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What a day.  It’s 75 degrees outside.  This time of year, here, it should be about 40. Such a gift after so many cold, cold cloudy days.

I signed up to bring some dessert for a thing tonight, and today I tried two chocolate cakes from 101 Cookbooks.  For the first one, I substituted coconut milk for cream, and I wasn’t sure if it would work, so I decided to make a second cake as backup.  (These photos are of the second cake, which turned out to be impossibly delicious.) So for the past three hours I have been melting chocolate, stirring flour and sugar and salt and eggs, and dusting flour on my jeans to take photographs.

Lately I’ve been re-reading my copy of French Women Don’t Get Fat, sort of part of this insatiable longing for France I’ve been feeling.  The book, of course, talks about ways to not get fat, but it is also just a simple manifesto about how to love food. Love it so much you want to eat less.  Love it so much you want to savor every bite as long as possible.  The book also contains wonderful recipes for each season of the year.   It’s gorgeous.

One thing that is noticeable about it is how unapologetic the french are about enjoying quality chocolate and other rich foods.  Guilt is just not an emotion (typically, it seems) that French women experience with regard to food.

I have been embracing this mentality and enjoying my time in the kitchen, with open windows and the chance to scrape almost-black melted chocolate out of bowls and into pans lined with butter and parchment paper. Licking a spoon here and there, and eating a few bites of one cake just to make sure it turned out alright, but not overdoing it.  Just enjoying small bites and absorbing all the beauty of the tiny cake.

Tomorrow I will write about the recipes and some of the adaptations I made.

(“my soul will be satisfied as with the richest food” psalm 63)

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