13 February 2009

February French Friday #2


Bonjour to you, gorgeous French people.  This week, I will be reviewing Chapters 3 and 4 from Mireille Guiliano's book French Women for all Seasons.  I will continue reviewing this book every Friday in February for my French Friday's series, followed in March by Mindless Eating:  Why we eat more than we think by Brian Wansink.  Please join me every Friday for this series.

Bien, now that we have the formalities out of the way, let us journey to our outdoor cafe in Paris.  Tie your scarves ever so nonchalantly around your necks, order your citron presse, make sure your make-up is impeccable and your dress is classic.  Are we ready?  Bon, let's begin.

Chapter 3:  En Ete:  Summertime Smiles

I actually had a difficult time reading this chapter this week as I am so ready for warmer weather I can actually taste it.  Unfortunately, seeing as how it snowed just two days ago, it seems as if winter is going to hang around here a while longer.  Reading this chapter on summer was practically torture for me.  But alas, I endured for you, gentle readers.

In this chapter, Mireille discusses the attributes of summer that help French women stay slim.  One need only embrace the bounties of summer to enjoy this season free from the fear of getting fat.  French women embrace summer produce and make it the main focus of their meals.  Their dress is light, but covered, as a nice pair of linen pants is often cooler (and a whole lot classier) than denim cutoffs.  Jewelry is simple and of course, French women always have their scarves handy in case of getting chilled in an air conditioned building, and for looking chic.  Mireille again talks about different ways to wear scarves in the summer.  The following short video clip shows Mireille demonstrating how to tie a scarf skirt.


In this chapter, Mireille also tortures me by giving luscious sounding recipes featuring summer produce at the peak of its flavor and enjoyment.  Oh summer, why do you tease me so?

Chapter 4:  En Automne:  Fall Ahead

In Autumn, we often get back to the busier routines of our year, the new school year, seasonal holidays, plus the chill in the air all conspire against us and make us naturally want to layer on a little extra insulation.  Unlike bears, however that eat nothing all winter, therefore using their extra fat as energy, we seem to keep piling it on.  Mireille talks about indulging (of course you can), but French women are very mindful of their indulgences and compensate for them.  They also only indulge when it really counts, for example, for a luscious chocolate truffle, not a mediocre one.  Again, she also gives us yummy sounding recipes for the seasonal produce of fall:  potatoes, squash, cauliflower, pears and apples.  Also, she illustrates more ways to wear a scarf.  Inspired by this chapter, I started the day out today with a shoulder wrap scarf, but of course, being American, I failed to pull it off effortlessly.  It looked more like my arm was wrapped in a sling.  So I knotted my scarf around my neck loosely and it worked.  It's all about improvising, isn't it?

Next week, we will read Chapter 5:  En hiver:  Winter Pleasures as well as Entr'act:  The French Eat What?  Until then, you gorgeous French people, A Bientot!

10 comments:

Robin Sue said...

Oh yes I can't wait for summer produce. I actually got some nice strawberries this week from CA! Probably from a green house but they were good. I would love to go to Paris and see if ladies really tie scarves around their waists. Do you think? Well maybe. I think it would make me look hippier or maybe just hip! Great post, I enjoy reading these summaries by you and the videos have been so much fun. I have worn a silk scarf twice this week in honor of this event. Even linked it in my post coming up today. Have a happy Valentine's Day Joie. XO- Anna Sophia (I think I like this spelling better- so much more sophisticated)

Meg said...

I love these French Fridays!

Chef E said...

I am not sure if you mentioned this in the recent post, but I just read that the reason why we do not eat properly and gain weight in the winter is because we do not soak up enough sunlight during that period, and sunlight enhances certain vitamins and stimulates hormones that make us crave more food...

I look forward to more of this book, and I have always felt and been told that I have a European soul for an American girl :)

Daily Spud said...

Not quite sure that summer has arrived here yet, but it was ever so slightly warmer today than of late. Now where did I put my scarf? :)

Pierce said...

The videos are helpful. I can't follow directions from the book. I am, admittedly, challenged!

Reeni♥ said...

I love the comparison to a bear, that kind of makes you think. I am so ready for some refreshing summer produce and gardening!

Tangled Noodle said...

I, too, am completely ready for summer (forget spring and let's get down to the sunshine)! I do try to dress well during warm weather months since I'm so bundled up and dowdy-looking during the long winter months. And I can relate to Chef E's comment: I suffer terribly from the shortage of sunlight - low energy and moodiness that might drive me to consume as much sugar as I can for that 'pop'!

mikky said...

happy valentine's day!!! :)

Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

You are a real big Mireille fan, aren't you?! :)

Nicole said...

There is a girl hear in Huntington Beach, CA that makes these scarf-like things that can be worn as skirts or tops or dresses depending on which length you buy and your size and shape. They are one size fits all and have a ton of different ways to tie them. Cross between large scarf and a sarong. I will have to scoop up a picture for you.

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