After reading Julia Child’s My Life in France and swooning with Meryl Streep over buttery trout in “Julie and Julia,” I thought to follow the gourmand’s footsteps on my next trip to Paris – seeking out all those gastronomical wonders. It’s still a possibility, but now I’ve added another repertoire of places and foods in Paris – thanks to Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris.
I want to shop at Passage Vivienne, have lunch at L’Hermes, buy bread at the boulangerie…
Bard’s Love Story with Recipes, her subtitle, is more about the food – with several recipes at the end of each short chapter and a wonderful eight page index at the back of the book. You could skip the Sophie Kinsella dialogue and go straight to the recipes, but then you’d miss all the happy banter. Bard’s voice is her twenty-five year old self, so beware of twenty-something anxieties, but her story is fresh and lively and fun.
Like the old Single Girl’s Cookbook by former editor of Cosmo, Helen Gurley Brown, Bard pairs food with possibilities, e.g., “Recipes for Seduction” and “Family Heirlooms.” You will want your own andouillette when she exclaims
“ Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a plate full of sausage.”
She progresses from eye-contact to marriage, with lots of tasty experiences – and food – along the way. As she recounts her life as an American in Paris, you will be reminded of others who found relocation to the City of Lights not so easy –
“…nearly a year had passed, but I still felt like a stranger…”
But, this is a love story, and the most important person in her life lives in Paris.
“…one of the great gifts of an intercultural relationship is that when you fight, you never quite know if you are mad at the person, or … is he just being French?”
It takes awhile, but she knows she’s “not a tourist anymore” when a French girl asks her for advice. I remember the same feeling when someone in Paris asked me for directions.
For most of the recipes, you’ll want Julia to prepare; however, there are a few that seem easy and manageable. The easiest is her “Lemon Sorbet with Vodka” – pour a shot of vodka over a scoop of lemon sorbet. See my post in “potpourri” for a few more recipes – with a few more ingredients.
Lunch in Paris is more than palatable; it’s tasty and enjoyable – and a quick read.
You can follow the author – and get more recipes – on her blog…