When it's over, it's over...no more strolling along the Champs-Elysees, no more pain-au-chocolat for breakfast, no more sitting street-side watching French people with cigarettes and dogs parade past like they're on Louis Vuitton's runway, no more jambon and fromage baguettes or freshly baked croissants so light and flaky they brought tears of joy to my eyes! I've seen enough Monet's, Van Goghs and Picasso's to know the difference. I've seen mind-blowing-beautiful statues and sculptures that had me asking how did they do that 400 years ago without computers and tools?!? And I've seen enough gargoyles to scar my psyche for years to come. We have been in so many cathedrals in the last few weeks, lighting candles at a Euro a piece, you would think we'd have halo's over our heads and last Saturday night's lottery winnings in the bank! I'm not going to tell you about about French cheese - frommage - because I would get all verklempt - suffice it to say I would gladly suffer through another 20 hour travel day just to eat another plate of cheese (and while I'm on the topic, I am convinced that Ex-lax's success is directly related to the French and their cheese!) And I won't mention the traffic...except to say it is nothing short of miraculous that there are not bodies strewn along the streets of Paris from the way they drive...Parisiennes on motorcycles...death-defying-driving-du-jour!
The French are famous for being rude, but I have to tell you, the only rude French people we encountered were United Airline employees...but I think that's a job requirement for United. We were greeted warmly everywhere we went, with the Euro in the dumpster the French were all too happy to take our money. And we could not spend our $$$ fast enough...we took tours, dined at great restaurants, and shopped like VISA was our middle name, loading our suitcases with enough trinkets to ensure paying a "HEAVY BAGGAGE" fee!
From Paris to the beaches of Normandy to Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Marseille, Nice, and Monaco...so much to love! And I do love France...and French People. I've got French ancestors, on my dad's side, and gastronomically speaking, I am 100% French...I've yet to meet a Cassoulet I didn't adore. But that seems to be where my French DNA ends, at my stomach; I certainly did not inherit the scarf-tying-gene. When in France, if you don't wear a scarf you might as well be naked. And if you do wear a scarf, you'd better know how to tie it! Believe you me, I took my daily scarf-tying very seriously, and after weeks of scrupulous observations, I finally figured it out...you'll never see my neck again!
Now, since I'm still a bit jet-lagged and I have piles of laundry screaming my name, I'm going to give you my all-time favorite Halloween recipes, my tried-n-trues, that will please whatever ghoul or goblin comes your way:
Dead-man Over Worms (This is my only claim to fame...my "award-winning" meatloaf that got me on Emeril Live...yes, if you want I'll send you an autographed picture for free...kidding, I'll have to charge!)