Cara Black's February Newsletter 2019
Bonne Année Everyone,
Hope you brought in the new year well! I’m excited because 2019 means twenty years — hard to believe, non? — since Aimée Leduc, my half-American, half-French private detective with a penchant for bad boys, scootered her Vespa onto the page. Aimée lives in vintage haute couture in her apartment on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris, a place I know well and certainly wouldn’t mind living one day.
Murder in Bel-Air, coming out in June, is a twenty-year birthday of sorts, though between Murder in the Marais and this, Aimée’s nineteenth foray, only six years have passed in her life. Aimée will have investigated in 18 arrondissements of Paris. I’ve gotten to sneak into courtyards behind her, climb out of a skylight onto a roof - really - and bought drinks for les flics, the best part of my job.
I remembered a reference to February and crepes for Chandeleur from Murder in Montmartre - a little tradition with Morbier and Aimée. This year Chandeleur falls on February 2. So here’s some background. Le Chandeleur is associated with Candlemas but comes from pagan traditions. Some say Chandeleur celebrates the return of sunny days, crêpes symbolize the sun, or that making crêpes using flour left over from the harvest ensures prosperity in the coming year.
But it’s not enough to just eat crêpes; there’s a special thing to do while cooking the crêpes to insure your health, wealth and happiness for the coming year. While cooking the crêpes, hold a coin in one hand, with the other, flip the crêpe . . . and catch it while making your wish for the new year. If you catch it your wish will be answered; if not, dommage!
Aimée Leduc, as you know, doesn’t cook and thinks bistro’s were invented for a reason…but even she might..just might consider this easy peasy recipe you can make via a blender. The recipe is courtesy of Bonjour Paris.
Pâte à Crêpes à la Vanille ~ Blender Method
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon rum, brandy or other liqueur
3 large egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups sifted, unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter
vegetable oil for brushing on the pan
1. Place the milk, vanilla extract and rum in the blender. Add the yolks, sugar, salt, then the flour. Finally, add the butter and blend on high speed 30 seconds.
2. Scrape down the sides of the blender and blend on high speed 30 seconds more. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
At this point, it can also be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring it to room temperature before continuing with recipe.
3. Heat an 8″ crêpe pan or skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle a few drops of water on the pan; if they sizzle, the pan is ready to use. Brush with a little vegetable oil.
4. Using a 1/4 cup measure, fill it with batter and pour it into the skillet. Immediately pick up the pan and tilt and swirl it so that the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. Pour any excess batter back into the bowl.
5. Loosen the edges of the crêpe with a metal spatula. You can use a spatula to turn the crêpe, but I usually turn it with my fingers. Using both hands, I pick up the loosened edges with my thumb and index finger and quickly flip it over - don’t forget to hold that COIN!
6. Cook on the other side until lightly golden (usually less than a minute) and slide it out onto a plate. Cover with waxed paper. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with jam, sprinkled with a little sugar or fruit. Or Nutella.
Here's the Guerlain perfume shop on the Champs d'Elysée
Upcoming events - please come by if I’m in your ‘ood!
Corte Madera, CA
Join Cara with Donna Morris & Sheila Campbell from Wild Blue Yonder as they detail an incredible upcoming trip to Paris in May!
Sisters in Crime talk
Rancho Cordova Library
College of Marin
Tucson Festival of Books
Panels: Saturday, 10 AM: “La Creme du Crime: Mysteries with a Gallic flair,” with Cara, Martin Walker and moderator Mort Rosenblum (Integrated Learning Center Room 120)
Saturday, 1 PM: Moderating “The Best in Mystery” with Phillip Margolin, T. Jefferson Parker & Thomas Perry (UA Mall Tent)
Sunday, 10 AM: Moderating panel on police procedurals with Michael McGarrity, Jeffrey Siger & Martin Walker (Integrated Learning Center Room 120)
Sunday, 2:30 PM: “Crimes in Foreign Climes” with Cara, Teresa Dovalpage & Martin Limon (Student Union Santa Rita)
May 11-18, 2019
Visit Paris with Cara!
Learn more about this exclusive trip.
So excited for Aimée's next investigation out June 4, 2019 !
à la prochaine,