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Lovely is my new favorite adjective, so benign and sweet and faux-British.
And so, lovely things on Saturday, July 31:

-Four heads of baby lettuce (two green oakleaf and one red, plus one unidentified variety with perky burgundy leaves) for $3 at the U District farmers’ market
-An heirloom tomato sandwich for lunch: thick slices of green zebra with S & P and a healthy swipe of mayo on toasted sprouted-wheat bread. So drippy, so delicious. I was almost reduced to slurping.
-85% dark chocolate from A la Petite Fabrique in Paris. I may have complained about my 66-pound suitcase, but now that my schlepping is done, I have no regrets about having bought 17 bars of chocolate. None.
-Six Feet Under is so very clever and well-written. Inspired by Liz and Doron and their obsessive West Wing­-ing, I rented disc one of season one of SFU and gorged myself on three episodes after dinner.

Happy summer.


I've been taking notes

I've just gotten home from dinner with the always-smashing, nothing-but-dashing Keaton. We started with Lillet at the Alibi Room, where the handsome but awkwardly lanky waiter accidentally brought us an extra drinkquelle horreur! We then moved on to Le Pichet, where we scandalized the eavesdropping couple at the next table with our racy stories. It serves them right for listening.

For those of you who are waiting and wondering, there were no gizzards to be had this evening, as there were on our last Le Pichet outing. [I’m so proud of those gizzards, and apparently I’m not the only one—Keats has also been telling all sorts of people about our culinary bravery.] We continued our theme of sharing little plates, starting with a salade Marseillaise: a pretty clump of golden raisins and chickpeas, surrounded by beets and long leaves of endive that had been lightly tossed with a tahini-ish dressing, the whole topped with a halved hard-boiled egg, the yolk cooked to not-quite-opaque perfection. Unusual combination, but it went down plenty easily. We also split a plate of grilled sardines on a bed of dandelion greens with fennel, pine nuts, and capers. Few things are better than fresh sardines. The skin is perhaps best, crunchy from the heat of the grill. We then moved on to a country pork paté with candied walnuts and other condiments I can’t recall, along with Roquefort and crispy pork confit and cornichons. We also shared a demi-pichet of Sancerre, not needing too much after the abundant Lillet before dinner.

Keaton is a madwoman at Le Pichet. The girl eats. It is a joy to behold.
Le Pichet is a Francophile's dream, a narrow bistro lined with tile, clean white and wood. My newish shirt from 0044 is so sexy, although I have now managed to drip some sort of greasy food substance on it yet again. It must emit some kind of electromagnetic field that captures any and all vinaigrette molecules within close proximity. Off the dry cleaners once more!


Oh goodness here we go

It’s awfully quiet in here.
If you’re there, dear reader, welcome to the beginning.

That’s right, Molly’s blogging! As I'm already learning, you have to take yourself pretty seriously to do this. For as long as I can remember, whenever someone has asked what my pet peeve is (honestly, I'm kind of averse to the idea of pet peeves, but that's another story for another time), I’ve replied, “People who take themselves too seriously.” So it would appear that I am / we are treading on perilous ground here.

Just so as to wipe away any scrap of mystery, let me explain what I’m doing. My mission statement, in a large nutshell:

This is my space to start writing for myself again, rather than for only for professors, advisors, students, grant committees, and the like. I’ve just returned from five weeks in Paris, ostensibly doing pilot research for an eventual dissertation, but more accurately walking, walking, walking, eating, eating, drinking Champagne, perfecting my Parisian woman poker face, café-sitting, defending my honor in the face of evil BHV employees, fixing what was broken, being impetuous, thinking, thinking, and learning. I’m not going through with my Ph.D. I was perhaps the last to see it, but better late than never.

The alternate plan, as it currently stands: I will continue for the coming year, write my Master’s thesis, do lots and lots of writing, and stick my neck out. Next stop: food writing, or perhaps cookbook editing. Il faut que je sois fonceuse, as those French say.

In the coming weeks, though, I plan to churn through a few cookbooks and bake as much as possible. Maybe work on my meat-roasting techniques too. So this is an official call for a refreshments management team. Are you in Seattle? How does chocolate sound to you? How about rustic-ish French tartes, cakes, clafoutis, and such? I am the woman for you. I bake, you eat. I eat too, of course, but there’s only so much one girl can do on her lonesome. Sign-ups are now open.

And there it is! We’re off!