"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Musings about Paris: French Fridays with Dorie


Eiffel Tower 2008

“One night in Paris is like a year in any other place...” the band 10cc said. 
This couldn’t be more true. Paris is a touchstone city for me.. I find returning there marks the beginning or end of many chapters of my life.
 I first went to Paris when I was 14 years old. My grandmother had left me some money “for education”. My oldest sister was planning to spend the summer in Europe with her money. My mother thought it would be good if I went along, to watch out for her, she was 25.  My mother fully supported us using our money from her mother to go abroad. She believed:“Europe is an Education.” 
This trip profoundly influenced me. Being exposed to so many cultures at an impressionable age shaped me into being a tolerant person. I realized that there isn’t a right way to do anything... that every culture has a different way of approaching religion, politics, governing, social interaction, etc...
I returned to Paris in 1986 with my best friend from high school. We were college students on Spring Break. We celebrated her birthday with Dom Perignon served in a top hat, we went to discotheques and strolled the Champs-Élysées . Young woman on the verge of adulthood with the world before us...


Me Paris 1986

When I turned 30 I returned to Paris with my sister on our way back from Istanbul. We befriended a French woman while we were there, a teacher. She loved Americans because as she said,
“If the room is stuffy you open a window... you don’t feel the need to ask. You just look at, and do things with a fresh perspective.” 


Me in Paris 1994

I was on the verge of starting my teaching career, along with getting married, and having my first child a few years later. It was insightful for me to hear from someone outside of my culture that American education and the way we teach innovation and risk taking is respected.
My last trip to Paris was 4 years ago. My mom and I went to celebrate her 80th birthday. She had lived in Germany when my father was in the Army but she had never been to Paris. 
“I can’t die and never have been to Paris.” 


My mom and I having tea with two friends from the tour 2008.

I had to agree. Well she is still kicking, and we both have fond memories of visiting the Eiffel Tower and eating an amazing beef stew in a tiny little restaurant in Montparnasse. We stayed at the Intercontinental a very luxurious hotel... my, I have come a long way from the time I stayed in a dive in Pigalle which I think was called “The Henry VIII.” You had to pay 2 Francs for a shower.

Why am I rambling on about Paris... well I have been reading the new cookbook by 
Dori Greenspan,“Around My French Table” 

as if it was a biography, and it is... it is a food biography of how Paris and France and the food of this country has influenced and shaped her life.
I joined a blogging group that is cooking through this remarkable book of French home recipes; you might be interested in checking it out. I hope you will enjoy a little taste of Paris.



I advocate traditional cooking and this book is very much about the traditional and modern updates of many classic French dishes. I will be remarking every Friday about the recipe of the week.

Enhanced by Zemanta

31 comments:

  1. I love what your mom said, and I agree. Hopefully I'll make it there one day. I'm goig to see if I can find the cookbook now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mom had the time of her life. It would be fun if joined the cooking group. I think it is such a great way to get you to use a cookbook.

      Delete
  2. That was fun for me, knowing you for only a couple years now, but having just spent 10 days in Paris with my family! I loved your picture from 1994. You look like and actress (Diane Keaton?); beautiful! I had only been once before in 1985 when I was 19 with a college art program, but ended up being more from the community. I got my hair cut there and ate a pizza with an egg cooked on top, and mostly followed the group thru the endless cathedrals and bus tours, including Normandy Beach.

    This time, with my husband and 2 young teen daughters, and my parents (also young in their late 60's) and with my fresh but middle-aged perspective. I had reviewed my french for several weeks and had a loose itinerary set for the 10 days of luxury apartment living and sight seeing. We rose bikes to Giverny, toured Versailles and the top spots, like Notre Dame and Ile de City, L'Orangerie, D'Orsay and Rodin Musées, views from Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, and les jardins de Tuilleries and Luxembourg... eating fresh bread all the way!

    This time, I appreciated so much more... the festive and flourished attire; beautiful language and luxurious (un-huried)meals, buildings like tall white cakes with wrought iron details, easy metro system, and available public bicycles (for 1 Euro er 30 min), but far more smokers, dog droppings and homeless than expected for such civility.

    I suspect my next trip there will be in my 60's... perhaps with my grandchildren? Ooh la la! Qu'elle idée!!!

    Looking forward to your post on Fridays.
    Did you see my link to another book/blog you may like @ http://www.latartinegourmande.com.
    A bien tot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate Paris more every time I go. Your last trip sounds like it was incredible. Close your eyes... can't you still smell the bread? I subscribed to the blog you posted. The recipes look excellent.

      Delete
  3. Hmmm...1986...I was 16 then! haha.... Gosh, just imagine how time flies.
    Hope you're enjoying your day, Diane.
    Kristy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I look better now than then. The hair and makeup in the 80's was a little intense.

      Delete
  4. Paris... I hops to see this place someday:)

    Hopping by and following your FB, twitter and Pinterest.

    My recent posts:
    Crafting >> http://olahmomma.com/blog/game-called-math-improvised-math-flash-cards
    Cooking >> http://olahmomma.com/blog/sesame-garlic-spinach-stir-fry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to you'll get there. The good thing is Paris is often a stop on the way to somewhere else. Thanks for following me. Post your recipe tomorrow on my foodie friday link party.

      Delete
  5. Welcome to the group! I love that Paris is a place you can go back to over and over. I've only been there twice--once on a school trip in high school, and three years ago, pregnant with my first baby. I made up in chocolate what I couldn't drink in wine. Gives me an excuse to go back. You can't go to paris and not drink wine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your welcome. I am really excited about cooking French every week. You are so right about needing to drink wine in Paris... I think some is in the water. and don't forget bread. I hope you ate tons of that pregnant!

      Delete
  6. Diane, Welcome to French Fridays! I really enjoyed your post and your lovely story about your times in Paris! Sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love anything about Paris. Hubby and I have visited this beautiful city so many times and I always find something interesting.
    Last year Tricia and I both enjoyed a visit and I don't think we missed anything. Welcome to FFWD, an absolutely fun group.
    This week's recipe was absolutely wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm jealous... it is a special city and I am very excited about the cookbook group.

      Delete
  8. Diane-glad to hear you found this group. I too found it recently. It's a great way to get me out of my "cooking comfort zone" and try recipes I would never have even read before. Who would have thought that I make Sardine Rillettes once a week??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never cooked lamb before Wed. I grew up in an Italian-American family. Italian cooking is very simplistic. French cooking with all the sauces and stewing etc.. is much more challenging. I'm excited.

      Delete
  9. I love Paris also. The last time I was there, we rented an apartment in Montmarte. So funky and fun there. I miss it. Welcome to the group.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Welcome Diane! I think you'll enjoy this group. And I love Paris too though I've only been there twice. And wasn't the navarin lovely?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Navarin was wonderful. So sorry about your lamb disaster. Spoiled lamb must smell pretty bad.

      Delete
  11. I enjoyed reading your musings and can imagine what an impact visiting Paris has had on your life. Welcome to the group. I look forward to reading your cooking adventures.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's a pleasure to meet you! I love being a part of this group and hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the welcome. Glad to hear that your children enjoyed the Navarin as much as mine. I agree it had a really earthy, comfy flavor to it.

      Delete
  13. Welcome to the group! I'm impressed that you look younger in every picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are my new best cyber-friend, thank you. I think the gradual process of lightening up on hair and make-up has made me look younger. I think I looked the oldest in the 80's... all that Dynasty influence way too much everything.

      Delete
  14. Welcome aboard. This is a great group and a great book to cook along with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much. Nice to hear from someone else in NY. We are pretty far away from each other. We head up your way every summer and spend time at Tupper Lake... is that about 2 hours from were you live or longer?

      Delete
  15. Welcome to the group Diane! How wonderful to share Paris with your mother!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, my keeps telling me that it was one of the best trips she ever went on... that makes me feel really good especially because she is getting on in years.
      Looking at your blogs... I love Prufrock. I often remind myself that when I grow old "I will wear my trousers rolled."

      Delete
  16. Since Paris is a short two hour train ride from here, we are going again before my second baby is born and I cant wait - it's great that you have been able to go so often! :)

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so fortunate... it is a great food city. I've managed to get there a few times because you can usually get a flight to New York from Paris no problem.

      Delete
  17. Paris really is one of my favourite cities. I went there for the first time at 16, and have been many, many times since. Living in the UK, it is very easy to get there now, although even when it wasn't we still visited often. My husband grew up there and also went to university there so we have lots of great excuses to go! It's been a real joy showing it to our son as well, and he loves it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not surprise... I had a feeling you had a connection with this elegant city.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...