Every spring Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond get together and organize a huge French film festival. This year they screened over 15 full-length feature films and a dozen or so short films. Impressive! For each feature film they bring over either the director or a principal actor to talk about the film a bit before it starts, then do a question/answer session afterwards.
A pass for the festival is a little pricey at $115 ($65 for students), but you can also buy individual tickets 30 minutes before the film starts for $15. Another bonus is that the festival is held at the historic Byrd Theatre in Carytown. This was our first time seeing a movie there – gorgeous! The only downside is the seats must be original because, well, let’s just say you can feel the springs.
James and I decided to see Attila Marcel, and while it wasn’t our favorite French movie ever, it was actually quite good. Attila Marcel the story of a man in his 30s, Paul, who witnessed his parents death at the age of 2, and then became mute. He lives in Paris with his two aunts and meets an eccentric neighbor who helps him remember his parents and what happened to them. It sounds a bit sad, but the overall theme of the movie is quite happy. The main character, Guillaume Gouix, is also in the super popular (and terrifying) French TV series, Les Revenants. (If you’re into thriller/scifi things, I’ve heard they’re doing a similar series in the US called Resurrection.)
I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!
When we lived in Paris we opted for ice cream bûche de Noël from Picard. Not necessarily traditional, but soooo yummy! This year we decided we’d bring a little of the tradition back and try our hand at making the homemade cake version.
I searched online and finally settled on this recipe, basically because it calls for a cream cheese filling instead of whipped cream. Oui! The cake isn’t all that hard to make, just a little time consuming. Do make sure to generously grease the pan and the waxed paper. I thought I’d gone a little overboard, and it actually could’ve used more!
For the filling, I would recommend a thick layer and going almost all the way to the edge. We left the suggested 1 inch and it seemed like a bit much. The cake itself isn’t that sweet (or moist) so I feel like having more of the filling really helps.
James and I made the cake together one morning, but he gets all of the decorating credit! Isn’t it amazing! He cut off a couple inches of one end to make the little stump and then used more cream cheese icing to cover the entire cake. He sprinkled on some powdered sugar and green sprinkles, and voila, parfait!
Not too far from Dijon you’ll find the quaint medieval village of Semur-en-Auxois. Built on a bluff and more than half encircled by the Armançon river, Semur-en-Auxois makes for a wonderful day of wandering cobblestone streets and tasting the delicious food and wine of the Burgundy region. Continue reading
One of our favorite wedding presents so far is this fabulous crepe pan. It may not look like anything fancy, but it is so much better than using a regular skillet!
We pour in about a 1/3 cup of batter (I always use this simple recipe that makes great savory and sweet crepes), coat the pan, wait a couple of minutes and flip (my MIL gave us this wooden crepe turner and it it wonderful as well). They turn out great every time!
I also love it for making pancakes, omelettes, and egg sandwiches. Highly recommended!
(One of the Amazon reviewers said that the Teflon flaked off easily, and I have not seen this happen at all. We do wash it by hand though, so that could make a difference.)
Over the past few years I’ve learned some hard lessons on taking day-trips in France. Here’s a bit of advice to help you avoid doing the same! Continue reading