Monday, August 3, 2009


As I wrapped up my last Paris post shortly before taking of for Myrtle Beach, I realized I would have Paris blogging withdrawal!

In fact, I'm still having Paris withdrawal, one month later, which may be one reason why on the last day of the Tour de France as they rode through Paris I kept saying to Rick inane things like "I passed that one the bus a lot of times!" and "everything is much farther apart than it looks."

I was distressed when they didn't spend enough time showing the landmarks I'd so recently experienced, and I realized that I may have to cave in and buy a Rick Steves DVD or revisit movies like "Funny Face" (in which Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn are so delightful, you really don't need to have been to Paris to appreciate it.)

You don't even need to appreciate fashion to enjoy it. (Though the Astaire character is based on Richard Avedon, who staged the fashion scenes.)

You might want to like musicals, although with Kay Thompson, Fred Astaire and Audrey, maybe it doesn't really matter!

But if you appreciate all or any of the above (not to mention a lovely Gershwin score), then it's highly recommended!

Well, with Paris a beautiful memory, what will I blog about now?

Readers of Chopsticks and String will note that I am throwing caution to the wind and saying I didn't particularly enjoy a Hemingway book I read earlier this summer. So, if you're a book fan, you can check it out! The photo below is a clue.
And, I thought I'd share with you my recent cooking exploits. About a year ago, my aunt Iris died and late last month, my cousin John brought back her ashes to be with her husband and the rest of the gang.

John and Pat came the night before, as did the Cleveland contingent, so we cooked out and while Rick handled the meat, I handled the two salads and pie.

Two of those salads I've included in the Gypsy before. You can find the Confetti Orzo salad here. It's a family favorite.

Look for Rick's blueberry birthday pie here. It takes 5 minutes to prepare, 40 to bake. (Sometimes it doesn't quite come out like pie -- more like blueberry crisp in a graham cracker crust -- at least before it's chilled. Doesn't matter. Works for me.

But thanks to my beloved subscription to "Eating Well," I found a series of fabulous recipes for classics that have cut-down fat. The broccoli/bacon salad was a hit both with the family and with the birthday party gang.

I made a few additions and substitutions. Instead of bacon, I used proscuitto, which I separated and nuked on paper towel for 4 minutes so it's crisp. It's far less fat than the bacon and has a better taste -- equally salty, but with a slightly deeper flavor.)

Variation 2: Add a good handful of julienned or finely chopped fresh basil.

Variation 3: Use walnuts or almonds.

(Of course, all of these things change the nutritional content, which is 89 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving. I also recommend doubling it for more than six.)


  1. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the Paris blogs,but I enjoy all your blog posts so I'm sure you'll come up with more to blog about. Looking forward to hearing about Myrtle Beach.

  2. Did you mention the movie "Charade" -- it's a fabulous Audrey Hepburn one, set in Paris. Impossible to describe how great it is! A chase scene in the colonade of the Palais Royale.

  3. YUM...time to get my butt in the kitchen !!

  4. It looks more like you're still decompressing from the trip. A huge experience like that can really take time to process.

  5. I will have withdrawal symptoms from your Paris blogs I am sure - I love your vision and look forward to your future blogs. Just loved Audrey - she is my idol :)

  6. I am definitely going to try the proscuitto hint.


  7. I knew I would be having withdrawal from your Paris posts too...sniff...sniff....but ahhh the memories and images you've shared have been lovely!!!

    Thank you for sharing these recipes, I am off to check out the orso salad and pie!

    We enjoyed a trip to Myrtle Beach a couple of summers ago, the Brookgreen (I think it was called) sculpture garden was such a delight among other things

  8. I love Avadon photos. Such classics. That pie/crisp looks so good. Tiz the season!

  9. I loved your Paris blog posts, too. But you have to come home sometime, don't you? Sigh! Food always makes a good post!


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