Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trumpeter Under a Paris Bridge

I wanted an excuse to post this picture of a lone musician practicing his art along the Seine. My flimsy connection is that 'tis the season for brass here in the States, where brass ensembles warm our hearts and lift our spirits with holiday music. There's nothing like live music in a beautiful city to do just that.

I don't have a great photo of Christmas in Paris, but there's a lovely one here of the Place Vendôme. Have a look.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Tree Limo

Courtesy of MyLittleParis: this little item about a rickshaw delivery service for Paris Christmas trees. Read all about it here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pain d'Épices

This cute little store called "Pain d'Épice" is in my favorite passage couvert in Paris, the Passage Jouffroy.

Here in the States 'tis the season for the flavors of pain d'épices. David Lebovitz posts a recipe for it here.

I haven't tried making French pain d'épices, but I do sometimes make an American gingerbread loaf using
  • Wet ingredients: 2 eggs and 1/2 c each vegetable oil and milk (or water)
  • 1 c of sweetener (I use a combination of white sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and molasses in about equal proportions; I may try to replace some of the strong molasses with honey next time...)
  • 1 3/4 tsp spices: about 1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Dry ingredients: 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp each salt and baking soda
baked at 375 for 40-50 min or till a knife piercing the bread comes out clean. This year I made a maple glaze for the top with some confectioners' sugar, maple flavoring, and milk. My kids enjoyed it. My husband, though, doesn't care for gingerbread and prefers my pumpkin bread. I can post that on another day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Favorite Shop in Paris

We're trying to have a minimally commercial Christmas season and focus on the spiritual aspects of Advent. Still, we've done our share of Christmas shopping and card-sending - I do enjoy wrapping well-chosen presents for people I love.

If I could magically transport myself to Paris, though, I'd want to come here, to the little store run by the Sisters of the Jerusalem Community at St. Gervais, where books, cards, and beautiful icons are available - perfect for the Taizé prayer services we've been attending during Advent. It's just past the bright blue doors of the bistro l'ébouillanté if you're coming up from the river.