Wednesday, March 12, 2008

7 Simple Pleasures of a Country French Kitchen

"Venez chez moi" (come to my house), my favorite words
to hear, when in France. If there is an antique collector/
culture curious/design addict/ visual junkies equivalent
to Epcot, it has to be receiving an invitation to someones
home to experience peu un plus savoir vivre in France!
I only wish I could purchase memory sticks for my mind.
Notebooks, journals, cameras, all those external aiding
devices, I have, but I find them void of substance, lacking
in the power of emotions . I tend to forget most
things that don't create an altered mental state.
(natural mind you)
I've seen my share of movies, turned the pages of many
a book, but I have to tell you, most are like junk in
my trunk. Don't get me wrong, there are always nuggets
of information I try to store away, but I could not tell
you the title of the last movie I watched. I think I use
them more for escapism or when I want to go blank.
There is nothing more gratifying to me than living

real life and making conscious decisions about the
memories that go into my data bank.
What I have found is that I like to surround myself
at home and in my shop with those memories,
those things that spark emotion. They are
life's simple pleasures and they just happen to be

I have this desire to totally immerse myself in the Country French way of life. To be invited into their home is the ultimate treat. I want to see how the twine is tied on the fresh laurel hanging above the stove, feel the basket that stores the garlic, brush the barnacles from the moules, admire the patina on the tart board and fetch the wine from la cave.
To let my mind dance to the music of crystal clinging while singing Sante's and Bon Appetite. To let the texture of the monogrammed linens guide my fingertips. And oh, how I love the guilty pleasure of getting bread crumbs on the table.
To watch how the use of an ordinary knife becomes an art form in the hands of a French person (and all this time I thought they were just for spreading butter and cutting meat). Fork held, tines down, to pierce the delicacies of the season.
And the beautiful pottery spun from the earths clay...they actually use it.
A plateau of the regions fromage guarantees another

lesson in French pronunciation.
(Did you know France has over 400 types of cheese)?
So many wonderful experiences.

By this time I'm usually ready for a shot of espresso, but I do prefer to eat my chocolate with red wine. That's a marriage made in heaven!

An evening finished with a digestif. I like having a digestif
because there is always a lot to digest!
A little Eau de Vie never hurt anyone.
I think a lot of us Americans want a Country French kitchen.
Listed below are 7 Simple Accessories that can add a
Country French touch to your kitchen and give simple pleasure.
1. Baskets Wire, wood, wicker, great to display the seasons best
2. Trays Necessary for the aperitif
3. Tart Board For tartes and fromage
4. Pottery Glazed pottery, the large pouring bowls
like the one pictured above were actually used on farms to
catch rain water. They are great for cooking and display!
5. Potted Herbs A wonderful touch and useful
6. Garlic Press A good metal press, not the plastic kind
7. Corkscrew Buy a nice corkscrew. I particularly like the
ones made from petrified vines. PS. I do sell them.
Now all you need are family and friends to share it with!

And if you can spring for the French Chef, give him a call.
That's my friend Gregoire above from

Wishing you wonderful memories


Mélanie said...

Thank you for sharing you passion of France and its way of life.
You are the best ambassador we can even imagine !
GREAT POST about gastronomie

My Melange said...

I am always torn between a country French and an Italian kitchen. I think I have a bit of both..and it works for me! Guess you can call it eclectic European ;) Lovely photos!!!

Devonia said...

Shawn, you never fail to take me away. The best time for me to dream is when my husband is at work; otherwise, he reminds me, "we live in a Dallas suburb." But the dream goes on - and out the French kitchen window, I see fields of.....

Katy said...

Beautiful! This brought back memories from my trip to France.

Lisa Wilson (& Alfie!) at The Pickled Hutch said...

Hello Shawn,
A beautiful entry. I sometimes feel the photo's I take and the notebook entries I make are like diluted wine compared to the actual experience of the moment. My recall is prompted through those tools but never as rich. I know what you mean about the way the french wield a simple knife around food. It's truly artistic.
Lisa & Alfie

Deserae said...

Great post....makes me want to take a trip to France asap! *sigh* I don't think that is gonna happen anytime soon though! I'm off to look for something very French to add to my have inspired me :o)

Villa Anna said...

Shawn, what are you doing in Kentucky?! You should be living in Provence :)

Thank you for painting such a beautiful picture. I do try to create my own little piece of France at home in suburban Sydney. I find even having copper pots and pans add a touch of France to my kitchen.

Anna :)

Jen r. said...

You have such lovely thing on your blog!
Jen R

Elizabeth said...

Hi Shawn,

Oh, how I am so homesick for Europe after viewing your photos! I just can't stand it! And your daughter-in-law is just beautiful! Your blog is my little "trip to Europe" when I need to get away for a little bit.

ehomee said...


french country furniture said...

Great post and let me add great soundtrack! Absolutely superb!

Dibs said...

Hello - You have a lovely Blog, and the music is great too.

I am running a blog event called The Kitchen Treausre Hunt. Wanted to invite you to participate. The details are provided here...