Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Home sweet home
One of the pleasures of living in Frank's
home town is our close proximity to his
family. Plus a constant influx of out of
towners returning to the fold. This week
brother "B" is visiting. Hence we've all
dined together often. Last night was my
turn to host. My day was booked solid
so I kept things simple. We started with
a salad then dined upon roast chicken,
baked potatoes, roasted squash, and
steamed green beans. And as always,
the simpler, the better! My quandary
was deciding how to finish them off!
Half baked
As previously stated, I am not a baker.
The fact that anything requires actual
measuring holds no appeal for a rather
entrepreneurial chef. Yet I've learned
that if you don't follow the directions,
one's outcome is disappointing at best.
At this point in life I have a collection
of dessert recipes that I competently
stumble through. My challenge was
that I had several big bowls of apples
sitting on the counter that needed to
be used. However the last thing that
I wanted to make was a pie...
Pie in the Big Sky
Don't get me wrong - I adore pies
and tarts. They're among the most
easy of sweets to craft. Yet sadly
the idea of peeling a barrel of ripe
apples held little allure for a hung
over gentleman. Years ago I used
to enjoy a simple apple cake at a
favorite French restaurant. So I hit
the web searching for a recipe and
found a chic concoction courtesy
of Marie-Helene Brunet-Lhotse
a Parisian food critic and author
of the Louis Vuitton City Guides.
French made easy
For most of my life I've been an avid
francophile especially when it comes
to cookery. In essence what is most
appealing is the subtle simplicity of
said cuisine. While one must have
confidence to initially conquer l'art
de toutes les choses francaises -
once the rules are learned one can
confidently stray. The science of la
cuisine française is a repertoire of
formulas and applications that apply
to all categories of edibles. Hence
in truth, nothing could be EASIER!
Core values
Apples are akin to French cookery.
Nothing could be more basic yet as
delightful. Frank daily embraces the
classic adage related to consumption.
Whereas I prefer to periodically stir
the pot and mix up some homemade
apple sauce. My Mother adored the
autumnal arrival of fresh apple cider.
And at times I've enlivened a formal
meal with a tart granny smith granite'.
However nothing cleanses my palate
post repast better sipping a crystal
snifter filled with an aged calvados.
Just desserts
While one may fear many of our French
friends, one cannot help but admire and
respect their skills related to all of life's
indulgences. When it comes to fashion,
they rule supreme. Few decorate or set
a table with such élan. But satisfying
one's appetite is where they truly excel.
One doesn't have to travel to Paris to
experience la vie francais. Simply set
your oven to 350, log onto this link to
epicurious, and mix up a batch of Marie-
Helene's magic. Oh... and don't forget
the whipped cream! BON APPETIT!