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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

While some of you back in the US are still on holiday this Monday, the rest of us have moved on to another work week.  Here’s what my weekend entailed.

1) Flight home from Denmark

First up on the honey-do list for the weekend was getting myself home from Denmark.  In my case, that was simply going to the Billund airport and not getting too distracted in the massive Lego store inside the airport (Billund is home to Lego, and Legoland).

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To be fair, there’s really nothing else to do in the airport – so you might as well poke around the Lego store.

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From there it’s a roughly 1hr 45min flight back to Paris nonstop.  All on-board my favorite regional airline, HOP!  Or, as I see it every time in my head: IHOP!

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Unfortunately this plane lands in what is essentially the worst terminal at CDG.  Yes, there are actually worse levels of suck at what is widely agreed as one of the worlds most hosed up international airports.  Though, I’m actually really good at CDG by now.  That said, this terminal has no train connectivity to it, so Uber it was.  At least I was home within 45 minutes, not too bad!

2) Off to the farm

Saturday afternoon we headed off to one of our most beloved places – the u-pick farm.  We’ve gone here each year since moving to Paris, you’ll remember the first time here.  It also sorta goes back to our very first date, also on a u-pick farm some 7 years ago.

This massive farm is actually located just behind Versailles, so it’s not too far to get to if you have a car (but somewhat impossible on public transit, at least getting back with a boatload of fruits/veggies).  We just take the Autolib out there.  Here’s the big board with everything they’ve currently got available:

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We tend to focus on only a few things there, but this weekend they appeared to have the most diversity of stuff we’ve seen in all of our visits.  And the picking was very good.  In our case, we were mostly after zucchini blossoms:

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But we also picked up a few zucchini too:

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And some corn, apples, raspberries, and potatoes.

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Though the potatoes you just grab from a big bin.

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Definitely a good trip!  It’s also silly cheap.  For example, the blossoms are 8EUR per kilogram (2.2 pounds).  Since they weigh nothing, you can get hundreds of them (as we did) for 12EUR.  In the grocery store they cost roughly 5EUR for 4-6 of them.  Super expensive.

3) Making stuffed zucchini blossoms for the winter

With nearly 200 blossoms we were ready for a party.  Or at least, a stuffing, dipping and freezing party.  In the past we’ve done smaller batches, but always run out by early spring.  This time…we went big.  Given this, the Cake Studio was the best place to take care of it all.

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The whole cleaning, stuffing, dipping, and then freezing process probably took us two hours.  But we’ll now have blossoms all the way till at least next summer.

We simply froze them on sheet pans and then the next morning we bagged them all.

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Later that night though we took a few for a test dip, deep fried of course.

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Mmm…so good!

4) A Sunday Tour of Vincennes

I headed out Sunday afternoon for just a quick loop around town on the bike.  While I could have done a trainer ride, I figured you’ve only got so many nice summer days left before the trainer becomes more appealing than going outside.

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The ride itself I just made a bit of a loop along with ins and outs of various segments around the Bois de Vincennes.  Some of them are bike-only, while others have cars but are pretty low-traffic roads.

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Speaking of traffic, some of you have asked about the new red light bypass signs for cyclists here in Paris that were rolled out this winter.  Here’s an example of one.  You can see the triangle appended just above the stop-light.  It has an arrow to the right, which means I can proceed with caution and turn right as I see fit.  Sometimes it’s a straight arrow (such as at a ‘T’ intersection’).  Overall, it’s awesome – and they’ve done a really impressive job in rolling it out across the city to thousands of intersections in just a few months.

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My whole ride was only being about 80 minutes or so, just enough to keep things interesting and collect some final power data.

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Data looked good too – always like it that way.

5) A feast with friends

Finally, we wrapped up the weekend with a late night feast at our friend’s house (the chef one).  He had cooked up more dishes than I can count from pork belly to squab to steak.  Along with a slew of amazing side dishes.

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Not a bad way to end the weekend!

Thanks for reading, have a great week ahead all!

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22 Comments

  1. awesome weekend, as always

  2. Sylvester Jakubowski

    I wonder if the sous vide cooker will ever be a staple appliance like the toaster in homes. It doesn’t get much easier/tastier/repeatable than an Anova…

    • I think eventually it will. But the ‘ecosystem’ around it has to get easier. For example more foods need to be pre-ready from Costco or wherever to just drop in. Then there’s the searing part that’s a little rougher for some kitchens to likely adapt to.

      Still, it’s come a long way in the last 2-3 years in terms of making it easier and cheaper.

    • Anonymous Coward

      … or a Nomiku.

  3. Sous-vide, blow-torch, hmm..I see a collaboration Chefstep.com and DC Rainmaker here, the “Measurers of the Internet”!

  4. Scott E

    Though this is not a cooking blog, it would be awesome to get the inside track on the ingredients and preparation info. Like what the heck is the blossoms stuffed with?

    • Goat cheese, a bit of salt and pepper, and some chives cut up. Just tossed it into a Kitchen Aide with the flat beater simply to get it soft enough to pipe in (you can do a spoon, but it’s a mess).

      The exact goat cheese is Tommette du Tarn, from the Pyrenees.

    • Scott E

      Awesome, thank you both!

      Didn’t even know the Zucchini blossom was consumable, and plenty around this time of year.

    • John Kavanagh

      Awesome! Thanks for the idea Ray! I recreated with a slightly different goatscheese based filling, and paired with a sweet dipping dressing… Delicious! Thanks for the idea!

  5. Dr matt

    You must have the best time carb loading for events!!!! Yummy……

  6. Pablo

    Hi Ray,
    Quick question about the Paris transportation. I’m leaving Paris next Saturday with two bikes bags and other normal luggage. We are three people and there’s no way we’ll fit in a normal size taxi, probably not even a big one. No easy task whatsoever. What system of transportation do you recommend to go to Orly Airport?
    By the way, love the blog and the podcast!
    Thanks!!

    • Hi Pablo-

      Personally, I’d do Uber. You can call an Uber Van, which will guarantee more than enough space for what you’ve got. The flat-rate for Uber is 35EUR to Orly for a regular car, but 50EUR for a van: link to uber.com

    • Gunnar

      Pablo, I got so tired of trying to squeeze a regular bike box into euro rental cars and taxi’s (and paying airline fees!) I now have a Ritchey Break Away that I like so much it actually has become my main road bike. I just returned yesterday from Italy and no airline fees for oversized baggage and I can pack most of my clothes in the bag too!

    • Pablo Gonzalez

      Great tip Ray, costed 60 euros with Uber XL but worked great.
      I have the bike bag that Ray recommended a few years ago and had no problems and no extra airline fees so far. Sucks to do all the disassemble and protection but I only use it once a year so it’s no so big deal. The other bag that was with us was a hard case. Horrible to move, always extra fees and much heavier. Do not recommend it at all.

      Cheers,

  7. I sea you have the Infocranks on your bike, when do you expect finishing tests? Looking forward to the review.

  8. Happy Runner

    Will you be doing a post about your adventure in the rented motor home? I’ve always thought it would be brilliant to take one to the start of a triathlon and thus avoid high hotel prices and worries about getting to the start on time. OTOH, driving must be a bit awkward.

  9. Ismo

    It would be great if IHOP had their own airline. Mmmm…pancakes.

  10. doron leibovitz

    hi ray,

    Can u recommend us a small hotel/appartment for a
    family (2 adults 2 children 13 , 16 ) for 10 days in paris/ not expensive/

    thanks
    best regard

    doron

  11. Captain Chris

    I guess I will be doing a few extra miles tonight…

    I came to read about sports and am leaving hungry and can’t seem to get pancakes out of my head.

    Love what you do!

  12. Jeremy

    Hi Ray,
    can you share youre blossoms recipe? It looks so yummi, and living nearby “Les jardins de Gally”, I may buy a batch of blossoms to taste it 😀