Friday, January 4, 2008
Ahh, la belle France…
Christmas in Paris is delectable, I just eat it up. Hemingway wrote, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” And it was great to go back and freshen up the grand buffet of the heart that is Paris.
Some of you know that I was an exchange student to Chantilly, France a way back when. (Perhaps a few also know that is how I know CP, he too was an exchange student to the same town two years before me.) More on that tomorrow but by way of an intro, when I was 17, once maybe twice a week, I’d hop the train to experience Paris.
Christmas with my sister was lovely! She’s been in Paris for 8 or 9 years now and is very much at home. It was a great joy for me to have her open up that petit home. (I think she is the only one in the family to have less space than I. Aahh but we live out – we’re city people; that’s why we live in great cultural centers of the world.) The pictures show she has a lovely place with a courtyard in the 6th arrondissement – Saint Germain des Près. It’s right near the center of Paris – a quick jog over the Pont des Arts (no pun intended as I do jog across it to run in the Jardin des Tulleries) and cross the Seine; the Louvre is at your feet.
Naturally, after being there for such a long time, my sis has met some wonderful friends and we were seven for Christmas eve dinner. She loves to host so it was a bit of work preparing and all but so worth it. She’s a wonderful cook and a very cheery host. I did quite a few holiday meals for our big family of 7 kids plus the parents so she confidently turns to me to pop in where needed and it’s a thrill to be a part of the ritual. Still, it is really her favorite recipes that are on the table and with time, trouble and love, she’s made them her own – a personal something special to share.
I greeted guests while she worked the kitchen so I don’t have any pictures of her. What I do have is a couple of guests arriving and enjoying the tree.
May the joyous, giving and heart-felt togetherness of Christmas last with you all throughout 2008 when a year from now we can once again smile and eagerly offer the same simple gift to each other.