I live in hope – hope that the right combination of circumstances will make me French. Until then, I gather bits of knowledge and hoard pieces of French life. With the holiday season upon us, odds are that entertaining will be a part of the festivities. Eileen W. Johnson’s Entertaining in the French Style, is full of lush photographs by Brie Williams that are enough to tempt even a confirmed misanthrope like me to iron the table linens and polish the silver. Most of the homes featured did not rely on perfection or expense to create a welcoming setting, but rather on charm and a keen eye for arranging everyday objects with grace. In addition to evocative photographs, you’ll find tempting recipes, such as Roast Loin of Pork with Potatoes and Apples, Plum Clafouti, and Vin d’Orange. At the back is a resource section with handy addresses if you want to replicate French style in your home.
Today’s expression, le B.A.-BA (luh bay ah bah) replicates the sounds that children make when sounding out syllables as they learn to read. It’s used to refer to the first principles of something; we’d say “the ABCs” of a task. With this book to guide me, I feel a little more French already.