Oct 28, 2016

Poor Man's Truffles: Pierre Blanche


It's Cèpe season, and that means that I buy the largest mushroom in this photo and pay 19 for it --for just the one. Mind you, it's a big mushroom (nearly a foot or 30cm tall). But still, that's rather expensive. Is it worth it? Well, in a lucky and unusual turn of events, I prefer the taste of the cheap Champignons de Paris (like button mushrooms, but with more flavor). I find the Cèpe just a little bit slimier, with a slightly chemical twang.

Oct 21, 2016

Save the Gazebo!: Gloriotte


Save the Gloriette de Buffon! It's a very unassuming gloriette -- or gazebo -- and won't do much to shade you from the sun. But it's the location, on the top of a hill right in the Jardin des Plantes, and the history that make it something special.

Oct 14, 2016

Where's My Hot Water Bottle?: Mont Grêle


Is collective / communal heating a thing in other countries? I'd never heard of it till we moved apartments here in Paris, where it's pretty common. The "syndicat" (like a Home Owners Assocation for the building) decides when to ask the city to come out and turn on the heating for the building. Then the city takes their sweet time doing it. Individual owners/renters have no control over when it turns on and how hot it runs. This means that since the weather has just turned cold, I'm writing this in my annual pre-heat outfit: long sleeves, wool sweater, heavy fleece jacket, fuzzy fleece blanket, and hot mug of tea.

Oct 7, 2016

Same Old Place, Brand New Name: Pavé Neuvillois


Forget everything I've written -- at least when it comes to the regions of France. Did we visit Cathar country in the Languedoc-Roussillon region? We did, and though the castles haven't uprooted and moved, they are now located in the region of Occitanie. This pays tribute to the historic origins of the area: the Pays d'Oc (from which came the word Languedoc -- or language of Oc, the name for the local dialect).

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