Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 16 from France: Pear Heaven

Shaboom sends us her update from Paris...

It's warm enough to open the windows today! Here's what's I have growing...

Spring is definitely here. Pretty soon I'll have to learn how to cut the grass with that scary machine. But it's not as big and intimidating in France as it is in the States where my father refused to let me do it no matter how much I begged because it was unsafe for little girls. Stay tuned for more on that in a future post...

Obsessed! brought me breakfast in bed after another almost sleepless night slash morning. The main part consisted of potatoes (which I gobbled down before remembering to take a photo.) Also included were an apple, fromage frais, tartines with cheese spread and jam and tea.

I don't know how it's possible that there is still more laundry to do, but there is. So there were lots of stairs again today. And a little indoor cardio. And a short walk with the dog - 2 km.

For lunch I had carbonara as we still had some ingredients and Obsessed! knows how much I love his signature dish.

I spent the afternoon playing piano. I've been searching online everywhere for Rachel Yamagata sheet music with no luck. But then I stumbled upon Sinead O'Conner's (slash Prince's) Nothing Compares 2 U and because it's so easy, I must've played it for 3 hours straight. Yeah, bad idea. I think that song may be permanently embedded into my brain now. I might have to shave my head and wear all black until the day I die. Also, I'm feeling strangely depressed all of a sudden...

Then I was served a yummy salad with corn, rice, cabbage and pickles for dinner before my favorite (okay, second favorite) activity of the day - MAKING SORBET!!

First, I puréed the pears which I had pre-peeled and chopped. Then I put them into the ice-cream maker (notice in the photos how little salt, water and NO ICE is needed in this machine.)

While the pear mush was getting good and icy, I prepared a chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

I melted chocolate and butter together on the stove.

While I was patiently waiting for the sorbet and sauce to finish, I decided to sample the cherry crumble Vapors brought home from her Granny's. It was only about one square inch but it was yummy.

FINALLY, the sorbet was done and OMG it was maybe the best thing I've ever tasted. I thought the pineapple was fantastic last night. It didn't even compare to this. To. Die. For.


  1. That looks wonderful!
    What exactly is fromage frais?
    How many pears did you use? Did you add sugar? Have you ever mad mint chocolate chip? That's 3's favorite so I said we'd give it a try.

  2. For Mint Chocolate Chip (my fave too,) just make your crème anglaise as if you were making vanilla ice cream. Take a good handfull of mint branches - 30 stems? - and plunge into the liquid once you've brought the milk and vanilla to a boil and remove from heat. Let it infuse for at least a half hour, then remove the mint branches and leaves before doing the egg part. Take a dark chocolate bar (or two depending on the quantity you're making and how chocolaty you like it) and chop or grate depending on how crunchy you like your ice cream. Once the mixture is in the ice-cream maker and starts to semi-harden, add the chocolate chunks/shavings. Remember to use whole milk!! Also, if 3 HAS TO HAVE his mint chocolate chip green, you're going to have to use food dye which I would not want to do.

    I don't remember how many pears exactly 2-3 per person? You can add sugar if you want. I did not. The pears were super duper ripe and delicious. If your pears don't feel like you could mush them with your hands, then they're probably going to need a little sugar.

    It's so hard to explain "recipies" as most of the time, we're just sort of playing it by ear and letting our taste buds lead us. So have fun with it! Don't be afraid to screw it up. Every now and then it'll help you discover something new. Worst case scenario, you don't like it and your dog will love you all the more, whatever it is you're cooking!

  3. Thanks! I'm inspired!

    P.S. Don't give your dog chocolate.

  4. I am getting out my ice cream maker. I want to try the pear and pineapple sorbet. They sound amazing.

  5. La Belette Rouge - I'm so glad! Let us know how it turns out!!

  6. FROMAGE FRAIS (from Wikipedia)

    Fromage frais (also known as fromage blanc, maquée and similar to some kinds of quark) is a dairy product, originating from Belgium and the north of France. The name literally means "fresh cheese" (with fromage blanc meaning "white cheese").

    Pure fromage frais is virtually fat free, but cream is frequently added to improve the flavor, which also increases the fat content, frequently to as high as 8 percent of total weight.

    Fromage frais can be served either as a dessert similar to yogurt, frequently with added fruit, or used in savory dishes. It is often served with honey in restaurants, as fromage blanc au miel.

  7. In a previous post, when I first introduced Petits Filous (Fromage Frais) I added a link to their site so you could see the fat content, different flavors, packaging, etc. Check it out. It's pretty cool. Yogurt and fromage frais is such a part of the French diet that they devote miles and miles of aisles in the super market to just that! And don't get me started on the cheese!!

  8. I'm salivating over here....all looks soooo good. Love this site - found it yesterday through The extraordinary ordinary! So fun and interesting to read!

  9. I have a hate relationship with my ice cream maker that I need to reconcile. Last June the frozen bucket "flew" out of the freezer and landed on my foot and broke two toes. This put a halt in my running routine--one in which I am just now getting back to. So while I drool over your little pear sorbet treat, I am reliving the pain of that moment and just not ready to forgive. (sniff)

  10. Oh no!!!! That's terrible!!! Now I'm scared of my new machine. I have yet to use it.
    I hate that we are giving you PTSD.
    How do you say 'Please forgive me' in French?

  11. Pen and View - Forgive your ice-cream maker. He didn't mean it. He promises to make super tasty treats for you from now on!

    Christy - Welcome! So glad to have you!

    French Skinny - Break in that new machine. We're all dying to hear about it (although the stories of the old leaky one were fun too.) Please forgive me can be said in many different ways.

    S'il te plaît, pardonne-moi.
    Je te prie de me pardonner.
    Pardonne-moi, je t'en prie.

    You get the drift...

  12. I'm loving this place, french, Obsessed the whole idea. Love the tutorial edge you have. Sometimes it helps if you can see it done. Let's see the fashion you are experiencing yes. France is a wonderful place for an American woman. Trust The Bumpkin, be everything you have always wanted. Sending you many well wishes, can't wait get to know you better. From Southern Mississippi, love The Bumpkin Lisa