Posts Tagged With: traveling gluten-free

Le Puits de Légumes & Ladurée


After a bit of a dry spell on this blog as far as photos and locations/adventures in Paris, you will be pleased to read that I had a very long and busy weekend, and have photos to show for it.

Saturday, 17 October, my friend Tess and I went on another Saturday luncheon adventure. Tess, wanting to celebrate an early release from a prison of a temp job that had her waking up at 2:30 each morning to be at work by 4 am, and me, to celebrate a month, cig-free, met up at Métro Jussieu in the 5th arrondissement to once again eat lunch at Le Puits de Légumes. Continue reading

Categories: Life in Paris, Paris Adventures, Paris Dining Gluten-Free | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Return From Canada

I’ve been sitting on thoughts of posting to this blog for over a week now. PJ and I returned from our Canada adventure two weeks ago tomorrow, and I have postponed (procrastinated, lol) writing here as I have just not been sure what strategy to take in summing the adventure up, especially from a gluten-free (and sugar and yeast-free) perspective!

A lot happened in three weeks that was very, very good. I had a lot of worries about whether or not the food and snacks I packed for the journey from Paris to Detroit and then north to Cumming Lake would make it through airport security and customs/immigration  — I’m glad to report that everything did. I’m happy that I made it though security, customs and immigration, too, both into the States and Canada! All went well on that end.

I am also happy to report that I was able to stick to gluten-free, low-sugar, and yeast-free foods while I was in remote Ontario, thanks to the help from PJ’s mom and sister. They were great blessings in helping me to do this.

I did have ill health while I was there, though, and still had flare-ups of symptoms, including getting a virus that started in my sinuses and went straight to my bronchial tubes. I also struggled (still) with my chronic yeast infection. My immune system was definitely challenged by the trip. The challenge with this was so great that I came to a deep resolution that I have to quit smoking. (“Duh!” you say. I know, I know. But knowing with one’s head what is good for him or her is different than really feeling it to the ground and knowing that deep change needs to arrive. It was the same with me and resolving to be gluten- and sugar-free. These things sometimes take time to really go “Ding!” in our heads, you know?)

Anyways, since coming home to Paris (without a hitch, I’m also glad to report), I have been working on cutting way back from being a pack-a-day smoker to on average 6-7 a day. I have set the 21st of September as a final “Quit Day.” I’m using the same mental strategies to put smoking away in my life just as I did gluten and sugar.

I am uploading photos to Flickr as I type, and I welcome you to visit those photos via my Flickr widget here on this page! I have not added descriptions there yet, but hope to.

On one of the social networks I belong to and also blog at, one of my good friends there was writing about how she would like to live a simpler life. She wrote the following:

Part of me wishes I could run away to a place like that [a remote, simple place]. I think everyone has those moments of fantasy when going to an extreme feels like the most amazing thing that could happen. There’s something inside me that wishes I could live in a small house that used mud and straw for insulation, where my daughter would play outside with views of a mountain range rather than a 6 foot wooden fence. As much as I love TV, part of me wishes I could throw the damn machine out the window and rediscover the joys inside old novels, crossword puzzle books, and my own notebooks full of ideas. At night, I want to hear crickets and wind and nothing else–no cars, no trains, no creaks that lead my mind to thinking someone outside is breaking in to rape and kill me. It would be liberating to give away everything I own and be free of all material attachments. Buddha said, “You only lose what you cling to,” and that quote has been in my mind for weeks. I cling to so much, so many things that are so unimportant in the grand scheme.

Her words sum up a lot of what spending time at the cottage at Cumming Lake is like. It is simple in terms of a way of being. Most things to distract are removed there, and there is the fun of rowing a canoe, doing a crossword or a 1,000 piece puzzle, or taking time out to journal in an actual notebook, with handwriting (imagine that!!). Yes, it is hard work to keep everything going smoothly, from buying food in the closest town, Thessalon, and getting it to the cottage, to making sure the boats have gasoline, to keeping everything  in good working order at the cottage. But there is satisfaction in doing tasks to support the fun and relaxation in being “away from it all” and I see why PJ’s family keeps it as a precious part of their lives each summer and have done so for the past 41 years.

Now my life in Paris has resumed, along with school for youth here in France and other parts of the world. It feels to me like a new year has come — the beginning of a school year, the change in the weather, which feels more like autumn, with passing into a time where this time last year I was in Paris, and I now have Paris memories in my past instead of everything being new. I can now say, “This time last year, I was doing X in Paris,” or “I remember Y in Paris from last year…” It is a strange sensation to have fully moved into my second year here and it has become more like home, even while I still, most days, feel like an Alien.

I already have some more Parisian adventures on which to blog! I recently made gluten-free lentil pancakes, successfully. The batter is essentially soaked and processed lentils and rice. I also went out with my friend Tess to an oxygen bar in the 2nd arrondissement, and had a pigeon jump up and sit on my knee in the Jardin des Tuileries! This past Sunday I went, with Parisians and tourists alike to the Louvre on Free Sunday (the first Sunday of the month offers free admission to many of Paris’ museums). Now that I am past the writer’s block of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” I hope to share these and more adventures as I have them here.

Until then, be well. I leave you with one of my favorite photos I took this summer.

Sunrise, Lake Cumming (with what I believe is Venus up in the early morning sky)


Categories: Personal Life | Tags: , , , ,

Bois de Boulonge

My last post was a bit long, I decided, lol. I love the way WordPress allows one to track from where folks are coming to visit: I got looks from web searches on the Canauxrama, Marion Cotillard, and the movie “Whatever Works.” I realized though if I were someone who was looking for information on these things, they would  have to *really* search my posts to come up with the info… Anyway, it reminded me that brevity in posts is often good. I will try. Not making any promises as I am not Hemingway (Proust or Dostoyevsky is more like it, as I like to say), but I will try.


PJ and I are going out of town like all good Parisians do in July or August for the vacances. Apparently, Paris pretty much shuts down in August, but I have never been here to witness this! 🙂 Here’s where we are going:




Beautiful, yes. But it’s remote. No electricity, three full weeks of being separated from my life-saving Internet, photography, Flickr, and blogging! Eek! There is a fridge running on propane and hot running water, too, and yes, it will be a challenge for me on a physical level (with eating the way I do out of my comfortable environment I have created for myself here in Paris) and an emotional/spiritual level (OMG, I am going to just have to BE a whole lot… Sometimes just being with ourselves and our thoughts produces anxiety, eh?).

I’ve been worried about traveling and eating gluten-free, but have been on searching on the web at a variety of  sites on this topic, especially to the blog of the wonderful Tiffany Janes at the Examiner (in my blogroll and here), and have amassed ideas on how to handle this. A little more on that in a moment with another recipe I have tried from Elana’s Pantry.

Anyway, THIS IS MY LAST POST FOR THE COMING MONTH. I will not be able to keep up the posts while in Canada, so even though this blog is in its nascency, it is going on hiatus for a bit. Full report when I return about how it all went.


The heart of this post, however, is the trip I took to the Bois de Boulongne on Saturday, 25 July with my friend, Tess. I’ve got the whole story posted on Flickr, too, but I am reprinting it here.


It sounded interesting! I’d read about it in an old French textbook of PJ’s and thought, “Why not?”


Google Map Paris

The Parc Bois de Boulonge is just to the west of the Boulevard Périphérique, which is the freeway encircling Paris proper. The 19th arr. (upper right of the map) is where I am living.

Google Maps Satellite Paris

On Saturday, 25 July, I met my friend, Tess, in order to have a picnic lunch in the Parc Bois de Boulonge in Western Paris.

The Wikipedia article here: gives a lot of information about the park, including its size, location, and historical background.

We met at the Métro stop La Muette on Line 9, and headed west on the Chausée de la Muette and then through the Jardin du Ranelagh (
and… — in french, but has some nice photos), where we saw a statue dedicated to Jean de La Fontaine,, France’s answer to Aesop. We turned north on to Avenue Raphaël and headed to the Place de Colombie.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge

At the Place de Colombie, just near the Porte de la Muette on the east side of the park (towards the middle of the park, north-to-south), there was a monument (trying to find out of what… but no luck so far. I will check my other photos. Obviously it’s something military-oriented!). We crossed the Périphérique (which Tess told me is pronounced a little like “Perry Ferr -eeek!” or also – as I saw it in my mind’s eye – “Perry Fairy-eek” and had me giggling), the highway that rings Paris. We saw a Velib station (bikes for rent as a city-wide program in Paris) and a beautiful butterfly (live) on the path we were on. Also there were some lovely lilacs. It was magical to cross the Périphérique and into a natural setting!

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge1

“Bois,” I learned, in French means “forest” and it is a forest-like park. There is a very tall variety of pine here. They look a bit like lodgepoles, but they are taller and have different kinds of branches. They were interesting to take photos of because of their height and the silhouettes created by the partially-cloudy weather we experienced.

Bikes are for rent at the park at stands such as in the photo, and the rates are reasonable. Boats for rowing can also be rented.

We came to a large map of the park and a listing of all the places to go. There are “mini parks” within the park, and we were headed to the Pré Catalan (6 on the map), which means the Catalan Field.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge2

The arrondissement that borders lot of the park is the 16th, the same arrondissement containing the Eiffel Tower. It was visible to the east of us, and I got a couple of photos of the top of it in the distance. A path lines the entire of the largest lake in the park (there are a few). A pontoon boat ferried passengers to a restaurant we passed on our walk to get to the Pré Catalan.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge3

It was a beautiful walk on the way to the section of the park where we wanted to have lunch! A family of ducks was enjoying the water, and flowers were everywhere! In the bottom-right photo, there were what looked like wild blackberries growing. They are red in the photo here, but there were some dark purple berries, too, that were more ripe and looked most like blackberries.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge4

We were headed for the section of the Pré Catalan that contained the Jardin Shakespeare. There is an outdoor theater here where plays, especially Shakespeare, are performed. It’s Paris’ version of “Shakespeare in the Park.”

This section of the park also had a children’s playground in addition to pretty floral beds arranged at various points in the park.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge5

Here is the ticket kiosk for the Shakespeare Theater, a poster to advertise an upcoming play, and the entrance to the theater. It was closed when we arrived, but Tess read that from 2-4 Monday to Friday (maybe just in the summer?) it is open to look at. The map pf the theater is on the right. There are different stages and sections of this theater, too. There is more information in French on the history of the theater — the photo on the left is duplicated in this set as a single photo, so if you want to try out your language skills, you can go to that individual photo and read. The bottom right picture is a photo-of-a-photo from a poster showing previous performances.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge6

There were lots of flowers and lots of busy bees collecting nectar.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge7

LUNCH! I brought gluten-free fare: a salad with chicken, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and for dressing I poured a little coconut milk over the top and added some tamari sauce and ground pepper. I threw some brown rice on the salad, too. Also pictured are some sugar-free, flour-free macaroons I made (see previous blog here:… (look under the header TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY).

We were joined by an earthworm that looked to be about 6-7″ long and a little green bug. 🙂

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge8

After a leisurely lunch, we headed for the restrooms. They were housed in a cute little gingerbread-look cottage in front of which was a fabulous thistle plant and other plants and flowers, too.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge9

I had to take photos of les toilettes!! This was typical of French public toilets in that the stools were behind doors one can lock with one common sink in the toilet “lobby” (lol – lacking a better word). What cracked me up was that there was a men’s urinal just to the other side of the sink, behind the tiled wall, basically out in the open. I was a bit panicked someone might come to use it while I washed my hands. That would have flustered me… The toilets were very clean and there were two for women (another one is to the left of the open door, but not pictured in this photo). Clean, accessible, and free toilets can be hard to come by in Paris, and is often how I get really dehydrated when out on adventures. I refuse to get such a full bladder than finding les toilettes is necessary. One of the anxieties I still have about the city: where to go and pee…

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge10

Tess and I stopped to take photos of one another. People, mostly elderly, were sitting and enjoying the very comfortable day (not too hot and not too cool), and we came upon another family of ducks, babies and mothers.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge11

We headed north of our original point of entry to the park towards the exit closest to M° Porte Dauphine. On the way out, we saw more people rowboating, jogging, and relaxing, and more very tall trees. We also passed one of the locations to rent rowboats.

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge12

Tess and I parted at Porte Dauphine. She took the RER C to get back home, and I took Line 2 from Porte Dauphine (one of the origin points of Line 2) all the way back to the 19th. In the middle left photo, you can see one of the original-style Métro entrances/exits. There is one other like this in Paris, on Line 12 at M° Abbesses in the 18th. The Métro was virtually empty, and it was easy for me to get a seat on a car and sit all the way back home! (See other individual photos of the empty Métro cars on Flickr in the set entitled “Bois de Boulongne.”)

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge13

On Sunday, 26 July, I decided the oven needed a good cleaning! It wasn’t until after I’d started that I decided to take some before and after shots, so I don’t have any photos of how grungy the oven door had become. But what resulted was a shiny, clean oven, still a little “used looking” in places, but much cleaner than before!

I also wanted to take a photo of a little teapot I found when my son was visiting, one to have for one day when it may just be a memory — it already has a crack in the handle. I purchased it for just 6 € here:

Porcelaines MP Samie
45 Av General LeClerc
75014 Paris

They had a whole selection of porcelain goods for sale and it was a great store in which to browse!

2009 July 25 - Bois de Boulonge14


Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free

In an effort to try out recipes for snacks I can bring on my trip to Canada (for food on the plane and in the 8 hour car ride to our destination), I decided to try this sesame cookie recipe from Elana’s Pantry: SESAME COOKIES.

Here are my adaptations to her recipe in which she uses agave nectar. I’m still not doing well with fructose, glucose, and sucrose, so I adapted this recipe by adding an organic egg (I can do eggs in small amounts) and a teaspoon of ground stevia leaf, the green stuff, in place of the agave syrup and they came out very acceptable! I write “acceptable” as they were not very sweet, more savory with the stevia not being super-sweet in the amount I used, and I used unroasted (raw) sesame tahini, which has a slight bit of bitter bite to it when used in cookies. The bite remained after I first baked them (I had one after they had cooled about 10 minutes) but the ones that were left the following day (! not many were, lol) had mellowed with their bite somewhat. Either that or my tastebuds became immune to it with each subsequent cookie.

I’m hoping to try these again using maple syrup as I will be experimenting with my tolerance to it next, and I have a feeling they will be even better, but if there is anyone out there who needs to stay totally sugar-free (no sucrose, fructose, etc.), these do bake up all right using a teaspoon of stevia leaf and an egg!


(Mine are not as pretty as hers… LOL. But still, they were tasty!)

OVER AND OUT until I am back from Canada!

Categories: Gluten-Free Recipes, Paris Adventures, Personal Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

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