Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tours, France---This morning we were headed for our class at a lovely restaurant.  The walk there was so full of surprises.  The old buildings and churches are from the middle ages.  One place was "The Catacombs" that go down into the earth.  We didn't have time to explore what was there....maybe that's a good thing!  Another place was an area surrounded with tape in the middle of the street where they had dug down and found a chariot!  Would have loved to have seen what it looked like. They were still excavating and it looked very, very deep already.  Everything is so old in France.  Pictures include our classroom at the restaurant, the chef, all the wonderful foods we fixed, then ate. Also, another amazing market (David, note the fruit that says from Vietnam in one of the pictures--maybe you know what it  is.) Back at the hotel are pictures of what a 5 star hotel in Paris looks like.  My room was beautiful and I was alone.  Ah, bliss!  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paris, Day 2:   We headed down to the Metro to meet up with Chef Marthe.  This is the beautiful front door of her apartment.  We went up a winding staircase to meet her and then started out to the market to pick up the items we needed for our class on French food.
This outside market was big and bustling with people.  The smells, colors and sights were something to behold!  I've never seen such an array of vegetables and fruits and meats (even ducks with their heads still attached.)
The food booths were beautifully displayed, also.  I loved these cascading purple and green grapes.  I had a hard time not sampling them.
Chef Marthe picking out some good zucchini to make our salad with. 
We got to sample these tomatoes.....YUM!  As good as Utah tomatoes in August.
France, famous for its French bread---didn't disappoint!  Only thing is, French people do not ever eat their bread with butter.  It's rude to even ask.  One of the reasons we didn't see any fat French men or women.
Back to Chef Marthe's where she had a very modest setting for her cooking lesson.  That shining star is me taking a picture with the flash on.  Someday I'll learn to take pictures correctly.  HA!
Another shot of her apartment.  Notice the wooden bars under the table?  They were the chairs we sat upon when dining.  How French!  They make the most of their small apartment space.
Chef Drew using the mandolin to thinly slice the zucchini for the salad.  The other ingredients were lots of lemon juice, olive oil, greek olives, shallots, cherry tomatoes, topped with pine nuts and goat cheese.  This salad had to "cook" and be stirred every half hour for a couple of hours before it was ready.  We found out later that "cooked" meant marinated.
Chef Marthe showing us the proper way to cut the zucchini so it was "striped."  She was delightful as she worked telling us stories of her television show where she demonstrated how to cook.  Her specialty is macaroons, which are completely different than the coconut version we are used to.  There I am again in the mirror, not using the flash this time!  Much better.
Chef Marthe letting Chef Drew use her expensive, gorgeous stove.  From the left, Candy, Gaye, Pat and Jennifer, four of my compadres and partners in crime.
A picture of Marthe's blooming orchids with oranges in a bowl in front of the open window that opened out onto a main boulevard in Paris.
Our main course was rustic quiche lorraine.  A simple crust molded by hand, with several different French cheeses and eggs.  Delicious!
A picture of the finished salad and slice of french bread.  I ate the quiche before I thought to take a picture.
Lastly, but not least....the piece d' resistance....famous French Madeleines.  These were unbelievably tender and fragrant and lemony, and spongy.....just the way they were suppose to be.  Nothing quite like the taste of these marvelous cookie shaped sponge cakes.
After about three hours with Chef Marthe and full tummies, we reluctantly left and headed back to our hotel.  I took this picture of the outside of her building.  What a fantastic day!  The reason we came to France, after all, as a culinary group.