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French Fridays with Dorie: La fin

All good things must come to an end, or so they say. Today marks the last time I will post about Around my French Table for the French Fridays with Dorie group. Oh I am sure the group will re-convene in some other iteration. I am absolutely certain I will post about Dorie and her recipes in the future (if for nothing else but for Tuesdays with Dorie where we are working our way through Baking Chez Moi) but for right now, it’s the end of an era.

La fin.

Over the past few weeks, after we posted the final recipe from the book, we’ve reminisced about our favourite recipes from the book, talked about the times we learned to never doubt Dorie and posted about the recipe we’ve made from the book the most often over the past nearly five years. So, we’ve said a lot already.

This week it’s carte blanche. Say what you like. So, being someone who thrives on having a clear expectation and directions, I am a little lost for words. It’s rare, people.

As I tried to figure out what on earth I was going to say earlier this week, I received a flurry of text messages from a friend. This friend has known me for a number of years but somehow managed to not know about Dorie. About all the “blog meals”. About Around my French Table. About French Fridays with Dorie. This, also, is rare in my circle of friends.

She’s just returned from 10 days in the South West of France (our first unofficial guests at the house!) and was keen to try to recreate some tasty French dishes in her own kitchen. She ended up buying Around my French Table. And she started baking and cooking from it. Apparently she’s on a roll because this week she’s made Gérard’s Mustard Tart, Clafoutis and Chicken B’Stilla. Here are the photos she’s been excitedly texting me:

Dorie Greenspan recipes on eatlivetravelwrite.comIn her own words, she’s a “a middling cook at best“. Not that you would know from the photos.

But as we know, Dorie is a patient teacher. Her well-written recipes make French food accessible for everyone. And I know this particular friend is already hooked after just a handful of recipes. So as I wind down with Around my French Table, I get to watch someone else discover Dorie (and I do, in a way, too – all over again!). And I get to watch Dorie work her magic on another person who doesn’t believe she can cook so well. I have faith. Dorie will convince her otherwise.

In the meantime, I still didn’t have anything witty or intelligent to say about this week so I did what I always do when I am stuck for words (or, um, procrastinating…): I went to the kitchen and baked. One of my favourite recipes from the book. One which I think really exemplifies what Dorie is all about. Easy, yet elegant. Simple ingredients which produce a sophisticated dish. Marie-Hélène’s apple cake.

Apple cake from Around my French Table on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt doesn’t look like much…

French Fridays with Dorie Apple cake from Around my French Table on eatlivetravelwrite.comUntil you cut it open…

Marie Helene Apple cake from Around my French Table on eatlivetravelwrite.comSee?

Apple cake from Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie on eatlivetravelwrite.comOh, those apples. Yes, this is definitely more apple than cake. It’s got a hit of rum. It’s light. And SO buttery-good.

I minified this recipe (bien sûr) – halving the recipe to make three 4″ cakes. And shared it with my mum last night.Toasting Dorie Greenspan on eatlivetravelwrite.comI think it’s only fitting that I shared the end of this book, which has been a huge part of my adult culinary education with the person who taught me to love cooking and baking from an early age.

Thanks mum. Thanks Dorie.

(Get Dorie’s recipe for Marie-Hélène’s apple cake here.)

It wouldn’t be a French Friday without some member of the household and/ or our friends eating “blog food” at odd hours of the day. As I sit here editing this post, I’m watching Mr Neil eat the third apple cake for breakfast. As you do.

The witty, intelligent words about this week’s post never came this week. As I tried hard to come up with something “Dorie-worthy”, all I could actually think about was “What will we eat now?” 😉 Participating in French Fridays with Dorie has made my meal planning these past nearly five years so easy.

(Actually, the REAL question I have asked myself this week is: Did Ina Garten really work her way through “every easy and delicious recipe” as per her cover statement. Because, you know, a bunch of us actually DID 😉 )

It would be remiss of me to not mention the other non-food gift this group has given me. Friendship that extends far beyond the realms of a weekly “blogging group”.

To Laurie, Mary and Betsy: you are the driving forces behind this group. Your tireless dedication to the group made all this possible. Thank you.

To my fellow “Doristas”: You have made my Fridays so much more fun. I have eagerly looked forward to reading your posts, looking at your pictures each week. I have loved the camaraderie our group has formed through the Problems and Questions posts and the Facebook group. I have loved meeting some of you in real life and hope to meet the rest of you someday soon too. I’ve subscribed to your blogs so I can keep up with your adventures beyond-Dorie. It’s been a really special experience. I feel like we just graduated high school together. Thank you.

To Dorie: What can I say? Hoping our paths cross sometime soon so we can share some bubbly (and maybe a gougère or two!) to toast the end of this extraordinary adventure. Thank you.

Check out the rest of the Doristas’ parting words here.

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Purchase Around My French Table for yourselves on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!

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22 Responses to French Fridays with Dorie: La fin

  1. Liz June 19, 2015 at 07:39 #

    I need to minify Dorie’s apple cake, too—it looks breakfast worthy to me!! And I have a feeling you can add yourself to the list with your mom and Dorie! It’s been marvelous joining you on this FFwD journey. xo

  2. Adriana June 19, 2015 at 08:01 #

    Brava Mardi! Our Dorie ‘ending’ is just the beginning for your friend, and maybe more people now that we have staked out a corner of the internet for Around My French Table. It’s been an amazing ride. Thank you for inspiring me to improve my pictures and sharing what I know with others.

    Seriously, what will you eat now? 😉 XO

  3. Nicole June 19, 2015 at 08:16 #

    What a very touching and sentimental post about this break in your journey. And what a sense of accomplishment!

  4. Cakelaw June 19, 2015 at 08:50 #

    Yes – the best part about this group has been the other Doristas. Marie Helene’s Apple Cake is an excellent choice for your final post – I must make it again soon. Mardi, it has been so much fun blogging with you for FFWD, and I am glad that I can continue to do so on TWD. And of course, I will continue to follow your other adventures, including with your boys cooking group. Have a great weekend.

  5. Katie June 19, 2015 at 09:37 #

    I love “Dorie is a patient teacher.” Really encapsulates why she is special and why the group is special, too! Beautiful post, Mardi!

  6. Rose June 19, 2015 at 09:41 #

    I don’t think Niel would be the first, nor the last, to eat apple cake for breakfast:-)

    It’s really not easy to find the right words, but in the end, I decided that it doesn’t really matter if I capture it correclty or not, because we all know what this group has meant to us and we all know how sad it is that it’s ending.

  7. Diane Balch June 19, 2015 at 10:27 #

    Marie-Hélène’s apple cake says it all. Well done. I’ve enjoyed your cooking adventures with your students and your own growth as a baker. Not sure that will ever happen to me, but you inspire me to try a little more. It was a pleasure. Let me know when you make it to NYC.

  8. Coco in the Kitchen June 19, 2015 at 12:17 #

    Minify is a good word.
    Who wouldn’t want their very own apple cake?
    I sure do!

  9. Trevor June 19, 2015 at 17:08 #

    Its fun to see everyone go toward ‘what they always do’ this week for comfort. FOr me its haiku. For liz it was chocolate. For you, minifying thigs! I’m getting comfort in that today.

  10. Tammy June 19, 2015 at 17:56 #

    That apple cake can make an appearance at any meal as far as I’m concerned! Especially breakfast! 🙂

  11. Tricia June 19, 2015 at 19:53 #

    Love love love. Yes, I am sitting here enjoying a too large slice of that delicious apple cake myself. A keeper indeed. How precious to hear of your friend starting the whole adventure with her new copy of this book. Wow indeed. Please know that as I did many of the make ups recently I did keep the phrase “minify” in my head and attributed it firmly to you. A bit of the ‘what would Mardi do” philosophy. I also relied on Betsy’s recent comment to me, when she visited Nana and I at my home, where she explained you just divide it by the eggs.Duh but genius. You can tell I am used to doubling things around here…… It has been a joy to get to know you “virtually” and we had a near miss in Paris. I look forward to following your adventures in France and if I make it north to wonderful Toronto you can be sure you will be getting advance notice 🙂

  12. Betsy June 19, 2015 at 22:25 #

    Haha, Tricia! That’s the engineer in me, dividing by the eggs! I even made one floating island with one egg white by dividing by the eggs.

  13. Betsy June 19, 2015 at 22:28 #

    Mardi, naturally you’ve summed up this project so perfectly. I’m teary-eyed. I’ve enjoyed cooking with you week after week for these nearly 5 years. And following your adventures in France, with Les Petits Chefs, and otherwise. Your cooking and sense of adventure inspire me. I know I will continue to enjoy seeing what you are up to. Perhaps we will cook together again sometime in the future. It’s been quite the ride, and I’m so glad to have met you, both virtually and actually. Keep in touch!

  14. Kathy June 20, 2015 at 07:07 #

    Mardi, It has been a wonderful journey, and a joy cooking along with you! The Apple Cake really is a delightful dessert! It’s the perfect choice for a lovely dinner party or an afternoon snack with a cup of tea! Love this cake! Happy Friday!

  15. Candy (Dulce) June 20, 2015 at 10:19 #

    Wait. You mean apple cake is NOT supposed to be breakfast food? Hahaha! Actually, that’s one of the things I like best about it – delicious any time of day!

    This was a lovely post Mardi. I really didn’t know what to say either. I think it’s absolutely delightful that your friend has found Dorie’s book and is sharing this new adventure with you. I agree, Dorie is a patient (and kind) teacher, and really has been a good sport about all of this! It’s fun seeing peeks into what’s next for her. I’m looking forward to dipping my toe back into BCM, though since I work at home now (when I’m not on the road), I think I will have to look to your minifying technique!

    I think there are some great new adventures to be had out there, though like you, I will miss this cadence. But we never know what’s next, and that’s kind of the fun of a high-school graduation, right? I’ll be looking forward to notifications of your next post!

    Hope your weekend is wonderful!

  16. Nana June 21, 2015 at 11:40 #

    Mardi, it been a lot of fun and I always enjoyed your post each week and will continue to do so.
    I wish you luck with your place in France and hope all goes well with the renovations and such.
    I know all the Doristas will be in touch with each other, and I think that is wonderful.

  17. TheKitchenLioness June 22, 2015 at 03:37 #

    Mardi, Marie Hélène´s Apple Cake seems to have been the Doristas favorite sweet recipe from the book and it is a true winner indeed – being a great afternoon treat with tea/coffee or sweet breakfast fare – congratulations on cooking and baking each and every recipe from Dorie´s book – respect! And, yes, I am sure that our paths will cross some day…and we “see” a lot of each other in the near future…
    Until then,
    Andrea

  18. Cher June 22, 2015 at 08:27 #

    Oh Mardi. How would I have survived this journey without our recipe idea exchanges? Or Mr. Neil’s wine recommendations? And permission to minify? Yes, we still have TWD; but, sigh…
    Toronto and Upstate NY are not so far away – we need to figure that out. Seriously…

    And…someday, I will conquer macarons – you will be the first person I message when that day comes.

    Big, big hugs.

  19. Guyla June 22, 2015 at 10:46 #

    Its been an exciting journey together Mardi! I have enjoyed your stories about the petite chefs and Mr. Neil’s thoughts and opinions. Your mini apple cake is absolute perfection on a plate! Take care!

  20. Teresa June 22, 2015 at 21:01 #

    The very last Around My French Table minification by Mardi! You have moved through this book brilliantly and you have to have been the most consistent of all the Doristas.I know that there will be further adventures, but I’m glad we’ve had this one.

  21. KarenP June 26, 2015 at 20:36 #

    Seems like you found your words, and said everything so eloquently. I agree that I will have to rethink my meal-planning strategy now. And I love that you recently passed the AMFT torch to your friend! It’s been a pleasure!

  22. Mary Hirsch June 26, 2015 at 22:41 #

    All very well said, Mardi, and, I must say, you weren’t at a loss for words. I will admit to being a bit about “what, now?” the past two weeks. FFWD was such a part of every week for so many years that it’s an “adjustment” to go without it. It’s quite the feat that you cooked every single recipe and really have the posts and photos to prove it. No fudging. (Hey, we never made fudge, did we.) I hope you will allow all of us to support you next year in Jamie’s Food Revolution. Just let us know. And, I sincerely hope (and, believe) that our paths will cross in the future although I do realize we must make that happen. Good luck with your future endeavors on both sides of the Pond. I look forward to keeping up with you and Neil. XOXOX

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