November 24, 2014

sunrise over Autumnal vineyards in Canale, Italy
I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. Normally, I like to spend Thanksgiving in Santa Barbara, California, where my mother still lives in the house I grew up in. It's the family HQ, where there have been many feasts and fun competition in the kitchen. Most of all it's where all my epic childhood memories live as well as the many holiday and birthday meal stories. I hold on tight to the golden packages in my mind's memory file cabinet. Especially since moving to Paris 6 years ago. Oh how I miss California.

Growing up in California I fantasized about a true fall experience. I had visions of Vermont and big old wood family houses in the New England countryside. I think a lot of west coasters have a similar romantic dreamscape of the east coast. I often wondered what it would be like to spend both my October birthday and Thanksgiving in the magic of true autumn.

We've just returned from my fall birthday trip over to the Piedmont region of northern Italy. I traditionally go there now to see the vivid colored vines and to eat up white truffles. Talk about a winning combination of extreme nature and food. What a luxury and how thankful I am. Spending my fall season holidays between Noyers and Piedmont are why I never get bummed out about summer being over... I get my true autumn.

This year we'll be spending Thanksgiving once again in the tiny medieval french village called Noyers-sur-Serein. This will be our 4th year going there for Thanksgiving, where good friends ( who happen to be our neighbors in Paris!) have a warm country house that have opened it's doors to us many times. It's also home to La Porte Peinte Centre Pour Les Arts, a gallery and artist residency run by dear friends, that have also hosted otherworldly events such as this medieval age inspired feast.

THANK YOU to all the Trail of Crumbs contributors, readers, makers and inspirers! We are truly lucky to have so many beautiful stories of adventure, wanderlust, and delicious food surround us year after year. Happy Thanksgiving from our little Trail of Crumbs corner of Paris to you.

Here are a few of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes from our trusted archive:

VELVETY PERFECT TURKEY GRAVY (would be pretty sweet in one of these gravy boats)

"Dory Gravy Boat" by Contemporary silversmith Kirsty Eaglesfield & Rebecca Joselyn's "Crushed Can"

SALT AND HONEY PIE ( From the lovely Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook)


Trompette de la Mort, black trumpet, mushrooms blooming from a french forest floor

photo of Salty Honey Pie: Milk and Honey

November 14, 2014

A Kitchen in Every Classroom

Some dear friends of ours at Celery Design in Berkeley, California, have collaborated on a wonderful and noble project that would greatly improve food education for kids in the USA.  After the success of the Edible Schoolyard programs, the need for classroom cooking tools became very apparent and not always easy to furnish.  The Charlie Cart is the solution Carolyn Federman and Brian Dougherty devised: a compact and all-inclusive mobile kitchen that could be easily stored and accessed in any classroom.  The name is a nod to the traditional Chuck Wagon, and it's independent, mobile design has all the pioneering spirit of the original.  We at Trail of Crumbs are wholeheartedly behind anything that aims to build up American food culture and give kids a better daily meal.  With supporters like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan, this could become an amazing reality for countless children.  Check out their Kickstarter page and please help out if you can.

" I serve on The Charlie Cart Project advisory board because when cooking is integrated into the corriculum, academic subjects come alive, and students effortlessly absorb their lessons. With the Charlie Cart, children have the hands-on experience of preparing food and gathering together around the table, where they learn the essential values of nourishment, communication, and generosity." -Alice Waters

Carolyn Federman & Brian Dougherty

November 13, 2014

During our road trip in Italy last month, we were recommended by Paris restauranteur and chef, Pierre Jancou, to stop by I Tigli pizzeria to try their modern take on traditional pizza. We got lost trying to find it, because the bridge into the center of the village, San Bonifacio, was taken down and our gps had a heyday with that one. Finally, after driving down a private grass path, a friendly farmer told us how to get there. In a somewhat run down, tiny village, we entered a slick, airy and inviting little pizzeria run by chef Simone Padoan.

The water glasses were custom made in nearby Venice, in a traditional glass blowing studio
Pizza with a delicious whole wheat sourdough crust, fresh pomodoro and house made burrata
Their signature tiramisu was the best version of the classic we've ever had!

I TIGLI Simone Padoan
Via Camporosolo 11
37047 - San Bonifacio - Verona
Closed on Wednesdays
T: 045 610 26 06

November 5, 2014

A Lunch Break in Modena, Italy

Fennel, squashes, eggplant and onions fresh off the grill waiting to get dressed in syrupy, aged, local balsamic vinegar
On our recent road trip through the north of Italy, we stopped in Modena for lunch. A city responsible for the creation of balsamic vinegar, Modena was a sure to be a sweet pit stop. We set out on a walk and discovered a mellow little piazza called Piazza Giacomo Matteotti. The trees lured us in and we soon spotted a sunny terrace full of tables tucked away beyond the trees. It was Officina Della Senape, a restaurant with wood grill and lots of locals having a relaxed weekend lunch. It was meant to be... and turned out to be one of our favorite meals of the trip.

Gramigna with a ragu of sausage and porcini mushrooms
Fettucini with bolognese .... so nice to have a real bolognese in the Emilia-Romagna region, so close to the city of Bologna! 

Officina Della Senape
Piazza Matteotti, 21

+39 059 875 6752

October 29, 2014

White Gold

This month we visited the Piedmont region of Italy to wander through the autumnal vineyards and get dizzy from local, intoxicating white truffles...

September 22, 2014

Tomatoes at Every Table

We had a beautiful tomato love affair while visiting friends and family in California and Marfa, Texas recently. Many sweet outdoor meals were made with products from home gardens with tomatoes, squash, runner beans, herbs, cucumbers, and magic galore.

Simone's crazy good tomatoes (with Burrata) from the West Paris garden in Marfa. You did it Simone! 
A potluck spread at Mark & Jen's Santa Barbara riviera balcony high above the pacific
Old friends and newlyweds gather 

Mark & Jen have converted an entire dry hillside into a produce giving paradise

Jen and Ingrid at my childhood home during golden hour on the Santa Barbara riviera

all photos Danielle Rubi-Dentzel, except the top tomato photo by Simone Rubi

August 5, 2014

Frico Egg!

TofC contributor, Ingrid Pankonin, sent us this sweet little egg recipe and we can't wait to try it. I bet you won't be able to wait either. How good does this sound? Merci Ingrid!

Sometimes the best simple recipes come out of combining two already delicious things - in this case, the frico, a Friulian cheese crisp, and a fried egg.  It's super easy, can be made with things you probably already have in your fridge, and is kind of a brunch game-changer.  Buon appetito!

Heres's what you'll need:
Butter - about 1/2 TBS.  I use salted because I like salt.
Parmesan - about 2 TBS, grated.  (Use your instincts on the amount and get a nice thin layer of cheese - you want it to crisp up evenly.  You can also probably use any hard grating cheese, like an aged pecorino.)
Salt + pepper.
A cast iron or nonstick pan.

Heat up the pan, put the butter into it(it should sizzle and melt right away), then sprinkle the cheese over it in an even layer.

After the cheese, immediately crack an egg (or more eggs, depending on the size of your pan and number of mouths - maybe try one at a time first?) over the melty cheese-butter. 

Salt and pepper it.  Put the lid on and cook to your desired doneness.  I'm a sunny-side-up gal, myself. Admire the crispy edges!

Slide it out of the pan with a spatula, and serve with whatever you like - in this case, some roasted summer vegetables and prosciutto.

  Can you imagine this on a Caesar salad?

July 19, 2014

Meat and Coffee in Chicago

Here we have a report from Chicago by our long time contributor, Simone Rubi. Simone lives in Marfa, Texas and recently started Do Your Thing Coffee with Rob Gungor.  Do Your Thing is a coffee stand selling premium, luscious coffee magic in various corners of town.  During their time off last week, they spontaneously got same day tickets to Chicago. Just for fun... and more coffee research ( and awesome food, art, design and architecture). As a former home of mine while a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, I was so excited to hear Simone's food stories for TofC. We love Chicago!    - Danielle

Last Tuesday I went to Chicago. It was a last-minute decision. Total whim. As soon as I got on the plane, my memories of visiting Danielle while she attended SAIC flooded my mind. Chicago is it's own thing. It lacks pretense and is full of purposeful architecture. The river running through the city creates such a wonderful travel experience for the pedestrian and biker. Luckily, the city started it's own public bike system last year, so I got to see the city by bike. Riding around in perfect Summer weather, stopping to check out a couple of art exhibitions, wandering into restaurants that were recommended. 

The two stand-out restaurants that I went to were The Publican and Au Cheval. I received a tip from a friend (and chef) back in LA, Lydia Burkhalter. She suggested I try the homemade bologna sandwich at Au Cheval, in the meat packing district. It was unreal. The soft, thin, slightly-sauteed slices of the delicately-spiced mortadella were velvety and sweet. Layered high on a soft, eggy brioche bun, with oozy cheddar and a bit of mornay sauce, it was not the bologna you think of from that sad sack lunch from 5th grade. It was a delicacy. It was an honest sandwich, mirroring what Chicago feels like, honest and meat-loving. 

I tried the roasted chicken & sausage on fries at The Publican and, in the words from fellow TofC contributor Sam Grawe, this had the best juices. Don't miss this place! The thinly sliced Benton's country ham (Tennessee) with goat butter on housemade German-style bread, was pure joy. Salty and sweet, melting on my tongue, on par with the Iberican hams in Spain. The avocado, kale, carrot, and toasted peanut with tahini dressing was better than the kale salads back in California. They nailed it. Chicago nailed it.

Intelligentsia. Do Your Thing Coffee tasting what they do

Text: Simone Rubi
Photos: Simone Rubi

July 5, 2014

First Bombay Style Bistro in Paris

Finally. An Indian restaurant in Paris with fresh ingredients and heart warming flavors. There is love put into this food. A respected chef from London ( Cinnamon Club) , Manoj Sharma, has put a modern touch on traditional Indian cuisine at the brand new MG Road restaurant in the eastern Marais district of Paris. MG Road will quickly become a favorite place to tuck into, with quality food that will hug you. The menu features dishes like Sea Bass steamed in banana leaves with lemon infused rice, Chicken tikka with fresh herb chutney, Creme Brulée in the form of an Indian rice pudding, and a wine list with biodynamic wines. They also sell items like vanilla salt, black salt, tea spices, teas, chutneys and more.

Velvety butter chicken curry, dal with black lentils, and Pulao rice make up the lunch box to-go called the "Tiffin Box"
We opted to try their Tiffin box, a traditional stainless steel stacked to-go lunch box, which we brought home around the corner. They have two options, one vegetarian and one with meat. You simply pay a deposit for the box and either bring the box back later, or hold on to them to re-fill later. Which we plan to do. A lot.

The owner, Stephanie de Saint Simon, has a background in high end specialty catering and event planning. Along with party planning, she started Ouma Productions,  an interior design business specializing in beautiful decor, furniture and design objects from India. 

Tiffin Boxes filled with goodness to take home for those living in the nearby quartier
Tiffin Boxes with Pulao rice, dal with black lentils, chickpeas with tamarind, and butter chicken

MG Road Restaurant
205 Rue Saint-Martin
Tel. 01 42 76 04 32
75003 Paris

Open from 9am - Midnight, closed Sunday & Monday.
Breakfast : 9am - Noon
Lunch: Noon – 3pm
Dinner: 7pm –10:30pm

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