Welcome to the Patriotic Blog hop hosted by Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and decorate. There are several countries participating is this Blog hop, Canada, France and Italy. So, if you are celebrating, Canada Day “eh?,” Bastille day, or the 4th of July, we have you covered with plenty of inspirations here on the blog hop.
Being of French decent and first generation American, my family will celebrate both Bastille day ( July 14) and the Fourth of July, depending which country we are in. The French also recognize the 4th of July although it is not a holiday there. They recognize it and celebrate the Americans for saving them during war time. There have been many songs written by french song writers celebrating the great country of The USA. One of them in particular, written by Michel Sardou, where he writes that if the Americans had not been here, where would we be? Who would we be? What language would we speak? What would we be eating? Food is always of most importance for the French.
These patriotic topics are often discussed among the older generation in France. I grew up going to school in the south of France in a Town Called La Napoule near the port of Cannes. My Grand parents, aunts, and uncles all had tales of when the Americans came in WWII, stories of “La resitance”. The American soldiers playing kickball with the young kids in school yards, the cases and cases of Kellogg cereal, we tend to take that for granted, but the french had never seen Kellogg cereal or cereal boxes for that matter. Since this was war time, food was scarce, so you were lucky if you had a piece of stale Baguette. Children went to bed hungry or sent off to boarding schools at young ages in bomb free areas. The Americans came with food surplus, and supplies. The older aunts would tell tales of the beautiful American soldiers and Navy men coming to the port of Cannes in their uniforms. The evenings of dancing with the Navy men in uniform at the famous Carlton Hotel in Cannes, or the Martinez and Majestic hotel dance halls. All timeless places still standing in the beautiful French Riviera. The beautiful stories I would hear, stories of adventure, fear, joy and love. The young women all wanted to marry the American soldiers and go to the United states and the American soldiers all falling in love with the beautiful French Femme Fatal. To this day, the older generation that lived through the war, still talk about the Americans with great gratitude and respect. They will always say how the American saved their country and they are grateful to the American stars and stripes. Hence in France, especially in the south of France in the bay of Cannes, one will find fireworks and American music set to red white and blue tables settings as a tribute to the United States every 4th of July.
“ Vive la France” and “ God Bless the USA”
Now about this Red, white and blue tablescape. It started as a something totally different. It started as a tropical tablescape of blues, creams and grey neutrals with old wooden glasses from Cuba given to me by an old Cuban friend (probably contraband). The table evolved into a red, white and blue medley. I wanted to use the table cloth in different tones of blue that I brought back from France mixed with bandannas from the U.S.A I love using bandannas as either a napkin or as a napkin ring. Bandannas always make me think of everything all American and cowboys. We French ladies love The Marlboro Man and the great American west. My French family while in France love when I set a table with bandannas, as they all know they get to keep the bandannas as a keepsake. (I always travel with extras)
When entertaining less than 6 people, I tend to set a table in an intimate setting or corner Here I have set this table for 5 people in my small little library near the the outside patio creating both an intimate evening and the option to sit outside after dinner. An intimate dinner is always a venture leading to interesting conversations.
What will I cook for this intimate dinner? Lobster bisque of course, or “ Bisque de Homard maison” as we say in French! Followed by grilled shrimp over asparagus and sauteed potatoes with rosemary. For dessert, fresh raspberries with Creme Fresh, always a favorite, simple to make and always delicious and dependable.
Voila! My friends, Bon appetit xoxox