an illustrated journey of an american in paris
Artichoke season is upon us. I can’t help but pick them up these beauties from the farmer’s market. Partially because they still remain a mystery to me. What’s one to do with that exoskeleton of tough scales? I know, I’ll watercolor it!
I must admit, I am still mastering the art of artichoke carving and preparation. But they will get my asparagus treatment, splitting them in half and baking them with a welcome smattering of garlic, lemon zest, parmesan and breadcrumbs. I need your help, dear readers. Please send me your favorite artichoke recipes!
And we’re back. Phew! The worst part about all the vacations in France is the constant ‘rentree’ or begrudgingly going to back to reality. I can always sense the day of the rentree. Parisiens walk the streets grumbling with their heads held lower. I can hear more crying babies in the distance. The Paris sky is a little bit more grey than usual. Chatter is instantly consumed with talk of the next vacation. And ‘watch your step’ refers rather to the deposits of naughty dogs than to Alpine ice.
But Spring is about to put all the grey days to rest! The trees are on the verge of blooming. And the 5 bank holidays in May will swiftly bring the summer vacation. Oh, and there’s the two-week Easter vacation somewhere in between, too.
As much as I am continually charmed by the life in France, some things lag behind. For example, to complete most bureaucratic tasks (banking, visas, health insurance), a secretary hands me a blank piece of paper to put my request in writing. Most secretaries have a desk piled-high with said requests. Hmm.
Peeling paint and spiderwebs are often a part of the decor.
Our old washing machine has been bust for months now. I’ve been begging my husband to ditch it. However, there is only one issue; it is also our only counter space. How I long for one of those stainless steel and granite American-style kitchens with a French-doored refrigerator and a freezer larger than a shoebox!
Finally, the other night I was brushing my teeth on my way to bed. Not only to find a worm on the bathroom floor. Of all the things that could come off the street and into our humble bathroom, a measly little worm is the least of our troubles. But it doesn’t mean I want to have my bare feet in the proximity of an unannounced worm.
Old world charm, first world woes.