Blast from the Past

I’m currently on the brink of another visit to Aix-en-Provence and I’m reminded of one of the major reasons I enjoy visiting France so much—particularly out of season. AFour years ago, I took a trip to Germany and Switzerland with an all-male entourage of two...

13 Ways to Celebrate Christmas

 Madame Renoir pulled out a tray full of Calisson d’Aix cookies. “I have much still from the réveillon,” she said, indicating the pale oval cookies. “You are familiar, yes?” Maggie nodded. “The réveillon. That’s the thirteen desserts, right? The ones everyone eats on...

When did our food all start to taste the same?

A young French friend of mine did an advertising internship at my ad agency a few years back. During that time she used to say the food she ate in the States tasted “like it had been dipped in caramel.” She didn’t mean that in a good way in case you love caramel. She...

Pushing Pause Mid-Bite

One of the ongoing scenarios that I take pains to describe in the France-set mystery series I write is the one where people make a big deal about sitting down together and breaking bread. Food is important to the French so dining is a BFD in all its forms–at...

An open love letter to the city of Aix-en-Provence

In my mind, Aix-en-Provence is a city created for the way people should live. Should really live. I am finishing up a too-fast week in Aix but I feel pretty confident in my statement. Now it’s true I’m probably inadvertently, unavoidably comparing it to the city I’m...