Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
My heart sank. Would all of my efforts be for naught? Would Izzy take one bite of a Munchkin and be transported to junk food heaven? Do I need to move to the woods to keep Izzy from Booty and Munchkins? What is a real foodist to do? I left school wondering how many munchkins my boy would eat...
When I picked him up from school, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he had eaten most of this lunch; tofu/broccoli and rice...yogurt for dessert. He made no mention of munchkins and when I asked what he had for snack he said, "Crackers Mama. I told you, crackers." Phew, somehow, some way the teachers kept the Munchkins away.. I would love to know who ate them..
I certainly am not opposed to all doughnuts and Izzy does have a predilection for the homemade blueberry doughnuts from the Stony Hill Farms stand at Newport..but those are a horse of a different color.
Monday, July 30, 2007
For awhile I began to think this was common amongst toddlers..I imagined them all screaming for lemons...that image was crushed this evening, seeing all those tiny sour faces.. Let's see if I can get a shot of Izzy and his lemons...stay-tuned.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
At the moment, the most feasible option seems to be to purchase a lamb which can easily be split into two shares, without either party feeling deprived for not receiving an important part.
When I inquired about these possibilities to the members of my CSA, one member and I shared the following exchange:
She: In two weeks, we sneak onto the farm and rescue the lambs
Me: I didn't know that you were a vegetarian.
She: No, I'm an uglitarian. I can't bring myself to eat cute things. no ducks, no veal, no lamb, no kittens.
Me: The cuter they are, the better they taste! Lamb and duck are my favorites..bunny is pretty good too.
And I might add that pigs are awfully cute and mighty flavorful.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Somehow this morning found me and Izzy, on our way to Union Square to pick up some last minute meat and other incidentals. I figured I could get everything done there and it wouldn't take that long..What happened was that we didn't up leaving here until after 10:30.. I blame the injured sparrow we had to stop to examine. We spent a good 15 minutes peering at it, belly up on the sidewalk. I was deciding how to tend to it when it miraculously righted itself and fluttered to the side of a building. Figuring it was safe enough, we left but we didn't get to NYC until 11:30ish and we were not back home until almost 2:00 p.m.
I thought I had plenty of time. After all, I was only making hamburgers and wienies. Easy as pie? Not with me..The city trip had me exhausted and I needed to take to the couch for a short power nap, and even after that I was still dragging. I didn't start to do a thing til about 3:00 p.m. and the guests were coming at 4:00 p.m. That didn't give me much time to do all that needed to be done, which was too much. For it suddenly dawned on me then that I needed to:
None of this was done by the time people started arriving but I figured I could do it and chit-chat, which ends up making things take longer and I never get to really sit down. How could a burger, wienie and corn dinner be so time consuming? What am I doing wrong?
Izzy, on the other hand, was having a swell time. Frolicking through the sprinkler with his friend O., screaming on the grass and tucking into a picnic table feast with his friend T., who he hasn't seen in a while. At the evening's end he asked, "When can we have another party?" I thought..."When I can hire someone to clean up!"
How can I really refuse the budding social butterfly? Next time I will just make it simple.
So very wrong! It wasn't the plums' fault though..just mine. The plums were ripe, juicy and syrupy sweet. I had extras and thought they would make a perfect upside down plum cake. Maybe in someone else's oven...
I had a slight inkling that something was amiss, when, after 15 minutes beyond the recommended baking time, the cake still seemed liquified. Perhaps it was the extra juice in the plums but I finally took it out because the top was so brown. I was surprised at how easily it slid from the pan and how lovely it looked.
When I unveiled it this evening it looked like a sodden mess, akin to mushy pancake batter with fruit. I attempted to cut it and then realized that it was
beyond repair. My friend D. kindly suggested that the ends might be edible and one could glean that it may have been a decent cake if something had not gone awry. Perhaps that variety of plum is best left for eating...or a different recipe.
Friday, July 27, 2007
But then yesterday, another Booty arrived to plague me...Izzy came home from school with his lunch only half-eaten. This surprised me since there were things in there he liked. He said he wasn't hungry because he ate strawberries and some "junk food" for snack. When I asked what kind of junk food he replied, "junk food with cheese." I still was reluctant to believe that he had been served junk food and continued to press him for answers. He insisted that he was certain it was junk food and finally relented.."They were cheesy puffs like someone once gave me in the park."
I was dumbfounded..his teachers had actually served him cheese doodles or a relative thereof? How could that be? It was time for an explanation..
When I went to pick him up today, I was determined to get to the bottom of the junk food charge. I was told that Izzy was correct. The preschoolers had eaten "Pirate Booty".. Oh no, what I thought was a mere misunderstanding turned out to be practically true. Izzy was being fed the evil puffs, by those charged to take good care of him.
Now in all good faith, the school staff thought that this was a healthy snack.. They as many other well-meaning parents and teachers are being duped.
In recent days, Veggie Booty has been recalled because of salmonella contamination. The Booty empire was also embroiled in misrepresenting the caloric content of their products. Granted, if you read the label, the product looks relatively benign but consumption can cause unnecessary bloating and diarrhea, filling one up with empty calories. I know that parents and teachers often need to resort to convenient snacks but there certainly are better things that could substitute..pretzels, whole wheat crackers, tortilla chips and salsa, to name a few.
I adore the staff at Izzy's school and I know they didn't mean any harm..I can only hope that in the future, Izzy's days remain Booty free!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
When I arrived to pick him up, one of his teachers, Miss A., informed me that at some point in the day, talk had turned to the different things everyone eats. She said that Izzy told everyone that he liked to eat octopus and "raw sushi fish." The entire group ewwwwwwwwwwwed in disgust. Apparently not a single one had eaten sushi.. How is that possible? Granted with all of the bad press and mercury, consumption should be kept at a minimum but no sushi at all? And here I was thinking Jersey City was so cosmopolitan, 8 minutes from the Path from NYC but worlds away? I know Izzy's peers in NYC are munching up sushi left and right.
In any event, Miss A. had to explain to Izzy's friends about how everyone eats different foods, etc...I wish I could have been there. Maybe I need to plan a sushi introduction party for his class...
All that talk of sushi put Izzy in sushi-mode so on our way home from Great-Grandpa's this evening, instead of going to my selection, we agreed to go for sushi. We tried a new place, JC Sakura, which I had long eschewed for other establishments and it turned out to be fairly decent, especially my mango-lobster roll. Izzy was especially awed by the sushi boat. Even I was.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Stuffed Artichokes (Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)
4 large artichokes trimmed ( you can easily adapt to make more, which I always do. These make great leftovers)
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 large onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
1/2 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled (I use the turkey sausage from DiPaola Farms which works quite well)
2 cups fine bread crumbs (bakery ones are best)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt, to taste
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Trim stems of artichokes so they sit upright. Put lemon juice in a pot of boiling water and add artichokes, cooking for 20-30 minutes until a few leaves pull out. Do not overcook.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Everything looked beautiful, especially the red Amaranth which I served with Baby Spinach and Goat Cheese. But it was the Red Heart plums that stole ours...shockingly sweet and dripping with juice. Izzy found them irresistible, secretly popping them into his mouth when he thought I wasn't looking..
Time to search for something to do with them since it seems some members forgot theirs.
Now Izzy has always enjoyed eating sardines but I think I have yet to pack any in his lunchbox, because admittedly, they smell fishy. I figured it was high time to try as I had no other immediate use for the leftovers. What could be healthier than a sardine, cream cheese and spinach sandwich, which I told him I would be making. I have discovered that one trick to getting him to eat more lunch is preparing him in advance, and explaining what exactly will be in his lunchbox. He likes to look forward to it and then seems to eat more.
Stay tuned to see what comes back in his lunchbag!
Izzy came home with half a sandwich in his lunchbox. He said he liked it but it was too much too finish. Hmmm.. Yesterday he finished all of his pasta and his chickpea/cucumber salad...
p.s. His wrap mat wasn't too stinky but I did toss the sandwich.
Monday, July 23, 2007
So next time you are seeking some cooking entertainment, pick up several ears and let your kids do the work, while you prepare the rest of dinner.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Izzy and I went to have some late afternoon gelato. I noticed that they had one of Izzy's favorites from last year, Black Sesame so I asked him if he would like some.. He immediately replied yes but I figured it would be best to get a sample first, since tastes change. The young woman eyed us with an incredulous look upon her face and said, "He doesn't want that. I am sure. It has a strong flavor." I explained that it was one of his past favorites so she handed over the sample and watched with further surprise when Izzy said, "That's what I want. And Bon Bon too."
Friday, July 20, 2007
Upon our arrival, we handed him his box of Jadis et Gourmande chocolates. He promptly put the box aside instead of immediately opening them as I had secretly hoped.
We busied ourselves with chit-chat until Izzy started asking for snacks. He then kept motioning toward the chocolate box but Great-Grandpa pretended not to notice. Then he said that the chocolates were his gift and that Izzy couldn't have any. I thought it must be a joke but he insisted that they were his chocolates and he wouldn't be sharing them.
Izzy was decidedly peeved that he wasn't going to sample any of the chocolates and I am sure he was surprised that Great-Grandpa wouldn't give in. Luck would have it that there was a bowl of lovely cherries in the fridge which calmed Izzy's craving for a while. Then we all settled in on the couch to watch some of Fiddler on the Roof. Every now and then, Izzy would look longingly over at the box of chocolates and I had to shake my head no.
Before the movie was over it was time for us to leave, and still no chocolates were forthcoming. As we were gathering our belongings and just about to open the door, Great-Grandpa says, "Would you like to try the chocolates now?" Was that his ploy all along? The sure-fire way to prolong our visit? Well it certainly worked. We ceremoniously opened the box and each got to have one chocolate, before rushing out the door to catch our train.
Tonight, when I spoke to Great-Grandpa, I asked if he had eaten any more of the chocolates. His reply, "No, I am saving them. It isn't every day that I get chocolates from Paris." Indeed not so I hope they don't end up blooming in his cabinets like some American chocolates I have seen.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Izzy has been fortunate because I have always eaten with him, even if it has meant that I have two dinners (not good for my waist but did wonders for his palate). Even when he was tiny I would feed him and then have a small plate to sample along with him. For me it was second nature to partake with him. Yet for so many families, this is a foreign concept.
In many families, the children are fed first and put to bed before the adults eat. In this scenario, the children lose out on so many levels. Children learn about the pleasures of the table from their parents (or caregivers). When they eat alone they are not exposed to the entire social aspect of the table.
I have been shocked of late when I see the food crimes that some parents admit to..
While in Paris, we were dining at a communal table. Seated next to us was a couple with an 18 month old toddler. They arrived at the table with the toddler in a stroller. They did not take the child out and said they only needed two seats. I asked if the child would be eating and the mom said, "Il a mange avant, autrement ca sera la revolution." (He ate beforehand, otherwise there would be a revolution.") This truly made no sense to me and I told her that with Izzy it would have been the contrary. If I took him out he of course would want to join in on the eating.. Then the woman said that she never ate with him anyway so it wouldn't make a difference. Alot she knew..The child begged to get out of the stroller so she stuffed some bread into his mouth to quiet him. Then, about half way into their meal, he insisted more loudly and clearly wanted some food. Finally she gave in and let the poor child out.
In another family, the child has consistently been fed separately, rarely if ever partaking in a family dinner. His parents have recently come to their senses and are trying to do better. I am looking forward to hearing about their upcoming family meals.
Granted it is not always easy to gather for a family meal and early bedtimes do make it even more difficult. But try to eat with your children as often as possible so that they may learn to eat what you love and enjoy being at the table too.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
'junk food? I could eat that all day...' She said she had to laugh thinking that he was the last child she would expect to be eating junk food.
When I asked him about the conversation today he said...B. says that junk food is disgusting. I explained that it wasn't necessarily disgusting but that it wasn't healthy for his body.
Then I asked him what exactly junk food was...he said, 'sugary snacks and salty pretzels..., I eat those things when you don't pack a snack for me.
This all had me wondering about what exactly constitutes junk food. When we asked Alex he said,"Potato chips and things that come in icky bags."
The icky bag aspect opens up a whole realm to which many, many junk food items fall into. After all, potato chips are only the tip of the junk food iceberg.
If I were to begin a list it would include chips of all kinds, cookies, candies, sugary cereals, and pop tarts. There are so many items that would warrant inclusion I couldn't possibly list them
What would you include on the list?
Monday, July 16, 2007
That dish alone, would have made this restaurant a keeper. Homey, warm and creamy...a perfect ending to our meal. Although not every dish was perfect, I would certainly give this restaurant another whirl.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
A day of too much chocolat
Friday, July 13, 2007
Possibly the only parenting blog that will make you want to drool more than gag.
Thanks Miss Poppins, I hope to keep you drooling.
As for Mommy Poppins, I just love the very name of this site and from the looks of it, it is filled with insider info on what to do with kids in nyc.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The sandwich was extraordinary for a few reasons. First, it was made to order which is rather unusual in Paris. Usually sandwiches are pre-made and arranged on the bakery shelves. This sandwich was made on organic bread and the "chef" carefully arranged the ingredients, including a just opened avocado, proscuitto, onions, cheese and ample sprinkles of chives and cilantro. It was an irresistible creation. So simple and perfect.I ended up buying myself a goat cheese and olive fougasse which was decent but nothing compared to what the boys were having. Luckily we all shared and it turned out to be one of our best meals here.
It was also further evidence that guides can only help one to a certain extent. Sometimes it can be better to follow your eyes and nose.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
We went to a place called L'Estaminet d'Aromes et Cepages. This quote from the guide drew me in, "Thierry Poincin presents dishes as fresh as the morning dew." None of the dishes mentioned in the review were available and the menu was very limited. Not only that but they were out of many items on the menu and it was 1:30 p.m. On top of that, the service was negligent and we had to find our own bread. Alex was none to pleased since this was his last meal before starting a big project. Our experience left little to be desired and the diners seated next to us were disenchanted as well.
After that experience, I decided that I would ask some locals for advice about tonight's dinner. I stopped a family on the street and asked if they were from the neighborhood. I asked for a suggestion and they pointed me in the direct of a restaurant called Cafe Creme. It was basically a cafe with third-rate food. At least it was cheap. But now where do I turn?
I did purchase the Time Out Eating and Drinking Guide and it lists many of my old favorites so I think I will stick with that from now on. The only issue I have is that it doesn't list enough ice cream stores, chocolatiers or patisseries.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
We took Alex to our little market street and tempted him with all manner of cheeses and pates. We also discovered that Le Marche des Enfants Rouges is more interesting than I had first thought. We discovered an interesting vendor of all things Moroccan and there was also a Socca vendor. I promptly ordered one which we all devoured. For those of you who don't know, socca is a savory chickpea flour pancake, a nicoise specialty. After that snack we found ourselves back home for another small feast for lunch.
We ate so much, that Alex and I fell asleep while Izzy played egg games with a sheet. I awoke when it seemed to quiet to find him leaning out the window gazing upon the street scene below. (Note to self..next time find an apartment with safer windows and better views).
Our post-prandial jaunt led us to the Grand Palais, to see the Monumenta exhibit that has kept Alex busy for awhile. The work was impressive and Izzy was thrilled to see where "Papa works." Izzy built up quite an appetite wandering around admiring the enormous pieces. So he needed a hearty dinner.
I had heard that Chez Janou served up hefty portions of hearty fare so off we went. This lively restaurant was bustling with tourists of all kinds. It was charming and the menu had a provencale slant. Our appetizers were memorable. Izzy had a Salade d'ecrevisses, avocat et pamplemousse (tiny shrimp, avocado and grapefruit on a bed of lettuce) which was one of the more inventive menu items I have seen at the medium-priced restaurants we frequent. While I had Fenouil Croquant avec Hareng Fume (Smoked Herring and Fennel Salad) and Alex had Moules Gratinees (Mussels Gratin). These were also quite satisfying and Izzy enjoyed tasting all of them.
Our mains were not quite as pleasing. Alex had what was called, Farci Provencale and turned out to be three very small vegetables stuffed with a meat mixture and served with rice on the side. I had Agneau Roti avec Haricots verts...sliced leg of lamb and green beans which was tasty albeit ordinary in preparation.
And the meal had me thinking that we had eaten something similar the night before and that perhaps there was something to David Lebovitz's argument that, overall, one might eat better in the States. Sure France does have certain foods that can't be beat, and the markets are certainly better, but there may just be more restaurant innovation aux Etats-Unis.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Izzy contentedly spooned up his lentil salad and was more than happy to taste my petoncles. I ordered lamb chops which he tried but he seemed happier to eat his Papa's calves' liver. I don't generally eat veal myself but I have heard that in the States ethically raised calves are gaining favor..I wonder if the same is happening in France.
All in all, it was another homey dinner and had us debating again, where does one eat better, Paris or NYC?
We are finally all together, at least for a couple of days until Alex has to go back to work. At least we will still be in the same city.
Today some colleagues of his invited us to lunch at Laduree, an extremely traditional tea salon, know for cafe Viennois, Croissant aux Amandes and French Macaro0ns in all flavors. I used to breakfast at the original location which was known for its extraordinary decor and I didn't realize that they have since opened two more. Lucky I happened to check a guide. I automatically assumed we would be dining at the original as it is certainly the grandest of the three. Good thing I decided to inquire for it turned out we were eating on the Champs Elysees, an area I would ordinarily not venture to.
I knew we would be dining rather late so Izzy had some snacks beforehand to tide him over, so he only nibbled on his lunch. Strange thing about the menu..Le Club Sandwich figured prominently on the menu, albeit a French version. I ordered a salad and two club sandwiches, figuring Alex would finish any leftovers. Funny to think, we came to Paris and ate club sandwiches.
They were certainly better than any American club sandwich yet it still seemed a wee bit odd. The salad, however, was decidedly French, composed of a variety of vegetables and lettuces, ever fresh and delicious.
The show stealers here, though, are the desserts. I ordered a Religieuse au chocolate and Izzy ordered the mini-macaroon tasting. He selected four different flavors; chocolate, vanilla, raspberry and rose. When those arrived, the fun began. First he tried the raspberry and set it down, then he tried the chocolate and proclaimed it to be the best. Next he tried the rose and couldn't put it down. Last was the vanilla, he picked it up to take a bite and it escaped from his grasp, rolling to the ground. Soon he and I were under the table in this rather fancy restaurant, trying to retrieve the lost macaroon. We must have made an amusing sight to the surrounding diners. Mission accomplished, we adhered to the 60 second-rule and Izzy ate it up too! Verdict, rose was best (tasted a bit like soap to me!)
When our meal finally ended, Izzy had clearly had enough of was longing to jump and play. We had a long walk along the Seine and some time at the Jardins de Luxembourg. Then it was time for dinner.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
What next? A dinner adventure. I had read about a cozy place called Robert and Louise, which fit into my neighborhood plan. It was only a few minute walk from chez nous. We had peeked in during our early wanderings and it definitely looked promising. Small, rustic and not outrageously expensive.
At about 7 p.m., we poked our heads in the door. I knew we were the early birds and inquired if we could have dinner. They ushered us in and explained that the fire was not yet on but we could have drinks while we waited. We were the only ones there but that didn't last very long and suddenly we were lost amidst the crowds. People were turned away at the door, while we occupied a table for four!
What a great place. Lively atmosphere, friendly service and decent food. In an attempt to be frugal, I ordered the daily special which was "langue de boeuf" and a seasonal salad to start. Izzy had an "omelette forestiere" and seasonal wood-fired sausages for his appetizer. The appetizers were tasty,homey, no-frills food. We had come to the right place. Izzy kept trying to get up to get a better view of the fire and somehow the restaurant itself was entertaining in and of itself.
My beef tongue arrived, with some sauteed potatoes and salad on the side. It was covered in a red sauce and was not what I had imagined. It was cooked rare and was not the soft tongue I was accustomed to. It wasn't bad but it just wasn't what I had in mind. Izzy's omelette with mushrooms was a far better choice. Turned out that he ate mine and I ate his..how this came to be, one can only surmise.
"Mama, what is beef tongue?"
"It is the cow's tongue."
"I want to have some."
I know this may phase some kids, but not him..I wonder why.
By the time we had finished our main courses, the restaurant was packed and people were sitting at our table. We shared the chocolate cake for dessert and were on our way. Although I didn't adore my dish, I saw what the others (mostly regulars) were ordering and I knew we would be back.
Check out Anthony Bourdain's view of Chez Robert and Louise!
Restaurant Robert Louise (Paris) - Watch a funny movie here
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Then I had to think fast..I needed to find a suitable lunch spot, not too far away, a place to shelter (Izzy's favorite expression.."we need to find shelter.") us from the rain, where we would be well-fed. I had actually spent two months living in the 7th arrondisement so was familiar with a few places, one of which, La Fontaine de Mars, was one of the first restaurant memories I have from my days in Paris. I actually went there with friend I met in my hotel, along with Anne Willan, although I had no idea who she was at the time..
The restaurant was still there, on rue St. Dominique. We were ushered inside but I was somewhat disheartened when the hostess claimed we could only eat upstairs in the smoking section. Izzy and I were crestfallen but then she exclaimed that it was unlikely that many people would be smoking we decided to stay. After our order was placed, Izzy dictated his journal entry to me and then we discussed the rest of the day. I said that we would probably eat dinner at home since we were having this special lunch. He said, "I want to eat lunch AND dinner out mama!"
Izzy had an appetizer of leeks with herbs and I had "Oeufs en Meurette" which is eggs baked in wine with bacon. We then shared a confit de canard which is one of my favorite french dishes. The crispy duck leg was served atop rounds of fried potatoes. Although it was tasty I am afraid its crispiness was a result of frying rather than broiling which made it a tad greasy.
That didn't seem to bother Izzy, as he kept opening his mouth for more, like a hungry bird, and then running off to play with an ill-behaved French boy who soon had him crawling under the table, as his parents dined in an adjacent room. The women who were dining next to me, recognized my plight and shooed the boy back to his parents. They recognized that Izzy had been quite the angelic dining companion until he fell prey to evil influences.
Thankfully, lunch ended with no incident and the sun emerged once more.
It was time to visit Notre Dame. We walked the whole way there, stopping along the way to pick up some pain au chocolat at Millet, a great pastisserie along the rue St.Dominique.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
On our second night in Paris, I decided it was time to dine out. Fortunately Izzy has adapted his sleep schedule to coincide (at least to a degree) to the late hours the French keep. He now awakens between 9-10 a.m. and goes to sleep between 9-10p.m.
We left our apartment around 7:30 in search of a suitable meal. I didn't choose anything from a guidebook because I had noticed several intriguing possibilities nearby. We didn't have to wander far before we happened upon Chez Omar, a couscous restaurant. I was reminded of my first encounter with couscous during my first visit to Paris and decided this was the spot for our first dinner.
The place looked lively enough, even at the early hour of 7:45 p.m...It turned out we were dining with the geriatric set, as we were sandwiched between two older couples. At first I was worried that Izzy would disturb them but they turned out to be fine company for us, very forgiving of Izzy and mostly enchanted by his fine dining habits.
He couldn't have been a better dining companion. We started with Moroccan salad, which Izzy refused to eat, aside from a few bites of cucumber. We shared a couscous with lamb and a Pastilla de poulet (sweet chicken in a flaky sweet crust). Izzy was thrilled with the couscous and vegetables and couldn't stop eating. I too was quite pleased with my choice. The staff was very accommodating and the fact that we shared didn't seem to phase them. All and all, a delightful meal.
Somehow I managed to lead Izzy over to the Musee Picasso and we had a brief though memorable visit there. We had to leave quite quickly when cries for a snack began to mount. Off in search of some decent ice cream which is not always so easy to find. This is part of the reason we spend so much time looking for the right food. For although there are great things to be eaten in Paris, not everything is great and you have to seek out the best.
We actually found some homemade gelato which was fine and then we were off to the sandbox. Today our ice cream find was not as successful and we barely finished half of the overly sugary strawberry, cherry concoction we tried. I should have known better since we bought it near Les Halles which is chock full of tourist traps and the like.. I was actually searching for an ice cream parlour from long ago but was unable to find it. It was impossible to hold off the snack yearning for much longer hence the unsatisfactory results.
Apparently he doesn't. The green color appealed to him, maybe because it matched his car. After one bite he decided he didn't need anymore. I didn't finish it since I am not fond of pistachio desserts myself.
We lunched on a fougasse from the same bakery. In case you are wondering, fougasse is a southern french relative of focaccia but the dough covers the filling and has large holes in the top so you can see it peeking out. They come with different fillings and I had goat cheese and vegetables. I was a bit disappointed since it didn't taste as I had remembered...though Izzy seemed happy with it so tant mieux. It's been such a long time I wonder if the bakery is owned by the same family.
Upon arrival, Izzy was out of sorts and fell asleep in the taxi on the way to our apartment. We spent our first afternoon wandering the streets of our neighborhood and playing at my old haunt, Place des Vosges, which happens to have two very large sandboxes. We snacked on a mini-challah and a spinach brik from a jewish bakery on the rue de rosiers and later on made our way back through the Jewish quarter for falafel. I have always been partial to the falafel at Chez Marianne but others swear by L'As du Falafel which I have yet to try. Perhaps a comparison is in the cards during this trip!
We got takeout from Chez Marianne and took it back to our apartment. I bought two sandwiches but one would have been sufficient. Izzy nibbled on bits of the falafel but decided he didn't like the eggplant (which is my favorite part) or the purple and green cabbage (which he ate despite himself). He kept eating the hummus soaked pita which had bits of tomato stuck to it. I first ate this falafel back in 1986 and I still dream of it, even when in New York.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Once in semi-familiar territory, we hung out by the fountain while Izzy whined for gelato. I was and am more than happy to indulge that request so we found some right on the piazza. After that interlude, we made our way over to the Palazzo Pitti (I couldn't deal with the Uffizi..too many crowds etc.).
Proscuitto legs hang by the dozens, some with hoofs attached and there are bins of salamis in a variety of flavors. Sausages and beef are also available. You will also encounter pre-sliced meats to grab for an on the go picnic.
We brought home a small salami, bread and cheese for a quick supper since Izzy was still drooping from jet lag and it was just the two of us for dinner.