une horloge
un pèlerin


French chef dvd In DVD: Julia Child - The French Chef. Features include printable recipes from Julia Child's classic The French Chef Cookbook, and a bilbliography. More info here.

facultatif, tive (fa-kewl-tah-teef, teev) adjective

  1. optional, voluntary

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Today I share my belle-mère's* stuffing recipe. Instead of presenting it in a logical recipe-type format, I am including the actual letter she wrote to her son (which, she would add, was scratched down in a very haphazard fashion) along with a rough translation. As for weights and measures you'll just have to do as my belle-mère does: cuisiner au pif (cook by guesswork). It works brilliantly for her :-)  Volunteers who might like to help translate this recipe into English, thank you for using the comments box, here.

The letter begins:

"Mon chéri,

Je t'envoie donc la recette de la farce.

Mettre le foie de la dinde + 2 ou 3 foies de volaille dans le saladier + le gésier + le porc haché (300 g) avec veau haché (300 g) ou jambon cru avec échalotes (3 ou 4), ail (3 gousses), et persil.

Tu peux mettre des marrons, des champignons (cèpes ou morilles, on en trouve en bocal séché). Il faut les tremper 1 heure dans de l'eau tiède, et ensuite bien égoutter et rincer.

En premier tu trempes le pain dans du lait que tu ajouteras à la farce avec un oeuf, un bouillon cube que tu fais fondre dans un peu d'eau chaude.

Facultatif: cognac 2 à 3 cuillères à soupe. Ça relève.

Préchauffer le four 1/2 heure avant à 230°C.

Tout bien mélanger la farce il faut qu'elle soit lisse. Mettre dans la dinde et coudre. Prévoir du fil fort pour coudre avec une aiguille.
Cuire la dinde au début à 230°C, arroser et surveiller...."

*References: la belle-mère (f) = mother-in-law

I Know How To Cook The bible of French home cooking, Je Sais Cuisiner, has sold over 6 million copies since it was first published in 1932. It is a household must-have, and a well-thumbed copy can be found in kitchens throughout France. Its author, Ginette Mathiot, published more than 30 recipe books in her lifetime, and this is her magnum opus. It's now available for the first time in English as I Know How to Cook. With more than 1,400 easy-to-follow recipes for every occasion, it is an authoritative compendium of every classic French dish, from croque monsieur to cassoulet. 


French oven
French oven by Creuset made of enameled cast iron. See customer reviews for this classic cooker, here.


A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety