Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better...

As part of my quest to "Make it Better" this year, I finally tied on the apron, donned the rubber gloves and deep cleaned my kitchen. I learned two things. Dust and grease... nasty combination... but Mr Propre, the new "Eclair" series... I'm in love! The kitchen is gleaming! Kinda like his shiny, bald head!

In my former life (Before Paris) I considered myself to be quite the chef. I loved to cook! Wherever I had a layover, I tried to scope out the local markets and bring back a cool gadget or an exotic spice. I was a cooking show addict before the Food Network existed; I loved watching Julia Child and Graham Kerr. My roommate and I hosted some pretty tasty dinner parties. Then I moved to France.

One thing you need to know about French apartments, the only thing that comes equipped is the sink. My first apartment had a round wall (the other side of the stairwell), a large ceramic sink and an empty light socket hanging from the ceiling. Our 50 boxes of belongings had not yet arrived and all I could think was 17 of those 50 boxes is my kitchen stuff, where am I going to put it?

You very quickly learn how to downsize. I didn't know what to pack, so I packed everything; from a paper towel holder (too big!) to a turkey roasting pan (also too big!). I ended up doing a massive sort and figured out how to angle a medium size roasting pan into my small size oven. I now have a larger oven, but I still don't have a paper towel holder!

Which brings me to the deep-clean process. Three of those 17 kitchen boxes were just cookbooks! While I pulled them down and dusted them off, I reminisced about where each one came from... The Joy of Cooking was given to me by my grandmother, (I also have her personalized copy of The Gourmet Cookbook from 1950.) The New York Times Menu Cookbook was my mom's, my aunt gave me The Way to Cook, I picked up Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques following some classes I did there and Saveurs Américaines is signed by the author, Connie Borde, another American in Paris.

Connie's book is great in that she took American favorites and translated them into French, measurements and ingredients included! Another treasure is The A-Z of French Food, a descriptive bilingual glossary from Scribo Editions.

These days, it is easier to find a recipe or technique on the net, but I still find joy in leafing through the pages, grease spots and all.

It's getting better all the time...


hmstrjam said...

hello, lovely blog! I wish i could be in Paris cooking right now!

QBParis said...

Hi HM,

Thanks for your comment, come on over! I'll break out the cookbooks and pots & pans!

Love the kitty! :-)

Anonymous said...

Love this post, Dianne. I read cookbooks like novels and treasure all of mine.
Bon appetit,

QBParis said...

Hi Peg,
We'll have to do a dinner here next time you are in Paris! :-)

woollypigs said...

Hello I'm Bob and I can testify that QBParis is a great cook :)

QBParis said...

Bob, Twist your arm?