Cranberry Chutney and Other Thanksgiving Thoughts

Cranberry Chutney and Other Thanksgiving Thoughts

  Thanksgiving has always been my favourite holiday.  I love it mostly because, year after year, it brings the entire family together for no other reasons than to celebrate being with each other and to eat good food.  My memory bank has a vast and varied number of Thanksgiving memories: the first year I made the meal entirely by myself with coaching from my mother over long distance phone lines from her home in Hawaii; the year I almost had…

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Worth Celebrating!

Worth Celebrating!

When I moved to France last year, I smoothly transitioned into my new, ready-made French family.  It didn’t replace my own family back in the USA,  but it made for a soft landing here in this new land.  As with most family units, at the centre of the new family was the matriarch, Kate Hill.  All others were spokes from her wheel hub: her sister, Steph, who was my primary source of info on all things french, my translator, my negotiator; Elaine, an…

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Bonne Année- or , How To Start The Year Off Right

Bonne Année- or , How To Start The Year Off Right

This year was my first holiday season in France, as it was for my friends Taffy and Bill, who moved here earlier this year, also, from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.   We approached this with a commitment to experience the season as fully as we could, and for us,this meant making the rounds at the wineries to stock up for season, visiting several different small towns for the Christmas markets, which we found were like a PTA bake sale mixed with a…

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The Post I Knew I’d Have To Write…

The Post I Knew I’d Have To Write…

Bear with me, please. I’ve known I’d write this for weeks and weeks. I’ve felt like I was holding my breath since 28th September when Zach called -“Well, first off, Josh is ok, but he’s in the hospital”-and this is the exhale.  So, when the sadness showed up this morning I decided this was the day to let it happen.  It’s meant as a catharsis for me, a point to stop and acknowledge the hurt, because I haven’t, and I know…

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November Cooking Classes in SoCal

November Cooking Classes in SoCal

I have been negligent in posting lately- summer in Gascony was very busy, and lots of fun.  However, my intention is to be much more diligent in sharing my life in the southwestern corner of France.  In the meantime: Cooking Classes: I love my new home in Gascony, and cooking has never been more enjoyable as it has been for me there.   After a half year of shopping the local markets, I find myself constantly inspired by the food…

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New Friends, Rosé and Football- or, how we scored a case of rosé

New Friends, Rosé and Football- or, how we scored a case of rosé

Last week, when France played Germany in the UEFA semifinals, I went with three neighbours, new friends Bill, Taffy and Mardi, all Canadians, to watch the match and cheer on Les Bleus.  Our first choice, our local taverna, didn’t have a TV outside, and it was such a beautiful evening, we decided on a restaurant around the corner with a TV on the terrace.  Since it was 21:00 (9:00 PM to most of you), the restaurant allowed us to take…

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Reentrée

Reentrée

Rentrée: for the French, this usually refers to the first week in September, when they return to work after their month of August vacation. For me, today, it’s returning to life in France after two weeks in California with family and friends.   It’s jet lag; waking up at 4:20 AM and watching the moon move across the sky through my open window.    It’s thinking of my first born, who’s birthday celebration I am missing.  I feel melancholy, for sure, not…

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I Have Been Avoiding the French Language

I Have Been Avoiding the French Language

(and I just figured out why) I have been living here in SW France for just over two months, and, as humans are so good at doing, I have figured a way to survive in an unknown habitat by falling into the safety of avoidance, or, in this case, without learning much French.  Oh, I can greet people with the best of them, with a bonjour or a bonsoir.  My departure is artful, my choices plentiful, with so many choices:…

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The Blink of An Eye & Here I Am!

The Blink of An Eye & Here I Am!

What is it that made me decide to pack up and make a move across the world to a place I had never actually seen?  Driving in the Lot-et-Garrone for the first time, I  was left breathless by a vision of a church in the middle rolling hills covered in wheat gold grasses, russet grapevines and parched sunflowers. Have I been enchanted by the mistress of Camont, weaving her stories of chateaux & cassoulet?  Was there a potion in the wine shared at sunset with the farmer…

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Mom Thoughts

Mom Thoughts

Patti, Mom and Me 8:25 AM, October 8th, 1964, my mother’s birthday- her 40th, now that I do the math. I’m sitting in Mr. Dortweiler’s English class when I realize, with a shock that produces a bit of a yelp from me, I left for school without saying Happy Birthday to Mom.  The yelp, of course, disrupted his lecture on Macbeth, and Mr. D. asked for an explanation.  I guess he felt my reason was a good one because he…

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