Tuesday, June 19, 2007

thyme will tell

As a poor Parisian student, I was on the look out for some healthly cheap food.Of the yogic,vegetarian, hippie variety.No tartare for me,no, no ! There was this hole in the wall behind Place Furstenberg, where I tasted brown rice for the first time, gomazio on my veggies, and to finish it with a flurry, a mug of hot thyme infusion. So simple, so good. It helps your digestion, and makes you happy with its wholesomeness and simplicity.

Monday, June 18, 2007

For the love of food, health,and fun:the free nation of Berkeley

I would vote for Julia Vinograd, the wandering in-house poet, as president.Alice Watters as chief of staff.
Berkeley is a famous little town.Counter culture, natural food mouvement, beautiful setting between water and hills,tolerant, diverse, sophisticated and rebellious, always in search of the latest food trends,, health trends and often with a blend of fun thown in. If you are serving good food from the best natural ingredients, this is what will happen in Berkeley. ICI is a sweet ice cream shop, serving seasonal flavors for the educated palates.( David Lebovitz will be signing his book there next Sunday).Last Saturday, I was bringing desert to some friends' house for dinner, and I made my apricot tart with almonds and lemon thyme.Ice cream choice from ICI: creme fraiche with hazelnut praline and apricot and nectarine sorbet. Those are the kinds of flavors that these wonderful people cook up. no wonder ...
A little further, there was a lot of healthy fun happening right on the sidewalk ! a little holistic karmic massage , and a lively hoola hoop workshop to slim those hips and look so adorable in work out clothes. ICI will get my Ministry of Health, and the new athletic store my vote for education.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I have been drinking a lot of tisanes lately.drinking and thinking. That one was given to me and seems to be a meadow in a cup .When inhaling the mixture, I am thrown back to the summertimes of my childhood . It has been very hot and dry but a storm is coming over the mountains. The farmer came by to cut the hay for his cows, just in time.The machines have hummed through the day, and then he would finish the corners with his scythe.It would be late afternoon, an orangy glow would cover the warm and fragrant stubs and the air would smell sweet like this tisane.The medley of aromas, the dry bouquet of wildflowers, the scattering of wonderful healing herbs would be tossed by the farmer's wife into the air, to aerate the fresh hay, before turning them into little Monet stacks. I would breathe in deeply, reach up the high shelf for the milk bucket, and rush to the farm before the storm would hit.

Monday, June 11, 2007

stone fruit

Who doesn't like stone fruits ? I happen to have a Proustian moment with an apricot. I was about 4 and my mother would take me in the afternoon to the Musee Rodin in Paris where the sculpture gardens were open to toddlers and their care givers to play quietly and cleanly around the pond and the thinking Man. It must have been a warm day in June, time for an afternoon snack, and I bit into the juicest, ripest, the most apricot essence my young life had encountered.It was a surprise, my innocent tongue realized the nature of pleasure, I must have stopped and lingered,and probably wanted more of it....but it was gone.
Now my favorite way to eat apricots is baked in a tart, with a bed of crushed almonds and sugar, dusted with scattering of thyme leaves. or in a jam....
Went to visit June's kitchen with her apricots ready for jamming. then went cherry picking with a group of friends and their children.The leafy branches were studded with black, warm, juicy bing cherries.Big ladders were propped against trunks and buckets were handed to carry the delicious fruit.It was so beautiful to see the fun the children were having, running from tree to tree,filling their bellies with sweetness, feeling free to roam and discover the treasures of nature.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

impressions of a June day


I didn't grow up eating the mediterranean flavors that I truly love. I even studied Italian ( after English) in High School instead of the more popular German... So ,the language became my introduction to the romance of the sun, the spell of the olive, the love of the dolce vita ! When I met significant as a young student in Paris, he was craving salads, feeling deprived of freshness by the skimpy sides of simple green salads served at the huge students restaurants. One lovely afternoon, at the budding of our relationship, we met at a sunny terrace across form the Luxembourg gardens and totally inapropriately for the hour, he proceeded to order a salade nicoise. I probably had a panachee( half sparkling lemonade, half beer, bizarre but delicious). Since then, as soon as the weather turns toward southern soul, I whip up different versions of the Nicoise which I love too now. Usually with the traditional tuna, but last time I used grilled artichoke hearts and canned wild smoked coho salmon and it was truly amazing. I have to say that these days, the price of fish is becoming so high and the selection so small and usually farmed under suspicious circumstances that I feel much better eating the canned wild than weird animals from god knows where.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Can I say cupcake ?


If you are swayed by color, composition,poetry and strangeness, you need to see the movie " 2046 "immediately if you haven't yet. I want to freeze each frame and paste them on my walls. That Wong Kar- Wai is a pure genius. Now, How did he get to produce such a visual ( no story per say) work ? How did he convince people with money to pay for his vision ??? He had proven his worth with " in the mood for love", that's true, but still I am happily amazed.