P is for…Paris. And Peace.

Poilâine Miche

For our anniversary two weeks ago, The One and I snuck off to Paris, gleefully ducking work and responsibilities. It was a short trip, as trips to Paris go: burst in on Saturday, mope out on Wednesday. Which in actuality equates to in Sunday and out Tuesday, because the first day I arrive anywhere in Europe is completely lost. I collapse on the bed, snore in whatever foreign language I happen to be trying to mimic, then instinctually wake up just in time for dinner. And on the last day I fret: Did I accidentally leave my passport somewhere? (A logical question, as I’ve lost it twice.) Is our luggage going to fit in the overhead compartment, even though it did coming over and we bought back nary a thing? (No, not even mousse de foie gras.) Read more »

A Fund for Jennie Perillo

Jennifer and Mikey Perillo

I carry a knot of sorrow in my chest. It started tightening a week or so ago, when I learned that food blogger Jennifer Perillo‘s husband, Mikey, died suddenly of a heart attack. That’s him on the right. I’ve never met Mikey, and I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember meeting Jennie. A conference, perhaps? A party? I do know we’ve tossed a few bon mots back and forth on Twitter, but that’s about it.

Mikey leaves behind a woman too young and vivacious to be a widow; two small daughters too innocent to lose a father, a protector, a prince to their princesses. Plus bills, obligations, half-read books, good intentions, a Blackberry that needs charging–the evidence of a lived-in life.

My sadness is fed in part by my lack of connection to what appears to be, and what I’ve heard is, a loving family. Jennie, Mikey, and I could have been friends. Maybe. There were 140-character overtures blinking on my Twitter feed, but I mostly politely ignored them. Perhaps the Perillos and The One and I might have gone out to dinner, us picking apart the meal like the food savants we think we are. If we were friends, maybe I might have given their daughters an airplane ride like Mikey used to do. I never pursued it–too busy was I. Read more »

Write Your, um, Our Own Cookbook

Gougeres

Blame it on Facebook. A few weeks ago, I posted this picture to this on my profile page. I was noodling around with the new iPhone app Instagr.am, to which I’m becoming pathologically addicted, and wanted to see if all this brouhaha over one-button photo publishing really worked. (Yes, it does, and, yes, David Lebovitz, Ree Drummond, and Deb Perelman, I’m still in the Dark Ages when it comes to mobile technology.)

These particularly sublime lovelies are gougères–small cheese puffs, my version filled with prosciutto and herbs. They’re scheduled to appear in the glossy, full-color pages of my next book–a Leite’s Culinaria cookbook–of which I’m only in the proposal-writing stage. ‘Tis true, I’m one of those writers who takes a millennium to put together a book. All I can say is bless the hearts of those writers who can knock out one terrific tome after another.

Now, what I didn’t expect from my expérience sociale was the reaction of readers. Within seconds of posting, I started getting everything from requests for the recipe (can’t give it out just yet, folks) to some serious wrist slapping for not having started the proposal sooner. Read more »

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