My last post on home-made pizza received an overwhelming number of hits and I’m astonished. Maybe I should just do a food blog, I said to a friend.
It’s Friday night here in Paris, my favorite moment of the week: time to kick back, forget the office, crack open that bottle of wine I bought mid-week and have been eyeing ever since (an earthy Chinon), crank up Stan Getz on the hi-fi and chill. I’ve selected an old, favorite movie from my DVD collection for later: Sweet Smell of Success with Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster (1957). Love that film.
Went to my neighborhood supermarket after work to pick up a loaf of bread called Belledonne pain intégral. If I had to, I’d cross town for this bread (fortunately I don’t have to.) The man slices it for you on the machine. Belledonne is an artisan organic bakery and their pain intégral is a scrumptious combination of wholemeal wheat flour and sourdough. It has almost a nutty flavor.
Toasting it for breakfast slathered with sea salt butter is a highlight of my weekend. Then I’ll have another slice, maybe with a smashed soft-boiled egg on top (sprinkled with salt, pepper, a drop or two of olive oil and ground cumin – my Anglo-Moroccan friend, Sherry, showed me this), or spread with goat cheese. All washed down with strong, black coffee of course. Or…here’s another great breakfast idea: smashed avocado. If you haven’t done this before, you’ll find a million variation recipes on the internet. P.S. you can only do this with really good bread (or bagel). If you’re gonna buy crap industrial commercial bread, forget it.
The weather’s been unseasonably mild here, but today the temperature dropped and is forecast to drop even more over the weekend. That’s a good thing coz I like it cold. It’s not even December yet, but Christmas is in the air. The Xmas lights were officially turned on last week along the Champs-Elysées (and elsewhere). I’ll take some photos next week and post them.
As for Christmas shows, a fabulous flamenco dancer called Sara Baras is coming to town. I saw her a few years ago at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and I’ll be seeing her again this year. She’s performing there from 21 December to 8 January.
Other than that, the entire country is in the grips of pre-election fever. The other night, the two heavyweight candidates of the right-wing party engaged in a two-hour debate on television. François Fillon and Alain Juppé. Since then, there’s been nothing but discussion, analysis, dissection and predictions in this highly-politicized country where the lines between politics and entertainment are indistinguishable.
It should be known, for anyone interested in French politics, that Fillon is backed by the white, conservative Catholic community: strongly nostalgic and desiring a return to “traditional French family values”, whatever that means. Personally, I was disturbed by Fillon’s comment regarding France’s identity. “No, France is not a multicultural nation,” he said, adding that foreigners who came to France must assimilate. “When you come to someone’s house, by courtesy, you don’t take over.”
Juppé, on the other hand, said France’s identity comes from its rich diversity which should be celebrated. He said he wanted to bring people together. Absolutely! Personally, I would vote for Juppé, only there’s one problem: he looks old. As I watched him standing for two hours behind a podium, I was actually worried for him and wondered if he needed a stool to sit on. He has the intellect, but does he have the physical stamina to run a country at the age of 71? Next August he’ll turn 72.
And finally, here’s someone else’s blog devoted to food, family, and country-living in the wine region of southwestern France called le Médoc. Enjoy. The photos are gorgeous.