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Archive for May, 2013

French Summer Dessert: Cherry-Almond Clafoutis Posted by on May 30, 2013

Nothing like a tasty French dessert with plenty of cerises (cherries) and amandes (almonds) to kickstart the Summer! Here’s how to prepare it, mes amis: Put a rack in the middle of an oven and heat it up to 350°F. Put in a large bowl 3 cups of small fresh sweet or sour cherries with 1/2 Tbs…

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Before Versailles and Before the Louvre: Fontainebleau Palace Posted by on May 26, 2013

Everyone knows le Louvre. And I’m sure it is safe to assume that everyone has at least heard of Versailles. But how about Fontainebleau, the château (castle) that is both classique and Renaissance? It’s actually not that far from Paris, about soixante kilomètres (60 kms) South East of the French capital. Of course, you can also choose to…

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French Legend: Fontainebleau from Henry II to Henry IV Posted by on May 23, 2013

Tel père, tel fils (as father, as son), says the popular adage. We previously saw how the father, in this case François Ier (or Francis I in English), was le responsable numéro 1 of introducing la Renaissance to France, by inviting the likes of Rosso Fiorentino and le Primatice to his court. There, the Italian masters…

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François Ier: Patron of French Renaissance Posted by on May 21, 2013

“Une cour sans femmes est comme un jardin sans fleurs” (“a court without women is like a garden without flowers.”) Thus spoke François Ier (Francis I in English), like a true Frenchman some would say. But contrary to some other French monarchs, female company was not his only preoccupation. In fact, the lifetime dream of François was to bring…

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Simply French Rock Posted by on May 18, 2013

Everyone agrees, Noir Désir is a household name on the French Rock scene. Their song “Un Jour en France” (“A Day in France”) has perhaps not reached the standing of a “classic” yet, but it does offer a pretty good idea about the message this band conveys through its music.   Noir Désir’s “Un Jour en France” (“A Day…

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Et Si…? (What If…?) Posted by on May 15, 2013

Ever wonder what if things went differently? Le monde serait-il devenu si différent? (Would the world have turned out to be so different?) The French musical featured today sings, tongue-in-cheek, about the so-called Effet papillon (Butterfly Effect): Every little detail could transform the world as we know it. Or is there more to that? Ray Ventura’s “Le…

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May I Offer You “Un Cadeau de Mai” (A May Present)? Posted by on May 9, 2013

 Since the month of May is not over yet, may I offer you an old popular French poem? Drôle de coïncidence (funny coincidence) perhaps, this poem happens to be precisely about offering presents during the month of May.  QUE DONNERAI-JE À MON AMIE EN MAI? (WHAT SHALL I GIVE TO MY FRIEND IN MAY?) Que donnerai-je…

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