May 2013

Getting Off Paris’ Beaten Path

Getting Off Paris’ Beaten Path

As I mentioned in the prologue post about this Paris trip, one of the earlier decisions I made was to get out of my own Paris ruts by NOT staying in the St. Germain/Latin Quarter section on the Left Bank. I'm thrilled to my toes with that choice. Not that there aren't crowds here in the Marais neighborhood, but they're much, much smaller (in large part because there's simply not ...

May 2013
Past and Present at Pere Lachaise

It’s Mother’s Day today, at least back in the United States (the French will celebrate la Fête des Mères in two weeks). So what I did I do to honor the day in Paris? I took a walk through Père Lachaise cemetery. Not out of some grim impulse to acknowledge the eleventh Mother’s Day since my mom passed away. But because it felt like the right kind of soulful environment ...

May 2013
The Best of Paris’ Baguettes

It's not me making that decision -- it was a panel of illustrious judges who convened last month to sample over 150 entries for this year's Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris. It was just delightful timing that the news of this year's winner came shortly before I left, so the winner was quickly noted on my to-do list for time in Paris. And it's where ...

May 2013

Paris: The Other Side

Paris: The Other Side

My first inclination when I started to plan this long-awaited, extended time in Paris was to narrow my apartment-searching to my old stomping grounds. The Left Bank. The 5th, 6th and 7th arrondissements. As noted in this earlier post, it's where I've spent by far the most of my time in Paris. That first study program in 1984, we spent most of a month in a hotel on the rue des Ecoles in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Which ...

Apr 2013



I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a more clever title for this post but figure it pretty much speaks for itself. Whether you've been there on your honeymoon or for a study-abroad term, if you backpacked-it in a hostel or lived it up at George V, even if it was one of those horrid if-this-is-Tuesday-it-must-be-Belgium "highlights of Europe" tours--there's surely a buzz of delightful nostalgia that hits you at the mention of Paris. Or maybe you have yet to ...

Dec 2012
A Most Magical Christmas

I didn't want to break the spell. When I left Seattle to go to cooking school in France, it was a major adventure, a big step into an unknown future, a dream come true. Belongings that I wasn't taking with me went into long-term storage, since this was to be an open-ended trip of at least nine months (ended up being 2 1/2 years). The last thing I wanted to do was break the momentum and serendipity of my time abroad with splashes of my ...

Nov 2012
Portland: It Always Delights

I love living in Seattle for just a huge range of reasons...... But one that's standing out for me right now is its simple geography. Not that it's on the Puget Sound, or framed by two mountain ranges or in the Cascadia zone that creates a distinctly lush environment for countless outstanding foods that enrich our dinner plates. Those are all perfect reasons to ...

Sep 2012
Cooking Moroccan

It strikes me as interesting that I have my liberal arts education in Tacoma, Washington to thank for my introduction to North African cuisine. Indirectly, I suppose, but it was a University of Puget Sound winterim study program of a month in Paris that had me exploring the bustling, colorful byways in and around Paris' Rue de la Huchette where there's a convergence of international cuisines, Moroccan among them.  Of course the French ...

Jul 2012
A Canadian Canola Escapade: Saskatchewan

I took about a thousand pictures in this field bursting with yellow blossoms, set against the blue sky accented with white-and-silver clusters of clouds. Okay, I exaggerate. A bit. It was a few dozen perhaps. But I could have kept going if me and my fellow travelers didn't have yet another great meal to run off to.....  The place was somewhere outside the city of Saskatoon, capitol ...

Apr 2012
A Day with Dario: the Butcher-Philosopher

It doesn't take much to motivate me to hop on the train and head south to Portland. Though some motivations are more pronounced than others. As was the case last week when rock-star butcher Dario Cecchini was in town. Soon as I'd heard word of his pending visit a few months back, I'd been inspired to see the man work. Not because I'm a butchery fanatic. But because I've come to relish any opportunity to gain first-hand, direct insights into the ...