as there's a location near his office and we've tried many of their offerings. Chausson aux pommes - eh.  Pain au seigle - more like pain au sits in your stomach.  The standard Poilane bread is okay.  Good for sandwiches.  But the pain d'epices (aka pain d'pricey) is like eating the dryest, most over-cooked honey cake that someone's mother (but not Greta) made for Rosh Hashanah. We are seriously considering sending Mr. Oil back to Poilane tomorrow and reporting that the loaf was inedible and we want our 12 euros back.  And don't get me started on the fact that Mr. Oil spent 12 euros on this (though, after my caramel expenditures, I can hardly complain) brick of spices. If I dropped it off our balcony, I think I could seriously injure someone.

On the theme of food, Mr. Oil had a memorable experience this weekend.  He went to an outdoor market with some friends, and stopped at the olive stand.  So he sampled a few, and asked for a small amount of a few different kinds of olives. Olive Guy takes his scoop, and digs into a big vat of olives - which happened to be none of the ones that Mr. Oil asked for.  Olive Guy tried to hand Mr. Oil the big bag of olives that he didn't want, and Mr. Oil politely (I'm assuming, I wasn't there) explained that in fact he wanted a few other olives.  And in a true Seinfeld-comes-to-life moment, the Olive Guy dumped out the bag of olives and promptly declared, "Non! I don't sell olives like that."  And then refused to sell Mr. Oil any olives at all.  (Everyone say with me, "No olives for you!").  Mr. Oil left in protest (he says protest, but I could point out that he also had no other recourse). 

Onion soup, whole fish, applesauce - and it's only Tuesday.  We're heading to Lyon this weekend so we have to start making room in our stomachs as it is supposed to be the gastronomic capital of France. Stay tuned...