Saturday, 3 January 2009

Bonne Annee et Bon Appetit

Like so many others, I’ve spent the last few days contemplating my navel--or, to be more precise, my midsection. And while I’ll soon join the throngs embarking on get-fit regimes, I have no plans to subsist on toast and crudités. Here, then, in no particular order, is what I’ll be looking forward to when I’m pounding away on the treadmill:

1) Visiting Italy. Turin and Piedmont are less than 5 hours by train from Paris, and home to mushrooms, Amarone and bicerin.

2) Incorporating at least one Asian dish into my weeknight repertoire. Nothing too complex or ascetic--perhaps a quick dahl or noodle soup?

3) Conducting a study of kugelhof (an Alsatian coffeecake) at various Paris bakeries. My first, purchased from Laduree during a frosty Christmas morning walk, combined a moist, slightly yeasty crumb with plump raisins and just a hint of orange-flower syrup.

4) Using my mortar and pestle. Not only is it remarkably satisfying, but the aroma—whether of cumin ground for lamb chops or sage for a winter pesto—fills the apartment for hours.

5) Finally reading M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating. And once I’m already making an Amazon order, I might treat myself to the New Yorker’s collected essays on food.

6) Learning how to make osso buco. Perfect with the Amarone I’ll bring back from Piedmont.

7) Sampling more classic cocktails. I’m partial to gin and tonics, anything with Campari and the occasional Bloody Mary but am unsure if I’ve found my signature drink. I’m thinking that regular visits here may be in order.

8) Baking my own granola. Bread-only breakfasts leave me hungry, and Parisian cereals seem to invariably contain coconut and/or chocolate. All of these look ripe for adaptation.

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