Cream soda, anyone?

Saturday evening, we went to a little Christmas party with friends, which featured a “White Elephant” gift exchange. Just like last year, we each had to bring a gift that cost less than 5€. Michel and I ended up with a set of six “tapas glasses” — which we’re going to use as lowball glasses — and a box of …

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Bottle Caps

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Continue reading Cream soda, anyone?

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Back in the Kitchen

In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve now spent four Thanksgivings in France. I think it’s probably the time of year when I feel most like an American expatriate. What I mean by that is that it’s the day when I feel the pangs of homesickness most acutely. Thanksgiving’s not a holiday here, of course, so I get pretty nostalgic watching my Facebook newsfeed fill up with status updates from back home about thankfulness, good food with family and friends, and even travel headaches. Looking back across the Atlantic at what you’re missing can easily give you the blues … which is why expats just have to make Thanksgiving right where they are! To be frank, I haven’t always succeeded on that score. Out of the first three Thanksgivings I spent on French soil, only the first featured a traditional American feast, so it really was high time for me to get back in the kitchen … Continue reading Back in the Kitchen

It’s official!

With this post coming the day after Thanksgiving, you’re probably expecting a run-down of how I spent my fourth Thanksgiving living in France. Alas, this has nothing at all to do with that. We’re actually not celebrating this most American of holidays until tomorrow evening, so you’ll have to wait a few more days for that story. Instead, this article is just an update on a genealogy project of mine. It’s probably not very interesting or exciting to most of you, but it’s a big deal for me:

It’s official — I’m a Huguenot!
(… well, I’m officially the descendant of two of them.) Continue reading It’s official!

Tiny Little Chewy Cakes

They look like bundt cakes, but they’re less than two inches tall. Even so, they pack a wallop of deliciousness. They’re canelés, which have become — hands down … or rather “out” for seconds — my favorite French pastry: pure heaven made from flour, eggs, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, and sometimes rum. Continue reading Tiny Little Chewy Cakes

Even Americans Want a Taste

For better or for worse, there’s no denying that American fast food has become arguably as popular in France as it is back home. If you live in a city, there’s always a KFC, a Pizza Hut, or a McDonald’s in the neighborhood. What’s interesting from an American perspective is how these places can feel simultaneously so familiar and so foreign. The idea, of course, is to take an American brand and make it appeal to a French consumer, so sometimes you end up with some interesting cross-cultural creations. Some are very clear efforts to transform traditional favorites. Take, for example, the one that even made the news back in the States: Continue reading Even Americans Want a Taste

“This is Street Art” Vol. 4½

Hot on the heels of my last installment of Paris street art, I give you another two dozen intriguing, provocative, and whimsical examples of this most public — and sometimes ephemeral — art form.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m not sure why that is; simply put, I just haven’t felt very inspired these last few weeks. This too shall pass, of course, and I’ll probably be back with a vengeance, publishing three or four articles a week. In the meantime, since I can’t seem to give you any words to read, how about some pictures to look at? If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is worth about 24 grand. It’s a new collection of street art photos I’ve collected from all over Paris since my installment in June. Continue reading A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words : Street Art, Vol. 4

What breakfast was meant to be.

Image used under the terms of
the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license
© 2006 Virtual Steve

I first encountered muesli in the form of Kellogg’s Müeslix back when I was a teenager, and I finally got to taste the real thing when I first traveled to Germany and Switzerland in 1992. Based on those first experiences, I always thought of muesli as a (relatively) healthy breakfast option. I mean …

whole grains + fruit + nuts = pretty good for you, right?  Continue reading What breakfast was meant to be.

Once upon a time …

First of all, allow me to apologize for the delay in writing something for you, but things have been in a state of flux since we officially became a French family a fews weeks ago. That little red family register has changed a lot of things for us, the most immediate of which is that now I don’t have to be a full-time student to stay in the country! Given that I was already feeling both overqualified and overwhelmed in my last academic pursuit, I decided to just drop out. In the long term, that means that my schedule will be much more conducive to holding down a full-time job. In the short term, it means my schedule will be much more conducive to pursuing all kinds of personal projects ranging from the mundane like writing for je parle américain, to the utterly useless like learning Irish Gaelic, to the extremely ambitious like … writing a novel.

Yes — writing a novel.
Now, I know that might sound like a pipe dream, and
I know that living in Paris hasn’t transformed me into Ernest Hemingway,
but bear with me for a moment. Continue reading Once upon a time …

You’re a huge WHAT?

It’s not “official,” but I am pleased to announce that I am a …

Huguenot

“You’re a huge WHAT?”

Not “huge”

“Hu-gue-not”
/ˈhyo͞o gə ˌnät/

n.,
a member of the Reformed or Calvinistic communion of France
in the 16th and 17th centuries;
French Protestant.

Let me explain … Continue reading You’re a huge WHAT?