Bonjour, my loyal friends, followers, and Francophiles! I know my posts have been spotty lately, and I appreciate those of you who are still here with me. As I hinted in my previous post, I would love to request a do-over for January. However, as I don’t expect that request to be granted, lets focus on some of the high points of the month.
First, how about some new music for the year? My kids can attest to my very, um, eclectic taste in music. My iTunes is a random collection, ranging from Beyoncé to Lyle Lovett. In between those icons you are apt to hear songs in Portuguese, Spanish, and French that I totally love but don’t understand a word of. Oh, and there are some chapters from my Berlitz French course in there as well, should I feel the need to practice my language skills while on the road. As you might guess, my Bluetooth is quickly replaced with someone else’s device whenever there are passengers in my car with me. Rude.
One of my blogger friends from Paris, Sylvia from Finding Noon, recently blogged about a new music collection compiled by a friend of hers and available for our listening pleasure on a site called 365Live.com. Click here and you will see “Louche Life” station. Hit “play” and get ready for a totally enjoyable music experience. Well, totally enjoyable if you like eclectic, international, sometimes weird music like I do. This great music has been playing on my computer or phone all month- my January Jams. Merci, Sylvia!
I know I have mentioned Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now cookbook to you guys. I have had it for a year and each time I cook out of it I am struck by just how good it is. Not a shiny, sexy, photo-laden cookbook at all, but man- that girl can cook. Last week, as we waited with trepidation for the Winter Storm that ultimately dropped a few flakes of snow on the outskirts of Houston and glazed a few bridges with ice, totally paralyzing the metropolis, I cooked Melissa’s White Bean Stew With Rosemary and Garlic. It was soooo much more memorable than the winter storm. Here is a cute blog (love her header illustration!) that provides the recipe. I put it on top of farro as suggested, and added some greens at the end. Bam.
I have been a fan of Garnet Hill for as long as I can remember. I used to order my kids clothes from there when they were growing much too fast to justify the splurge. I check their Sale Of The Day as frequently as I can remember to do so, because the prices on those select items are slashed and often irresistible. Last month, one of my very favorite GH products was on sale- their Signature Flannel Bedding. I have these flannel sheets for several beds and they are well made, soft, and substantial. This time I ordered a natural color (“oatmeal”, to be precise) with a single letter monogram, and I put them on the bed just as the aforementioned Winter Storm blew into town. Lets just say that if a certain dog had not insisted otherwise, I wouldn’t have crawled out of those sheets before noon. Heaven.
At Christmas my kids gifted me with a Fit Bit. This little gadget is one of the hot new fitness devices that measures your daily number of steps walked, miles accumulated, stairs climbed, calories burned, etc. It syncs with your computer and phone, and gives encouraging messages along the way. It’s kind of silly, I guess, but for some reason that little gizmo actually motivates me to move more, and so for that reason it makes my list of January Favorite Things.
I love, love Ann Patchett, and I read her newest book, This Is The Story of A Happy Marriage, back in December. Although known primarily as a fiction writer, (think Bel Canto and Patron Saint of Liars) Ann has a healthy history of essays and articles which she has written over the years for various publications. Those have been culled and compiled into this wonderful collection of essays. I read this book in 2013, but earlier this month I spent several nights with my mother and decided to read some of these essays to her before we went to sleep. I was reminded of how very good they are, whether read silently or aloud or to you by someone else. Just don’t do any of those in public without a hanky- you are sure to be touched by at least one of the little gems contained within these covers. The one about taking care of her grandmother completely did me in. You have been warned.
And of course, I did spend 6 January days in Paris, so I think it fitting to close with a photo of that city, surely one of my Favorite Places in any month.
Au revoir, January! Bring on February, mes amis.