Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France by Ethel Brennan & Sara Remington
Reviewed by: Samantha Kinkade
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: April 2013
Part cookbook, part travelogue adventure, Paris to Provence is, quite simply, mouthwatering. The vintage photos splayed between pages of powdered sugar dusted beignets and lemon sorbet are almost as tantalizing as the recipes themselves. But, it is sisters Ethel & Sara that make this beautiful book shine. Their unpretentious writing transplanted me from my Wisconsin kitchen to a bustling Parisian bakery in less time than it took to spread chocolate-y hazelnut crème on a sweet baguette.
Beginning with an introduction by the authors in their own words and visions of France from a child’s eye, Paris to Provence is captivating. And it’s a cookbook! These two really know how to hook a reader!
Each recipe is simple, concise, easy to follow, and accompanied by the most scrumptious memories Ethel & Sara could possibly conjure.
With contents sorted by memories, chapters read:
Cafés and Bistros
Meals with Friends
Delicious photos bring the book to life – it was impossible to narrow down what to make first!
Les Soldats: Soft-Boiled Eggs and Fresh Asparagus Spears
“How special our eggs looked in their own little porcelain containers…” – Sara
I have only had soft boiled eggs once. I found the entire experience brilliantly magical so I was drawn to this recipe immediately. Not overly complicated, it’s a good start to feeling very much like you’re sitting at a wrought iron café table overlooking a crowded farmers market. A dainty egg tucked into a vintage eggcup paired with deep green asparagus tips. Delicious!
Beignets: Fresh Donuts
“As kids, we used to blow the powdered sugar on each other; the beautiful snowy mound was there to be played with…” – Sara
Seriously now, who doesn’t like an elegant fried pastry? These are no exception. Straightforward directions make the at-home-method less daunting. Delightful!
Citron Givre: Sorbet-Filled Lemons
“Next to push-up popsicles this was haute cuisine, and its elegance and sophistication seemed out of place on the menu board…” – Ethel
First of all, the photo that accompanies this recipe made me squeal with delight. Hollowed out and chilled lemons overflowing with tangy sorbet – who can resist that?
A simple dessert you could whip together for a summer picnic. But, elegant enough to cleanse the palette after a formal dinner. So chic!
All in all, Paris to Provence is a wonderfully creative cookbook. I was so surprised by its contents and I cannot wait to get back in the kitchen.
Rated G: Scrumptious treats for all ages!
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!