Bloody Cookies

The personality-plus salesmen, who work very hard but also have fun.

These are two salesmen from the AWESOME cookware store, DeHillerin.  It is a wonderland.  It is in an old building (isn't that ridiculous of me to say that), I mean in a building that has not had a single euro invested in any type of refurbishment for the last two centuries, at least.  In this forlorn building, hanging from the rafters, stuck in every nook and cranny, on every wooden shelf, stacked on the floor, and all in the worst lighting you can imagine, is every little thing your culinary heart could pitter patter after.  Every size and kind of ring, roller, pan, spatula, knife, spoon, strainer, pot, sifter --- I could just go on for paragraphs.  It is dark.  It is crowded.  The stairs are rickety. The aisles are for only one very tiny, skinny person, certainly sans coat.  I am sure the basement is haunted. But these two guys make it all worthwhile!  They are really helpful and love to ham it up for the camera.  Come here, if you can, when you come to Paris and save a lot of room in your suitcase.  I know I will have to pay an extra baggage fee when I come home because of this store and these two funny men.  One torture was not enough.  I went twice and spent double what I spent the first time...

The basement.  Some of the pots were big enough to curl up in and take a nap and I am not exaggerating.

What DeHillerin looks like from the outside.  It takes up a whole corner.

I named this blog page Bloody Cookies because I want to tell you about my memorable, first cooking experience at Le Cordon Bleu.  The first day we got here and were divided into 3 groups.  A German girl asked me to change so she could go home to see her kids more because my group had one more Saturday night off.  So I said, sure, what was it to me?, fine.  From then on, though, they could never, no matter how many times we told the office that we had switched, get it straight!  We got out uniforms, aprons, hats, scarves, towels, an AMAZING knife/tool kit from Wustof that I totally adore and could build a plane with, and a bag of other tools we would need.  We got our locker assignment which I have told you about.  Then we went to the auditorium, heard a lecture about what to expect, and had out first demonstration.  

The next day, we baked.  Cookies.  No biggie, right?  Well, it was a VERY big deal because, as I mentioned, we do not use any measuring cups, spoons, nor any electric appliance, save the stove and oven, of any sort.  Total manpower here. And, let me remind you that the knives were BRAND SPANKING NEW.  Immediately, I cut myself.  Why am I using a knife to make cookies, you ask?  At Le Cordon Bleu, we use knives for everything.  We use knives in a way that would given me a coronary when I worked at Williams Sonoma.  We cut right on the granite with them!  We scrap with them!  We measure with them!  And on this particular day, we were rolling cookies and slicing them.  Slice and bakes, just like at home.  Only at home, one does not use a brand new $100.00 Wustof knife to slice one's sugar cookies.  Immediately, I sliced my finger.  So I got a bandage after getting blood everywhere, because the chef came up and was shocked, and directed me to the first aid kit, hung strategically between the kitchens on every floor.   I didn't want to be the first one to cut myself and I certainly didn't want to draw attention to myself in that way right off the bat!  Okay, bandage on, finger dam on, and I proceeded.  A few minutes later, slice!  I cut another finger, only this time deeper.  Tons of blood.  Think Carrie in the kitchen.  Now I was really embarrassed and absolutely was not going to let Chef see this.  So I tried to do everything I could think of to stop the bleeding without him seeing.  In the meantime, I was falling way behind.  Hospital time is not built into out baking hours.  When Chef came over, there was blood all over my cookies and in the  dough, even though I had tried to cut it all out.  (You would think I would have put that darned knife down, wouldn't you?)  He freaked out in French.  He grabbed my hands and made such a fuss.  I was mortified.  I think I am one of the first people to ever make pink cookies without the use of food coloring.  And that, mes amies, was the beginning of my grand five week adventure...