France…oui oui! The fun memory of France was that my son, a high school freshman at the time, was going to impress us by ordering our meal in French (mistakes and all). The waitress just looked at us with impatience and we giggled throughout the meal, anyway! The French have a reputation for coming across as aloof but the snug and toasty intimacy of this French cafe made up for it. We studied the terms of the menu on the chalkboard above us as we tried to translate it. We observed the tables of duos and groups around us. The dark wood of this tavern cafe with the drizzly raindrops down the window subsumed us into our afternoon trance in France. The food was fine but the event was exceptional.
Driving into France from our tour of bordering countries to Switzerland, gave us that thrill of entering new architecture, new language and new cuisine all within a few miles of other countries! —the beauty and magic of the European continent is that it’s so diverse!
Although Paris is probably the most popular destination within France, I am intrigued with the northern cities and villages, like Normandy and Brittany. The Brittany coast is a lovely scenic way to experience this region of France. River cruises are also a great way to get to the city centers where the culture and architecture can be enjoyed, accessibly.
Build your vocabulary with these French food terms (oooh la laa!) : Pomme frites, quiche, charcuterie, baguettes, crepes, eclairs, mousse au chocholat, tourte, tarte, escargot and croissant. Look them up for a food translation exercise. Better yet, when studying France words in Francais, make a celebratory Pot de Creme for the occasion. (French dessert custard). Enjoy it was a CD of French cafe music. Get to know the tunes of Edith Piaf, a French cabaret singer.
click on this Pot de Creme recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pot-de-creme-recipe0.html
“The Cat Who Walked Across France” by Banks and Hallensleben