Meeting Elizabeth Bard of LUNCH IN PARIS


Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

On Thursday,  March 11, I attended a book talk/book signing with Elizabeth Bard, author of Lunch in Paris.

As afternoon sunshine set into dusky evening, forty or so people were seated before and around a desk creatively disguised as a bookshelf in the center of the ground floor of WH Smith book shop at 248 rue de Rivoli in Paris, France.

Upon the bookshelf/desk sat Elizabeth Bard, author of recently-published Lunch in Paris: A love story with recipes. As she was introduced by one of the bookshop personnel, the room quieted and all focused on Elizabeth, a tall, good-looking, dark-haired, Jewish-American young woman with lively eyes and an engaging smile.

Elizabeth being introduced by a WH Smith bookseller**

Just before settling into her position atop the desk, however, Elizabeth handed out homemade (by her, earlier in the day) mini raspberry financiers, a recipe for which appears on pages 87-88 of her book. Petite almond cakes appearing as if they had been baked in a toy kitchen muffin tin, one golden cake, just a mouthful, could sit upon a miniature porcelain tea service dessert plate at a teddy bear tea party.

As Elizabeth passed the basket of goodies to each in attendance, I had a moment of regret and sadness at not being able to eat one. This quickly turned into numb resignation: it’s just how it is when one experiences food intolerance. I’ve gotten used to saying “no” with my grown up self, yet there is a child in me that feels disappointed at being refused a treat yet again on the grounds that “this will make you sick.”

(**UPDATE: Monday, March 22, 2010. My friend Karen just let me know that the WH Smith bookseller pictured is Kim, of  blog Sassiland. I just spent a little bit of time on Sassiland, and Kim sounds like such a nice gal. I hope that you will go over and take a peek at her blog. I’m sticking her in Google Reader now and going to let her know about her appearance here. :))

Author Elizabeth Bard

As soon as Elizabeth began reading passages from the book, my inner child gave way to the part of my personality that perceived a kindred spirit in her: leaving her American life behind her (after an interval in London), she arrived in Paris for a man, for love, for good.  Food and cooking, cuisine, becomes the force that mediates her relationship with Gwendal, her Frenchman, and her initial integration into French and Parisian culture. She fell in love with not only the Frenchman, but also with the preparation and consumption of fine food.

The twenty-two chapters of  Elizabeth’s 336-page first book chronicle her journey from weekend visitor, to full-time resident, to wife of a Frenchman in Paris, each chapter concluding with at least one recipe for an appetizer, a main dish, or a dessert, and often all three to comprise an entire menu. Each recipe connects with the narrative — food and personal events are woven together to cover a tableau of themes emphasized in the story. As Elizabeth explained at the signing, “food moves romance along” and each of her memories of  her love story with Gwendal is connected to what happens at a table.

The audience at the signing heard Elizabeth read about taking in an andouilette sausage (akin to eating haggis in Scotland) as Gwendal moved the romance on to a new level of intimacy. She recounted how it was that she believes Frenchwomen do not become fat with a food faux pas at a family gathering. Elizabeth humorously recalled her first experience gutting a slippery mackerel. I think there may have been one more section of the book from which she read, about connecting with some of her American girlfriends and realizing how content with her life she was, but I was so captivated with Elizabeth’s reading at this point, I abandoned notetaking for taking in the moment.

After reading from portions of the book, Elizabeth opened up the floor for audience questions, which included inquiries about her writing background and process (journalist and art critic. The manuscript took a year to write, six months to edit, and another six months to be printed and put on shelves — a two-year process). Elizabeth cleared up the misconception that she is a blogger-turned-writer (the blog was started in July 2009 after the completion of the manuscript, at which time Elizabeth wanted to continue writing and sharing recipes), shared how it was that she got published, if not by blog discovery (through submission of her manuscript to an agent), helped a young woman asking about the practicalities of becoming wed to a Frenchman (get your name on the utility bill. The utility bill is used as proof of existence in French bureaucracy), and, finally, explained how she learned French (by practicing with the folk who sold her food).  I asked how the birth of her son enhanced or challenged the merging of French and American cultures in her household. Elizabeth replied that with the birth of her son, she recognizes that her ties to France are now permanent, indelibly linked to France by blood.

My favorite question was from another audience member who asked, “Who do you want to star as you in the movie?” Elizabeth laughed and graciously dodged a direct answer by saying while it had crossed her mind (with movies like “Julie & Julia” and, soon, “Eat, Pray, Love” arriving on screens, who would not think about it, if in Elizabeth’s shoes?), it was her mother’s already deciding Meryl Streep should play the mother in the movie that got us all laughing.

I have been reading Elizabeth’s blog for a couple of months now. I ran into it in the way I always seem to discover blogs: by link-clicking along in the blogrolls of other bloggers or by doing some kind of random Google search involving keywords “Paris” and who-knows-what else. I started reading and commenting every so often. At first, I did not know that Elizabeth was publishing a book. Her blog appeared to be another expat blog like the ones I had been reading, but with the addition of yummy-sounding recipes. I loved reading it, learning about the birth of her son, her daily happenings, and what new dish she’d tried that week. Soon posts began to mention the book was being released soon and it was with increasing anticipation that I wanted to get my hands on a copy.

I joined her Facebook page not long after reading about the book’s release and saw there one day a couple of weeks ago that Elizabeth would be doing a signing at WH Smith in Paris.  I got really excited as my friend Tess had given me some WH Smith gift certificates for Christmas and I’d been meaning to get there to purchase a book or two from an ever-lengthening wish-list. I asked my friend Tess to join me at the reading. She, in turn, invited her friend Natalie (whom I had been hoping to meet for a while having heard much about her from Tess), and after I posted a little about Elizabeth’s upcoming reading and signing, blogger Sion of Paris (Im)perfect decided to attend, also.

Natalie and Tess

At the signing, I eagerly purchased Elizabeth’s book, plus a couple of others I wanted to read, and then was so inspired by the reading and signing that I stayed up way past a reasonable bedtime to start the book. Within 36 hours of beginning, I had gobbled the entire thing up.

Now that I have met Elizabeth briefly in person, I have trouble separating the the person, the blog, and the book from one another, so it is a little difficult for me to focus on objectively critiquing the book alone. Here are some thoughts I have about the gestalt of it all.

I think it could be really easy on the surface of things to peg Elizabeth and her book undeservingly to a specific nail on a wall. For example, looking at these descriptors of Elizabeth (which are derived from the book as well as Elizabeth’s sharing at the event at WH Smith), things could go a couple of ways. She is:

  • well-educated
  • well-traveled
  • a former New Yorker (she lived very near the City growing up)
  • from a Jewish family**
  • an appreciator of fine food and drink
  • living in one of the most romantic cities in the world with a loving husband and new baby, just having published a book

(**Note: I am not emphasizing this characteristic to single out Elizabeth negatively in any way because of having this cultural background. It is a point that she, sometimes with attendant stereotypes, points out herself in her book.)

I could see a person with a lot more snarkiness (or maybe just plain meanness) than I have looking at this list and connoting that perhaps this young woman is a well-off, smug foodie snob, a privileged Jewish Princess living a charmed (deserved?) existence in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

In fact, I was a little worried about meeting Elizabeth with a tiny piece of my insecure self: what if she really was a New York Princess-type and a bit of a snob? I was hoping not. From the blog, I really didn’t think she could be that way, but you never know, eh? I hoped she would be the genuine person she seemed in her blog but was a little worried based on the laundry list of surface details about her that maybe we would not be able to connect because of some of our differences.

Imagine my joy when the woman I met was a Really Nice Girl (“girl” used here as a compliment, like in a “Sex and the City,” sisterhood of girls and girlfriends kind-of-way). Well-read, articulate, smart, personable, friendly, warm, and caring (she baked all those financiers for her fans!), Elizabeth oozes with authenticity. Yes, she may have some privilege in her past (and maybe in her present, too), but any blessings she has received have been tempered by some difficulties in life: illnesses and deaths of parents (hers and her husband’s fathers), pressing financial and career struggles, not to mention the task every woman must face: the finding of herself and HER dreams, not capitulating to anyone else’s ideas of what a life should be. I felt from her as she presented that night and as I read her book, that I had found someone who had the qualities of a girl who could be a good friend: a normal, humorous, real, intelligent, and engaging person. Her book exudes these qualities with solid descriptive writing to boot. Elizabeth is your elementary school best friend, your college roommate, the cute girl who lived down the street from you that found herself living a different sort of life than you or she might have surmised she would, but entertains us with tight prose the things she learned through the love story she experienced.

I think one of my only disappointments about the book is that, given the current problems with my body and food, cooking and eating most of the 60+ recipes is out of the question. I’m hoping that maybe preparing the Fennel Salad on pages 58-59 will work, but there are only one or two others that I can eat without major adaptation of the recipe. This book, and others like it such as David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris really are a kind of torture for me right now. The emphasis on food in this book and the others like it is painful to read about as I have the feeling I will never be able to experience cuisine in Paris the way Elizabeth has. I envy her ability to prepare good food and eat it. I envy how she was able to visit cafés and restaurants and try new things. I got a little depressed with reading all the mouth-watering descriptions and the joy that is experienced around food in the book. This is not the best nor easiest book to read as a food-challenged person.

Still, Lunch in Paris is a way for me to vicariously experience good food through another’s taste buds and like I had to do with the financiers, I detached emotionally from the desire and just felt happy that someone has found her bliss in Paris through food. I don’t begrudge a sister’s discoveries about what brings fulfillment in life. My own joys cannot be found in food right now but I am not going to have sour grapes about Elizabeth’s being able to find fulfillment in food.

Beyond the aspects of the book focused on cuisine, I found the anecdotes about some of her cultural adjustments to be true to my own experiences of living in Paris and I learned more about French culture through the eyes of an expat, something that is really beneficial to me living here in the city, too. All-in-all, Lunch in Paris is as delightful as the title implies: it is a mostly lighthearted tale of an American girl finding not only the man of her life in Paris, but also herself.

After the reading concluded, I had the privilege of meeting bloggers Carol of Paris Breakfasts, and Sion, whom I mentioned earlier, of Paris (Im)perfect.

Sion and I had hoped to meet there, and when I did, I was so pleased to know she bubbles in person just as her blog does.

That is Sion in the background, looking at her camera, with me and Elizabeth in the foreground. Other unknown faces have been "doctored" to protect their identities.

(At the request of Carol, I have removed the photo of her that formerly appeared here. Thanks for your understanding!)

Meeting Carol was a complete surprise! Carol lives in New York City but travels to Paris two or three times a year. I read her blog often, and it is a very fun one, filled with wonderful photos capturing Carol’s observations of Parisian food, fashion, and fun. She is also a painter and her artistic sensibilities really come across in her blog. Carol just happened to take a seat next to me just as the reading was beginning, so I could not ask just then, “Are you Carol of Paris Breakfasts?” But that is exactly what I did after Elizabeth’s sharing and the Q&A had ended. She was. 🙂

I am so glad to have met them all!

Elizabeth Bard

After the event, Tess, Natalie and I decided to have a small snack and a glass of Médoc at the L’Imperial at 240 rue de Rivoli where we sat and chatted for another couple of hours before heading home via Métro Tuileries.

The rue de Rivoli - quiet at night

To see all the photos from the event, see this set here at Flickr.

Tuileries - note the nude picture of Josephine Baker on the wall. Wheee! That's Pa-ree!

As I was finishing writing this post, I sighed with the satisfaction of recounting an evening well-spent, surrounded by girlfriends, old and new. I encourage you to buy Elizabeth’s book at your local bookseller.

Over and out.


(an alien parisienne)

Categories: Book Reviews, Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Blogging, Paris Friends, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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58 thoughts on “Meeting Elizabeth Bard of LUNCH IN PARIS

  1. interesting to read this – thanks

  2. Lauri

    Sounds like a wonderful evening, Karin. Elizabeth’s book sounds like a great read – something I would definitely be interested in. How nice that you got to meet both Elizabeth and Carol. Thanks for posting about it.

    • Lauri, I really do think you would like this book a lot. Thank you for reading. 🙂

      I used to work in a bookstore called the Tattered Cover in Denver, and got to participate in book events like this all the time. Going to this event was like finding a slice of my past and of “home”. That I connected with so many wonderful people while doing so was a real bonus!

  3. Thank you for the lovely and thoughtful review, Karin. I must find a way to make gluten free financiers! EB x

    • You are very welcome, Elizabeth! 🙂 I got so much enjoyment out of the evening and then reading the book and writing about it. I am certain gluten-free financiers can be made. I should work on seeing how adaptable some of the recipes are to gluten, egg, and dairy-free versions.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  4. This sounded like a lovely, lovely evening. Wish I could have been there! I am now looking forward to reading the book!

    • Hello, Beej! Thank you so much for reading and also for your wonderful email. I’ll reply to that soon, but just wanted to say here that I think you will really enjoy the book. Happy reading, and see you again soon!

  5. “Elizabeth read about taking in an andouilette sausage as Gwendal moved the romance on to a new level of intimacy”

    A literal redundancy or metaphor?

    “Now that I have met Elizabeth briefly in person, I have trouble separating the the person, the blog, and the book from one another”

    This sort of think has popped up for me in one way or another. My ex would shape some of her media prefferences around the personal lives of the artists involved. I, on the other hand, would totally see the artist as influencing, but separtate from my enjoyment of their art. This being said, I do have to look back on whether I’ve show inordinate prefferences about artists I have met. I’ve not known an artist well enough to really be that influenced, but there is always the what if (what if someone in my life became famous, what if someone I worked with or went to school with became famous, what if I met someone famous and we became good friends). The area I live and some of the things I’ve been involved with have put me in casual/profesional contact with such, but never on intimate terms.

    “The emphasis on food in this book and the others like it is painful to read about as I have the feeling I will never be able to experience cuisine in Paris the way Elizabeth has”

    This is much the same feelings I get from reading really good lesbian erotisism.

    • A literal redundancy or metaphor?

      Elizabeth cleverly played some jeux de mots and double entendre with the andouillette. Heh heh! 😉

      I, on the other hand, would totally see the artist as influencing, but separtate from my enjoyment of their art.

      I think there actually could be something to this and differences between the male and female brain and how it processes. Either that, or is has something to do with field dependence and field independence and which way a person tends to process information in those terms. I know I will always go the gestalt path if given the opportunity!

      This is much the same feelings I get from reading really good lesbian erotisism.

      LOL!! Well there ya go.

      Thanks for stopping by, Ken. Take care.

  6. Sounds like you had a great evening and lucky you getting to eat all those people! One of the advantages of being in Paris… SIGH…. Not to mention it all took place in WH Smith…. ANOTHER SIGH… Did you or anyone who attended happen to spot if they sold Cadbury’s Creme Eggs by anychance?

    “I think one of my only disappointments about the book is that, given the current problems with my body and food, cooking and eating most of the 60+ recipes is out of the question. I’m hoping that maybe preparing the Fennel Salad on pages 58-59 will work…”
    I now know what you mean Karin… Courage. I have now spent 5 whole days avoiding certain types of food and it is hard work. Maybe you can share some recipes on here?

    Isn’t it funny how you can connect to people online and then how we all wonder what they are like in real life? I loved reading Sion’s Exapt Focus interview as I’d been reading her blog for a while and disovering the “real” person was so much fun. Especially when I saw that she was someone who I can really connect to (and what a fabulous story too!).

    Anyway, I’m off to order the book now! Thanks for letting us know about it!

    • Piglet! Hello there. Okay, was this a bit of a Freudian typo? “lucky you getting to eat all those people!” *giggle* I loved reading that. I felt like the wicked witch in the house in the woods in Hansel and Gretel for a moment. Hee hee! I think we both have food on the brain, mmmm? LOL.

      Yes, yes, and yes they had Cadbury Creme Eggs there. Do you need some?

      Dear, what foods are you having to avoid these days? I know you spoke (well, wrote) of needing to. It has been a while since I have posted a “what I am eating these days” post. I will share some recipes again. Thing is, honestly, I am not combining a lot of foods together, so I have been avoiding recipes, if that makes sense. I just cook a lot of single ingredient foods and eat them. I thought of you last night as I cooked some duck breast. I was aiming for just wee bit pink but undercooked it, kind of Frenchie style, and it was too rare for me. I did try it that way, though. It was not bad, not horrible, but I have decided I really do like it *cooked*!

      Anyways, let me know what foods you are not eating and I will see if I have any good ideas for you, okay?

      Isn’t it funny how you can connect to people online and then how we all wonder what they are like in real life?

      It is. So far, I have had very good luck with meeting people who are as they appear on screen, although there have been some exceptions. What is *really* strange is reading blogs from people you have known for four or five years and then meeting them for the first time face-to-face!! To know some of the secrets of their heart yet not remember where they work or what kind of job they have when you meet them is kind of strange, lol. I love it, though, and it is so cool the way that the Web can connect like-minded people.

      Enjoy the book, Piglet, and hang in there with the food stuff, okay?

  7. frogsandmen

    looks like you had fun. rue de rivoli is really weird at night…..

    a bientot
    the paris food blague

    • Hi!! 🙂

      It was fun. I agree: compared to the crazy daytime, the rue de Rivoli is really strange — so empty, and not much happeneing. It kind of reminds me of Washington DC, although there would be those that argue not much happens in the daytime there, either, hahaha.

      I was just on your blog, too! Tee hee! 😀
      See you later.

  8. Paul

    What a well-written blog, m’dear! Fun, personal, interesting and a great critique. i can’t wait until you get a book published so i can write about your book signing!



    PS Hmm, i noticed you didn’t share what time you got back home with your readership…

    • Thank you, sweetie. 🙂 “…write about your book signing…” *snort* *blush* Yeah, that would be cool, but it seems like a pipe dream right now. Who knows. If the Muse takes me there, then I would gladly go.

      PS Hmm, i noticed you didn’t share what time you got back home with your readership…

      LATE!!! LOL. It is amazing just how much girls can yak when we get together, lol. Thank you for your patience with my night owl ways when it comes to hanging with girlfriends in Paris. 🙂

  9. This was so interesting. You made me feel that I was right there with you and your friends. What fun! I am definitely going to purchase the book now.

    • I’m so glad you liked this post, Vivianne, and that I could make you feel like you had been there was a goal of mine, so I am really glad to know I was successful! I hope you enjoy the book, and I am sure Elizabeth would be most pleased by your purchase! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  10. Pocketful of Shells

    Yay to the sisterhood!!

    I’m so glad that you are living life so fully, sis.

    And Tuileries! I remember!! Ooooh!

    • Sistah’s rule! 😉 Those days when I manage to find a fuller life for myself here certainly are good ones. For sure. And they help give me momentum to making *every* day a fulfilling one.

      Tuileries! It’s calling you. Please come baaaaack, it is whispering in your ear, trying to seduce you back on a plane. Is it working?? 😀

  11. Carole

    “So far, I have had very good luck with meeting people who are as they appear on screen, although there have been some exceptions.” I can’t wait for someone to write that book: bloggers who aren’t what they seem. LOL! I suppose we have all had these experiences, but it sure is jarring.

    Your evening sounds lovely and what a kind offer of Elizabeth. I suspect she is more than up for the challenge.

    I can’t wait until you get a book published so I can go to the signing. 🙂

    • Hi Carole!

      I bet I could get Elizabeth into a pretty cool sequel with making up allergenic recipes, eh?? It’s true, though, gluten-free recipes for baked goods is HOT right now. I am absolutely sure she would be up to the task. Elizabeth is a Wonder Woman (and I mean that nicely, lol — sometimes Wonder Women make me cranky at my own shortcomings, but Elizabeth is too nice to make me cranky like that). I don’t think I would be up for the task, but who knows. Maybe I could do the Ghetto Version of a recipe book/memoir, lol.

      I did just plant a ghetto garden the other morning. I want to do a another post about it, but here is a photo for now:

      Oh heck. Technical difficulties with retrieving the photos at the moment, but I will put it here in a short while!

      Take care, Carole!

    • Oh and I didn’t want to forget this: “I can’t wait until you get a book published so I can go to the signing.” *blush* Thank you. 🙂 It would be cool if I could lake that a reality! 🙂 Maybe you can give my Muse a holla and ask her to inspire me as to the best way to go about that! 🙂

      • Is this going to be written in french??

      • Ken:

        No. Hahahaha! Okay, maybe, if I am still here when I am 90 because it is going to take me another 48 years to learn how to write French properly. By that time, too, who knows: I may be in India or something. 😀

  12. Miss T

    ok, ok, I’ll buy the book! sheeeeesh!!
    oh, AND move to Paris! (or New York, which is actually my dream!)

    • I started a reply to this! Where did it go??? Hang on…

    • Miss T,

      I dropped off the planet yesterday on this comment! 🙂 I don’t know what it was that distracted me, but I am back, finally.

      I think you will like the book. Maybe it will inspire you to move to NY! If you do move there, can I visit you?

  13. Karin,
    I am on a mission to help you with your food intolerances….give me all the specifics and I will come up with recipes so that you do not need to feel left out at book signings 😉

    I understand what you mean, all the French books I’ve been reading revolve around the culinary world…..which is why I too have a draw to France. There is a lot of info in Denver on Celiacs and Gluten Free Diets. Maybe I can find some extra info although I am sure you are the expert of what you are going through.

    I took Lunch In Paris out at the library, but did not have the chance to read it because I have 20 other books going at the same time….I’m a little ADD I’m convinced…lol! I will get back to it soon, but I do enjoy her blog.

    So nice that you got to hang with the girls and meet Carol & Elizabeth in person. Blogging really opens up so many avenues of connections across the world.
    Have a good weekend my fellow Denverite 🙂

    • Corine,

      Hey there! Thank you for the offer to come up with recipes! The specifics are really hard to explain right now. What’s been most frustrating about the food stuff is that the intolerances/sensitivities keep changing for me. If I eat too much of any one thing, I sensitize to it. I have been trying to cobble together a kind of rotation, but what I can actually eat is still very much in flux and always changing. So, for example, for a while there, I was eating all kinds of onions all the time with no problems. I’d been having the gas, though, remember? I finally cut out onions and other stuff (leeks, shallots, etc.) last week, and this week added onions in one day again. Boom. It was the onions causing havoc. So, onions are a problem now and I have to avoid them for a couple of months (or longer?) before eating them again so that the immune cells that have been triggered will die off. It has to do with mast cells is what the latest research is indicating — why this kind of sensitization happens. But, even doctors are trying to scramble to know how and why food intolerance happens, and they mostly just have theories, still — no concrete studies. However, the variables are also so difficult to control, making studies pretty much impossible.

      I have to say, though, you could probably make a mint focusing on some gluten-free recipes and making up a cookbook right now! There are a lot of people who have gluten-free cooking and baking sites on the web that are doing so.

      I wish it were as easy for me to just stay gluten-free and that is it. But when diary, wheat, rice, corn, eggs and sugar are all off the menu, it is hard to come up with a cookie or something like that to eat. I just tried a recipe that my friend Janet came up with using buckwheat flour, arrowroot flour, water, margarine and sugar (I went ahead and used organic pure cane sugar, but I reduced it to half and used a couple TBS of maple syrup) and they baked up into a biscotti-like cookie/biscuit. They weren’t bad and I blew through them in two days… LOL. Part of it is that I just need to stay away from baked goods in general. I get into this weird cycle of craving, especially when sugar is involved.

      I know you will really like EB’s book when you get around to it! The library is a wonderful place. Happy reading!

      I hope you have a good weekend, too, Corine. Enjoy that Colorado spring for me & I hope to read another post at your blog soon! 🙂

      • CO Spring is a foot of snow right now….

      • YIKES! A foot, eh! Yeah, I guess that IS springtime in Colorado, huh, lol!

      • Looking outside you would not know it was the first day of Spring.

        Back to your dietic restrictions, can you have oils, salts, herbs,seafood, any meats (bison, lamb), etc. I am really going to focus on some things for you so that you don’t feel like your food it too bland. Also a lot of people use Agave to sweeten things instead of sugar. What about fruit restrictions? Let me know.
        I love nutrition and I helped a guy out with his Colitis so I would love to pitch into your cause out of friendship. I don’t really care about making the “mint” LOL!

      • Hi Corine! I heard from my kids that the snow started to melt on Sunday. 🙂 Already back in the 60s and the bright sun taking care of that (hopefully) last spring snow. March is Colorado’s snowiest month! So I guess it is to be expected.

        About the food stuff, I will send you an email about it, okay? It’s so kind of you to want to lend a hand. Thanks!

      • Hi Corine! I heard from my kids that the snow started to melt on Sunday. Already back in the 60s and the bright sun taking care of that (hopefully) last spring snow. March is Colorado’s snowiest month! So I guess it is to be expected.

        About the food stuff, I will send you an email about it, okay? It’s so kind of you to want to lend a hand. Thanks!

  14. Okay! Here is a little preview of GHETTO GARDENING:

    Ghetto Gardening 06

    From L to R: there is a sprouted shallot, the onion, and the garlic I planted last fall, in an off-the-cuff fashion. It was a “I wonder if this sprouted garlic bulb will take in the window box” moment where I just shoved it in the dirt to see what would happen. It’s grown! 🙂

  15. So you met Carol! So did I, but not at the same place!

    Thanks for this full and detailed report – again! I went to see Elisabeth’s blog.

    I wonder how many Americans you are in Paris? You have a good chance to meet some compatriots and you have obviously managed to find quite a few!

    Yes, poor you, it must be frustrating to read about all this good stuff and not be able to enjoy it – at least not all!

    • I heard from Carol you also got to meet with her, too. 🙂 I’m glad you checked out Elizabeth’s blog.

      I wonder how many Americans you are in Paris?

      I have tried fruitless searches on this very topic, and have not turned up much. I also have a friend who works at the Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in the library there. One of her jobs is to find information in periodicals and so on about just these kinds of things. She said she would let me know if she ever runs across any data about the numbers of American expats in Paris.

      Hey — there is an idea — would you like to go to check out that museum sometime soon? I have been meaning to and not done it yet. Have you been there already? Let me know if you are interested!

      As for the last part, I am having a “good week” so far with it all (the food stuff) so I am taking it in stride. I also have been a little more flexible lately with actually eating some frites and they seem to be settling well. Funny how a little fried potato can do one a bit of good, lol.

      Be well, Peter! Hope to see you again soon! 🙂

  16. tess

    Karin, I had a great time last week! I very much appreciated Elizabeth’s reading and am impatient to start her book once I finish moving apartments. It was lots of fun chatting at l’Imperial afterwards too and I didn’t even see the time fly by. Looking forward to the next meet-up! 🙂

    • I’m so very glad you and Natalie could be there, Tess! Thanks for the props on the “garden” (I have to blog about that soon) and I hope to see you this week to help you move.

      Much love & light to you!

  17. tess

    What cute little garden, by the way!

  18. Have just discovered your blog – and so frustrated that I didn’t get a chance to meet you (and the other blogueuses) at Elizabeth’s reading! I think I was sitting one or two rows in front of you.
    Hopefully there will be another chance!

    • Hi res ipsa! I saw you on Elizabeth Bard’s blog. 🙂 I am so glad you came bymy blog, and yes, it is too bad we did not connect in person that night. Wasn’t it fun, though? I hope there will be another chance, too. Maybe we will have to take our own chance and set up a Blog Meet Up when the weather gets really nice.

      Hope to see you again soon.

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  21. I just bought her book this month and I’m annoyed to see I missed her speak!!! I always miss the good ones. Sounds like she was very interesting. I forgot you know Sion!! Just saw her Friday night.

    Okay, I need to catch the next signing.

    • Awwww, darnit!! Elizabeth was a delightful presenter of her book, so yes, I hope you get to see her one of these days at a signing. 🙂

      I hope to know Sion better — that signing was our first meeting F2F, but I have been checking out her blog for almost as long as she’s been writing it. I love her writing. 🙂 Maybe one of these days we’ll be attending her book signing, eh? I hope so.

      Take care, Lindsey!

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  23. Just for my own record, and to share with anyone else who stumbles on this post, there is a wonderful interview with Elizabeth here:

    I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will, too!

  24. Marilyn Rivas

    Loved your comments on Elizabeth. I am currently reading this book and so enjoying it. Have been to Paris but for too short a time to truely get into the nooks and crannies as Elizabeth has done. She is bringing it and the food alive through her writing.

    • Thank you, Marilyn! Her book is as delightful as she is in person. I love it when you can tell what a person writes is *exactly* as they are. Sure, there’s editing, lol — not everything about a person gets put on the page. But you can tell that Elizabeth has integrity in that “what you read is what you get,” and there is harmony between how she lives and how she represents that life on the page. I respect that so very much. I hope you can come back to Paris one day and experience those “nooks and crannies” as you wish!

  25. Nice post Karin. I just finished the book and loved it too. Re. your allergies, I have some gluten/dairy/egg free recipes on my blog if you want to check them out ( Good luck. FrenchTornado

    • Hello, French Tornado! So glad that you stopped by to read the blog, and to send me to yours, too! I really appreciate the recipes: one can never have too many of those. 🙂 How nice, too, to read about a French Expat living in the US. It’s nice to know the opposite of my own situation exists and that there are people writing about it! Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed reading Lunch in Paris also. Elizabeth appreciates it as well, I am sure. Take care!

  26. Kay

    i wanted to tell you how much i have enjoyed your book!
    i can relate to some of your stories about paris. i was fortunate to visit paris about five years ago and i had a wonderful time while i was there. i think that you are a very talented writer.

    • Hi Kay,

      Actually, I am not Elizabeth, I’m Karin, and I wrote this blog post because I had a chance to get to know Elizabeth a little bit while she was living here in Paris. I was an early reader of her blog before her book Lunch in Paris was published, and then I went to her book signing at WH Smith here in Paris in March of 2010, which is what this post reports on. Elizabeth’s blog is here:, if you would like to write a note to her there!

      Wasn’t Elizabeth’s book a good one, though? She is indeed a talented writer.

      Thanks for reading this post!
      Paris Karin (an alien parisienne)

  27. I loved this book and glad to find your blog as I think in a parallel life, I am a Parisienne as well 🙂

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