Joie De Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living

Joie De Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living

  • Used Book in Good Condition

When it comes to making the most of life, nobody does it better than the French. Now, with Joie de Vivre: Simple French Style for Everyday Living, an inspired fusion of art, style, and easy-to-implement ideas, anyone can feel like they spent a weekend in the French countryside, no matter where they live.

Renowned restaurateur Robert Arbor puts a refreshing emphasis on simplicity and accessibility, explaining the rituals and traditions that comprise a typical French day. Featuring dozens of simple, everyday recipes, Joie de Vivre captures the family meals, market trips, and charming domestic settings that make the French way of life so plea- surable. In eight chapters, illustrated with 85 full-color and black-and-white photographs, Arbor details how you, too, can achieve the simplicity and relaxing life the French treasure.

Le Matin (The Morning) lays out the elements of a relaxing breakfast (as well as the secret to great coffee), and Le Potager (The Garden) describes the pleasures and rewards of growing your own own vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Le Marché (The Market) and Le Déjeuner (Lunchtime) follow Arbor to the market, the butcher, and the baker before serving up a trove of delicious ideas for light lunches and snacks. Le Dîner (Supper) outlines strategies for crafting cozy family dinners; creating enchanting dinner parties of all sizes; and preparing fun, simple meals for children.

Arbor’s memories and experiences of growing up in France and his flair for casual elegance can’t help but inspire the chef and decorator in everyone.

Sidebars sprinkled throughout the book offer tips and insights on how to make the perfect cup of hot chocolate, a French perspective on truffles and foie gras, the French and their love of chocolate, and why French butter tastes so good.

Joie de Vivre is a lavishly illustrated guide to the French style of living that will show you how to bring a little joie to your life.In Joie de Vivre, Robert Arbor, a Frenchman transplanted to New York City, explains the French philosophy on life and argues for its adoption by stressed Americans. In a funny way, this is sort of a self-help book for people who admire the French lifestyle, and for those who believe that good food is the secret to a happy life. The premise of the book is that you will find “domestic happiness” when you learn to enjoy the most mundane details of your everyday life: “It’s about making time for family, growing some vegetables in your garden, chatting with the butcher, and cooking for your family and friends.” Quality of life, explains Arbor, is only improved when your pillowcases smell like lavender, and you make your own hot chocolate.

Although there are 50 recipes dispersed throughout the book, Joie de Vivre is not a cookbook. Most of the recipes are for dishes like A Really Good Fried Egg, mayonnaise, and café au lait, but there are interesting as well, such as Carrot Râpée, Beet Vinaigrette, and Fish in Papillotte. The recipes are included more as a way to better describe the French experience and to show how easy it is to adopt as a way of life; a method which works particularly well for those of us who know that the best way to understand and appreciate a foreign culture is through its food. –Leora Y. Bloom

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