Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tourte aux pommes...

So the other night, after having put it off for about a week and a half (if you remember I had all those apples to use up), I decided to finally attempt to make an apple pie, from scratch. I've only ever made the filling and stuffed it in a pre-made pie crust (once), so this was definitely a new adventure. This would also provide a new testing ground for my new oven thermometer - yeah for accuracy!

I used gala apples, along with two apples (Golden Delicious?) that had been given to me by our neighbor who we refer to as Madame Pomme.

I think I need to work on that whole pinching the sides thing...

There was a little extra dough left, which I wrapped up and saved to use the next day for lunch. I used it by rolling it out into a little pocket and filled it with 2 shallots, 2 cloves of garlic, and half a potato...a little drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper on 220 degrees C/425ish degrees Farenheit for almost 30 minutes and it was delicious little leftover snack.

Before baking I sprinkled a little sugar and cinnmaon on top, which added just a little extra sweetness to the pie, and created a nice little extra browning on top. Overall it was a success and it was gobbled up very quickly. I still have a few apples left, so I may give this another go before full-blown winter sets in. (Yes, the snow is slowly making its way down the mountain to us.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thoiry Sunday Market...

I don't have too many pictures from yesterday's Sunday market, because quite frankly, I was a little depressed after the Phillies Game 6 loss, and just not quite in my usual picture snapping mood. However I was feeling very uberly-french dressed for the outing, so there's that.

The Dracula clouds were out in full-force to cheer me up...

As were the cows....

And of course this guy...

It was a rainy and grey Sunday, just what I needed. We spent the day relaxing, sipping on some Laphroaig islay single malt scotch whisky, and noshing on Sunday brunch foods like Samosas, acra, poulet, bread, cheese, olives and fresh veg. In addition to all this, Dan surprised me with a viewing of "IronMan 2" and some NFL football. Nothing cheers me up more than a little Sunday awesomeness.

Life After Baseball...

It's been a post lagging 2 weeks my friends, and I apologize. You see for the last four years during the month of October I have had the privilege of leaving behind the role of being a productive member of society to transforming into an even more than usual rabid Philadelphia Phillies baseball fan, and this year was no different. Moving to France has meant a change in my schedule for watching my beloved boys in red and white pinstripes, such as a 2 am start for most playoff games with games concluding between 5 and 6 am. Our run came to a close this year a little early (after two straight years of going to the World Series, winning it all in 2008), as we lost very early Sunday morning to the pansy San Francisco Giants in a heartbreaking loss. I'm typically not a sore loser (unless we lose to the Mets), but in this case the pompous and holy-ier than thou attitude of the Giants, Giants media outlets and Giants fans of the postseason was a hell of a lot more than I could physically take, and I can't wait for them to get tromped in the World Series by Clifton Pfifer Lee, former ace for the Phils. So long story short, I'm back...a little saltier than usual perhaps, but back. Now let's catch up shall we?

I've been very into leaves lately...

[Scientist at work...]

I've started taking french classes at CERN, and occassionally, if I'm lucky, I get to have lunch and coffee with this handsome devil...

In addition to canning for the first time, I made my first apple pie, from scratch (more on that later). And it was great! (Thanks to Christine over at Christine and the Big Scary Kitchen for the suggestion on buying an oven thermometer - our former temperature guesses were WAY OFF!)

I'm making new friends on my frequent bike rides to Botanic...

[Hee-haw. That's the noise donkeys make right?]

I'm learning that I have a fear of french spiders...American sized spiders don't bother me, but French spiders are seriously as large as my hand and their legs are as long as my fingers...

And there's snow on the Jura. Hello cold and grey weather, oh how I've missed you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A week in pictures...

So this week, we received the wonderful news that a long awaited package had FINALLY arrived. Apparently la poste was holding onto it for 2 months, and never gave us a slip to let us know it was there. (Thanks la poste!) But inside were the most wonderful wedding/housewarming presents from a truly wonderful friend.


["Off my Kool-Aid..."]

Also in the package were snuggies! I'm not sure if snuggies have hit Europe or the world at large quite yet, but seriously, youse don't know what you're missing. Check them out here! (The website is hilarious by the way.) There were two in our special package: one for me emblazoned with the amazing logo of the Philadelphia Phillies, and one for Dan with his favorite MLB team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Anyone who knows about snuggies can tell that we are obviously wearing them backwards. Blasphemy!

Also this week, I went apple picking with one of my friends and her adorable little girls. Well, we attempted to go apple picking.

Our travels found us going back and forth between France and Switzerland for a good two hours looking for a PYO of any sort. We found a really cute little town called Coppet while in Suisse that was cute and sleepy and had a great Chocolatier (of course we had to buy some!).

We did find one farm in Switzerland where you could pick your own fruit, but apple picking would not be available until next year. I guess PYO farms really are a very American thing, because I think everyone we asked about it looked at us like we might be a little bit crazy.

On our way back though we did find a farm that was selling bags of already picked apples, so that would have to do for this year. It didn't matter to me though, I was happy so long as weren't coming home with apples from Migros.

[Pay by honor system - pretty common here.]

[Pomme trees.]

Oh yeah, and we did some canning this week too! This was the first time either of us had ever tried to can anything, but all of the jars made that popping noise they're supposed to make if they are sealed, so hopefully they'll all keep.

I think after two batches we've perfected the recipe. I hope we can scavenge enough figs to do another batch or two, maybe a little fig-cayenne pepper confiture...yummm!!!

Have a great weekend everybody! Hope you've got some fun fall activities planned. We'll be getting in some bike riding, some running, some apple pie making (I do have all those apples to use up!), and most importantly, we've got another jam packed weekend of sports coming up - the NLCS starts on Saturday night (2 am start) and continues on Sunday afternoon (dinner time game - HUA!), as well as a ton of college football.

Pic via here.

GO PHILLIES!!! Take down them Giants! (OH, and hellllo to Pat "Tight Pants" Burrell, it will be good to see you again! Too bad you'll be in a Giants uni...)

Pic via here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Hey, remember this little guy that poked its little apricot seed head out of the soil last Sunday? Well this is him exactly one week later.

Lay off the juice A-Rod.

Happy Birthday Momma!!!

Happy Birthday to my super chic, stylish, loving, smart as hell and ultra toughy pants momma. Wish we could be there to celebrate with you today. Love you tons! I hope that you get everything you want for your birthday, including a third straight NLDS Championship wrapped in a Louis Vuitton bow!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


Fall is finally coming to our little village, and in a big way. The leaves are finally a rainbow of colors, and the mountains just look unreal. Well, when you can see the mountains that is...

[Dracula fog, what have you done with the JURA!]

This was what it looked like today as I walked to the grocery store. I turned back to look at the mountains and alas, they were nowhere to be found!

The chickens don't seem to mind....

And neither do the cows...

I think the Dracula clouds are in cahoots with the horse, he looks menacing...

[Picture not taken today, as the Jura have clearly not been abducted by the Dracula clouds yet...]

[Freshly picked figs...]

[Crustless pumpkin pie that we decided to start making at 10 pm last night...meaning, we started roasting a pumpkin at 10 pm...]

And now on to another adventure this weekend - canning! I bought some jars today to try to make some fig confiture, and maybe even a little fig-cayenne pepper confiture. Fingers crossed and Happy Day 2 of the Phillies in the NLDS everyone!