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    coquette, speaking of food, i was wondering your opinion of Mireille Guiliano's new book, "French Women Don't Get Fat." the basic thesis is that the french's attitude towards and appreciate of food is what makes them thinner than americans, even if they do eat a lot of chocolate, cream, etc. it's received quite a lot of press in america lately. can you comment at all on what you think of the differences between american and french women and their approaches towards food?

    I have been trying to tell my mom that she needs to get a vacuum sealer, if only to be able to send me cookies/cakes/etc. My mom can bake like no other, and while I can bake reasonably well, my cookies don't hold a candle to hers. So a vacuum sealer is definitely in order. Maybe for her next birthday (I realize it would be more of a present for me, but we'll just pretend...).

    Ahh, Le Mans is an interesting town! I really like all the farming villages surrounding it :)
    How convenient to have your cousin just across the hall - it's just like having a takeaway joint across the hall!
    (I heard last night was a blast - I'll definitely try to make the next one ! Anywhere there are mixed beverages is the place for me, heh!)

    What a wonderful story and I must say that my husband's family does the same for us when we go to visit Pontarlier. They send us back with a little cooler with all the goodies that we love from the region (comté, saucisse de morteau...) and perhaps it is the french way?Oh, the frozen loaf of bread in the freezer... it happens at our house (!) grace a mon mari. Trust me, it's saved me many mornings, too.

    Beets and stinky goat cheese, get thee to the store, girl!

    So what did you end up having for breakfast?? ;)

    I'm lucky that my husband's mother is such a great cook, otherwise I'd be missing home a whole lot more. I'm... more miles away than I'd like to think! There's kind of a big puddle keeping me from seeing them on the weekends.

    In fact, we're going there for a hearty family meal in an hour! Now if I can get the hubby to get ready! "Yes honey, I'm ready to go, just need to put my shoes on" he says while sitting in his underpants on the sofa. ;)

    Ah, this is exactly what I miss from home! I never left my grandmother's house (I lived two hours away) without a sack full of homemade goodies. What I wouldn't give for some of her homemade chicken and dumplings right now!

    Beets and stinky goat cheese...is that how you keep your figure? Please go shopping, I am feeling bad for you...and I shouldn't. You are in France, and I am not.

    I went to Paris last month and occasionally visit Le Touquet. The french are really thin considering they eat all those baguettes!

    Oh man, you are making me hungry!

    Cute new design!

    They only care packages that my son's interested in right now are the kind that fit in his wallet. :)

    Enjoyed the mention of the Peugeot "white knuckle ride". I've had way too many of those countryside rollercoaster rides - always, of course, with french drivers at the wheel. BTW, what are the new speeding laws there? I haven't heard.

    In response to Catherine's comment, I haven't read Mireille Guiliano's book, but I feel strongly about this subject and am compelled to respond. I think it boils down to this. The difference in the french approach to food is that they:

    1. Eat REGULAR meals ... on a REGULAR schedule ... 3 times a day ... rain or shine.

    2. Do NOT SNACK in between meals.

    3. Take their TIME eating and truly do APPRECIATE and SAVOR their food. It is what they know. It is what they do. It is their culture. They linger at the table. Family and friends are integral in the process. And quality of food ranks much higher than quantity.

    4. Last, but not least, they walk. Their life style often forces them to walk, and they also CHOOSE to walk. They WALK, WALK, WALK. And if they don't walk, they bicycle.

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