Very early on Saturday morning, I took a train down to Paris to meet up with Lisa, an American friend whom I met on Nigella.com. Lisa came to France for a holiday with her eldest son and her mother-in-law. The crazy thing about meeting in the flesh is that although we had never talked viva voce, since everything had been arranged by email, it was as if we'd always known each other.
To celebrate, we went on a tour of Le Marais...
Lisa has four sons! (Rue des 4 fils translates as Street of the 4 sons)
desperately looking for a Pain Quotidien coffee shop which we never found...then stopped at Le Palais des Thés, then at Mariage Frères
Genmaicha from Palais, ta green tea flavoured with puffed rice and popcorn, an empty but pretty box, Marco Polo tea (citrus-flavoured black tea) and Sur le Nil, a fruity one all from Mariage
to stock up on the finest teas before heading for Dehillerin, kitchen equipment specialist
where I bought an oblong tart tin, a dough scraper (and so did Lisa) and a silicon baking mat (I own a bad one bought in Germany), this one is like a silpat. Mariage and Dehillerin make business as they always have (like in the 19th C)... amusing.
For lunch, I wanted to take them all to Josselin (Rue du Montparnasse), probably the best crêperie in the world, but we found their iron curtain down, so we found ourselves in another crêperie down the street called Plougastel and were happily surprised as their galettes were really good and the staff very friendly.
Lisa -sans sunglasses- and I at the crêperie
Finally, since Pierre Hermé was closed too, we headed for the Grande Epicerie at Le Bon Marché, I got some snobbish salts, by that I mean that I bought imported salts, Maldon as Lisa assured me it was special, and Ibiza fleur de sel as I just loved the ceramic tub with the little serving spoon, so cute!
A great day, very pleasant, fun and special!
So, since dear Lisa kindly brought me this chipper, at the risk of getting caught for travelling a weapon,
back at casa Julie I chipped away...
and baked some cookies, also to thank the Daddy for babysitting Maya all Saturday.
The recipe for them is taken from one of my oldest books, "How to Prepare American Cuisine"
( "Savoir préparer la cuisine amériaine" collection Idées recettes) bought in 1995 . These cookies are so chock-a-block full of chips, raisins and nuts that you end up with some of it left after the dough is gone...they are crunchy on the outside and cakey inside, and good for you, I tell myself!
75g soft butter
125 mlvegetable oil
160g dark brown sugar
50g caster sugar (I use golden)
1tsp vanilla extract
250g wholemeal flour
pinch of salt
200g chocolate chips
Preheat the oven on 180°C.
Creamthe butter, oil and sugars together, then beat in the eggs, and finally the flour, oats, bicarb and salt. Mix well and add the chips, nuts and raisins. Form cookes and set them on a prepared baking sheet, they won't spread so you can put them relatively close to one another. Bake for about ten minutes until the edges and top begin to brown.