Sunday, November 29, 2020

La Petite Epicerie de la Tour


This morning I ran out to get some scallops and thought I’d pick up a few madeleines on the way... 

But the line looked too long. I went on my way and et voila! 

A week-old new epicerie  just a few steps along the quai de la Tournelle. I had to go inside and investigate, right? 

Lots of petit things to adore like breakfast jars of apricot jam (3,50€) and other fait maison (house-made) flavors, sitting in copper cauldrons.

Mini French blue tins of La Tour d’Argent signature tea (6€). 

Awfully nice kitchen things, but note they* do not yet ship outside France so far. 

Boxes of fresh farm produce (15€) covered in good French terroir (dirt). The French require it for authenticity IMHO. 

Of course there are wines and a lovely cave area. 

Tour d’Argent is renown for its famous wine collection so their selections must be good. 

I went back to Boulanger de la Tour for the madeleines to complete my still life

I didn’t mind waiting a bit 😃🐻❤️

Friday, November 27, 2020

Nadia’s Initiative, The Last Girl


This morning, overstuffed with too much sweet potatoes like many of you I bet...

I tuned in as usual to Trevor Noah for a laugh and a thought. 

Instead I was moved by his guest, Nadia Murad, a 27-year old Yazidi survivor of ISIS genocide and violence in Iraq. 

She is a Nobel Laureate for her campaign to help her people.

I read pages of her beautiful book , The Last Girl. I had to buy it.
 There is a stunning art documentary on her, ‘On Her Shoulders’. Watch her speech at the UN. And her Nobel acceptance speech. 
I’m not usually political on PB but I couldn’t get her story out of my mind. I wondered what I could do. 

On Trevor’s site there is a link to Nadia’s initiative to help survivors of violence.  Nadia is a positive icon for all women who have suffered the trauma of  violence and genocide. 

Her poignant face inspired me to get out my watercolors and paint 6 portraits. Consider making a donation directly or buy a Nadia watercolor.  Proceeds (minus shipping) will go to Nadia’s Initiative.  We have so much to be grateful for. Last night in Paris...stay safe


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

31 rue Cambon Advent calendar, sauce à la Canneberge

I’d planned to visit 31 rue Cambon, Chanel HQ 
To make sketches for the annual November Advent letter
But with the Lockdown, I went to Google pics instead.

 Here is another good BBC Chanel documentary worth watching if you’re a fan. *There is no sound on occasion because of copyright infringement. Never mind. Its still a worthy watch to understand this complex, immensely innovative woman. 

The November letter went onto the French yellow poste truck yesterday. I caught him at 4:50 pm just as he was about to leave.“Outra mer? (Overseas)” I said and he threw me a crate. “J’ai la chance 👍 :))”

People ask,”do the French ‘do’ Thanksgiving?” Yes they must because Monoprix has goodies. Carrefour’s journal has sweet potato-pecan pie recipes.  
And Marks & Spencer has turkeys. 

And Hooray🎉! a very nice, rather tart sauce à la canneberge, my fav!

Hmmm, they even have canneberge sandwiches. 

This year I got the real yen for a turkey dinner. Meredith Mullins and I ordered online, but the cranberry looks a little triste non? 

I went back to M&S for a big Winter supply...all for Bear of course. Its going fast. 

You can send your cat or dog to 31, rue Cambon for the holidays if you hurry. Bonne Thanksgiving PBers 🙏 Please stay safe 💋🐻 Xxx Carolg

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Bear goes Advent Calendar shopping


Yesterday Bear 🐻 went Advent shopping. A Paris must-do in November. First stop A la Mere de Famile, top of the Advent heap. They always create inventive house candy boxes. 

This year we got it. By December 1st, most Advent calendars are sold out with no new stock coming in. 

The exception is Ladurée - their Advent box is supposed to arrive in December 😳 hmmm. 

Pierre Hermé’s Advent was available in October. Its always circular and full of fab chocolates. 

Alain Ducasse’s Advent is hexagonal with a Mexican Aztec theme. 

Also 6-sided, Breton chocolatier Henri Leroux has little removable boxes hiding his excellent chocolates. 

At Buci News you can buy empty Advent calendars. 

And fill it yourself. 

These candy calendrier de l’Advents are 24 chances to lose ‘the marshmallow test’. I always flunk and eat the contents Immediately. Waiting is not a skill I ever learned. I’m into ‘Immediate Gratification’. Can you wait for good things? If you have a serious case of IG, Paris is not the right place for you. Every month there’s at least one or two food treats that must be eaten. In May, no one eats Lily of the valleys but they do have them in chocolate. Fete des Meres (Mother’s Day) awaits at the end of the month. The annual November Salon du Chocolat (canceled this year) is the grand sugar-holic’s banquet.

 Growing up, food was a reward in my family. Do your homework and you get a cookie. The homework part got lost. My 6AM Morning cookie raids were infamous and the padlock on the cookie closet was no deterrent. I could  so easily raid my new Advent house this minute 🍫but I would pay a sugar-coma  price later. 

Meanwhile I am slaving away on the November annual Advent letter💌  3 guesses on the subject matter

Stay home and stay well PBers❤️🙏🐻

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Chanel Map


My obsession continues with the latest Paris map - some of Chanel’s favorite places. 

For the border (Elaine Sciolino says a map must have a border) I was thinking camellias and her signature ribbon. 

But why not use her iconic image as a border? Please watch TV Arte’s brand new excellent documentary on Chanel’s life. Its in French but not difficult to figure out from the superb photographs (many used here btw). A worthy watch. 

What other orphan child had the moxie and gumption to, instead of  choosing an arranged marriage or work as a laundress, choose a career in fashion (with the aid of many men its true). 

The refined lingerie pleating the orphans were taught. 

Shows up later in Chanel’s delicate chiffon dance dresses making them light and easy to wear as a silk slip.

Her collier comète made of 600 diamonds was astonishingly original.

 “I wanted to cover women in constellations like a shower of stars”, she said in 1932. 

Octagonal Place Vendome is where Chanel lived for 30 years at the Ritz hotel and had her jewelry boutique. 

Vendome strongly influenced the shape of her 8-sided perfume bottles, Chanel N.5 and Coco Mademoiselle.

 I haven’t yet got my hands on a good biography but read the Wikipedia file on her life. Its surprisingly dense with detail including the war years. 

Why did I assume Chanel was petite? She was 5’9” and weighed 130 pounds! No matter the Lockdown, last night Paris was shining bright like a diamond in Chanel’s necklaces. Please stay safe everyone 🙏❤️💋🐻