We woke up to a much cooler apartment and that made for a better night’s sleep than the night before. It probably never got above 70 today and finally rained some so we were very happy with the change in weather.

Ash took Paul out and came back with croissants, I got yesterday’s blog up. We headed out a little after 10am for the big event of the day, a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu.

Ash, Jim, and Shirley took a class here last Friday on sauces. That class was 4 hours, this was just about 2 hours. And in case you’ve never heard of it, here’s the tagline from its website: “Founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu is considered today the largest network of culinary and hospitality schools in the world with more than 35 institutes in 20 countries and 20,000 students of over 100 nationalities are trained every year.”

The class fee entitled us to free coffees from their cafe so Ash stood in line for us. They were pretty good, too.

The requisite selfie once we got in the kitchen.

The layout was pretty impressive. Everyone got aprons, a cleaning cloth, a hat, menus to try what we made here at home, with your own stove….

…and your own workspace behind you, with a refrigerator below that you shared with your neighbor.

Today the class was 2 vegetarian dishes.

Now, one could argue that this was just another selfie once we donned our stuff. But, notice our slightly conspiratorial expressions. What’s true is it’s a ruse…

…because what we really wanted was a photo of the guy across from us. Let’s just say the photo doesn’t do him justice, but we noticed him when we were walking over from the subway and couldn’t believe it when he crosses the street and we’re all coming to the same place.

The chef was the guy in the big hat in the middle there, and to his right was Isra, the translator. The woman on the left was one of the school’s students who was super helpful.

The 1st course we did was a creamed asparagus dish. I was so caught up in it all I never thought to take a photo. The 2nd course was a carrot dish, clearly. This was just after I dumped fresh ginger and turmeric in it.

We learned some simple tricks that will be easy to apply at home. Like the one shown here: making a paper lid from parchment paper, which allows it to keep cooking while slowing down the evaporation process so you’re left with a glaze.

This was the finished product as plated by the chef. The round things are fresh rice cakes.

He also spent a fair amount of time talking about “the perfect egg” which, according to Le Cordon Bleu, is one steamed at 63 degrees Celsius (145.4 Fahrenheit) for an hour. The result is the perfect coagulation of the egg white….

…and a creamy yoke without overcooking either. Not exactly something you can easily repeat at home!

They kept pushing for photos with the chef so it seemed rude not to :) Here the main chef has a pretty high status.

This was essentially the only good view of the Eiffel Tower I’ve had all week. The school was just a few blocks away. I zoomed 5x so a little grainy.

Ash taking a photo of me taking that photo.

Since Ash went to 2 classes here we have lots of bags! You brought all the food home with you. I emptied them while Ash took Paul out and we headed out again soon after he returned.

We were headed back to Sacre Coeur. This was our 3rd time here in this quest to get us some rings. We’ve been talking about it for awhile. Ash didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them because he wants to wait until we go to India together where we can get nice rings of high quality gold for very cheap. So we’ve been looking for about 6 months. At any rate, on my first day here he brought me up here to look at some he’d found. But of course they had to make them in our sizes. We went back yesterday and brought Shirley with us. She bought lots of stuff from that jeweler as gifts for her kids. But we were early and the guy wasn’t there, which is why we spent so much time up there just walking around and eating French fries and ice cream (read yesterday’s blog!) When he finally got there after 6:30pm, the rings weren’t ready even though that was the time we agreed on Sunday and Ash had called the day before to confirm. He swore they would be ready this afternoon. And they were. Three’s a charm.

We took the funicular up to Sacre Coeur. We’ve walked by it a bunch on this trip but never actually to it.

It really is a great looking church. I was in it once in 2014 and the inside is just OK, and you can’t take photos. So we didn’t go in.

And you get a great view of the city from there.

We sat down on the steps to just enjoy the view for a bit and had a little conversation about what the rings meant to us.

The short version of that conversation is what we posted on Facebook when we got home: “We asked each other and he said ‘yes.'”.

It was feeling like some serious rain was coming so we quickly got out of there and came back to the apartment. We used the subway a lot today again.

We hadn’t really eaten anything since that croissant earlier this morning and it was now about 3:30pm. Ash heated up some of the food we brought home: in this case the cream of asparagus with some peas, and the rice. He added mushrooms. This may not look like much but it was tasty and satisfying.

It’s now coming up on 6pm. He’s about to finish his online bridge game, I’m caught up with his along with bill paying, etc. We’ll go out for dinner later and I’ll finish up then.

We went out again about 7:30pm and ended up around the corner at JJ Beaumarchais. Ash had been here once before and really liked it. He called earlier for a reservation and they were booked, but decided to stop by anyway. They said they could seat us outside if we liked. Since we had Paul, it was perfect. And it was cold relative to the rest of the week – had cooled down to 63 that with a breeze felt much colder. I’d worn jeans for the first time all week, and a hoodie. Ash went back for his beany which is why he’s not in this photo. You can see Paul bottom right next to our table. This place, by the way, is ranked like 55 out of 15,000 restaurants in Paris on TripAdvisor. And very well priced as these places go, which is probably part of its high ranking.

Let’s see how I do tonight on remembering ingredients. This was tuna sashimi, that white stuff was garlic I think. At any rate, it was a great start.

A spring salad they called it with a surprise in every bite: peas, black beans, pickled red onion, green strawberries, pine nuts, feta cheese. And a green sorbet of some kind. Very tasty.

Perfectly cooked haddock (white fish) and I don’t remember what else.

Paul keeping vigil. It’s amusing to watch people’s reactions to him as they pass.

Almost like a bbq pork, definitely grilled yet a cumin flavoring, bits of raw purple cauliflower again (had that last night). It definitely worked. They got this course wrong with Ash – twice. When they’d asked about things to stay away from I said beef and pork for Ash. The regular server initially sat this down in front of him and then the head guy ran out and quickly switched it with veal. We were like “what, again?” (See Wednesday’s entry for more on that….) They finally brought octopus, cooked exactly the same way my pork was. I might’ve liked it better. Both were excellent.

The inside was warm and cozy and definitely packed.

Let’s see: a caramel mousse over lemon sorbet on top of fresh strawberries and rhubarb on graham cracker wafers. Lots going on here. Sweet, tart, cold, smooth, crisp and crunchy.

Vanilla gelato on an almond cake with cherries and a hazelnut puree and hazelnuts, too.

A regular coffee for me and a noisette for Ash. We were joking about: Europeans who come to America must be really disappointed at the coffee they get with/after dessert if this is what they’re used to.

It is after 10:30pm, Ash is already in bed. Tomorrow morning we take Jim to the airport – Shirley left today – and while we’re there we pick up our car and head out for a week of castle-hopping. Should be a fun ride!


  1. Tom J May 21, 2022 at 8:56 am - Reply


  2. Shelley B May 20, 2022 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Everything is just lovely —- but most of all, Congratulations!

    • Steve Haas May 20, 2022 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying and nice to hear from you!

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