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.
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:
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.
I minified this recipe (bien sûr) – halving the recipe to make three 4″ cakes. And shared it with my mum last night.I 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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