When In France

photo: cafe la corona
A day unfit for dogs but fine for visiting strollers.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 21. December 1998:- A couple of weeks ago, Linda Thalman extolled the virtues of shopping in a French 'HyperMarché' in these pages. Last week, readers offered their pros and contras.

One of these hypermarché outfits came by and tossed a catalogue, disguised as a magazine called 'Winner' - Gagnant - into my letterbox. Its illustrations make life in the hyper-lane look very lush indeed, and not beyond the realms of the average pocketbook.

My first intention was to cut and paste together some of the ripe photos, to make sort of a college of the good life, as it looks on a plate in France. But I've never used clip-art and this isn't the time to start.

In this week's version of the Festive Program, I've listed the basic and fundamental ingredients necessary for a Réveillon meal. Here are a few other menus for the same occasion:

Tarte friande de truffes aux oignons et lard fumé
Homard aux truffes et marrons en cocotte lutée
Mignonnettes de chevreuil, poêlées à l'aigre-doux
Tarte au chocolat fondant

The wines to go with the above are Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Meursault, Pommard and the sweet wine, Maury, to go with the chocolate pie.

Here's another:

Foie gras d'oie en gelée au vin d'Arbois
Etrilles bretonnes dans leurs coquilles
Ris de veau piqué à la truffe et au lard fumé,
châtaignes croustillantes
Soufflé chaud à la mandarine
The wine: Vouvray

And finally:

Gelée d'oursins en coque au fondant de fenouil
Fricassée de noix de saint-jacques et
chou-fleur aux crevettes grises
Pithiviers de poule faisane, perdrix et grouse au genièvre,
coings confits et jus pressé à l'armagnac
Macédoine de fruits frais épicée, sorbet pomme et citron vert
The wine: Chablis

Bon appétit!

Last Minute Shopping

Since it is the season and you may be searching for last minute ideas, this week's Super Giant Jumbo shamelessphoto: pond tuileries plug is for the writers and publishers who have placed their wares on Linda Thalman's WFI server, for online sales.

The people below are real and live in or near Paris, have done their research here - so what they're offering are 'Paris' products - some of which are possibly only available via online purchase. Despite what all the gloom merchants may say, ordering goods online is no more risky than having hot pizza delivered to your door.

Since I am fond of author Thirza Vallois, the first plug is for her excellent 'Around & About Paris' series of in-depth books about Paris.

While I don't know the artist Alain Kleinmann, he also offers several of his books and 'An Artist' is his latest, I think.

Last summer I blew a chance to meet Rachel Kaplan at a garden party, because nobody thought to introduce us. Her Web site is called 'French Links' and on it you can find her 'Little-Known Museums In and Around Paris' and 'A La Découverte des Plus Belles Routes Ile-de-France.' She also has written books about obscure museums in London and Berlin.

Suzanne Forster's 'Insider's Guide to Paris Hotels Under $100 a Night' might be very handy, especially if I ever get around to offering the 'Metropole Paris Euro-Converter' and keychain. In the meantime, her prediction that this 'spellbindingly rich cultural center needn't clean out your savings account' may be true.

'Rachel Kaplan's Best Buys to French Chic in Paris'. What is hinted at sometimes in Metropole, is set out in full in this book about how to shop and get away with it with some money to spare for necessities, such as food and drinks.

The 'Leeds Good Value Guide to Paris Restaurants' by Adrian Leeds - is not only about 'good value,' but also about finding it in tidy photo: bhv facadesurroundings. Once, while having lunch with Adrian, she was so busy making notes about the tablecloths and curtains, that her meal got cold. Mine was fine through.

'The Best Biking Guide to Paris' is a brand-new book by Rose Burke. Rose has been writing about Paris since she arrived here with her husband in 1994 and began to look for a parking place. Last year when I met her she said they'd given it up and gotten bikes instead; so this book is not based on theory.

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