autumn roast pork, potimarron, chestnuts, onion

When I first moved to France, I was convinced that I would glide effortlessly into a group of French people, and these people would be my French friends. Co-expats, you may now stop laughing at my naïveté. Those who would move to France… sorry I burst your bubble. The thing is, French people, in general, have a fairly hard exterior that’s tough to crack. There are, of course, exceptions, like the handful of girlfriends I’ve made who wanted to better their English, or the two French boyfriends I’ve had, one of whom had a grand total of 0% French blood … Continue reading autumn roast pork, potimarron, chestnuts, onion

Pork Roast with Cherry-Beer Sauce

I think I’m getting old. And yes, I’m fully aware of the irony of that statement. But it doesn’t make it feel less true. I feel like I’m getting older, like there’s less “spring-back” in my way of seeing the world. It takes me longer to get back into rhythms and patterns, and I have a harder time leaving things behind, something that has never bothered me before. I used to pack up and leave without so much as a second glance, and now I feel like I’m always glancing… or staring… soaking up as much of my surroundings as … Continue reading Pork Roast with Cherry-Beer Sauce

Pork Chops, Mushrooms, Roquefort Sauce, Broiled Figs

When last we spoke, dear reader, it was summer. I was posting about tarts topped with berries from Paziols and looking forward to going back to the States for a month. Well, summer is over now. I’m back in Paris, and it’s undeniably autumn. I don’t really know what’s kept me so long. It’s a combination of things, really. I haven’t been cooking much. I’ve been traveling a lot. I’ve been busy. I haven’t had much to say. But then last night, over dinner of pork chops and mushrooms with blue cheese sauce, the Country Boy asked me how I … Continue reading Pork Chops, Mushrooms, Roquefort Sauce, Broiled Figs

sanglier, gaulois, dol de bretagne

I’m afraid that I may not have been entirely frank with you, friends. You see, as I reread past posts about my life here in France, you get all of the good stories. The funny encounters. The moments that have people writing me, telling me that they wish they could just move here, too. And while those moments exist — I may be a fiction writer, but I don’t lie — there are a whole bunch of other moments buried underneath, moments that I definitely don’t evoke when people ask me, “So… you love it here?” I just stand there, … Continue reading sanglier, gaulois, dol de bretagne

pork roast, cornbread, cucumber salad

Sunday lunchtime is a serious affair in France. Around noon, the stairwell in my seven-story building starts to smell like garlic, onions, roasting chicken skin. The line from the bakery goes out the door and along the glass wall as people pick up assortments of pastries and tarts for dessert. I learned today that one can call the police if anyone is doing building construction between noon and two on a Sunday, lest it hinder one’s enjoyment of Sunday lunch. It’s serious business. Around here, Sunday lunch is really more like Sunday breakfast, and since Sunday is pancake day, there … Continue reading pork roast, cornbread, cucumber salad

Rôti de porc, homemade applesauce, “carrot fries”

I’m pretty lucky when it comes to the Country Boy… as far as boys are concerned, he falls on the “fairly awesome” side of the scale. No housecleaning task is too girly for him; he was raised helping his mamma, so he does a lot of things (OK, most things) better than I do. (Yes, I got me a mamma’s boy. No, this poses no problem whatsoever.) The Country Boy leaps into action when he knows what he’s supposed to be doing — or what could be done. When things are broken, he fixes them. When there are dishes in … Continue reading Rôti de porc, homemade applesauce, “carrot fries”

Mustard Pork Roast with Apples

It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t live in Paris how easy it is to forget that I’m here. I’m not saying this to rub it in your faces, honestly. Sometimes I find myself sitting in front of movies about Paris, and I get homesick for the place that I discovered in my carefree years at AUP, when the only work I had was done lazily with Emese on the train back from Cannes, completely forgetting, for a moment, that my métro, boulot, dodo happens in the City of Lights. Needless to say, my daily rhythm has changed a … Continue reading Mustard Pork Roast with Apples

My Grown-Up House

Several weeks ago, I promised you pictures of my new house, and then I promptly disappeared. I’m sorry. I could blame school starting up again and days that start at 7am and finish at 9 or 10 at night, or I could say that I got a stomach flu last week and subsided entirely on rice and orange juice for three days, but that’s not really true, and I’m nothing if not honest (some say brutally so). The truth is that I haven’t been very inspired to blog as of late. Many of you know that I make a living … Continue reading My Grown-Up House

Pork Stew

SCENE A Paris apartment. It is Sunday, which, as all good Parisians know, is the perfect day to mope around in your pajamas, drink lots of coffee, do all your laundry and clean all the surfaces in your apartment with Windex, because you didn’t have time to get to the Ed this week to get the cheap spray bleach, and everything is closed on Sundays. EMIGLIA, 23, charmingly high-strung, spills boiling gravy on her hand. EMIGLIA: (To self) %$@*%#@!!! EMIGLIA’S PERCEPTIVE ALTER-EGO: Well, it’s your own damn fault. You’re the one trying to make stew in a toaster oven. *** … Continue reading Pork Stew

Tomato Paella

After several years of doing fairly ridiculous things whilst traveling, I’ve gotten to the point where, when I suggest spending the night in an airport/train station/bus stop to make a cheap layover even cheaper, my friends just roll my eyes and don’t even try to convince me that anything else would be a good idea. Case in point: a few weeks ago, while spending all of six hours, none of them daylit, in Marseille with my brother, we decided to nap on the couches of a bar/lounge in the lobby of a Holiday Inn across the street from Marseille-St-Charles. My … Continue reading Tomato Paella