Monthly Archives: November 2009

Today in the Paris Metro

An elderly Chinese man approached me and started speaking to me in Mandarin. Since I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, I shook my head and said “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Chinese”. He gave me a confused look, then went off with a huff.

In hindsight, probably shouldn’t have responded in Mandarin. My bad.

Baking in Paris : Melting Butter

Unlike American butter, French butter tends to explode when you put it in the microwave. I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s offended by the idea of using microwaves to speed up the melting process. Anyway, this is quite an unpleasant situation for any baker (or patissier as the French call them) who will need melted butter for a variety of baked goods including cookies and madeleines. To counter this problem, I’ve devised a workaround: Prepare a little more butter than the recipe requires. That way you can compensate for the amount that will burst out of the microwave-safe bowl. I’ve used this several times here and it always seems to work. I’m brilliant like that.