Porter + en savate: A popular way to wear a French classic (espadrilles!)
Faire du sport + "forest baths": your ideas and tips for relaxing mind and body

Envers + Recipe for generosity

Mas des Brun rose wine from France photo credit Chris Davis
Today, try the online edition--and let me know what you think of the new background (from red to some lighter shade...). photo: Chris Davis

Speaking of  colors and shades our Mas des Brun is now available in the US at these addresses.

TODAY'S WORD: envers

     : to, towards
    : back

à l'envers = upside down

Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3

AUDIO FILE: Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following in French

La vraie générosité envers l'avenir consiste à tout donner au présent.
Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.
                                                                                           -Albert Camus

Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French


    by Kristi Espinasse

After our chat about tout et rien et espadrilles, I walked my neighbor home. Taking a raccourci through our back yard, Annie paused before the permaculture garden, which is wilder than ever during this time of transition.

"Tu es le chef d'artichauts!" Annie said, approaching the raised garden beds. "These are the violet variety, non?"

I wasn't sure. When we first built the stone beds, I remember casting a variety of seeds--before crossing my fingers that luck would spring up (mostly a lot of fennel appeared--which already grew like weeds in the surrounding fields!).

Viewing these artichokes through the eyes of Annie, I saw them in a new, spectacular light.

"You ought to be eating them!" Annie, said. I realized I had been waiting to harvest them when Mama Jules arrives, May 29th...

There were at least 10 artichoke plants, each with 5 or more of the delicious globes--some, as Annie remarked, had a faint purple undertone. Each plant had two or three ripe masses that were ready for harvesting. As we stood admiring the plants, it finally occurred to me Why not offer Annie some?

"Wait! I'll be right back!" I said.

Returning with a paper sack, I began to collect the large "flowers" with delectable leaves and was feeling the sheer joy that comes with giving... when another  impulse gradually overcame the positive emotion. Maybe I should keep some for myself? Wouldn't they be delicious with homemade mayonnaise or melted butter or canned in olive oil and herbs? We could keep some for a rainy day if we didn't give them all away!

Tangled there inside another artichoke plant (I had climbed up into another bed to access the hard-to-reach chokes)  I heard Annie calling and her words only mirrored my own: Gardes-en pour toi! Keep some for yourself!

Yes, pour moi! Moi! moi! moi! (Ah! That was the voice of Gimme Gimme La Radine. The stingy low-life avec sa pingrerie that lives beside the trash heap of my lower persona. It voices itself from time to time--usually when it comes to food... like when my husband asks for a bite of my dessert).

Thoughts teetering between lack and abundance, I emerged from inside the giant leafy "Cynara cardunculus" to begin handing over more and more artichokes to my neighbor. It was the only remedy--the quickest, the nearest, the surest--for what had unexpectedly ailed me: l'avarice.

"Merci! C'est trop gentille!" Annie said. Then she mentioned she'd return to my house in a little bit....

And she did--with a plateful of deep-fried artichoke hearts. It was her Italian grandmother's tasty recipe! Looking down at the plate of sliced, breaded and fried chokes it seemed Annie had taken all I had given her and returned it to me (she insists there remained enough for her family). And in so doing, Annie gave me another precious recette, a universal Recipe for Generosity:

Whatever you give will be returned to you--often better, larger, and improved!

 *    *    *


Artichoke blossom
artichoke blossom and bee.


envers = toward
un raccourci = shortcut
le chef =chief, master, chef
l'artichaut = artichoke

l'avarice = miserliness
la pingrerie = stinginess

radin(e) = stingy
c'est trop gentille = it's too kind
la recette = recipe


Purple artichokes
artichokes at our vineyard here in St Cyr-sur-Mer, where we've lived since 2012. In the photo, below, artichokes growing at our home in St Cécile where we lived from 2007-2012
Artichoke and lady bug coccinelle

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