Early to bed, early to rise…that is the beauty of a 10 hour flight; your circadian rhythm is thrown off, possibly never to return until a week or so after you arrive back home. Nevertheless, we carry on fresh off the flight…a walk in the neighborhood, some shopping, and of course wine and a few noshes at a local cafe. Then a stroll past the Bastille monument, down the canal Saint-Martin to the river Seine where we turn the corner only to be surprised by the view down river of the grand lady, Notre Dame. Sitting in the middle of the Seine on the Ile de Cite, it literally takes your breath away. But that is nothing new in Paris…she takes your breath away with every turn of the corner, every tucked away courtyard, every tiny side street with tightly packed mansard roofed buildings and wrought iron railings. There is no end to surprises in the City of Light…the biggest surprise being that it illuminates you. You want to live it, breathe it, and hold it in the palm of your hand like a tiny bird that you want to keep forever but know that to do so is not possible. So that first night you reluctantly return home early with bread, cheese, pate, a bottle of wine (for those interested, a 2010 Chorey-Les-Beaune) and a promise to hit it big time in the morning…
…which came at 4:30 a.m. Curse you disturbed sleep patterns! Sleep will not come again so you reluctantly get out of bed and make your first cup of coffee for the day. A little bread, butter and jam and you are finally ready for the day.
AND since I am a day behind due to the circadian thing, I will just tell you that today’s post was going to be called Channeling Julia Child and this is the story.
Starting at the metro stop Ecole Militaire you can walk to a street called rue Cler which was Julia Child’s shopping street. Here she found the old-school butchers and bakers who basically were Julia’s earliest culinary teachers. Here she also cut her teeth on the concept that only the most excellent ingredients would produce the most excellent results for the serious cook. Today the street looks much the same and is a feast of sights and smells that is not only pleasing to the eye, but can make you downright hungry at 9 in the morning! Julia also shopped on rue de Bourgogne and her home was just off that street, #81 rue de l’Universite. It was in this kitchen that she started her experimenting and forged her life long love affair with cooking. Next stop was Julia’s favorite cooking store on rue de Coquilliere packed to the gills with pots, food mills, knives, you name it. We ended our “All Things Julia Walk” with a lunch of oysters, onion soup, herbed goat cheese on toast and a bottle of red wine (a 2009 Savigny-Les-Beaune) at Pied de Cochon, one of her favorite hang outs.
But that was not the end of channeling Julia. For dinner we walked to Joseph et Louise for a wonderful dinner cooked in an open fireplace. In honor of the woman who changed the way America cooked, I ordered Bouef Bourguignon…so good that I might be hard pressed to find another dish that beats it here in Paris. Enjoyed another fine burgundy, 2009 Nuits Saint-George.
After a long walk by the Seine and a stop for an sugar cone filled with quite literally some of the best ice cream I have ever had we called it a night. Today brings to mind the saying, “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may diet” – Harry Kurnitz (whoever he is.)
“I am half-French and that is all there is to it”. – Julia Child