Rendezvousing with a Wooden Spoon and a Cup of Cream: French Cooking

It’s parka weather in North Florida now. At the moment, saying “the sweats” refers to pants and hoodies, not the moist high-summer insecty trickle, when walking to the mailbox seems like an audition for a wet T-shirt contest. Colder days and nights invite a certain degree of nostalgia for winter and cold-weather, stick-to-the-ribs types of … More Rendezvousing with a Wooden Spoon and a Cup of Cream: French Cooking

Cordon Bleu, Paris

The lobster just wouldn’t die. Neat black-and-white drawings in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking fail to tell the whole story. Nothing there about squirming bodies, queasy stomachs, and misplaced stabs to crustacean heads. “While professionals simply cut up the lobsters with never a qualm nor a preliminary, you may find this difficult.” … More Cordon Bleu, Paris

La Mouffe

It was Julia Child‘s favorite outdoor market in Paris. La Mouffe. Or rue Mouffetard, in the 5th arrondisement. Ancient street, cobblestone-strewn. Romans trod there, and marched, too. In the third century, Legionnaires laid the first rock in the town they called Lutetia Parisiorum. And that thoroughfare stretched all the way to Rome via the modern … More La Mouffe

Memory, My Old Friend

As Notre Dame burned on the night of April 15, 2019, all my memories of Paris converged, accordion-like, folding inward, into that deep place of mine where not much gets in. Sobs, tears, disbelief. History ignited, bursting into flames, before my very eyes. Never mind that history, by its very nature, changes day to day, … More Memory, My Old Friend

The Shadow of France Hovers Over Mexican Cooking

When you bite into a chicken taco or scoop up guacamole, you probably won’t be thinking about France. Yet, France left indelible fingerprints on the cuisine of Mexico. Jeffrey Pilcher, in Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Dialogos) (1998), attempted to examine the question, but much remains to be done.   … More The Shadow of France Hovers Over Mexican Cooking

Speaking of France …

You’re not supposed to begin a piece of writing with a question. Why not? No idea, except that the “experts” seem to think that it’s an easy way out. “You can do better,” they say. So what was my question? Oh yes. Why is traditional French food so terribly unpopular at the moment? Many authors … More Speaking of France …

9 Years of Writing about History … A Celebration!

Nine years ago, I decided to poke a toe into the world of food blogging. I settled on the name, “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” based on a painting by Luis Meléndez, a tribute to the period of history known as “The Age of Exploration.” Faced with a blank screen demanding something, anything, the first words that … More 9 Years of Writing about History … A Celebration!