We’ll Always Have Paris

We’ll Always Have Paris

So…just in case you were wondering what it is like to raise a baby girl who is half French, here is an example of Sébastien’s cooing cradle talk, as we prepare for our trip back to France:

“And SOON we will be in FRANCE, and you will be able to eat decent ice cream and TRIPE and BLOOD SAUSAGE and…”

Please note the tone: he sincerely thinks he is tempting her with the promise of heaven. He would probably promise her escargots, too, except 1) they are protected by law and May is too early to harvest them, and 2) he doesn’t want to prepare them.

I should note that Baby Girl is an extremely fussy and difficult eater. So far, she only likes paper, strawberries hot in the strawberry field but NOT from the grocery, and CHEESE. Camembert, smoked Gouda, cheese, cheese, and more cheese, she eats even more of it than paper.

Me, I am dreaming of: macarons from Ladurée, hot chocolate from Charlotte de l’Isle, ice cream from Gelati d’Alberto. Réligieuses and real éclairs with chocolate cream not that white stuff. The Seine at night (SEE! something that’s not food!). The scent of roses in Provence during the rose season. The market in Nice. The Promenade des Anglais. The sea. Everything about Provence. Every detail and breath of air. Also, I admit it, seeing what the Parisian children’s clothing fashions are this year.

What about you? What do you dream about in Paris or in France? If you go there for the first time or if you go back, what do you want to see/eat/do? I will TRY to take pictures for you.

  • I too dream about the hot chocolate I had there and a little fromage shop. Also a restaurant that was in a big ancient chateau and you had to drive through the park to get there. It was magical. Clarice

    May 6, 2007 at 10:31 am
  • I started to comment here and by the time I was on my fourth paragraph, I figured I might as well take it over to my blog and use it there!

    I have to laugh at Sébastien promising his daughter all the delights of his homeland. I must admit I feel somewhat the same about poor William not getting to experience the Mediterannean syle cuisine his older brothers were weaned onto when we lived in the wine country of Sonoma County. For a while I was worried it had scarred him for life because as a preschooler he was the pickiest eater of them all. All he ate for several years were burritos and oatmeal. Now he’s a teen and tries to survive on fast food every day. But he’s actually willing to try anything when he’s out at a new restaurant with us. And he finally decided to get the hang of chopsticks. He and hubby were the only ones that couldn’t use them. Hubby is a lost cause, but I’m so glad William is no longer untensil challenged.

    May 6, 2007 at 5:23 pm
  • The last and only time I’ve been to continental Europe was 12 years ago (I truly thought I’d have visited again by now), and food is intertwined with Italy for me, not France. But if I do go back to France, and I hope to visit many European countries someday with my husband and kids, I’d like to again see Canova’s Psyche et Amour at the Louvre. Of all the artwork I saw there, it was my favorite–it just struck me dumb, pretty much. I was 21 at the time, and I wrote in my journal that I wanted that kind of love someday, I wanted someone to look at me like that. And I’d have to say I got my wish. I’d like to see the statue again with my husband. (And for me, Italy trumps France on art, too. I may be biased, however.)

    Although it’s a train ride & bus ride outside of Paris, I’d also like to take my kids to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, to show them the cross for their great-great-uncle, my grandmother’s youngest sibling and only brother. It was incredibly important to me that I place flowers on his grave while in France. Okay–one food memory–I had time to spare in Bayeux before catching the bus, and I bought madeleines in a bakery there. I haven’t tasted anything like them anywhere else. (Also, the Bayeux tapestry was amazing.)

    May 6, 2007 at 5:42 pm
  • Oh, the cremeries, Clarice! Aren’t those wonderful? Smell like sewers, I swear, but the flavors inside…

    Canova’s Psyche et Amour. Isn’t it wonderful how a work of art can just hit you like that? With me, it was the Victoire de Samothrace and this statue of a father (someone from a Greek or Roman tale) holding his child, and I know exactly where it is, in a little hidden corner, but I can’t remember the sculptor or the name of the statue. And I’ve written enough probably about my love of the Cour Marly. I got to see the Bayeux tapestry, too. (And got hopelessly lost in the tiny town of Bayeux and almost missed my bus.) You are right–it’s something. And the cemeteries are overwhelmingly grave and sad and yet intensely meaningful and quiet.

    Laume, I posted more of a comment on your blog, but I would just like to repeat for the record that I DO TOO talk about things other than food. Sometimes. It happens.

    May 6, 2007 at 8:05 pm
  • P.S. And I’m glad you got your wish, Amy. That is a true gift.

    May 6, 2007 at 8:16 pm
  • Havn`t been there for the last 5 years….so I have a severe reaction here….show me anything beautiful…you know I love anything french…maybe you`ll spot a gypsy???…but most probably you will focus on the chocolate…so that will do as well and will be in character…oh take me with you!!!!

    May 6, 2007 at 11:02 pm
  • Laura- When are you heading back over there? I have a package sitting on my desk that I need to mail to you, but want to make sure you are at your home before I mail it.

    May 6, 2007 at 11:10 pm
  • Tripe??? He has lost his mind. We know what all that nastiness is down here, and even though we have it, we DO NOT eat it. Boudin is something entirely different here. Well, not entirely, but at least the nasty casing surrounds rice and meat, which are both edible.

    I am so jealous of everyone who’s been to Paris, including my husband who still owes me a trip since he went without me. There’s just so much to see. And I’m the kind of person who goes to new places and won’t see the landmarks. Ken couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to see the Empire State Building. I’ve seen the post cards. I want to see all of the little, out of the way, delicious local spots. I guess, being Cajun, everything is about food for me too. So I would just want to eat my way through Paris. But Provence would be beautiful to see. Your trip sounds heavenly.

    May 7, 2007 at 8:18 am
  • OK, I was going to reply to Gypsy Purple proudly that I CAN TOO talk about things other than chocolate. But then I saw Michelle’s post and I wanted to say, “Eating your way through Paris sounds like a GOOD THING to me” and Dee’s post and I wanted to say, “A Package? For Me? I wonder if it has something to eat in it.”

    So. It is just a bit of a challenge to respond to Gypsy Purple and Dee and Michelle all at the same time. I feel as if I should return as an anonymous commenter.

    But I can TOO talk about things other than food and chocolate. I promise. Even though those last two posts said “Teacake” they weren’t really all just about food. Food just happened to come up, that’s all.

    May 7, 2007 at 2:24 pm
  • It was so fun when Corey took a picture of everything we poor souls at home requested! I said Laduree and I got Laduree. Well I want more…okay Laura? Fields of lavender wouldn’t be rejected either! Can’t wait to hear what exactly you are writing 🙂

    May 7, 2007 at 9:36 pm
  • Dreaming of Paris, I have yet to wake up.

    The chocolate shop on the isle is a magical place. I think I could be happy to wake up there.

    May 10, 2007 at 5:05 pm
  • Oh, the thing I miss most about France in general is the patisseries!! Oh, the croissant au chocolat, petites tartes aux fruits, choux a la creme, tartes aux pommes, tartes aux fraises, REAL creme fraiche, and just the whole lot of it all!! I could stand in front of one of those windows and drool over the beautiful pieces of perfection gleaming up at me from the refrigerated display cases for hours- and then go spend a fortune on tons of it- more than I could eat in the alloted time (I once did sneak through customs with a fruit tart in my purse)!! It had REAL pastry cream- not the custard crap we use here to try and imitate French cuisine… poorly, but wonderfully silky and smooth creme! It was heaven!! Oh, I am now starving for one! And my grand-ma’s meringue- crackly goodness! My husband would interject that any of the “fromage puante” as he calls them, stinky cheese, would draw him back to France in a heartbeat. You just can’t find real cheese with real mold here, or the hams, saussicons, and meats that are dripping fat in the windows of the butcher shops, or even the dog poop on the sidewalk- odd combinations, but it all makes you miss it!!

    January 4, 2008 at 8:45 pm

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