whether blue or gray be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
more and more do I realize:
I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.
- Cole Porter
Wind-tossed skies, leaves skitter across sidewalks and vast stretches of abandoned parks; colourful buds peep up boldly from the winter-kissed ground and droop from trees anxious to dress for the new season. Chairs and tables for two seem to sprout from sidewalks at the now numerous cafés which have miraculously appeared as from nowhere, rebirth after hibernation, faded green metal or rustic wood, clutters of coffee cups amid dustings of crumbs like so many harbingers of spring.
April in Paris. Streets crowded with chattering, laughing locals as they take their time, no longer the need nor the desire to hurry from one place to the next, slowing down to enjoy the warmth and sunshine as if surprised at its sudden reappearance after the long, cold, dreary slog through winter. Or clustered along the street’s edge, perched on tiny chairs, legs stretched out, faces turned heavenward like so many sunflowers, sipping cool drinks or fingers clutched around tiny white cups of steaming liquid, the Parisian’s elixir, edges stained in creamy foam. Lovers stroll along the grand boulevards or underneath the Eiffel Tower; crowds spill out of museums and gather in Les Tuileries or the Le Jardin du Luxembourg to enjoy a picnic, a bottle of wine nestled into a basket alongside the jambon-beurre. School children skip through the gardens, licking ice cream cones or biting into fresh, warm pain au chocolat. Cameras click click click across this beautiful city, capturing moments of this city at once so ancient and so modern, a city, this city, Paris, infused with mystery, charged with energy, a magical city that has captured the world’s imagination.
- Cole Porter
This April the Monthly Mingle sweeps you away to Paris, the city of romance, the city of lights. From croissants to Coq au Vin, from steak frites to tiny, delicate macarons, cuisine traditionnelle and nouvelle cuisine, Paris is not only synonymous with love and passion, but with great food. Like fine French art, Monet and Seurat, Fragonard, Rousseau or Ingres, like her wines, both red and white, voluptuous, fruity and earthy at once, French cuisine is known the world over for its masterly beauty and culture, food as a universal language. A Monthly Mingle strolling through the mythical streets of Paris, breathing in the luxurious scents floating out of pastry shops and bistros, the heavenly sweet mingling with the savory, will bring France to your table, masterly and memorable, creating emotions that only deepen the sensations.
So join me in this convivial Monthly Mingle April in Paris by bringing to the table a favourite French dish or pastry, savory or sweet. Here is how you mingle:
1. Create a dish or a recipe based on French cuisine, whether traditional or innovative, savory or sweet, simple or complicated, serious or downright fun! Think patisserie, boulangerie, bistro, brasserie or even reach for the Michelin stars!
2. Post about it on your blog from now through the 30 April 2012 (entries must be in English, please).
3. Your creation must be prepared exclusively for the current Monthly Mingle April in Paris theme and cannot be submitted to any other blog event.
4. You must provide a link to this post and to the Monthly Mingle page. Monthly Mingle is the creation of my zesty sister Meeta of What's For Lunch, Honey?
Once you have posted your dish or recipe, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Monthly Mingle in the subject line. Your email must include the following information,
-Your blog name
-A link to the post where the dish appears
-The name of your dish
-A picture no wider than 300 pixels
To create the chouquette, generously sprinkle the top of each mound of choux pastry dough with sucre en grains or large-grained pearl sugar.
Find the recipe for crème pâtissière or pastry cream to fill éclairs here.
Find the recipe for Chocolate Icing for the éclairs here.