And on to Paris

Day 6, by Kasey

I practically skipped up the street to grab our morning croissant. It felt so good to be awake before 11 AM! It was our last morning in Bordeaux and she gave us a beautiful sunny day to say goodbye. 

We took our time getting ready for the train, careful to pack any leftovers and pungent cheese that Kelly would not want to return to after our journey to Paris. This time, we boarded the train with a full picnic; fresh blueberries, croissants, truffle cheese (my new favorite), and nice wine. However, I’m happy to report that train wine in France is good! 

Our journey to Paris was filled with laughter, good food, and Bordeaux wine. Having had 5 full days in France, we were all feeling more present in the moment; stopping to admire the countryside as it rolled gently by.

While Stephanie waited in line for train wine, she was approached by the Purser who immediately started speaking to her in French. For anyone who has seen this scene from Modern Family, it was quite the compliment! When his French outpaced comfort with the language, she asked him, “Parle-vous English”? He said “No, hablo Espanol?” So there they were, two strangers on a train in France, speaking Spanish!

We arrived in Paris feeling the full energy of the city. Our Airbnb was steps from the Louvre and surrounded by fashion. On the east end of the small street was Valentino. As we strolled down busy streets, we admired the fashion; Chanel, Dior, Versace…

We dashed past the place where Stephanie got engaged, and then slipped into the posh Hotel Le Meurice across the street from the entrance to the Tuileries Gardens. A gem Stephanie had discovered years before. We sneaked into their elusive bar area and thought we saw a John Legend siting! The decorations were dripping with old-world elegance; gilded mirrors, lush drapes, gorgeous paintings on the walls and ceilings, and the intoxicating smell of warm vanilla. It was like jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool. We sat quiet for a while, letting the outside hustle and bustle fade, taking in the scene and people-watching before dinner. 

For dinner, Kelly and Karen chose a French brasserie named Flottes. The bread was warm and accompanied by our favorite French butter! It was time for some classic French favorites; started with Oysters. Stephanie and Karen savored “the best Caesar salads they had ever had”. I was moved by the menus statement about the chef’s childhood favorite; coquilettes, fromage and jambon. I ordered it without asking anyone what it was, determined to enjoy it, and lucked out a very rich and decadent macaroni and cheese! Kelly had the sea bass with ratatouille – another classic French dish. We skipped dessert thinking we could stop at a Chocolatier on our way home but sadly they were all closed for the night. 

With full bellies and another day of happy memories, we settled in to the apartment for a good night’s sleep with high expectations for our last full day in France. 

Crepes and Calamari

Day Three, by Kasey

We awoke to the aroma of fresh-from-the-oven Chocolate Cramiques from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. Kelly and Stephanie had gone for a quick morning stroll and brought back these delightful treats! 

We headed out to shop at some of the stores we had passed on our way to the market on day one, when we were on a mission (and truthfully, too tired to care). After a stroll through the linen shop, we found the creperie we were seeking as inspiration for the first recipe in our winter Recipe Club mailing. 

Years ago in Paris, I was so excited to savor crepes. I was more than a little disappointed when the first street vendor I found spooned Smuckers jam into a reheated crepe. 

As we walked into the creperie, I could tell right away that this was going to be a different experience! The place was packed with locals (always a good sign) and there were so many options on the menu it was difficult to choose. Kelly and I had the salmon with goat cheese, Stephanie chose the classic hame crepe followed by a chocolate drizzled crepe as dessert, and Karen chose scallops. 

But first, the wine. We selected a rosé. The label read Wine is Love. How perfect is that?!?! This was truly the inspiration we had been seeking.

The scallops in Karen’s crepes were delicious. And after befriending the staff, Stephanie captured a video of the crepe-making process in the form of a little show in the kitchen. It is clear these chefs have been making crepes for a very long time. 

With a full stomach, we headed to the grocery to gather ingredients for the second recipe to share with club members; sautéed calamari. Kelly taught Stephanie the process for selecting and weighing veggies in France, while I admired the ‘Foods in Season’ signage. So helpful!

In good spirits, we returned to the apartment to cook and video. We savored an hours-long dinner, starting with various cheeses and bread, followed by Calamari over thin noodles and topped with a garlic, shallot, and white wine sauce.

It was a full day of delightful flavors and warm conversation with amazing people. A true French experience. 

What day is it?

Day zero, by Kasey.

Spoiler alert, there is only one mention of food on this first post. However, there are harrowing events, gratitude, and a celebration of togetherness.

Background: Kelly is living in Bordeaux to immerse herself in the language and the cuisine, When she came home for Christmas, her stories of the wine and the food, along with her invitation to join her there, were too much to resist. So we say au revoir to Portland and we’re off to Bordeaux, along with our dear friend Karen, who was up for an adventure like us!

Anticipating great food and time with Kelly!

Our journey to Kelly started with sliding to the airport along roads that were just like skating rinks. Portland was hit with an ice storm that kept most people at home – except us. Stephanie, with her excellent driving skills honed on Mt Hood, got there on time!

In Denver, our travel luck took a turn for the worse. The flight was delayed due to maintenance, a passenger who chose to leave the plane (jetway returns, luggage to be retrieved, etc). Finally, as our plane was seconds from touching down in Newark, the pilot pulled up straight to the sky… apparently, there was a plane sitting in our runway and we nearly collided. Thank GOD he uses his eyes to land (not just trusting air traffic control). Enough said. We sprinted to the gate, only to be denied access to the flight to Paris because they cannot re-open the doors they had closed moments before.  

We reroute to London. Make massive train reservations then realize it’s unsafe to spend so much time in train stations (another story for another day). Cancel, take a flight instead. Thanks to the amazing customer service at United in London, we actually get one!

In Paris, we hop on a train to Bordeaux. It’s the last leg and of course we cut it close because I forgot to consider rush hour in Paris. What an aggressive, charming french cab driver that got us to the train with only 2 minutes before it begins to move. Relieved and happy to be in first class, we grab a power nap after a quick sip of wine and crisps (possibly some snoring and drooling were involved).

We arrive in stunning Bordeaux. Exhausted.

But we arrive to Kelly. And that’s where our story turns. Kelly, in a lovely apartment, and a beautiful meal. She greets us with the wine she has chose for our arrival and her famous Hungarian Mushroom Soup.

Food. Is. Love.

Each day, we’re posting highlights from Bordeaux. Each post will be written by a different person, so you can experience the different perspectives we bring to the conversation.

Year-Long Basil Goodness

I process my fresh basil two ways so that we can enjoy it all year. 

I simply blend the basil with garlic, salt, water, and some olive oil (I cut the fat by using water or chicken stock) until well chopped and combined. Then I divide it up into ice cube trays, freeze until solid and then take out the cubes and store them in freezer bags.

With the other half of the basil I make pesto.  I always keep a container in the fridge and freeze the rest into cubes. I add a cube of the frozen basil or pesto to ranch dressing, stir it into soup, pasta sauces….the sky’s the limit!

Cheers! – Kelly

Shopping the Farmer’s Market

It’s the peak of summer. The food is fresh, local, and often has pure, vibrant flavor. Walking through the local farmer’s market with Kelly is an adventure that provides a lot of inspiration.

Here’s what we made…

Firm yet ripe peaches stand up to a hot grill and then immerse them in a bath of brandy, sugar, and lemon juice and you have the most spectacular treat! Kelly suggests topping them with a dollop of whipped Marscapone, whipped cream, or vanilla bean ice cream!

Show us what you love to make on the Foodie Facebook Group!