Thursday, September 17, 2009

The End of a Long Summer, the Start of a New (School) Year

Three whole months of summer vacation.

I can proudly say it was my first in the past eight years or so, and also my first "long" (actually, in this case, I don't even think I need quotations marks) summer since I entered business school. No summer internship?!? Well, no, considering internships is what I had spent the past 25 months doing.

So, my summer vacation started on June 12th, and from then on it was all about fun, family, and food. As if fate wanted me to remember that I had exactly three months off, I came home to a dreary-looking, coat-wearing Paris on September 12th... which now gives me time to look back on what this summer was all about.

It was definitely about learning new techniques--the difficult Opera cake, or Pierre Hermé's lemon macarons--but also recalling the importance of food shared with important people in your life. Mind you, I'm not particularly referring to cooking next to important people in your life: I think all the girls I know will agree that having your maman compliment your cake is much better than the part where she stands around the kitchen, sure deep inside that you really do need her help.

Summer started out with a trip back home to Illinois, and after six months of a strange kitchen--not to mention cockroaches the size of my arm--it was nice to be back in my appliance-filled, airy open kitchen at the house. Here I discovered almond French toast, and since it's 9:30am when I'm writing this, I won't get into details right now. I don't have almonds, cream, or brioche on hand and my box of petit beurre is at risk of being eaten if I keep going.

We moved on to Palm Springs, California, where I got the wonderful chance to see family I hadn't seen in years and finally meet some great cousins. Personally, I think we should change the name of family reunion to family food celebration, given the amount of amazing Mexican food we had. Come to think of it, I wouldn't really mind having the French toast and some enchiladas right now. Too bad all I have are Italian Baci chocolates. Uh-oh, as they say.

To make a long story short, summer was a food-filled adventure. Even though I'm back in Paris, my recipe book has been replenished and I still feel on vacation--no, I don't really think it has anything to do with having a four-day weekend every week.

Well, maybe, but less time in class means more time in the kitchen, right?

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