Yesterday Mme P took me to LeClerc, a huge shopping center in Les Angles. There is a bookstore there and I can spend hours roaming around in bookstores. In French or English. They have a huge section on cooking there and Mme P found this one, Yes We Cook. I looked through it and gave my American stamp of approval. It's divided into sections, from L'American Breakfast with pancakes aux myrtilles, to Gourmandises Pour Les Sweet Teeth with chocolate chips cookies and carrot cake, to La Soul Food Des États Du Sud with hoppin' john and banana pudding. The recipes are translated into French with beautiful photos and explanations of the dishes and regions.
I found two little books that are too cute and that I could not resist--
One for making soft cakes (still working on my fondant au chocolat
And hoping to find a recipe for fondant au caramel like the one I ate in Paris). The other has macaron recipes. Still working on those, too. I made some yesterday for our dinner party, as a matter of fact! With the help of a mix (almonds already ground up!)
and the mats that we found at Galeries Lafayette in Rouen. They are silicone and have the shapes marked so you can be sure to get them all the same size!
I was quite proud of myself!
I love being Mme P's assistante in the kitchen. I sliced the biggest mushrooms I have ever seen, cèpes from the Ardèche,
for her poulet aux cèpes.
I shelled walnuts for the endive, apple and walnut salad.
I washed dishes. We had help from Bigoudi, the very curious fur ball.
M. P cleaned floors, rearranged furniture, set up the big table, and poured a glass of wine for us while we worked. Very important jobs! (Sorry for the blurry photo... He moves fast!)
Dessert was a Café Gourmand-- a selection of little bite-sized sweets. Mme P made her famous mousse au chocolat, I made the macarons, and Mademoiselle de Tavel brought crèpes with caramelized apples in them and lemon tart.
The evening was a great success, ending with M. P playing the guitar accompanied by Frenchie playing his recorder. I am very sorry that I did not take pictures... I can't believe that I didn't. I am sure that Arles Lucy did, though, so I will get some from her when we get home.
I am now in the kitchen, helping Mme P's son with his French past participles. I feel very useful as I blog and sip my coffee on this rainy Sunday morning.
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