Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June Paris Letter with a little help from my friends

Nothing says Spring or June like strawberries/fraise.
The wearing of strawberry anything in Paris is de rigueur as a rite of Printemps/Spring.
I had big plans to attend the annual June fete de fraise in Plougastel, Brittany.
I was going to visit the musee de la fraise too
And pay homage to dear Amedee-Francois Frezier, who brought back 6 species of strawberries/fraises/Fragaria Chiloensis to France from Chili (now grown to 600 species).
When a New York friend came to town in early May natch I took her to the patisserie to taste a Fraisier. What better way to celebrate Spring and her visit.
Naturally I gave her the bag to carry - a big honor in my mind.
Did I know she would swing it like "a tisket, a tasket, a red and yellow basket". I was ready to throttle her. Aieeeee
When she said she Loved my preparatory sketches for the June letter on fraises, I was ready to hug her. All was forgiven and the cake tasted Fab anyway.
The June Paris letter has been through so many renditions it's silly.
Monsieur Frรฉzier was an essential ingredient.
But where to put him and how to make him look less grumpy.
Graphic designer Sarah Vasseghi saved the day on Sunday when she said, "You need scale! Everything is the same size". YES.
 When I fell and broke my leg I was on way out the door to get Fraisier cake samples. No wonder I wasn't paying attention. Frederic Cassel's Fraisier saved the day and became my model. I've yet to find the true origins of the Fraisier gateau but it's certainly the French version of our strawberry shortcake with a perhaps lighter and more fanciful touch. The berries are sandwiched between 2 thin layers of Genoise cake with a base of pate d'almond, a topping of here a very light guimauve/marshmallow and filled in with creme moussiline. More fresh fruit on top. Yum. 
I had so many prep sheets of sketches, French Girl suggested we cut them up and paint a strawberry tied with a red ribbon as a little favor to go inside the June Paris letters.
I thought she was nuts
But in no time French Girl was punching holes and tying ribbons as she lined them up like strawberry soldiers.
While I painted up a storm.
Speaking of storms, we had torrential rains here and even hail but I haven't gotten a toe wet. Fr Girl bought tons of ribbon, Lois found strawberry perfume to spritz all the envelopes before they ship out,  La Poste and Wendy brought the strawberries today for the shot. I couldn't have done it without you dear friends. So that's the story of the June Paris letter.
Big Merci all !

44 comments:

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, fun, Carol. Can't wait for my Juin packet when it comes--looks marvelous. Hope you are doing well...thinking of you...bisous, sue

La Table De Nana said...

I would love a fraisier over a shortcake any day..cause I love the look:) So I would maybe throw caution to the wnd and have 2 bites..
Fun post with all your wonderful art..the letter assemblage..friends..food..
The mini fraisier..ohmygosh c'est cute!

365 Dresses said...

You and your friends are making a broken leg seem like a party! (I giggled when your friend was swinging the Pierre Herme bag! Sacrilege!)

Prairie Jill said...

Oh, thank you to ALL of you! I can't wait for my sketch letter to arrive.

sillygirl said...

My favorite strawberry "shortcake" is a tender scone-like thing with a line of melted chocolate through the middle - topped with the strawberries and whipped cream on top (I know that isn't your favorite but I could leave it off yours and put it on mine)!

Parisbreakfasts said...

I think I'll ask the doc to leave the cast on for a bit or make it removable at night and when I want... Being spoiled has become a habit I dont want to give up. It is a party here daily.

Anya said...

Poor fancy pants Herme fraisier took a beating and still tasted terrific. No surprise though French pastries are not so tough as our short cake. Down and out in round 1,

Nikon said...

Very cute post, Carol! Nice and bright and full of Spring-like themes. The pinks are everywhere.
So nice to see FG helping you out. Those sketch letters look great!
Hope you heal quickly!

Jan said...

Can't tell you how much I'm enjoying these letters sweetie.....ever so glad I signed on for the full year!!
just me....VERY pleased..

Anonymous said...

favoloso Carol i love You!

Kim B. said...

Love love love these fraises

Kim B. said...

And the fabulous support from your friends. They are keepers!

Janice MacLeod said...

I'm glad I got the job to go to the printer. I showed the photo of you and your cast as evidence of why I was making printouts of your art. They miss you and your treats.

Smiser said...

I loved the May letter and my friend got the second mailing. However, I think the June letter May top it. It is so colorful and makes you think of summer. Thanks to your friends for their input and helping you. You have definitely made lemonade out of lemons with a little help from your friends. Have fun.

Karen in VA (was CT) said...

What a charming post. I can't wait for my newsletter, it looks adorable. Such great fun friends you have, you made it all happen. Hope the leg is mending nicely.

Karen in VA

Parisbreakfasts said...

'Lemonade out of lemons...'

Ooooo a lemon/citron sketch letter would be nice..YUM YUM

Daryl said...

made me remember my mom telling me that squishing food wouldn't matter, it all still tastes good … there was more but i will spare you .. and good friends are the best

Smiser said...

It would be great for summer.

Unknown said...

Such a beautiful and fun post. Thank you.

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Fraise du bois rules the day, and a Stawberry Museum?
There is no where like France.
xx
julie

Parisbreakfasts said...

There must be a museum of every kind of food here

What's not to love

A Brush with Color said...

OK, so I saw the photo of you with the crutches--my FAVORITE photo of all time. I have to say, Carol, you are a doodle. Hang in there and take good care with that leg. Hope you're recuperating--love you,

xxxxx
sue

Barbara Lilian in France said...

Strawberries everywhere. Lovely post having fun with your blogging friends.

Unknown said...

Strawberries are my favorite fruit. When we would have strawberry shortcake at home when I was a kid, I'd forgo the cake and just have strawberries and whipped cream. Yummy.

Jeanette, Mistress of Longears said...

I promise not to swing the package when I come. A major setback in my travel plans arrived yesterday...check my Flickr post for today to get your dose of cute.

J. said...

the original strawberry "snips" are a FABULOUS idea! LOL...the ephemera is greatly appreciated!!!

Parisbreakfasts said...

A puppie?
Hooray!

Charming Paris Apartment :-) said...

OMG the letters are sooooooooo beautiful! Well done! And I love your drafts of Monsieur Frรฉzier! Lucky readers!!!!

xox

NataliaR said...

Another beautiful post today,Carol! (THANK YOU!)
Gorgeous sketches!Gorgeous strawberries!
You've made us all aware that Summer really and truly is here! Also help us all to remember:"I'll get by with alittle help from my friends"(!)
Does NOT get better!

Bonnie L said...

Can't wait for the Juin sketch letter, looks lovely! I DID note that you wrote "Hi Bonnie!" on the envelope of my Mai letter. You are trying to drive my mailman wild with curiosity aren't you?! Thoughtful personal touch, Carol.

I haven't been getting your blog in my in box since the beginning of May, then voila! it came today. Not just your blog Carol, many others. Cyber space gremlins??

Jeanie said...

I like French Girl's idea and will eagerly be awaiting the arrival of my letter! Yes, I will!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Anyone can subscribe on Etsy and get

M.Frezier in their mailbox!
Bonne chance

Anonymous said...

Oh the photo of those strawberries, red ripe ALL over, no tell-tale white tops. In Australia we have strawberries 365 days of the year: huge, red and rarely ripe. Who knows what tricks the growers use to produce the fruit all year round (apart from the fact that in winter they come from the tropical zones) but one thing is for sure...they do not taste like strawberries should; the kids are so used to the red fake hard sour things that they wouldn't know what a real strawberry tastes like. What a shame!! Hope you get well soon. Gwendoline in Australia.

Parisbreakfasts said...

in Paris you're lucky if the strawberries last overnite...
Best to eat them on the way home from the marche.
No strawberries ever outside of May - June
Nuttin' honey

Joyce said...

Parisbreakfast Subscription Letters is in the NYTimes Travel section on
Browsing Boutiques Without Taking the Trip
Bravo
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/travel/browsing-boutiques-without-taking-the-trip.html?emc=eta1&_r=0

ArtistLady said...

And that article is linked from the FIRST PAGE of the NYT online, Carol! You're going to need more "staff." Love your work and 'tude. :-)(CarolH-NY)

Nancy said...

WOOHOO Carol!
You may be sitting on a divan with your leg up but the NYTimes has great things to say about you:

Also, a special nod to Paris Breakfasts (parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com), where Carol Gillott — who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at Parsons in New York — shares the ups and downs of life as an expat. Now living in Paris, she sells her fanciful monthly “sketch letters” (reproductions of her original watercolors) featuring Parisian breakfasts, pastries and celebrations to those who can only dream of being there. Subscriptions from one month up to a year, including little surprises like ribbons or perfume testers and worldwide shipping: $11.50 to $118.
Congrats...you deserve it.

sukicart said...

Love this blog & strawberry shortcake. Growing up, we sometimes had just strawberry shortcake for dinner on hot summer days. My Mom made it with buttermilk biscuits, buttered while warm, then covered with mashed strawberries. Miam Miam.

Studio said...

I have been trying to click on the "Paris sketches in your mailbox" but it doesn't work.

Janice MacLeod said...

So true. I had a few left after I walked them home. Hours later. Rotten. FURY.

Janice MacLeod said...

Merci! I must admit I took a good photo of La Carol. She and her red glasses looked great against the blue French door and creamy brick wall. A beauty!

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mk said...

marvelous june letter arrived midweek.....i am so glad that your friends are helping you send them....wish i was in paris to bring you strubs everyday

mk said...

i haven't been getting carol's' paris breakfast'blog either ..if you have found the tech reason....could you tell super carol please.....