images of Petit Pogo, resident possum at Provence-sur-la-Prairie

|| 21 May 2017

Petit Pogo: Sad Update

A sad time here at Provence-sur-la-Prairie. We have lost our little friend Petit Pogo, a victim of our recent storms. More . . .

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|| 18 May 2017

Little Paris Kitchen Cookbook

At this stage of my life, my attitude toward cookbooks is the same as the one expressed by Audrey Hepburn’s character in “Charade” about friends: I have so many I couldn’t possibly add any more.

But our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat regularly adds new cookbooks to her library and prepares their recipes. Kat believes her latest cookbook acquisition is “one to share with the Baronettes.” She wrote:

I recently came across Rachel Khoo's "Little Paris Kitchen" cookbook via the BBC series based on the same. Only one episode was available to watch, but I was riveted by the way this girl could produce such wonderful French dishes in a kitchen the size of a broom closet.

British (and, I presume) American women seem to think they need enormous amounts of space and huge numbers of sophisticated gadgets. It's not true! Granted a bit of work surface helps, and an oven large enough to accommodate a reasonably sized piece of meat (which Ms. Khoo does not have...) is useful, but you really can get by without. New Yorkers do. Generally their apartments and kitchens are very small, compared to those of the rest of the population. But they work with what they have, shop little and often (limited storage!). Most don't have cars, so they walk to the shops. As a result Manhattenites are the slimmest (and chicest!) people in the USA. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they give the Parisians a run for their money!

Khoo's cookbook is lovely to look at, sprinkled with anecdotes, the recipes are easy to follow, and they work. In fact, I am making her fish quenelles today.

Merci, Kat. Fish quenelles sound so deliciously Parisian.

Sampling of Rachel Khoo recipes on BBC online

images: Little Paris Kitchen collages courtesy Rachel Khoo's website

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|| 14 may 2017

New French President — & First Lady

Earlier today Emmanuel Macron was sworn in as the new French president. The French do the inauguration with more dignity — and less hoopla — than the Americans. But, of course, because this is France, there was a formal presidential lunch. You can read about the French inaugural activities and see a photo of the new French first lady on The Guardian. Am I remembering correctly? It seems that Brigitte Macron's suit is the same shade of blue as that worn by Melania Trump at the American inauguration of her husband in January.

We can look forward to seeing many images of and articles about the new French first lady Brigitte Macron.

This New York Times article on Brigitte Macron contained quotes that appeared in French media articles that I have not seen elsewhere in English-language reports.

All focus, however, is not on Brigitte Macron’s wardrobe and hairstyle. She has been the victim of sexist and misogyny in France. CNN has an article that includes video.

Lately, several articles about Brigitte Macron have mentioned the villa in Le Touquet that the Macrons often use as their residence. One article (I can’t remember precisely which) reported that Brigitte Macron inherited the villa from her family.

According to Wikipedia, Le Touquet on France’s northern coast has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France, the playground of rich Parisians. It is the location of many luxury hotels. Since the mid-1990s, Le Touquet’s villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the “folie” of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s.

The only photo I have seen of the Macron villa in Le Touquet is with an article in Le Figaro. You can see it at this link — though reading the accompanying article (in French) requires subscription.

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|| 11 May 2017

Paris Syndrome

Paris Syndrome. Did you ever suffer the condition on a trip to The City of Light? I had not known of this syndrome until our Chic & Slim Special Correspondent Kat (who loves Paris and often visits) brought it to my attention. (Merci, Kat)

Apparently, in years past, media from The Atlantic to The Daily Mail have published articles about the syndrome. If you, like me, missed them, you might enjoy the two articles linked below.

In 2011 in The Atlantic - Paris Syndrome: A First-Class Problem for a First-Class Vacation

In 2013 in The Huffington Post - Paris Syndrome And The Shock Of The City Of Light about a young American woman’s encounter with a high-tech Parisian public toilet.

While not usually inducing Paris Syndrome, visiting Paris during a time of large public protest demonstrations can be exhilarating — or terrifying — depending on your personality and the situation.

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