Fresh Corn Soup

Are you a Facebook recipe collector? I feel sometimes that all those recipes are like shiny bits of glitter and of course, the gorgeous photos are designed to attract my attention. This one for Fresh Corn Soup really caught my eye!

GotMyReservations Fresh Corn Soup

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Ironing My Pillowcases

I received David Lebovitz’s lovely memoir, The Sweet Life in Paris, for my birthday. I’ve been wanting to read this book for years, and my son’s darling Curly Girlfriend gave it to me. I gave a little shriek of delight when I opened the Amazon package; I’ll admit it. I love Lebovitz’s blog — I’ve talked about it here and here and here! If you like the blog, you’ll also love the wry humor and great recipes in his book.

The book is a series of essays about an American learning how to live in Paris, and is full of juicy tidbits and advice. This one just hit home.

If anyone had told me ten years ago that I’d be standing over an ironing board, pressing the wrinkles out of pajamas and kitchen towels, I would have told them they were insane. What kind of idiot irons his pajamas, let alone kitchen towels?

Lebovitz goes on to describe his discovery of vintage French linen, which he bought by the armful whenever he saw it at tag sales and stockpiled it, thinking that he might never see such fine linen again. It turns out he was wrong, by the way; he says that fine linen is common in France and he didn’t need to become a bedsheet hoarder. 🙂

Then he realized that he had a problem laundering  those gorgeous high-thread-count cotton sheets and cases. 

I … realized that [the beautiful linens] would come out of my mini washing machine a wrinkly ball, looking like one of those Danish modern white paper lamps; a tight, wadded-up sphere of sharp pleats and folds. So unless you’re a masochist and enjoy waking up after a rough night with bruises and abrasions on your arms and legs — which I don’t — those sheets need to be starched, ironed, and pressed into submission.

David Lebovitz solved his problem by sending them to the laundry to be washed and ironed, because he doesn’t have a dryer in his apartment and sheets have to hang up to dry. If you’ve ever stayed in a Paris hotel room, you know that space is at a premium, and there’s no room in a Parisian apartment to hang sheets to dry.

Being a servantless American, I have a lovely large washer and dryer, and my beautiful high-thread-count linens come out of the dryer pretty well, if I catch them quickly enough after the dryer stops. But I’ve always hated wrinkly pillowcases. Now that I’m a stay-at-home-wife, I’ve started ironing my pillowcases and the top trim on the sheets.

Which leads me to some recent responses to a post I made about ironing pillowcases on my other blog, Retirement 365.

I am blessed to have friends and relatives who take trains, planes, and automobiles to come to visit us, and we’re thrilled to host them in our home. We recently had a visit from college friends and spent two wonderful days running around Chicago eating, taking photos, listening to music, and drinking good wine. My husband’s brother and his family travel every summer from the West Coast, spending a fortune to fly five family members to Chicago, so that we can all attend the family reunion together. And they’ve been doing this for thirty years, never missing a summer. It’s hard to even put in words how much this annual opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with our family means to me.

I think they are worth ironing my pillowcases for.

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National Delurking Day

As I worked with my students this week during writers’ workshop, I told them about how important voice is in one’s writing. I used my own experience to inform my teaching — and I told them I don’t ask them to do anything I don’t do.

Image via http://www.826chi.org/programs/

It struck me that the words on the rubric probably apply to me, too. Most days I am just “informative and interesting” and some rare days I am “compelling and engaging.” Unlike my students, however, whose only audience is their parents, each other, and me, I put my work out there for the world to read — and comment on.

It’s probably a clear causal relationship between the number of comments I get and whether or not I have been compelling and engaging. Did I actually “force” you to engage with me?

Image via latestgadgets.co.uk

Since it’s National Delurking Day, I humbly ask you to engage. Leave a comment and let me know who you are. I know you stop by because I (feverishly) check my stats. And leave a comment at some of these wonderful writers’ blogs that I check daily via my Facebook feed. Once I created a Facebook page for Got My Reservations, it became very easy to skim down my Home page daily to check out what’s happening. If you are a blogger, I encourage you to create a Facebook page for your blog. It’s definitely increased my readership, if not my comments. 🙂

Classic Vintage Silver Eye Candy

Right You Are, Jeeves

Treasures from the Past: My Unicorn Collection

Who’s Jim Jebow?

Vanderbilt Wife

My Kitchen Scale

Witness (a guest post on Pioneer Woman about the movie)

Saturday Linky Love: Julia Child’s Kitchen — Quelle dommage

I just read that the Smithsonian is dismantling Julia Child’s kitchen and putting it in a larger exhibit where it will be “in context” with other food exhibits.

Image via Richard Strauss/Smithsonian

Image via Richard Strauss/Smithsonian

OMG. I was just thinking about planning a spring break trip to Washington, D.C. in order to put my secret stick of butter in Julia’s kitchen. It’s a good thing I read David Lebovitz’s posts on my Facebook page!

Image via sanfranciscosentinel.com

They say it will be open again “sometime” because the Child kitchen has become a “go-to” exhibit and has attracted visitors far beyond the Smithsonian’s expectations. I was ready to make my pilgrimage, and I’m really disappointed.

I’ve been a Julia disciple for many years, but she really came into focus for me after reading her books and seeing the movie made of Julie Powell’s book. I blogged about my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking here, made a recipe from the cookbook and blogged about it here, and commented on the book and the movie on my previous blog. I’ve excerpted my comments for you here.

Having recently finished reading My Year in France by Julia Child and viewing Julie and Julia, I can’t help recalling the scenes in both the book and the movie where Child gathers in a group of people and creates a family wherever she lives. She lost her mother early, her relationship with her own father and stepmother was strained and it appears that she was disappointed to remain childless, but she made up for this sadness in her life by being a catalyst who drew disparate people together.

Not surprisingly, her lasting friendships appear to have revolved around food and travel. The Valentine’s Day scene in Julie and Julia in Paul and Julia’s French dining room is poignant and felt very meaningful to me as it triggered memories of the wonderful meals I have shared with family and friends in 2009. Even when I went to the movie web site and watched the trailer, I was reminded of incredible meals from the movie and from my own life.

After reading both books and bookending the books with viewings of the movie, I heartily recommend that you do all three. The movie is good enough to stand on its own, but your enjoyment and understanding of the characters involved will be deepened by reading the books.

When I wrote this post in 2009, I had not yet been to France. This summer, we will go back to Paris for a return trip. I’m going to do some more research about Julia’s life in France and perhaps will be able to perform this year’s visit to the Julia shrines in France rather than the United States. Let me know if you have any good ideas!

I Love David Lebovitz (as a cyberfan, of course)

I started linking up some favorite posts from David Lebovitz on my Facebook page, but then realized he needed to be shared with a broader audience. I love everything about David’s blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris — his erudite yet informal style and most of all, his luscious photographs. Here’s a recap of some recent posts to whet your appetite (pun intended)!

To start with, let’s talk about Food Blogger Camp. Can you imagine going to Mexico with some famous food bloggers and photographers to learn how to write about and take photos of food? I’m ready to sign up right now!

And then there’s David’s Paris and Lausanne Chocolate and Gastronomy Tour in May. It’s a good thing it’s sold out, because it’s mighty tempting to take some personal days to participate in this incredible adventure. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to share this experience with my French-at-heart sister-in-law and other friends.

 

Since I recently went to Paris and experienced the lack-o-sandwich and street food, I thought David’s recent post on the growth of  Subway sandwich shops and other take-out sandwich places was very interesting. We got take-out croissant sandwiches from a little shop in the Jardin des Tuileries and enjoyed people watching.

Of course, if you love chocolate and can’t get to Paris, there’s always Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can sample the gastronomic delights of numerous restaurants and cap off your meal with something sinfully chocolicious. Maybe I’ll see you there.


Food for Thought

The closer we get to our trip to Paris, the more real it gets. I am beginning to collect names of restaurants along with my “don’t miss” tourist destinations. Given that I love history, it would be really fun to eat in a restaurant like Ledoyen, which was built in 1848 and is considered one of the best restaurants in Paris.

I follow many bloggers who write about France, but I continue to go back to David Lebovitz: Living the Sweet Life in Paris for information and inspiration. This week he wrote a post about how to get a fabulous French meal for under 100 Euros. In U.S. dollars, that’s about $135 per person. It seems like a lot of money, but if you are going to France, aren’t you going to treat yourself at least once to a life-changing meal? And, since that $135 includes tax and service, you’re getting a lot closer to what you might spend in a fine dining restaurant in any town in America. We don’t do it every day, but it’s Paris, for goodness sake.

I doubt very much that I’ll ever get another chance to eat at Le Jules Verne, the fancy restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, but I just might on this trip. And maybe I’ll eat this. (I’m sorry; I just couldn’t resist.)

Or this, at Restaurant Taillevant.

Image via alifewortheating.com

For more beautiful pictures of the food and interesting commentary, I encourage you to read David’s Lebovitz’s blog, Living the Sweet Life in Paris.  I’m going to go crank up the DVD player and watch Julie and Julia again to watch the divine Ms. C cook and eat her way through France. Bon appetit!

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