Thursday, November 28, 2013

To Thanksgiving or Not To Thanksgiving

GIVING THANKS WITHOUT THE FEAST

When you rise in the morning, 
give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. 
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. 
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
- Tecumseh 


I watched my son shrug on his heavy coat and slip into his backpack, just a bit harried, almost but not quite late for the morning bus as usual, as every day. “If I make a special meal for Thanksgiving tonight, will you stay in and eat with us? Can you plan it into your schedule?” I inquired. “I don’t know,” he puffs, one foot already out the door. “I don’t know what I’m doing tonight yet but I’ll let you know.” Today is just another weekday, a Thursday, a middle-of-the-week, work-and-school-as-usual day in France. As it has been for the more than twenty-six years that I have lived here with my French family. So it is no wonder that we do not celebrate Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pigeons of Mesquer

A VERY SPECIAL STORY

Kill no more pigeons than you can eat. 
Benjamin Franklin 

I am thrilled to have my story The Man Who Spoke to Pigeons: Rémy Anézo and Les Pigeons de Mesquer published on Modern Farmer. You can find the piece online here

Interviewing Matthieu Anézo at Les Pigeons de Mesquer

This is an article that is dear to my heart about a man with whom I am connected in two ways, through his lovely niece Mathilde, a friend of mine, and my own son Clem. Here is my story of how the interview and the article came about: Rémy Anezo is what the French call un homme comblé, a contented, satisfied man. He is surrounded by what he loves the most in the world every day from morning to night, living out his dream. A beautiful, tranquil setting and thousands of pigeons are his mission and his mainstay. And he is perfectly happy spending everyday in this universe he has created.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Orange (Cointreau) Chiffon Cake

THE ORANGES OF WINTER

An orange on the table, your dress on the rug, 
and you in my bed, 
sweet present of the present, cool of night, warmth of my life. 
Jacques Prévert 


Growing up in sunny Florida, the Sunshine State, along the Indian River famed for its citrus groves, I am and always have been an orange girl. Winters meant dad’s workbench in the garage groaning under the weight of brown paper grocery bags filled to bursting with navels, tangerines, grapefruits, Valencias and Tangelos. Winters meant trips in the old green station wagon to the groves on a chilly weekend morning where we could pick them ourselves or stopovers at one of the many roadside stands piled high with red, orange or yellow red mesh sacks, my small fingers laced through the netting, the feel of citrus rind smooth yet nubbly and tempting.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Aloo Paratha for Bread Baking Babes

BUSY WORK

An artist is a creature driven by demons. He doesn't know why they choose him 
and he's usually too busy to wonder why. 
William Faulkner 


The busy week was actually kicked off last Friday with my now weekly Skype meet up with my writing partner, the illustrious and super talented Molly Watson; at the end of each hour’s session, we are given an assignment and mine was to buy an agenda. A paper calendar on which I can write down my projects in black on white, give myself deadlines – impose deadlines upon myself – and have it constantly in front of my eyes. Said purchase made, I discovered that the agenda begins mid-December and I jokingly boast that this leaves me off the hook for another month.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Warm Poached Fish, Potato and Apple Salad

FROM FOOD FOR THE DOGS TO FOOD FOR THE GODS

I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, 
and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. 
- John Steinbeck 


How to heal a sick dog? As most of you know, Marty has been sick for more than a year and considering he was given only two to nine months to live, well, we call him our little survivor. He mostly does well, but he does occasionally give us signs that he isn’t in tip-top condition and that he is indeed sick. And once in a while, when he has a particularly bad couple of days, back to the veterinarian, his surgeon, he goes.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sweet and Savory Lamb Stew with Raisins

AUTUMN LEAVES

Let the stoics say what they please, we do not eat for the good of living, 
but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Autumn is many things in France. First and foremost, it is la rentrée. The start of the school year, back to work after a long, long vacation, the opening of a new session of parliament, the return of the regular newscasters and the customary run of television series. We settle back into a routine, a rhythm of life that the French describe as métro-boulot-dodo, commute-work-sleep. The daily grind. The same old, same old.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chocolate Chestnut Rum Bundt Cake & a Workshop

AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. 
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” 
Dr. Seuss 


“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” 
Albert Einstein 

Most of my readers know that as much as I love writing, I love teaching writing as well. Inspiring others to write. I have helped create conferences and workshops, spoken and taught. I love the creative energy that sparks, flames and electrifies, that fills a room and overflows when a group of passionate writers and photographers gather, discuss and work. Most of my readers know that Ilva Beretta and I together created the Plated Stories blog as a purely creative endeavor, allowing us a space where we can explore, find new ways to express ourselves, break away from the expectations of what a food blog is.

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