Finally!

If you could smell what I smell, you’d be really excited. It is fall. I spent the day in the sun, working on my yard and my house, walking around town and looking for warmth. It dropped down to 35 degrees last night, and we still haven’t turned on the heat. We needed to find it elsewhere, and so we started cutting… Carrots freshly picked from our garden (they are really short and funny looking, but very tasty), champignons de Paris*, garlic, onions, beef roast, bacon… Well, everything we needed to make the year’s first boeuf bourguignon*.

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It’s officially fall

The few leaves left on my cherry tree are turning colors, and the vast majority of them are now carelessly piled on the ground below. Our tomatoes have all but died and we picked our first beets last weekend. I wore socks for the first time in months (only at home) and have been wearing my new leather jacket (only in the morning). Fall is here, and with it one of my favorite times of the year, full of antiquing and savory, slow-cooked meals, beautiful reds, auburns, oranges and golds adorning the Normand trees, the end of tourist season in Paris and walking to work with the rising sun, pots of freshly made soup, heated up as needed, lazy weekends at the seaside, jackets buttoned up and scarves rippling as the coastal wind reminds me, just in case I’d forgotten, that summer is O.V.E.R.

Despite the unseasonably hot temperatures this week, I’m definitely feeling fall. After a weekend of antiquing in Giverny and Aubevoye, I’m officially ready to dive into my pre-winter menu. Last weekend at the super market we debated on whether or not to buy beef for bourgignon, and decided that it was too early. Now, it feels just right. The tenderly cooked and red-wine infused beef pairs so perfectly with the spicy flavor of cloves and garlic. I can’t wait for my first one of the season. Continue reading

A wintery meal for this fall-like summer

What to do when you have a fridge full of cheese, half a sack of potatoes and are leaving for a long weekend the day after tomorrow? Why, make aligot of course!

Aligot is a Southern French specialty that combines two really awesome things: mashed potatoes and cheese. Cantal to be exact. It’s made by mashing salted, boiled potatoes, then sautéing them ever so gently with milk, butter, cream and… About half as much cheese as there are potatoes. The result is a silky, dense potatoey goodness so thick you can cut it with a knife.

 

Delicious, yes, but only really appropriate if you are a lumberjack or mountain man. I feel like I now have a brick where my stomach used to be, albeit a divinely rich, delicious brick…