Category Archives: France

Detour in le Jardin

Okay, so as the weather was amazing this weekend and we have had some gardening projects to finish, we took a little detour.  During our France week, we had begun to paint signs for le jardin and never got a chance to finish.  Today, after a bit more planting and tidying up, I was able to label our signs, en francais, of course, and place them in the garden.  We didn’t quite have enough for everything and hopefully we can make more again soon.  We began the signs during France week as the French are known for their amazing gardens.  When I lived in Paris I loved walking through les jardins throughout the changing seasons as gardeners worked hard to make things perfect! 

Here is our slightly imperfect garden with our newly painted signs.  It is definitely a work in progress. 

 

 

I love that along with being called “tomates”, in France tomatoes are also called “pommes d’amour”, which means apples of love. 

 

 

 

 This one is hard to see, but we added more blueberries today-les bleuets. 

I love these little mini herb signs I found during our "breather" at my favorite garden store.

 

So far, we’ve got several varieties of lettuces, basil, purple basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, sorrel, lemon balm, mint, brussel sprouts, sunflowers, artichoke, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, blueberries, pumpkin, crookneck squash, strawberries, spinach, swiss chard, arugula…I think that’s all. 

Tomorrow, there’ll be more fun from India, I promise!

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Bon Appetit

C’est deja le fin de la semaine.  Je ne peut pas le croix! 
 
As my typical style of cooking is mostly French (having picked up a few things in culinary school in Paris) we took advantage this week and had several different French meals/dishes throughout the week, closing with our Grande Finale Francais.

   

Quiche Lorraine

 

I cheated and didn’t cut up the bacon, but you get the idea.   

Les Crepes avec sauce des Mures

 

For breakfast one day we had delicious crepes with a blackberry puree and whipped cream.   

La Grande Finale   

For the final dinner I opted for a combination of Provincial and Parisienne foods. Using my cherished At Home in Provence cookbook, by Patricia Wells, I found a couple authentic and new recipes. The first was a Sorrel Soup and since I had a beautiful bunch of sorrel growing in my garden, it sounded perfect.   

Sorrel from my garden

 

Sorrel Soup

 

    

I might have been the only one who thought this was truly delicious, but it was, especially when paired with the wonderful crusty wheat and polenta bread (see below).   

Crusty Wheat and Polenta Bread

 

The soup was followed by a traditional Souffle au Fromage, as I had all the ingredients and it accompanied the meal quite nicely.   

Souffle au Fromage

 

For the main dish, I stuck with what I know well, Steak au Poivre, simple, easy and peppery.   

Steak au Poivre

 

And the moment we all waited patiently for, creme brulee, a family favorite and delicious finish to our semaine fantastique.   

Creme Brulee

 

 Merci la France pour nous montrer les choses especial de ton pays magnifique. On t’aime! A Bientot!

Our French Library

This week we’ve been reading a bunch of French livres.  I have collected several over the years including a couple that I purchased in France long before I had les enfants.  I have several English/French books that help teach different words and phrases to kids, but really aimer actual story books in French.  A few of my favorites are:  

Tu Nages ou Tu Coule about cows learning to swim, 

Maman, qu’est-ce-que le Royaume de Dieu?–Mom, what is the kingdom of God?, illustrated with children’s artwork

Nous Allons a la Plage-We’re Going to the Beach

Ma Soeur Bibi-a family brings home a dog from the pound and their current chien, who thinks he’s getting a new brother, is anything but excited about his new sister.

Many are just translated versions of stories in English, but I often prefer reading in French. And of course, there’s also my favorite This is Paris by M. Sasek, the first children’s travel guide he wrote. C’est fantastique!

La Peinture

 Aujourd’hui on a fait la peinture….today, we painted, and while I had dreams to set up on location somewhere fantastic with serene views and tranquil settings, with three kids (actually four today as I was babysitting) and a young puppy, we settled on using our soothing entryway. Well maybe it’s not actually that soothing, but one can pretend, right?

 

For Christmas two years ago we found a really great deal on children’s art easels for only $10 each!  My super talented husband picked up the easels and decided to carve each chid’s name in wooden letters and attach them to the top. The kids LOVED the easels and they have gotten much use with a whiteboard on one side, chalkboard on the other and a roll of butcher paper that attaches underneath. Because they have two sides each child was able to paint alone and draw inspiration, as much as any young artist can.  I set up our Z-Gallery Tour Eiffel next to Tallinn so he could try to copy it.  Eventually, I did some whimsical Eiffel Towers for Addie and Tal and they added the rest. 

 

our friend Brylie

 

 

 

 

I love my little aspiring artists et j’aime beaucoup la peinture!

Je t’aime

Everyone who knows anything about France, recognizes how romantic it is.  Afterall French is considered a “romance” language. Despite my firstborn’s stubborn refusal to appease me during our lecon en francais, he simply couldn’t  refuser to write a love lettre to his cherie.

And that is exactly what we did today, love letters, in French, capitalizing on the sweet sounds of this intimate language, saying “I love you” just as the French do–Je t’aime.

Addie's sweet lettre

Decorating en francais

En route

Bienvenue en France

Yesterday we left Israel and made our way west to France.  (This time we managed to stay in the same continent).  How I absolutely adore France!  Just over a decade ago I spent several months living in Paris.  I was just out of college and finding my way, pursuing my passion of cooking and speaking French.  Actually, I was fulfilling a dream and it really was quite amazing!  Of all the places I have traveled around the world, I think Paris is still my favorite.   There’s just something so special about it, perhaps for me because I got to really learn life in Paris, but more than that, I just love the beauty everywhere you look.  Walking along the Seine at dusk (my favorite time of day in Paris) gazing at beautifully constructed buildings of old, strolling past a corner cafe and a charming flower shop.  Paris is simply magical.

Not only do I love Paris, but I also love the French.  Someday I dream of going back and taking my family and spending a year or so.  Until then, we have brought France to our home.  In fact, we’ve been learning about France for years.  One of the rooms in our home is even called “The Paris Room”, decorated with art purchased in France.  For the first few years of Tallinn’s life I only spoke to him in French.  But, I got a little bit lazy as we added more children and am trying to teach them a bit here and there.  This week as we learn, I will be teaching them in French and as much as Tallinn begs me to speak in English, he continues to understand quite a bit.

Beginning with geography, we said “Shalom” to Israel on the globe and located France, noting the location of Paris.  I helped Addie color her “carte” with the colors of the flag and Tallinn did his own fun design, marking Paris with our shiny stars.

Addie's carte

Next we made mosaic “drapeaux”, using tissue paper squares of red and blue.

Tallinn's drapeau

Finalement, we played  “un petit jeu”, finding all the “drapeaux” that we have studied thus far.  At the bookstore the other day I found some fun stickers of flags of the world and used this as a fun opportunity for review.

 

Verset (en Francais):

Rendez graces a Jehovah, car il est bon.

Psaume 118:1

A demain!