What I Brought Back from Paris

Besides coming back five pounds heavier, a dress size bigger, and with more than 1000 pictures on my camera, I brought back some little gifts for the house that I thought were really authentic to the French culture. Of course I went shopping for myself as well. Along with buying a vintage YSL clutch, new comtoir des contenniers dress on sale, vintage leather shorts from Kiliwatch, loafers that I wear every day, a vintage army jacket from the Vietnam era,  and a couple scarves, I also picked up some other affordable gifts to bring home to the parents. Something I got really caught up in while spending a month in Paris was learning about Hemingway’s life in Paris’s Latin Quarter. I came across his apartment and bought his memoir A Moveable Feast in the little bookstore right below it. I thought it was the perfect gift to give my book-reading father. I also went to Shakespeare & Co and picked up Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, the book that really distinguished Hemingway as a novelist. I think books are great gifts. They are personal and something that lasts forever. In the marché I picked up some of my favorite cheeses that I got vacuumed sealed so I can safely take it on the plane with me. I bought compté, brie, and a hard goat cheese ball that is great for sticking in the oven, letting it soften and putting it over a salad. At least that’s how I ate it at a restaurant in Chelsea, London. There is also ground coffee I also purchased at the market. I bought a traditional French Roast and something a little more fun, Brownie, Hazelnut, and Almond flavored coffee. I’m on my last two tablespoons–best coffee I’ve ever had. Then when I was on Ile Sainte Louis (yes, Paris has two little islands) I picked up some olive oil soaps from La Maison du Savon de Marseilles. There must have been at least 50 different scented and colored soaps. And last but not least is Basil Olive Oil, world’s tastiest creation. I had it on salad with Fine Herbes and could not get enough that I had to buy both just to make in in the States.

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