Saturday, June 26, 2010

La Cuisine et les Marchés de Paris

I think the single thing I love most about Paris is that I can make nearly every day about food. Shopping for food, learning about food, exploring shops that sell equipment to prepare food, it is a wonderland of exquisite nourishment.

Saturday mornings are all about the Batingnolles Bio Marché. It is small but really good and the vendors there are wonderfully sweet and helpful. The whole market is organic so it takes a bit of the thinking part out of the shopping experience. You can just gravitate to what looks or smells good and go from there.

Plus there is always some sort of entertainment at the Marché and today it was this lovely lady as a singing clown. She serenaded my children with Sur la Pont D'Avignon.

I came home with a lovely assortment of fresh vegetables which won't last long here. The good and the bad of it is that buying fruits and vegetables at market here in France pretty much means they are ready to eat within a day or two. Unlike at home when your produce arrives at your market while still trying to ripen, everything here goes from farm to table ready to eat. 

After the market we had a light lunch here at the apartment and then I gathered the family and we trundled off to the Luxembourg area for some play and some cooking. I enrolled in a cooking class on Macarons which was conveniently located across from Le Jardin du Luxembourg where the children could play for a few hours under the watchful eye of their handsome father. We had a tad bit more of a French experience getting down there than we would have liked with our bus route being shortened due to an unexpected manefestation. No one seemed sure about what the grave was about since we'd just had one on Thursday against the raising of the retirement age. As it turns out it was a series of street closures for the Gay Pride Parade.

The class was run by a fairly new outfit called La Cuisine Paris which apparently opened in October 2009. They have lots of classes at different times all days of the week so if you are a working stiff, a mère au foyer, or a student, there is a good chance you'll be able to find a class that suits your schedule.

There were 7 of us in our english speaking class. Two friends from Hong Kong by way of London, two American grandmas and their granddaughters, and me. We all had a wonderful time learning about these colorful cookies and I am sure that each on of us will be trying them on our own.

We made a green cookie to suit the green-apple vanille crème patissiere filling and then of course we did the obligatoire Chocolate Ganache.

I am excited about trying these recipes while I am here in France and having yet another excuse to go to G. Detou for supplies. I am not however exicted about the fact that I don't have a mixer and will have to use my brute strength and a whisk.

After the class, box of macarons in hand, we scooted home to make a quick dinner before the USA Ghana game. While in France we do things the French way with salad and cheese coming after the main dish. With two kids who actually eat vegetables but don't care for salad dressing, I have taken to just mixing greens in a bowl with dressing and serving salad ingredients on the side with the cheese. Here are some photos of our salad topping plate that the kids pick from while we eat cheese after our main. I added more of everything after this photo but when it comes to the simple beauty of food, less is more.