Saturday, June 25, 2016


What better way to enjoy sun, beach and breeze than with a menth chocolat ice cream.
I learn too late 'Do Not FEED THE GULLS' or they will become pesky and forget to forage.
Perfect day in Etretat on the Alabaster coast of Normandy.
I left overcast rainy skies in Paris 2 hours and a bit this morning.
Thursday night was the annual 'June White Dinner'. I was just an observer.
Back to the beach.
You must eat moules et frits for lunch
At any number of cafes along the beach
Even the 35 minute bus ride from train station Breate to Etretat is entrancing. Full of Normandy cows and green hills.
Eugene Boudin painted these cows like mad.
I came up 2 weeks ago to see the Boudin retrospective in Le Havre. This is his wall of cow studies.
He painted at Etretat, as did Monet many times
So did Matisse and Dufy and Delicroix. Everyone came here to paint n the glorious beach.
Big posters of Monet's paintings are on the beach.
As are old photographs of the 1800s and also occupied Etretat during World War II.
The town is charming
Wonderful classic Normandy summer homes.
You keep returning to the beach at all times of day.
Its irresistable.
End the day at Creperie Le Lann-Bihoué with a smoked salmon crepe.
Etretat is maybe the most beautiful (and relaxing place I've been). That includes the Taj Mahal and Rio!).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June Fruits Rouges Paris Sketch Letter

I'm late cluing you in on what to eat in June (juin). Quatres fruits rouges (4 red fruits) may be a strictly French thing. Correct me if I'm wrong. I remember first time I ordered a mysterious dessert called '4 red fruits'. I've been addicted ever since.
On a visit to Le Bonbon au Palais I spotted this little advert card for pates de fruits. Instant love. I begged Georges if I could borrow it. Then I raced to the copy shop. Picasso said "Good artists copy; great artists steal".
I would have happily stolen Georges' little card. What does that make me?
My first doodle sketch..
You may wonder exactly which red fruits are included. Guess what? Any summer red fruit will do. No apples please. Plus fruits bleu are allowed.
Fraise, framboise, cerises, cassis, myrtille, mure, groseille to name a few.
Off to the marché
For some very much in season June red fruits.
FYI these sweet little boats filled with fruit are called 'barquettes'.
Early days on my Paris jaunts I would race through marches intimidated and clueless.
Thanks to Marjorie William's informative MARKETS OF PARIS all that's changed. Marchęs are an integral part of daily Parisian life. DO NOT MISS OUT please. How else to know what's in season and what to order when you eat out? Plus the colors, aromas and friendly sellers insisting you taste a bite is instantly cheering. When I first moved here I lived at Metro Duplex 75015. I had to walk through marché Grenelle 2 times a week. It was a better spirit-lifter than any shrink.
You could take your red fruits back to your apartment and easily put together a tarte au fruits. Just bake a giant sable cookie base. Throw on some crème patisserie for glue so your fruits don't roll onto the floor.
Check out Jill Colonna's recipe for sablé on Mad About Macarons.
If you're like me, you can't be trusted around raw dough. Then go to the nearest patisserie. Two sizes on offer - family size and 'individual' for that afternoon peche mignon.
More guilty pleasures (peche mignon) to admire.
An exquisite slice of sablé topped with strawbs from haute couture patisseries Hugo and Victor. I lay the blame at your feet dear PB readers for teaching me to enjoy fab crust. In the old days I'd just eat the fruit. Tisk tisk
Yesterday was the first time I spotted fruits rouges ice cream at Maison Gosselin near the Orsay. I will have to return to taste.
Of course there is tons of red fruits jam in France and even red fruits teas. But red fruits biere! Who knew?
à table everyone and eat your red fruits with or without a cookie base.
Or head over to my Etsy shop for a calorie-free version svp.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Paris Basque 2016

They said wear red and black to the PARIS BASQUE 2016 event. My latest acquisition fillled the bill.
What the Real Basquese were wearing was more correct.
As someone wwho Loves RED with a capitol R, you would think I would have more of it in my wardrobe than I do. I'm in the 'add a touch of red' school both in watercolor and dress.
The king of top Basque chefs was onboard.
Here caught passing the baton/whip to an underling.
Unfortunately I arrived late afternoon and all the lunch specialties were gone to be served again at 8 o'clock same evening. Hmmm...most Paris fetes never stop serving throughout the day. I should have arrived earlier.
There were ample sweets available like Maison Pariès out of this world caramel Kanougas. They now have a shop in Paris. 9 bis, rue Saint Placide.
Cherry gateaux Basque also from Pariès.
The all-boy Basque band was terrific. The Russkies in Metro Concorde have been replacd in my heart.
Brilliantly colored sud-ouest awning stripes from Bayadera.
Ice cream!
Pariès has excellent glacé.
And they had Two chariots de glacé!!
On the way to Paris Basque I caught thiswitty chariot de crepes near Notre Dame.
I 'collect' chariots btw. At Le Petit Duc, new/old traditional  biscuit shop under le canopée at Les Halles you can get Berthillon ice cream.
That's why June's Paris map is full of chariots..
More RED from singing soccer fans on the Metro Sunday.
There is no escaping them.