When you can't hop on a plane to Paris, reading can be the next best thing. Lunch in Paris, a Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard, is a delightful escape sprinkled with entertaining observations. For example, be careful how you use the word plaisir, unless you intend to imply something sexual. Twilight (No, not the blockbuster film!), when shops turn on their lights and steam starts to fog café windows, implies a hint of danger. The French call it entre chien et loup, between the dog and the wolf. Being romantic, I prefer to think of it as le cinq à sept, that difficult-to-account-for time after work when lovers tryst.
Ready for a taste of Paris beyond your imagination? Bard offers mouth-watering recipes at the end of every chapter. (For devotees, check out the newer ones on her website!) "Student" Charlotte, oven-roasted pork ribs with honey, individual molten chocolate cakes, and whole fish baked in sea salt, seem manageable. Other yummy entries, such as scallops with champagne custard, and salmon with fennel compote in a puff pastry crust sound more elaborate. In any case, you'll be tempted to sample some of these French dishes.
Is a trip to Paris on your Christmas list? Better Homes and Gardens is giving away $8,000 in their All I Want for Christmas Sweepstakes, which ought to cover a dazzling getaway. You're going to want to enter.
Voilà - the link to Better Homes and Gardens' All I Want for Christmas Sweepstakes: