On a recent Saturday, Mon Mari and I pulled together an easy, simple petit déjeuner français. One of the most overwhelming things about the pandemic and quarantine for me is not knowing when and if life as we know if will ever go back to normal. Being stuck at home, feeling like I cannot go anywhere without posing a risk to my own health and that of others, makes me feel impotent and out of control (which I really hate).
But instead of feeling scared and longing for something I cannot have right now (an anniversary trip to Paris, say), I decided to bring Paris to me. I recently co-hostessed a French dinner party at home – maintenant, it is time for the most important meal of the day.
A Parisian-Style Breakfast Chez Nous
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Bringing a little French flair into the home is easy. To create a Parisian breakfast, we laid out the following :
- Croissants (chocolate for me, bien sûr, and almond for Mon Mari)
- Cherries (les cerises are très popular in France, as are other stone fruits like plums and apricots)
- Orange juice or, better yet, homemade Orangina!
- Really good coffee (an homage to Ina Garten)
To make it fancy, I set the table with my grandmother’s vintage Lenox china from the 1950s and lit a couple of tea lights in some repurposed yogurt pots (oh là là!). One of my favorite Pandora stations, French Cafe Radio, playing softly in the background almost convinced me I was back in Paris.
Y’all, it was delicious. Every single thing: the croissant, the juice, the music, the mood. And, in dedication to the pleasure principle, I enjoyed every bite of my authentic pain au chocolat (puff pastry rectangle filled with chocolate sticks) without worrying or feeling guilty. Life is too short! It’s the weekend and I was looking forward to a tasty treat in all of its buttery, chocolately, flaky goodness.
To create a fun and festive Parisian breakfast at home, consider:
- Food. Find French-style pastries or baguettes, fruits, and cheeses at your grocery, deli, or co-op, within reason and within your budget, bien sûr.
- Drinks. Upgrade your juice game by mixing two juices together or mix in sparkling water. Make a pot of tea or indulge in a strong café au lait.
- Music. Explore French music on paid streaming services like Pandora (French Cafe Radio and 60s French Pop Radio are gems) and Spotify or for free on Youtube. I like Maître Gims, a French-Congolege singer, right now.
- Table. Add flowers, candles, cloth napkins, and dressy plates (china or paper plates – whatever works!) to add charm and whimsy.
How would you recreate your favorite place at home?
Merci for reading and please subscribe and share!
À votre santé,