In spite of the appearance of these herbs, I assure you they’re perfectly legit. No, I didn’t open up my Pink Floyd double-album to remove any seeds. And no, I wasn’t listening to The Moody Blues at full-volume on my headphones hoping my mom wouldn’t smell anything funny (even though we rolled up a towel and pushed it against the bottom of the door.) And…

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The first of the Reines-Claudes plums are at the market. These tiny, super-sweet little green plums are 18% sugar, one of the highest percentages of all fruits. The true French reines-claudes plums are grown in Moissac, near Toulouse, and are available for just a short time during August. Get ’em while you can…

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One of the first lessons I learned on my way to becoming une vrai Parisian was to never, ever be on time. I should backtrack and say: One should never to be on time when invited for dinner party. The hosts, who called with my first invitation to a soirée about a week after I arrived in Paris, said “Come at 8pm…But you know, in…

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(Note: Some of this information was updated in October 2013. Plans and policies are all subject to change and revision by the various providers. Some updates are at the end of the post.) If you’re traveling to, and within France, many folks like to stay in touch with home, or want to be able to make and receive phone calls and get messages. So why…

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My first experience with eating seaweed was when my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Barnett, brought in a big bag of gnarled dried Japanese seaweed, presumably to familiarize us with foods from other cultures. Few of us kids growing up in sheltered New England would touch the stuff, although I took a little taste, but didn’t share her enthusiasm for the sea-scented tangle of salty greens. So…

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Here’s a listing of a few notable hotels in Paris that you might want to investigate if you’re planning to come for a visit. I’ve been traveling to Paris for many years before moving here, and some of the hotels listed I’ve stayed in, while others have been recommended by guests and friends. There’s a pretty good selection, including one located on the top of…

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“Did you see how hot it was? It was so sticky-icky!” Dear Madame France: Thank you so much for allowing me to live in your wonderful country. I love tasting everything I can, learning more about your rich history and curious customs, and even though I can’t conjugate the verbs in the plus-que-parfait-de l’indicative (come to think of it, all those verbs are so darn…

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So far, this week… …I ran over a not-quite-yet-dead pigeon by accident with my shopping cart. …My mobile phone died. …My ATM card expired. The bank told me to wait for the replacement card. Which was sent in May. …My credit card was cancelled, which I learned while at the cashier with a overloaded cart at BHV. There were thirty people behind me. And they…

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When I told Luc-Santiago from Vert d’Absinthe here in Paris that I didn’t like anise very much (or, stupid me, how long have I lived in Paris? I should have said, “I don’t appreciate anise very much.”), I wished I had my camera cocked-and-ready, as the look on his face was priceless. While I appreciate the culture and mystique of Absinthe and its cousin pastis,…

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