Archive for October, 2011

Awaken to French Luncheons

Posted in Food and Recipes, French Affair with tags , , on October 13, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour everyone,

I’ve decided to let you in on a secret. I’m not French. I pretend to be in a very big way. (Je ne comprends pas! I do not understand!) Maybe I need to see some councillor who specializes in split personas, specifically split nationalities and I may be cured in time. Do I have the time to lie around on a couch professing to a total stranger all sorts of whims and dreams, maybe learning how to reprogram myself by perhaps repeating all sorts of rapid eye movement therapeutic games to delete ones memory of all things French?¬† I don’t know.

I blame my father. He would sing and do a little dance whilst reciting French nouns to me from his little school boy companion, ‘Castell’- known to some as a French Language Book. To me it was like witchcraft. It had powers yet to be overcome.

I blame France too. Heady with gourmet aromas, her gluttonous arms swooping up the world’s best produce and finest cuisines, artistic nourishment and fashionista icons…stop me anytime. France wooed me like the best of lovers and I surrended to France body and soul; hence the birth of My French Awakening!

I feel that now it may be too late and there’s no turning back. My friends don’t discourage me enough. They shouldn’t give me gifts, ‘Made in France’ like Eiffel Tower tea towels (dear Domenica) and books on The Paris Markets (sweet Cathy) and French paper weights, French DVDs, postcards, stationery, jewellery, perfume, brooches, cognac, jams, mustards and so on. My French collection has bred faster than you can say “truffle”.

And my closest friends definately shouldn’t travel to France with me (are you listening dear The’re’se?) and energise the devil within. Revitalising the French spirit comes with untold consequences.

My family will confirm I’m obsessed. It’s out of control. I’m now have an ongoing relationship with a small real estate office in the south of France which sends me emails and photographs of potential homes from chateaus to delapidated barns. I’ll take anything really if I could.

And last weekend, I started hallucinating again and set about pretending my entire home was in France. Rousing friends dressed up with feathered hats and berets, scarves and frills to a French luncheon on our lawn.They actively encouraged me to cook a five course French Provincial menu using my French recipes from The Paris International Cooking School (you remember¬† don’t you?) and my travels across France. There was leek and potato soup, blue cheese tart and auvergnate salad, Mont St Michel style Scallops, beef with Potato Lardon and Aubergine Bitteroise and a choc, nutty, brandied meringue and carmel shard dessert. Oh, did I mention the French bubbly? My son even made French stencils for me for the coffees! Now that’s feeding the addiction if I don’t know what!

Let me show you a few snaps and the extent of my condition.

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You be the judge. It’s not fair really. I don’t live in France. I don’t live in France. I don’t live in France. Awaken. Awaken.

Au revoir,

Best Wishes to you,

Therese Waddell



Awaken to a Paris Sky

Posted in French Gardens, French Travel, Paris, Paris gardens and all things green with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2011 by Therese Waddell

Bonjour my friends,

It HAS been a while. I hope you’re exactly as I left you last month as good things never change and you good people remain so from day to day, month to month and every year on. However, I hope you’re feeling good even though we feel the throb of busyness and a grinding ache for halcyon days at times.

My french awakening learned a long time ago that Paris, the fabulous City of Lights, can be what you want it to be and apart from bringing you stimulation and inspiration at an elevated level, it can actually bring you great peace…if you are looking.

Not a lot of people look for peace when travelling through Paris. They’re too engrossed buzzing about in a whirlwind of buying, snapping, smiling into cameras and ticking off formidable lists of places to see and do. Yes, queue with tour groups if you must but at least once and a while take the alternate route and set your own pace. Hit the grass and brace yourself to just take in the air.

Why? Well for one thing, having just finished reading Kathryrn Stockett’s book, ‘The Help’-

(some of you may have recently seen the film of the same title), I came away with a conclusive quote of impassioned wisdom which I thought I’d pass onto good people like yourselves.

…”‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important…”

Three very deserving reasons why we should lay low and just look to the sky when in Paris. Take a worm’s eye view of a Paris sky and embark on your green island in any one of the Paris Gardens to soak up some tres chic air and recapture the space we need and feel.

What does that feel like? I’m glad you asked…

You probably already know that Paris has been historically a city where many Peace Treaties have been signed for the benefit of mankind. The Treaty of Peace in Paris (way back in 1783) ended the American Revolutionary War with Great Britain and The Paris Peace Accords was signed to end the Vietnam War in 1973. There’s a whole lot more peace since then.

Just goes to prove that a slice of Paris peace couldn’t do you any harm at all.

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes until next time,

Therese Waddell

copyright@2011 Therese Waddell