September 23, 2012

The Essence of Anglophone Community

Activities for Anglophones: WICE Open House

Taste Wine ... Admire Art
La rentrée in France is a time to reconvene with friends after exciting summer adventures or the empty quiet (almost!) of Paris in August. WICE celebrates this return to lively activity with its annual Open House each year.

Join us on Tuesday, September 25 from 2–6 pm. The WICE community (members, instructors, volunteers), friends of WICE, and those new to Paris (or to WICE) will rendez-vous at the American Church for all kinds of fun. Be our guest for the student art exhibit, silent auction, conversation groups (French and English), painting and embroidery demonstrations, photo fun with costumes, test of your language skills, and wine tasting—all free for our guests. Meet new friends and enjoy an afternoon of refreshments and learning.

Pick up New Recipes ... and Taste
You can also find out more about the WICE autumn course schedule, filled with our popular cooking, wine tasting, perfume, and photography courses, as well as new classes in film, printmaking, fashion, acting, travel writing, visits to the Hotel de Ville and the Sorbonne, science fiction writing, jewelry making, drawing, arrondissement walks, sculpting with wire and paper, flash fiction, and special Expat survival courses. Something for everyone. Fun ... and lifelong learning.

See you on Tuesday. Bring family and friends. It's a rentrée fête!

American Church
65 Quai d'Orsay 75007

RER: Pont de l'Alma
63 Bus
Metro: Invalides

Photos and Post by Meredith Mullins 

September 12, 2012

Catch a Quetsche Plum ... If You Can

Photo at the Rungis Market by Françoise Meunier
The lovely quetsche plum is usually in season in late August and September. They can be eaten raw or cooked in tartes and compotes. They can also be used to make jam or plum alcohol. The quetsche is most widely grown in the northeast of France, but like the Mirabelle plum, it can be grown all over France.

We're at the tail end of the season now, but it's worth the effort to track down these interesting members of the plum family.

A trip to Jeanette's mother-in-law's house?
Jeanette Dardel, our wine tasting director (and sometimes cooking class helper), and WICE's fearless cooking instructor, Françoise Deberdt-Meunier, are both loyal fans. Jeanette watched her French mother-in-law whip up a simple dessert, by arranging quetsche plum halves in a pastry-lined tarte tin and putting a sugar cube on top of each plum half (bake at 180 C for 40 minutes). And Françoise provides the (also easy) recipe below.

Bon appétit!

Quetsche compote with cinnamon and red wine
Recipe for 4/ cooking time 10 minutes
600 grams quetsches
6 tablespoons red wine

Wash the quetsches and cut them in half. Remove the pit and place them in a saucepan. Add ½ stick cinnamon (crushed) as well as ¼ teaspoon powdered cinnamon. Add the red wine and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low. Cook 10 minutes. Remove the lid and pour into a compote pot and serve warm or chilled, accompanied by a cookie. Quetsches are sweet enough to not require any added sugar. For children, replace the wine with 2 tablespoons water!

This dessert can be served in individual compote pots accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Yum, yum!

Thank you Jeanette and Françoise for this post.

Join us for the upcoming WICE cooking classes. Françoise is an amazing teacher and always has special tips that even experienced cooks find new and helpful. For more info, click here.

September 4, 2012

Fireworks of Saint-Cloud (Le Grand Feu de Saint-Cloud)

Photo by Meredith Mullins
If you missed the Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day) fireworks, don't despair. Yes, they were beautiful— especially accompanied by a Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (Bee Gees forever!) and reflected in the swirling disco ball hanging from the Tour Eiffel. And who can resist sharing the evening with so many thousands of folks celebrating freedom on the Champs de Mars ... and then racing for the jam-packed metros so there's no long walk home?

But ... there's another, even better, chance to experience the true artistry of pyrotechnics. Every year, on the second Saturday of September, the Parc Saint-Cloud hosts the largest fireworks extravaganza in Europe. For 2012, that's THIS Saturday (September 8).

You can get tickets online through FNAC (10,000 seats ... or a spot to relax on the lawn). Prices range from 26 to 78 euros. Or become a VIP and go for the special seats, which also include champagne, open bar, and dinatoire (285 to 325 euros).

Quatorze Juillet 2012 (© Mullins)
The fireworks last nearly two hours (three times longer than Fête Nationale!) ... a symphony of light and sound like no other. An exploding sky. Shooting stars. Fluttering sparkles. Rockets red glare.  A show that truly deserves the title of spectacle. And a perfect way to welcome us all back to Paris.

For more info, click here.

Post by Meredith Mullins