French footsteps in the snow.

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enneigé (eh-neh-zhay) adjective

    : snowbound, snowy

A Day in a Dog's Life...
By Smokey Dokey

This is my dear maman (a.k.a. "Braise" [BREZ, like PEZ—the candy—and we LOVE bonbons don't we?!]).

She is a true-life angelun ange de neige!

She is the bravest soul that I know: she once saved my life.

To boot, she knows how to organize her day and, on her to-do list—or liste des choses à faire—she never forgets to pencil in "play". Here she is teaching me how to make angels in the snow...



...As for my other mom, or the "bipedal primate having language and ability to make and use complex tools"*...

As for that one... she is a work in progress (bless her heart—not everyone can be a snow saint). Here she is, in the following video, trying to spread her wings—and break into bucolic broadcasting:

[Note: after hours of trying to upload her video, my "bi-pedal" mom a.k.a. "Kristin" failed... so much for a primate's ability to use complex tools.]

Back to breaking in to broadcasting—we'll continue to try to upload this video... meantime Kristin will continue to try to break into something in 2010... what with Grandma Jules coaching her, how could she not:

Just break "AND RUN WITH IT!" Grandma Jules cheers...

Whatever "it" is, these ticklish, ficklish femmes—would-be hellions were it not for saving grace—never know: for isn't that how life is: just when we think we have something in our hot little hands—we fumble... and let it go. And why? Because we are always following our nose.)

Enough philos-oh-fille.

Love (and remember to forgive others, as we dogs do),
P.S.: See the full version of this film in Saturday's Cinema Verite!

Leave Smokey a comment, here.

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French Vocabulary & Audio File: Listen to my 14-year-old son, Max, pronounce the following words: Download WAV or MP3

Puisqu'on était enneigé, je n'ai pas pu aller à l'école.
Because we were snowed in, I could not go to school.

enneigé = snowed in

la maman (f) = mom

Braise = ("Braise" means "Brittany" (in Breton) — it also means "ember"

un bonbon (m) = candy

un ange de neige (m) = snow angel

une liste des choses à faire = "To Do" list

* definition of homosapien from onelook.com

Exercises in French Phonics Exercises in French Phonics, bestseller by Francis W. Nachtman, on French pronunciation and how to pronouce French words correctly!

French Demystified: A Self - Teaching Guide

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany

Learn French In A Hurry: Grasp the Basics of Français Tout de Suite

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Bill in St. Paul

Great video, Smokey, but Grandma K kind of hogged the show and didn't let you do much talking or let you show us your skills (like eating jambon in one bite).

Also, Smokey, you should pay close attention to your mother showing you how to play. Playing is a VERY important part of being a Golden. If I remember correctly it's 75% of your grade to become an adult Golden (the other 25% is the ability to look cute, concerned, interested, or bored). So practice making those anges de neige until you can do them with the most wiggling possible!

Pat Cargill

As usual, FWAD has started my morning with smiles AND laugher. You wield a mean chef's knife, my Dear, and your cooking companion was most attentive (and well behaved, didn't try to eat the ingredients when your back was turned!) I was unable to hear what you were saying (echos) but I LOVED the video! Aren't those oignons just a blast to peel!!! Thanks, K, for starting 2010 with your new endeavor: Kookin' w/Kristin--Kool and Krafty, meals in desperate situations, comme enneige.

From a still cold in the 20's last night - but may reach 40 today-Roanoke, Va.

Catherine Burnett

Thank you for the wonderful photos of the snow! My bi-pedal mom grumbles when it snows (she's from AZ and has not acclimated to cold weather, whatever that means), but I love to run and jump and make anges de neige, just like you and Braise! The only thing I don't like is when the snow gets stuck between my toes and in the soft golden fur on my belly. Then the towel and brush come out, and I undergo another grooming session.

My bi-pedal dad is in Toulouse this week, and he said that he's never seen this much snow in Europe. Wish I were there to play with you and Braise!
Love, Bijou

Liz Merson

Smokey,tu as des quatre pieds.
Est-ce que que tu es
nomme quadrapedal?


So truly French, to be cooking with your dog at the cutting board! Thanks for the good recipe!


Smokey, you are growing up to be a fine and kind young man, especialement pour ton maman!

Johnette LaBorde

Bon matin ! I found your blog just recently and love love love getting it! I took my first trip to Paris in Septmeber - but lifelong dream is go to southern France-I live in south Louisiana and come from a very French NOT cajun french- family- I grew up in a small town with parents et granparents who spoke French to me-
tout les jours-I watched you on this video( by the way- it cuts off after you finish cutting the onion so I never saw the rest- but did you know there is a much easier way to cut onions? just cut both ends off- cut in half and the skin is so much easier to take off!
I am trying to plan atrip to the Provence area next year- my bosses former husband has a chateau there and conducts a week of cooking classes..
eh bien...thank you for your beautiful pictures andentertaining blogs- j'aime les chiens!
Sulphur LA( on I-10between Houston and New Orleans)

Suzanne, Monroe Township, NJ

The photos of Braise frolicking in the snow are delightful! I'll have to watch the video later, Kristin, since I am sans headphones on the train so I will save this for my lunch time break.

Catherine, you have a dog named Bijou? So do we. She is a one and a half year old Westie and she truly is a jewel shepherding our 14 year old arthritic Westie, Mr. Darcy. Bijou makes certain Mr. Darcy doesn't lose his way outside, finds the opening in the sliding door instead of banging into the glass, watches him while he sleeps ... a little guardian angel. And yes, like Braise, Bijou LOVES the snow.

Diane Scott

What a delightfully fun post, Kristin! Pat, I love your suggested alliterative title -- perfect. And don't desperate times mean desperate measures -- moldy onions and all!

Victoria Pipes

Hello my french amies. I am Hunter roi chien, in Soquel california, and my mom reads your notes everyday. I am so happy you are feeling better, we were very worried. My mom is an artist and makes things with me in it, in her work in clay....I am worshipped. ! woof. I am a big english setter with white and orange spots. Talk to ya later, Hunter and Vicki

Candy in SW KS

Quand il neige, mon grand chien (le Husky qui s'appelle Huck) adore etre en dehors! Mais ma petite caniche(qui s'appelle CoCo - nomme apres CoCo Chanel!) adore etre "chien d'apartement"! Huck aimerait bien jouer avec Smokey et Braise - ou peut-etre il preferait etre dans la cuisine avec Kristin! C'etait la que tu me trouverais. Mmmmmm . . . L'essence de l'oignon - et du chien mouille! :) (I wish I knew how to make accent marks! ZUT!)

Sue Johnpeter

I hope Smokey enjoyed his leftovers...He deserves them for being the best pup.

Christine Jackson

Loved the video! Not so sure about the mold and penicillin - ha! My husband would throw away the entire onion. Jean-Mark cracks me up. I love his gusto for life.


That was terrific! Smokey did a great job of watching you prepare the meal. Looks like lots of fun for both of you. The poodles can't help me cook like that. They try to grab the food. Georgie and Gordy are very good at making sure any spills on the floor are cleaned up (except for onions).

Jules Greer

Darling Smokey,

This is a wonderful post - how fun to see all of these photo's and now a video. It's a good thing that Kristi now has you to talk to and play with, we tend to forget that she is really stranded out there in the tundra of vines with only her immediate family to keep her company. I happen to know that Kristi has had that fabulous camera since last April, it has taken her this long to roundup her courage to go public. We must all remember it took her years and years to finally put up a profile photo on her blog...then many more years before she started showing everyone what she really looked like with more and more photo's. It's obvious that Kristi truly trust's her friends at FWAD now or she wouldn't put herself out like this.

As everyone can now see, Kristi doesn't have a clue about what she is doing in the kitchen...the family has always indulged her because she is so sincere with her efforts. Now that she is feeling safe we can all help her along on this new adventure. Johnette, thanks for your tip to Kristi, won't it be fun to help her along this new path.

Personally I think Kristi should get out into the villages and vineyards and interview all of the locals on camera. What a great way this would be to learn French.

Also as time passes we can all help with tips, it breaks my heart to see Kristi chopping onions on a table whose height is just a few inches above her knees. I guess I am just being a Mom and all of this can be worked out in the future.

Smokey - please tell Kristi to take her camera down to that darling butchers shop and show us around...he was so cute.



Diane Scott

P.S. Should the culinary provisions for the Espinasses become scarcer, if the enneige family becomes even more enneiged, may I suggest to Chef Kristi a chiffonade of the shrub behind her in the video, accompanied by a crisp white?

Diane Scott

Jules, video interviews of the neighbors is a wonderful idea!! Let's start with M. Delhomme. I loved his philosophy of wine -- better than water! Obviously, after comment #3 from me,you all can see that I have been thoroughly invigorated and inspired by Kristin's newest form of communication. (That, and, I must admit, I am thoroughly bored with the case I am working on.) But, yes, let's do encourage Kristin with this more intimate endeavor!


Diane, Mom, Friends -- thanks for the encouragement! The lentil soup turned out "fade" (insipide). Win some, lose some. Not sure if I have the courage to head out on the street to interview the natives; will just keep putting one foot in front of the other and see what happens in 2010.

Best wishes to all, from Smokey-Doo, too!

P.S.: The needed "6th" ingredient that would've saved the soup: GARLIC!



Comme tu es sage ! :-) Perhaps you will inspire your maman to do a cooking blog like the one in Julie & Julia!

Amuse-toi bien dans la neige avec la famille !

Diane Scott

D'accord. We will be patient!

J-P Paducci

Holy smokes, Smokey! The next time your chef de cuisine cuts off the "pourriture noble" from an onion, please lick off the knife before she proceeds. That way she won't cross-contaminate. Pourriture noble is essential in making such lush whites as Muscat de Beames de Venise, not so much with soups.

Tell your chef that if she puts the onion in the freezer for 10 minutes (or refrigerator for 1 hour) your eyes, being so close to the cutting board, are less likely to water due to the allyl sulphide that is released. Also, a very sharp knife helps.

When my wife and I and our 96kg St. Bernard lived in Grenoble during the 90s, Lieutenant was in charge of the mise en place before dinner prep. His reward was clean-up, provided he didn't drool. Suggest this idea to the chef.

Keep mugging for the camera, Smokester.


Cher Smokey,
Thank you for the wonderful cooking session. I will make that soup since lentils are my absolute favorite (but did not know about salmon with lentils). I see you were giving such unnoticeable silent instructions to your human mom who followed perfectly. Mille mercis! Kisses to you and your two moms!



Love your website! Your sense of humor is so refreshing.
Used "au pif' with my teenage daughters the other day to counter their comments such as "random"(said with a sing-song teen girl tone):)
Bon Matin,
Loretta, Woodstock, Georgia, USA


Smokey, this video made my day, both because you make an adorable and engaging sous-chef and because Kristin's laid-back improvisatory style is a refreshing alternative to the breathless & slick US Food Network cooking shows!! I can scarcely express the wabi-sabi-esque joy I feel at seeing Kristin shaving the skin from a moldy onion, sans souci. It's *tremendous* to see someone being herself and having fun with what is on hand--that's what most of life is about, enneigé ou non! Très bien fait!

Cathy from Ashland, OR

ah tres bien. Mon premier commentaire. Vous allez fille ! J'ai aimé ceci. Smokey est adorable.
I think "hey I could do that", and major kudos to you for trying it...keep going.
You look great on camera and once you get used to it you'll be fine. Look into it more when talking.

Naturellement you'll have your creative spirit (créateur d'esprit) lead you along.

Merci for making my mornings so enjoyable and connected to FRANCE!!!

joie  carmel,ca

The dogs frolicking in the snow was precious...so much fun. And the video was hysterical. Unfortunately I somehow turned off the sound and can't seem to get it back on yet, so I will have to view it again. How can Smokey be SO good about not grabbing the ?bacon(meat)? Most dogs would have had it and headed out the door....well puppies anyway.


I loved this post and video. You are both so cute :)

Robert Haine

I Can see it now, the title of your next book: "The Joy of Provençal cooking, with left-overs, after having been snowed-in, overseas vacation, with nothing left in the cupboard but lentils, a moldy onion, and a couple slices of ham, with the aid of a very cute dog"!
Think it would sell?

Michelle C.

Bonjour Kristine, So nice to have a the sound of a voice and moving pics of you and Smokey to go along with your daily blogs. I think I was expecting you to have a bit of a French accent, since you've been there so long surrounded by the language. But you sound completely American! I look forward to much more of these videos. You are a natural!
Its sunny and ccccccccold here in Rhode Island.

Susan Cleaves

Hello Kristi,
This is a wonderful post!! So great to see the real you. After all the years reading your blog, it is great to see so many more pictures of you and the family recently. And the video is just the best yet. I hope you will continue them. I loved your short-lived recipe/cooking blog of a few years ago. And when I started reading your blog, Jackie and Max were very young. I love seeing how beautifully they are maturing.

Give your doggies a big hug from us here. My little poodley boys, Zach and Cha Cha (13 and 7 lbs), love to hear the adventures of their French friends. My little Cha Cha loves to watch me cooking too. He has almost no tail because of an unfortunate accident that happened just before I found him in our local Shelter, so when he wags his tail, I think he compensates by wagging his whole body. He'd be wagging up a storm if I let him help me cut up bacon. Smokey is so nice and calm for a puppy.

The best to all of you there. Hoping for more videos. It's a "chilly" 65 here in LA, after being 81 on Monday. We actually had a few drops of rain last night!

Much love, Suzy

Susan Cleaves

I'm back again Kristi. I forgot to say that I agree with your Mom and others and would love to see more of the local people in your pictures and video's especially. I loved the pictures of the man selling Santons at the Flea Market. Oh, and what kind of camera did you use for the video?


Hey Smokey....

How much fun is it at YOUR house...YOU MOVIE STAR YOU! Snow angels and cooking lessons where you can NEARLY taste that jambon...just have to reach out a...LITTLE MORE... for that packet and then... RUN AWAY!!! But you have such good manners...perhaps I could pick up a hint or two if your send some more movies out this way! I also love to HELP around the house with the DUSTER on a stick...here you can do this too...just grab the fluffy end in your teeth and SHAKE your head and RUN for it...really good if your get up close to GRANDMA K's legs...I am a little short so my Grandma can here me come TAPPING on the floor BEHIND her...HOUSEWORK is such FUN!!!


Tully xx
(the fluffy maltie)


PS Juila Childs...move over!!



Christine Dashper

Oh Smokey, lovely to see you on video, you truly have a good heart...and great self control to sit so well during the prep.

Kristin, go girl, that was so lovely and entertaining to watch. Keep warm and enjoy the snow and keep up the cooking demos!

amicalement :)

Karen - Maryland, USA

Smokey - you handsome boy - YOU LOOK MAHvelous!! AND you are a fantastic side-kick to chef mommy Kristin. You are so well behaved too - I wouldn't have ANY problems with you putting your paws on the table either. I hope you got the best part of the jambon because those lentils probably wouldn't have agreed with you.

Can't wait to see the remainder of this cooking tease of an episode! I had mes chiens watch this video and they can't wait to see you again.

Jacqui McCargar

Dear Smokey, I wish I had some snow to play in...sigh...I have plenty of fur and it looks like soooo much fun! My sister Soleil and my adopted brother Brulee would like it too! I am pretty small (we're Pomeranians)and I might get lost if it's too deep, can you help me if I do?? I will watch Grandma K's video with my bi-pedal Mom and report back...have fun in the snow! I'm jealous! Je T'aime


Bravo, Smokey! What a bon chien to sit there without touching le jambon (even when Kristin left you alone at the table).

Kristin, I agree with your mother. Someday you must take your camera throughout the village and shopkeepers and neighbors. But bravo to you, too, for turning the camera on yourself. I know how hard that is to do. And finally, garlic improves everything!

Mike & Michele

Un chien qui joue dans la neige! C'est magnifique!

Eileen deCamp

Hi Smokey and Kristin,
Smokey what a good boy you are! You sat in the chair and didn't try to eat the jambon!


Smokey is adorable and so well behaved as a French dog always is. Loved the video - such fun to see and hear you. I'm off to Scottsdale tomorrow and wish it had been when you were in Phoenix.

Jules Greer

Kristi Honey - call me right now. XOXO MOM

Diane Marie Samson

How this reminds me of my childhood days in upstate New York, of being snowed in--no school, building snow forts, having snowball fights, making snow angels, being drenched with snow down our boots, and coming inside to hot cocoa and cookies. That was a good life!

Diane Marie Samson

And Smokey, dogs were ALWAYS involved in these activities--not the cocoa--but in everything else. They especially loved sitting on top of the tall snowbanks, playing King of the World!

la voisine

Quel plaisir de te voir sur la vidéo, comme j'ai ri en voyant la tête de Smokey quand tu as ouvert le paquet de jambon de Bayonne !


I especially loved hearing Max pronounce les mot d'aujourd'hui!!


Salut Kriti! et bien sur, Smokey et Braise (??Breizh)
Que je serai vachement heureuse s'il neigera ici en Australie Occidentale! Aujourd'hui: 34deg C. Le weekend: 42 C.
J'adore les photo du chien et la neige ...Mon chien, Honey, fait comme ca sur l'herbe ici. C'est le plaisir de gratter le dos!!
Lesley-Ann et Honey

Alison Litton

We love your human mama's French Word-A-Day and I just learned about your doggie tale posts! I've been studying French and find I'm learning more French language and about the French countryside by reading your posts and emails (I stumbled upon your book in the travel section and have fallen in love with French Word-A-Day)! I'm a huge dog lover as is my Belgian French speaking)boyfriend! (www.omdphotos.com) Keep up the excellent work!

Linda Chandler

We love you, Mr. Smoke.


Alison, your boyfriend's photos are a must-see!:

Thanks for sharing -- and thanks, everyone, for your warm enthusiasm here.

Linda: Mr. Smoke returns your lovely sentiment, most enthusiastically--most tail-waggingly!

Cindy Hancock

Merci beacoup, Kristin ~

Love ~ Love ~ Love this!!! Thank you for sharing your charming fun in the kitchen, and your darling pup, Smokey!! Oh, he is so very, very sweet!! We have a Golden too, he is 6 years old and my husband calls him my 'empty nest dog' as our daughter is away at college. What is it about us girls and our dogs ~ a blessing from heaven, I suppose. I couldn't stop smiling while watching your video! Looking forward to more...

Cindy Hancock

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