Sunday, February 8, 2009

The winds have changed.


As you have noticed, La Fin du Monde has been lingering for some time now in a state of perpetual neglect. Not for lack of content have I been absent. I had so many great plans, and so many great things to post that for one reason or another, though they made the transition from my mind into reality, never made there way from reality into blog form. I wish so much that I could have shared 'stew extravaganza' with you, not to mention "Bread of the week" which was at least a partial success, or 'Winter '08: the Scone Age'. Pictures of all these things exist, but sadly they are spread out across computers and cameras and through multiple states- lost memories now, I'm afraid. What is more, there were a few kites that I built and flew that never got posted. That stuff is dead to me now. I'm through chasing after the wind.

Here is the revised plan: I hope to read as many children's books as I can, and write about at least one per month. I'm going to focus on picture books, and as a starting point I'm going to use the Caldacott award winning books (at least those I can find/those that are still in print).

I had thought to write an introductory note explaining why I think children's books are so great. Or at least a note to explain what I think a great children's book can do that no other art form can- not painting, not writing, not cooking nor kite-making.
But I decided it would be better to let these opinions unfold in the course of things.

I need your help, though. I my knowledge of children's books is somewhat limited, so I need some recommendations. There's a lot of really, really bad stuff out there, so if you have a children's book that you really enjoyed, either as a kid, or as an adult, send the title along to me and I'll check it out. (Guest reviews are always welcome as well). You do not need to mention 'Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel', 'Goodnight Moon', or 'Frog and Toad' which are pretty much works of great genius as far as I'm concerned.

Check back soon.
Within the next week I hope to post my thoughts on "The Biggest Bear" which, aside from having what everyone seems to agree is one of the most awesome titles ever, also happens to be a pretty incredible book.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 4: NW at 10 knots

Not only is this kite free advertising for Macy's; it is (inadvertently) flown in support of the revolution.

Eggs: 0
Butter: 0

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 3:

  • Winds: W at 14.7 knots.

The "Sode" kite comes from Japan and is sometimes known as the kimono kite. This one flew like a drunken jackal in one of my traps until I tied some extra weight to the end of the tail.

Eggs: 0
Butter: 0

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 2:

The ubiquitous diamond kite. Unmistakable even from a distance. A few days ago I was flying this kite off of a hill in a park and I heard behind me, "Mommy, Mommy, I want to fly the kite. Whaaaaa!" His mom told him not to come near me and he was totally bummed. Then the rest of the birthday party saw me and they all started crying too.

My social standing is going up already. I'm already the most popular kid at the birthday party. Whee!

Eggs: 0

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 1:

It brings me great pleasure to announce the return of La Fin du Monde. However, I won't be cooking any more. Naturally, I've moved on to kites.

Here is the first kite. It is your basic "Sled Kite" made from plastic bags and bamboo skewers. Bon Appetit!

Eggs: 0
Butter: 0

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving gone wild.

When it comes to thanksgiving, I hold to a pretty traditional set of values. After hosting 2 thanksgivings, and roasting up my 3rd turkey in 5 days, however, I'd gotten a little tired of plain jane turkey. Here's documentation of some of my infidelities.

Thanksgiving pizza. Made a nice appetizer.

Giant 10 egg Thanksgiving omelet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An early Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Cornbread
  • Rice Pilaf
  • cranberry sauce
  • Corn
  • Gravy
  • Pumpkin dessert thingy

Here is the fictionalized account with some nice shots of the basement.

Eggs: 12
Butter: 4 lbs.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 34:

  • Colombo de Porc Frais (curried prok with bananas and coconut)

Butter: 0
Eggs: 0

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 33:

  • Sole Bercy (Sole baked in white wine)
  • Peaches Flambees (Flambeed peaches in meringue shells)
All work and no play makes Nathan a dull boy.

Eggs: 3
Butter: 1/2 stick

Monday, September 3, 2007

Day 32:

  • Pain de Petits Pois Frais al la Creme de Cives (terrine of fresh green peas with chive cream sauce)
  • Lapin a la Graine de Moutarde (rabbit in mustard cream sauce)
  • Pates Fraiches (fresh pasta)

Waskouwe wabbet.

Eggs: 6
Butter: 1/2 stick

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A few summer eats.

Here's a few things from the summer that I never got around to posting. Hopefully now that schools started up again I'll be able to update more regularly. Special thanks to the Capitola Cove Community Dinner group for being tasters, and in their own way offering a significant contribution to a developing theology of food.

Clarification: Due to its circular, seductive shape, some people have found the "Paris-Brest" a reason to giggle. Real mature, guys. The book explains: "...around the turn of the century an ingenious pastry chef decided to name one of his creations after a bicycle race [the race from Paris to Brest, France]".

In other words, it is meant to look like a bike wheel. However, we do not deny this pastry's inexplicable allure.

Brioche loaf
Tarte Bourdaloue (Pear and almond cream tart)
Puff Pastry (attempt #1-over 500,000 layers)
Feuilletes de Poireauz a la Confiture d'Oignon (puff pastries with leeks and onion relish)

Tarte Tatin (caramelized apple tart)
Bell Pepper Wellington
Souffle au Chocolat (Chocolate Souffle)
Cygnes Chantilly (Choux pastry swans in a peaceful lagoon)

Eggs: 51
Butter: 4.1 lbs

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Day 31: Visit us at our west side location.

  • Effeuille de Saint Jacques et Petits Legumes au Safran (sea scallops and spring vegetables with saffron)
  • Entrecote Bordelaise (Rib-eye steak with bordelaise sauce)
  • Pommes Anna (Potatoes Anna)
  • Cafe Liegeois (coffee ice cream sunday)

Friends and lovers,
I have moved, and with this move has come some changes:
1. As you have probably guessed, Cafe la Fin du Monde has been on hiatus; but the new kitchen is now stocked, the snails have fatted, and my cholesterol levels have stabilized for another round of punishment. But the upcoming posts will be shorter. This is because I am lazy. (And also because if I want to make food like below, I wind up spending most of the day at the market).
2. Salsa night is now Wednesday (so as to not conflict with Taco Tuesday), and tengo night will be moved to Thursday in place of swing.
3. Better sanitation.

Eggs: 5
Butter: 1 LB!!!! A new record!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Day 30:

  • Beignets de Langoustines, Sauce Tartare (Langoustine Fritters with super fancy Tartar Sauce [12 ingredients for tartar sauce!])
  • Ananas Princesse (fresh pineapple with strawberry sorbet and Genoise)

With this meal, I've completed one third of the book. Butter and egg totals will be posted soon - I am slow with addition.

Eggs: 10
Butter: 1/8 stick

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day 29:

  • Saute de Veau Marengo (veal stew with white wine and tomatoes)
  • Miroir aux Kiwis (vanilla Bavarian cream with kiwifruit)

Sometimes the cookbook - in the way it has you present things - implicitly reminds you that it is not good to eat alone.

Eggs: 4
Butter: 1/2 stick

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Day 28:

  • Omlette aux Pointes d'Asperges (Omelet with asparagus tips)
  • Entrecote Lyonnaise (Steak, Lyonnaise style)
  • Beignets aux Pommes, Sauce Abricot (apple fritters with apricot sauce)

Cross reference at

Eggs: 7
Butter: 2 sticks (for 2 people)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Day 27:

  • Escalopes de Veau Viennoise (breaded veal scallops)
  • Pommes Allemandes (sauteed potatoes, German style)
  • Oranges et Citrons Giures (frosted orange and lemon sorbet)

Evidently a more sexy version of day 15.

Butter: 1 stick

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Day 26:

  • Quiche aux Epinards (spinich and ham quiche)
  • Bar a la Normande (sea bass with mushrooms and cream)
  • Crepes Soufflees au Cointreau (souffleed crepes flamed with cointreau)

1. Cointreau is very high quality triple-sec. It has twice the alcohol content of normal triple-sec, so it is great for lighting crepes on fire.
2. It is also good for lighting things like place mats and chairs on fire.

Eggs: 12
Butter: 2 and 1/2 sticks

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Day 25:

  • Thon Basquaise (fresh tuna, Basque style)

Props to a few awesome California friends for visiting and for helping to cook this. You know who you are - and you are much loved.

Eggs: 0
Butter: 0

Monday, April 9, 2007

My beloved roommate made this as a birthday present for me.

My defense:
I think I am exceptionally qualified to plead insanity.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

School is too much with us; late and soon,

La Fin du Monde has been on hiatus for a little while. But check back next week for some new updates. Here are a few things (not from the book) to tide you over. Stuffed lamb, and turkey-avocado eggs benedict.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 24:

  • Gratin de Courgettes (zucchini gratin)
  • Noisettes d'Agneau a la Creme d'Ail (medallions of lamb with garlic cream sauce)
  • Tarte aux Poires Alsacienne (Alsatian pear tart)
Confession: I don't really fancy tomatoes all that much. Sometimes they add a nice flavor, but lots of times I pick them out (of food I cooked myself!).

Eggs: 6
Butter: 1 stick

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day 23:

  • Mayonnaise (boo-ya!)
  • Salade Hermine (chicken salad with endive, celery, and olives)
  • Estouffade de Boeuf Provencale (braised beef casserole, Provence style)

Nathan and Scott saw Hermine when they were in Oxford.

Eggs: 2

Butter: none