Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bitter Christmas

With everyone talking about Christmas baking and cooking I'd like to put a word in for eating something bitter at this time of the year. Bitter has been my life over the last year or so as I've been working on a book about bitter foods to be published by Ten Speed in September 2014. I think there should be a little bitter in every holiday menu. Bitter foods spark the appetite and more importantly help you digest your food, very beneficial at this time of year when we all tend to over indulge.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Biltong is cured, air dried meat developed in South Africa and popular in many African countries. Often compared to jerky, it is a more refined product. I knew about it but I'd never tried it until last Saturday at  Florence Meats a fabulous butcher shop in Oakville.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Eating better

In the summer I was sent this book. I was very busy so I have only just managed to have a good look at it. Thanks to the content of my books I've done many interviews with paleo diet followers. I am not an advocate, dairy and grains play an important role in my diet. However, I do applaud any book that encourages people to eat pastured meat and quality animal fat as this book does. It covers almost every part of the pig, from its fat, chitterlings and there is even a meatloaf-style headcheese. The approach is a straight forward and informative making this book an excellent source for the novice cook. 

I was disappointed to discover that the authors perpetuate the myth that the pancreas is a sweetbread, it is NOT. The pancreas is a pancreas. The sweetbreads, there are two, are the thymus glands located in the neck and above the heart in young animals and only in young animals. 

This book encourages people to cook and think about what they are eating and that is good, well done Stacy and Mathew. For those of you interested in the paleo diet check out their website

Monday, 9 September 2013

Squirrel 0 Jennifer 12

This year I am winning. My fig tree is not beautiful, but it is productive. Every winter I wonder if it is worth the effort of dragging it into the apartment and down the stairwell to the landing which is the coolest darkest spot we have. The tree is only about 1.5 metres tall however, the pot is big and heavy and manhandling it down the stairs isn't easy. We have to walk around it all winter then drag it back outside in the spring. Yet every year the tree rewards our efforts by producing lots of figs.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

White Asparagus Part 2

As I said in White Asparagus Part 1, I'd always just boiled my white asparagus. Well this asparagus season we went to Spring restaurant in Paris. My favourite taste in the meal was the grapefruit jelly for many reasons, but the white asparagus were delicious too and a revelation. Obviously  chef Daniel Rose shares my opinion that white asparagus should be big and fat, look at these beauties in the photo. You can read about Daniel and his restaurant in an article written by my friend Lesley Chesterman.

Friday, 7 June 2013

White Asparagus Part 1

I'm an asparagus snob. For me asparagus are white and fat. You have to peel white asparagus, so you want something left when you finish and I'd rather eat three fat ones than half a dozen skinny ones.  When I first came to France eons ago, green asparagus, the only ones I was familiar with at the time, were no where to be found. You could find skinny wild green asparagus, but everything else is white. Today green are everywhere. To my taste white asparagus are superior to green. They are the same plant except the white ones are buried under a mound of sandy soil. This protects them from the light and stops the formation of chlorophyl resulting in a pure asparagus taste, free of the grassiness of the green ones.

Friday, 5 April 2013


One of my favourite places in Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens. This photo was taken in the autumn when cardoons were part of the flower borders, I've also seen them in Parc Montsouris. I wanted to sneak back late in the evening to harvest a few stalks, but the gardens, wisely,  are closed at night. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

Fat Dinner part 2

Well after all that fat, dinner began with lean duck breast and salad, although it did have a healthy layer of fatty skin, I'm happy to say. Neumarkt chef Rene Zimmermann followed my recipe, using figs, which were in season, rather than blackberries that weren't. This is exactly how recipes should be approached, smart alternatives rather than following them to the letter.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Fat Dinner

This plate of fat, was my snack before the fat dinner! I knew there was going to be lardo, that is what is filling my plate, but I didn't know there would be such a choice. Chef Rene from Neumarkt restaurant, had been to Salone del Gusto and returned with six different types. He created lardo heaven.

Monday, 21 January 2013


Last November I was invited to Zurich for the launch of my Fat book in German Fett. The trip from Paris on the TGV was pleasant on a high tech Swiss train that signalled where we were and how fast the train was travelling. We had good insider information about where to eat and drink, which was very helpful as Zurich is a lot pricier than Paris. And my husband and I spent a wonderful weekend in Switzerland, without once eating raclette, fondu, or chocolate.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Keeping up Traditions

Yesterday was Epiphany and I made a galette de rois or king's cake. This cake is traditionally served in France around this time of the year. I've written about this before so I won't repeat myself. 

You can buy this cake in French pastry stores, but it is really worth the effort of making it yourself, yes even the pastry. There is something so satisfying watching your homemade puff pastry soar in the oven, and I've never achieved the same results with bought pastry. Although Epiphany has passed you can still make the cake and there are step by step instructions for the puff pastry here. The pastry has to be made a day ahead and then you can make the filling and bake the galette. Try it this weekend.

This year I got the bean,  a reward for keeping my new's resolution to blog weekly? Perhaps not, it is only week two. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


New year's makes us think of resolutions, and we usually make many that we can't keep. Resolutions that my husband and I made were to spend new year's eve with good friends, drink champagne at midnight, and have scrambled eggs and truffles for breakfast on new year's day. And so far we've kept them for over 25 years. Who said resolutions had to be hard to keep?