Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.
This week was very gray and bleary in St. Louis. It rained almost everyday (or at least, it felt like it did). It’s good though because we needed the rain. My friend Lynn from Edelbrand Pure Distilling told me that farms where she lives were 13 inches out on rain. I could see it last week when I hiked in the countryside near her home. The hills and valleys were yellow and parched.
Today, the sun finally came out. I’m going to go on a hike later to enjoy the nice weather. I’ve been experiencing a lot of cabin fever this winter between the snow, ice, and rain. I can’t wait for spring.
I learn this every February and forget it, but winter is a lesson in patience. Sometimes we need to go through less-than-ideal circumstances to get to a place where we’re happier. Lately, I feel like winter will never end. Then I remind myself that we’re only a couple months away from gorgeous weather. I can start spending the whole day outside again, buying fresh produce at the farmers’ market, and making recipes I’m more excited about. I keep circling back to this so I don’t lose my mind.
I hope wherever you are, you enjoy some days of nice weather this week. Spring is almost here.
Without further ado, here is Dimanche:
I booked a trip to Seattle last week and I am *pretty* excited about it. I’m going to see my brother and my friend Stephanie, and a few other friends I have in town. I’ve loved the Pacific Northwest since my first visit a couple years ago. I can’t wait to see what the city has in store this time around.
In case you missed it, check out my chocolate chip cookie power ranking. It was inspired by the softest chocolate chip cookies I made last week. I wanted to have a place where I could easily find my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, and I wanted to tell everyone about the best recipes (because there are A LOT of them out there to sift through). If you haven’t made Alison Roman’s salted chocolate chip shortbread cookies yet, you might want to change that soon.
There was a lot of backlash last month after famous Frenchwomen including actress Catherine Deneuve denounced the #MeToo movement. Their words ashamed me, both as a woman and a person who loves France. It’s important to realize that Deneuve doesn’t speak for all French women, though. I enjoyed reading this article about Marlène Schiappa, France’s gender-equality minister. The last paragraph where Schiappa shares an anecdote about her eleven-year-old daughter and a friend discussing harassment really hit home.
Whenever I miss France, I head to Nathaniel Reid Bakery. Nathaniel Reid grew up in St. Louis but trained as a pastry chef in France. He is so talented and is one of the nicest people I know. I got the “Kyoto” yesterday, a cake with hazelnut praline, milk chocolate, and lime. It was almost too pretty to eat.
I just started watching “Ugly Delicious,” David Chang’s new food documentary series on Netflix. The first episode is all about pizza. Chang takes us across the world to show us what different countries and chefs are doing with the pies. I thought the episode was entertaining and informative, but also infuriating. At one point, Peter Meehan, the editor of the now defunct Lucky Peach, sideswipes Chicago-style pizza. Other New Yorkers throughout the episode also bash on pies made outside New York, claiming that their pizza is superior. It’s stubbornness bordering on insanity. I wonder if these people have even tried pizza outside New York…probably not.
Speaking of pizza…The New York Times‘s “Frugal Traveler” columnist came to St. Louis this week and tried St. Louis-style pizza. I was cracking up at his post on Twitter. For those of you unfamiliar with St. Louis-style pies, they’re essentially a cracker with Provel cheese, a processed blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. I grew up eating the pizza so it will always have a place in my heart, but I don’t actively seek it out anymore. I thought the Frugal Traveler’s assessment was pretty spot on.
Last but certainly not least, I made Gibassier last night.Gibassier is a French bread made with orange zest, orange blossom water, and anise powder. People in France make it this time of year. It’s fragrant, warming, and delicious. It’s the perfect thing to bake on a cold night when you don’t want to leave your house. Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow.
Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started.