Sunday, May 22, 2022

Yesterday in Paris


Yesterday was one of those stunningly gorgeous perfect Paris days.

Sunny with a light breeze. A blue skies day.

Everyone was out…looking for Mother’s day gifts for May 29.
The tourists are back. En force.
50 shades of Kelley green.
Girls dressed in ruffly pink cosplay caused a stir on rue de Rivoli. We were all caught off guard.
Angelina has a big pink heart cake for jour de maman with a child’s handprint on it.
And a pink set of drawers filled with bonbons for Mom. I’d like that. Are you listening Bear 🐻?
Angelina’s ice cream chariot was mobbed.
A French girl wearing a nothing white T-shirt (or it could be a nothing white shirt) with nothing jeans + Chanel bag + a fluffy dog in her arms=the Look.
I liked the aquamarine nail polish.
For jour de maman, Lenotre’s flower window reveals 
A very pretty ‘Flower Cake’ with marzipan ‘flowers’ -a collaboration with Miss Maggie’s Kitchen and their MOF pastry chef, Guy Krenzer.
I studied everything over and bought a mini Brioche. It had to be the prettiest brioche I explained. I planed to paint it. The guy behind the counter does not want to a ‘Champion de monde’ of pastry but is a graphic artist who also paints. 
I must get to the Louvre soon to look at Chardin’s exquisite ‘La Brioche’. 
It was hard not taking a bite of this fluffy brioche all day. It’s gone now😊
Are you coming to Paris soon?
Please share PB with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮

Monday, May 16, 2022

Home from Provence


Coming home from Provence yesterday I was a little bit triste. 
How was Paris going to feel. In fact it feels wonderful.

Sometimes it takes time to come back to earth, but instead I feel refreshed and inspired. 
After such a wonderful trip. We did different things everyday. We ate in local places. And we ate in at Wlady and Shannon’s charming apartment. Everyone in the town of Villeneuve was so friendly. That doesn’t happen often on a short trip. 
The food, the colors, the aromas, always fresh, seasonal and inventive. We were surrounded by beauty. 
I tried copying Chardin’s pile of berries (from the Louvre) while we filled jam jars with delicious berries
Always a fun challenge 🍓
The view out my window at Hotel de l’Atelier.never disappoints. 

Imade a little jam watercolor for the hotel proprietor. 
For our last dinner, Wlady and Shannon cooked up a perfect storm of beautiful food.
White asparagus in béarnaise sauce, a tajine of chicken and the piece de resistance, individual roasted strawberry tarts with mandarine gelato! 
Just that morning I had declared I would not be going to the big brocante fair in Villeneuve’s huge parking lot. 
But on our early morning stroll, Gemma, the Hound of Baskerville, led me 
To a perfect storm of French check 1930’s Lustucru enamelware that blew my socks off,
Any still life artist’s dream come true. That naughty Gemma. Bad dog! Here’s proof I can make a crazy mess in my hotel room as well as at home. Of course, Bear 🐻 is not best pleased to have stayed home and missed out on the shopping spree. Please share with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮 Bonne Tuesday PBers!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Chocolate Retreat in Provence


I forgot on Monday to mention I’d be running off next day (6:00 am /TGV) to Villeneuve les AvignonIn fact I overslept (a first) and woke up at 5:01! Oh la la la la

Somehow I made it to the train, just.🤸‍♂️Villeneuve is a stunning, small, medieval Provencal village you never heard of, just 10 minutes from Avignon .

I am here for a 5-day chocolate 

And jam retreat. And yes, it is a religious experience. I lost count of the times I died and went to heaven this week.

Darling  Shannon and Wlady Grochowski of La Châtelaine Chocolat Co. of Montana and Burgundy are our celestial guides. “So kind of you to let me come”,😊 Shannon and Wlady(who is 100% Parisian btw).

We are staying at heavenly l’Atelier de hotel.My room is much bigger than my Paris chambre de bonne.

My atelier in the Hotel de l’Atelier. 
I am trying hard to remember what croissants look like. Practice makes perfect🥐🥐🥐
Across the street at #2, Shannon explains about les herbes de Provence and the famous Provençal garrigue
We will infuse our tempered chocolate with thyme, menthe and jasmin Shannon has hand-picked herself. 
Look at the pretty place settings Shannon set out for each of us! 
We attack the chocolate. “Ever onward into the breach”.
We try desperately not to give in to over-dipping into the Valrhona melted chocolate 🍫 with our fingers. Some of us succumb. Oscar Wilde said, “ The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”.
After much blood, sweat and tears over the melting chocolate(not) 
We go back to the hotel’s out door garden for an l’apero and grignote/snacks)
Then a strawberry tarte (4 different kinds of berries) Shannon just threw together. Oh la di da
Meet Gemma on the team. I am allowed to walk her as much as I want, though she flirts with everyone equally and not as discriminating as she could be😳 imho
More croissant etudes from day2, jam-making day!🤸‍♂️ And more to come shortly dear PBers. Please share with your friends and visit my Etsy shop for lovely Real Paris mail 💌 in your mailbox 📮