February 2, 2014

First impressions

This is what we bought.  Our apartment is one of eight in, what used to be, a mansion on the edge of the city park. Our apartment is comprised of the garden and the salon adjacent (plus the kitchen, baths and chambres that we are replacing entirely).
This is where the doors used to be. once upon a time, they were removed and bricked up, and then the small door to the left was cut in to make this apartments front door.
This is what the other apartment doors in the building look like.

This is what I uncovered on the inside when I removed the inner layer of plaster and brick

I found an old pair of doors, salvaged from a nearby home, a perfect fit!  Sanding, painting, fitting 4 pairs of new hinges and adding a biometric lockset.

But old doors are seldom sold intact with thier frame, so I had to make the frame.  I had some fir milled to the correct size and then sharpened Stephanies chisels (long story) and created the mortise and tenons.
Glue and two screws  at each corner and I have a door frame!

I don't know what these anchors are called, but it's how the french connect wood to stone. They are 3" long shooting star shaped metal straps cemented into the stone and then a single screw into the wood
Here is the view of the new doors from the inside.
The new doors from the outside.

The view from the street door, up the steps, through the glass lobby doors and onto our new doors

Bullseye Röst

I think it came to me in a dream....why not stuff a pork roast with a beef roast!?

I searched the web, assuming their was a recipe for anything, but was surprised to find no advice.  I found pork stuffed with crawfish, with jalapeños, and even with lobster, but no pork stuffed with another meat....

 I called my grill master friend Mark and got some advice
"cook it slow, use bacon, marinate the chef" and I chatted up my local team of butchers (that was an event).  I tried to be discreet and have the discussion with Jean Claude, the one looking at the camera, but it soon involved the entire equipe, fortunately there was a lull in the meat-buying business and
they were happy to help.  We selected a rib roast, they
removed the bones and butterflied the beast and then laid in
a nice strip of steak, a cut the called a
"cour de tete", a splash of salt and pepper on the beef and then tied the amalgamation into a "normal" looking roast.

I dry rubbed in some classic spices and let the thing warm up to room temperature for a few hours.  Set it into our french/dutch (?) oven with half a stick of butter and some white wine. The challenge was in the timing, but we were lucky, warned by the butchers, that this would be the important part, "undercooked pork is worse than overcooked beef". But I dislike over-cooked beef more than I dislike under-cooked pork, but I respect the principle. With the oven set at 375 F, I roasted it for about an hour and it was perfect!!  Letting it stand for 20 minutes until we were done with the appetizers was a dumb moment, but there is protocol here in France, and abbreviating the meal is a no-no 
(non in french).

The bullseye is the beef, the donut shape is the "other" white meat and the next ring out is the darker portion of the pork.
This was just too cool a photo not to include!  I love our farmers market.
Thanks to all the hands and heads that made this meal, and to the beouf and cochon who gave their all.