blood orange syrup loaf cake

polenta cake

This cake is even more delicious than it looks and sounds. And its super-easy to make.

It all started last weekend when, after making my Saturday morning nut milk (almonds and cashews soaked all night long on the Friday), I was wondering what to do with the leftover pulp once I had ground the nuts. It seemed a shame to throw it away. And then I stumbled across this recipe which calls for 250 grams of ground almonds. I had all the ingredients at hand, so I made it. It’s a winner!

I made the syrup, didn’t bother with the zest, and, as instructed, poured it over the cake. As I was eating it, one word came to mind: Cointreau. This cake is crying out for it. Cointreau is a French orange-flavored triple sec liqueur. I’m going to buy some this weekend and do this syrupy cake all over again.

Here’s the recipe below. Note: if you don’t have blood oranges, regular oranges will do. And yes, the Cointreau goes in the syrup!

Kirk Douglas

Just last week I was watching a movie starring Kirk and Kim (Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak.) Made in 1960, it’s called Strangers When We Meet.

I watch a lot of old movies, most of them on YouTube. This one isn’t great, but it’s good. The link is below. This is a perfect movie to watch on a Friday or Saturday night. So why not make yourself a mug of hot chocolate and curl up on the couch to watch it?

Kirk Douglas’s real name was Issur Danielovitch. He was tough because he had had a very tough life growing up; he was demanding of others because he demanded a lot from himself. The rest is history.


Brexit, bye-bye European Union

Last night I went to bed a member of the EU, this morning I awoke as a non-member. I have lost my EU citizenship, and I feel bereft, not to mention annoyed. Annoyed because British citizens living in the EU were denied the right to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Annoyed because some of the referendum claims, as touted by the EU Leave campaigners, were false and/or misleading.

What was so awful about being a European Union member? Was it that bad?? Geez, when you think of all the countries clamouring to join the EU …

I have two passports: Canadian, because I was born and lived half my life there, and British because my parents were English. Up until last night, having a British passport allowed me to live and work anywhere in the European Union, in my case in France. No longer. Right now, I’m feeling strangely disenfranchised. Steps need to be taken, steps have been taken on my behalf – extremely onerous, burdensome and expensive steps – to secure my legal rights to continue living and working in this country. But I haven’t received a response yet, so I’m in limbo.

The thing is, no one has a crystal ball. Maybe it won’t be bad. Maybe it’ll turn out alright for everyone – British and non-British alike – in the end. Maybe we’re blowing this all out of proportion. Only time will tell.

As for right now on this gloomy morning, a Frenchwoman summed it up pretty well in a newspaper article:

“This is obviously a momentous day, a terribly sad day; you’re abandoning this European project after nearly 50 years,” said Natalie Delassalle, 47, a public relations executive who takes the Eurostar twice a month for meetings in London. “Honestly, I can’t see why you’re doing it. I don’t understand. I don’t envy you – and not just the passport hassle. You’re on your own now, and the world feels like quite a hostile place. Good luck.”

Here’s a pessimistic article written by author, Ian McEwan; he sees nothing but damage and diminishment for the U.K. (I don’t believe it) –

taxi flag

great photo, don’t know who the photographer is


Shoah: 75,568 Jews from France deported and killed in the death camps

To honor the memory of the 75,568 Jewish men, women and children deported from France and sent to their deaths in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in German-occupied Poland, I am putting up this post. This elegy does not exclude the millions of others sent to the other killing centers also located in Poland: Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek.

January 27 is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp of Auschwitz.

The deportations began in 1942 and lasted until July 1944. Of the 340,000 Jews living in France in 1940, more than 76,000 were sent to death camps. This includes approximately 11,400 children, two thousand of them less than six years old.

It was not the Germans who “rounded up” the Jews living in France. It was the collaborationist French Vichy regime and the French police who, on their own initiative, conducted the roundup of Jews.



Extermination camps were designed and built exclusively to kill men, women and children on a massive scale (genocide), often immediately upon arrival. Serving as “death factories”, German SS and police murdered nearly 2,700,000 Jews by asphyxiation with poison gas, shooting, torture, and extreme work under starvation conditions.

It would take half a century for France to acknowledge its complicity in war crimes by collaborating with Nazi rule. In 1995, President Jacques Chirac issued a public apology to Jews on behalf of France.

Of the 340,000 Jews in France in 1940, three-quarters survived thanks to protection by Protestant groups, Catholic convents and individual families.

When I first moved to Paris, I lived at number 6 rue Cadet in the 9th arrondissement. After studying an extraordinary census map (posted below), I learned that right next door, at number 8 rue Cadet, three children were “rounded up” by the French police and sent to their deaths (I assume with their parents.) Here are their names:

Adresse : 8, RUE CADET

Nombre d’enfants : 3




These children, some wearing the obligatory yellow star, were murdered in the extermination camps.


Here’s a French identity card with the word “Jewish” stamped on it in red. JUIF.

carte identity


Anny-Yolande Horowitz from Bordeaux. 7 years old. “Juive” is the feminine of Jewish.



The link below is where I found my street, rue Cadet, where I lived for four years, and where I learned that right next door three children, approximately 48 years earlier, had been snatched from their home by the French police and sent first to a Parisian internment camp before being herded onto a cattle car for an agonizing journey across Europe to Poland to their deaths. The cruel irony is that they were born in Poland. Their Polish parents, fleeing pogroms and believing France to be a safe haven, had immigrated there with their small children. 

The interactive map below shows the streets of Paris in all the arrondissements, especially in eastern Paris and the Marais district, and marks the addresses of the buildings where more than 6,000 children were rounded up between 1942 and 1944. You’ll see that directly behind my street (rue Cadet), families living in rue Richer and other neighboring streets were arrested. The horror culminates at 58, rue Crozatier, in the 12th district, where 45 children were rounded up.


Park for children. INTERDIT AUX JUIFS (Forbidden to Jews)


Today in Paris, you can visit (1) the Shoah Memorial, (2) the Jewish Art and History Museum, and (3) the Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation.




annual Christmas party at the Paris aquarium


I don’t know who chose the Paris Aquarium for our annual Christmas party venue, but we went last night and sort of had a good time. The best part was the location: at Trocadero right near La Grande Dame de Paris, otherwise known as the Eiffel Tower.


Inside the venue, there were long corridors lined on either side with fish-filled aquariums, beautifully-colored tropical fish.


The jellyfish, called méduse in French, were the most impressive.


I wandered around looking at the different species, then stood alone in front of a fish and shark tank and took a selfie.


Then I stood alone at the bar and had a glass of champagne. It should be known that the French, especially Parisians, are never on time. In fact, it is considered rude to show up at the designated time. As for me, the invitation said 7:30 pm, and I was there at 7:30 pm.


Then I went to look at the fish again before people started arriving at 8 pm.


For fun, there was a photographer who took pictures of some of my colleagues. There’s a wonderful diversity and international flavor in my workplace.


The rest of these photos I took myself.


As I stood at the bar with my colleagues eating – guess what? – raw fish sashimi and sushi, I thought fondly of the memorable Christmas outing we had two years ago of the Paris opera house. Here’s the link here: