The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

3,656 replies on “The Bistro”

Anna, Erin’s results should be fantastic. She must have prepared very thoroughly. Too bad about the lurgy though, really bad timing on its part. Thank you for sharing her with us!

Yeah – I’ve used ready-made pastry for years and always had that soggy bottom, which is why I was interested in the claims that recipe made. I thought I didn’t like pies – turns out I just don’t like bad pies, hahaha. I’m learning a lot from the GBBS – I had no idea there were so many different KINDS of pastry.

I tried an experiment. I used ready made pastry for my apple pie. Yuk and soggy bottom too. The recipe you shared is infinitely better Julie!

Well done dodging that disaster Julie. Pays to keep protective software up to date. Browsing the Internet can be like wandering around the city and suddenly finding yourself in a bad part of town!
Trying to decide whether to invest money I the house before selling. It needs reprinting but that is not cheap.

Yikes – I came so close to getting my computer locked by ransom ware yesterday! I’ve become addicted to the Great British Bake Off – and wanting to see all the earlier seasons, I went looking for them online. Found quite a lot on YouTube, which was great, but by the 4th season, there were only a few, so went looking further afield for the full season – found a site that said they had it available for streaming, went there, and got that message come up that they had locked my computer and I should call this number. Luckily, I knew what it was, and very quickly turned the switch off on the computer. I rebooted and then thoroughly scanned and scrubbed my computer. Between my quick action and the firewall, I must have dodged it, because after that, I rebooted again, and all was normal. Phew! I had just renewed my anti-virus software, and upgraded to a higher protection level. Am I glad I did! So… season 4 will remain a mystery to me. Ah well. We are on our local PBS station, just about half way through season 6, and I’ve seen seasons 1 through 3 and all of 5, so I guess I can put up with the rest, hahaha.

My renewed interest in baking and cooking has me very jealous of all the gadgets they use – the special pans that come away from the cakes, etc. – it all makes me want them all. I’m trying very hard to remember that those things aren’t really necessary, and never has anyone told me my cakes are underbaked, hahahaha.

It’s becoming a common thing – at my HMO it’s one of the first things they ask – first, for your membership number (luckily, mine is easy to remember), and then, to confirm that they have the right person’s file pulled up on the computer they usually say something like “and I just need your date of birth”. I’d have been really angry, too, if the first time I’d encountered this, they said it like they thought I wouldn’t know my own birth date! Once you think you’re addressing someone approaching senior citizenship, you should tread very carefully. One day it will be you – if you’re lucky. I’ve always thought that people really condescend to older people, and when they say things like how “cute” they are, or “so-and-so is 86 years young!” I find that so very demeaning – I know they are trying to be complimentary, but it comes off like you think the person is losing their marbles. Just treat everyone the same, for goodness sakes!

Hi to all. I just made it to the library to use the computer. Yesterday was good and bad at the eye doc. My pressure is staying very low and if it continues as is I can expect no more loss of sight due to glaucoma. The bad was that the person who escorted me from the waiting room asked me, just as she opened the door to the examining room, CAN you tell me your birthdate?
I was appalled. I told her and she left. I was so angry. I told the dr. and he explained that some times older people mishear the name called and when they get to the room are not the correct person. If she had asked my birthdate instead of asking if I were able to remember it, I would have thought nothing of it. He did say that the protocol would be changed because of my complaint and that people would be asked for their birthdate correctly. I thanked him for his attention to the matter. They had better take care with hoe they address people. Judging by the makeup of the people in the waiting room, They could have real trouble.
All my life I have spoken up for others. Now I have to speak for myself and other senior citizens.
Hope all goes well with Erin’s exams. Our public school children start back Tues. The teachers have been at the schools all this week.
I will be so glad when fall comes or at least some rain.
Hope your stay in Salt Lake City is cool,Julie. (ha ha)

Barbara, when I pick up prescriptions at Walgreens, they always ask my birth date or address to make sure I’m not some crazed whack job stealing blood pressure medicine or something. Ha ha! They phrase it just right but I will pay more attention next time to see what they really say. Thank goodness my full name is not very common, that helps too.

I know, Anna – I’m such a wimp at this sort of thing. She is such a nice person, and I know she doesn’t want me to be so uncomfortable – everyone there just forgets that not everyone can stand the heat! I had thought of offering some money – but worry that that will be weird… Right at the beginning (every time I go to Utah now, it’s assumed I’ll stay there), I said I was happy to stay at a hotel, but she really wanted me to stay with her (can you blame her? hahaha). I don’t want to make things awkward. I will handle it, though – even though this is probably the last visit ever, because the guild that is there is disbanding in September – this is their last hurrah! I’ll figure it out, though, because I really want to be able to sleep while I’m there…

Yuk to backed up plumbing and the heat. Hope everything is ok now Barbara.
Another opportunity to practise asking for what you need Julie. Maybe acknowledge your friends kindness but offer to pay a few dollars to help her run the air con overnight so you are well rested to teach your class. How could she refuse!
Haven’t seen cook book yet. Will look

Did you all see the little cookbook that has just come out? It’s got all the “Nature of the Feast” recipes in it, as well as a few extra recipes from the some of the books, AND as a bonus – a sneak peek at The Great Reckoning…. I’ve decided not to read it – as it will just make me crazy, hahaha.

Oh, so glad you got that fixed, Barbara – what a mess! And to have to keep disinfecting, and cleaning and “mucking out” during the unbearable heat is too much! I just can’t manage in real heat – am not looking forward to my trip next week to Utah – Salt Lake City. I don’t know what I was thinking, agreeing to teach this class in the dead of summer! Of course, all the places I’ll be will be air conditioned, but I’m thinking of the nights… I have a friend there, who’s a dear person, but she is for one thing, used to the heat, and for another, her bedroom is in the shaded back part of the house, so she turns off the A/C at night and opens her windows. Her guest bedroom is in the sunny, front part of the house, and once the A/C goes off, the ceiling fan just moves around hot air all night! I’ve always sweltered at night there, yet I never like to ask someone to do something that will make them uncomfortable in their own home… I might just have to break down and do it this time, though, if record temperatures continue. This week, the temps there have been in the 100’s. Next week, when I’m there, it’s supposed to be mid-90’s – which people who live there are used to, but I certainly am not! Ah well – it’s only a few days… and I’ll appreciate the lower Seattle temps even more! It’s supposed to be about 84 today, and that is too hot for me!

Phew. Plumbing problem from washing machine drain. Water was backing up in kitchen sink when washer was spinning out. Ugh. I had to keep disinfecting the sink. The plumber went on the roof and moved the junk all out. Also, the same company will install everything we need done in the bathrooms. As a teenager Sam and his family moved into a new house across from the founders of the plumbing company. They are both deceased now, but the family keeps up their standards. Maybe, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I would love to be able to say “cold and wet” here. The heat, humidity and lack of rain has resulted in damage to our lawns, shrubs and even larger trees.
Good luck to Erin as she continues.

Thanks Barbara. Survived first two. Yay. I hope you find a plumber Sam will use and the renovations are soon complete.
Cold and wet again. We had to be out early so have headed to our ‘Bistro’ for breakfast.

Good Luck to Erin. Hope she is well soon. Last items for baths came yesterday. The bad news is that the man Sam had planned on using doesn’t do plumbing anymore. I’ll have to get behind Sam and push him towards someone else. Hope everyone has a great day.

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