Part culinary memoir and part travelogue, Carole Bumpus gathered this compilation of intimate interviews, conversations, stories, and traditional family recipes (cuisine pauvre) in the kitchens of French families as she traveled throughout the countryside. Travel with her through Champagne caves/wineries and historic cathedrals, local farmers’ markets, ancient potters’ guilds, and restaurant kitchens with wood-fire ovens. Learn how to make homemade Spinach-stuffed Tortellini with Bolognaise Sauce from the Champagne region, Crêpes and Watercress-stuffed Ravioli from the Lorraine, and Baekeofe and Kugelhopf from the Alsace. “Go blind” from the family stock of Eau de Vie liqueur and be treated to tales of foraging for snails for the infamous and now extinct Escargots Festival. And, on a somber note, listen to accounts of families forced from their communities during the German occupation of WWII in the Alsace and Lorraine, only to continue to struggle for survival after finally making their way home.
This book is a compilation of stories about making ends meet; about people being grateful for all they had, even when they had almost nothing; about the sharing of family jokes and laughter; and about family trials and triumphs. This book is about people savoring the life they have been given.