Essays

I want this blog to be a little of everything: recipes, little snippets of information about different cuisines and ingredients, as well as a collection of thoughts on food and culture.  Here are some of my musings.

Back to the Books
Why I Love France (and the French)
An Ode to Julia Child
Goodbye Gourmet
Sausage & Bacon
The New Gratinee
Post 200 and the Reason I’m Still Here
What I’ve Learned About Food Styling
Happy Fifth Blogiversary
A Meeting with Ruth Reichl

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

silvie April 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Darina, great review on Campagnola, looking forward to reading future posts. – Silvie

gratinee April 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Thanks, Silvie!

george November 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

A year ago I was in Paris for the first time. It was a trip I’d dreamed of going on for years, and when the opportunity presented itself I didn’t hesitate to take it. I love to travel, and although I like lying on a sandy beach with a strawberry margarita as much as the next girl, my idea of a great holiday is a couple of weeks touring any of Europe’s great cities. I love museum hopping, wandering through art galleries, and sitting at a sidewalk cafe people-watching. I love to sample the local cuisine and wander aimlessly through the city streets, trying to soak up the energy of the place so I can always remember how it felt to be there.

I had some niggling doubts about Paris before I went. I was visiting a friend but during the week I would be on my own a lot while he was at work. I didn’t speak a lick of French, although I’m Canadian and we’re required to study it in school. I always found the pronunciation impossible, the grammar and spelling arduous. I studied Italian in university. I really liked Italian. Unlike French, it’s a phonetic language; once you learn the alphabet you can pretty much read it and write it.

The fact that I didn’t speak French wouldn’t have bothered me as much had I not heard that French people are rude to you if you don’t. Actually, every person I knew who had been to Paris told me that they were rude no matter what you did. There’s a saying I’ve heard repeated ad naseum. Something like, “Wonderful country France…pity about the French.”

Granted, I didn’t spend a long time in Paris–eight days–but I didn’t find French people rude at all. They weren’t friendly in the same way North Americans are, which people from other cultures sometimes find superficial. But in my experience, they weren’t rude. I think that a bright smile and a friendly attitude can serve you well no matter where you go. I’d like to think that my positive spirit was reflected back to me.

So in that same positive spirit, today I’ve decided to reflect on a few of the reasons I love France–and the French. I’m happy in my city and when I get right down to it, I wouldn’t really want to live anywhere else. But there are some things that I appreciate about France so much that I wish they were bigger part of North American culture…

Michelle Garde July 17, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Your photos are beautiful and the food looks incredible. I so admire you following what you love. I am at a place in my life where I need to do the same, and it isn’t easy to find your way. You have a beautiful blog! Congratulations!

Darina July 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

Thank you so much! Your comments are very much appreciated. I think people often find themselves at this crossroad. The important thing is to just take action and your results will always give the information of where to go next. If you can look at it with more through the lens of an explorer, I find it lessens the anxiety around change quite a lot. Good luck!

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