A must-visit destination in Paris is the Maille Mustard Store at 6, place de la Madeline. I am a longtime devotee of their grainy mustard -- I use it almost every day and they are pros, having perfected their craft for over 200 years.
Being Paris, their stylish windows beckon you inside with their classic mustard jars presented in a striking pallette of up to the minute Neon colors and unexpected flavor options: Violet/Blueberry, Fresh Green Herbs, Garlic/Red Pepper.
Perfect for an eye-catching display, yes. But inside the store are the real seducers:
Hazlenut, Truffle, Piment d'Espelette...among others. Not to mention fresh mustard you can have pumped into on-the-spot cork sealed crocks.
I lift up a gift box filled with a colorful mustard trio and think:
Do I really really want to do this? My bags are so full. There are so many flavors I'd like to take back with me. Why carry 10 extra pounds of breakable mustard? Surely, these are all available on Amazon. Be smart. This is the 21st century. Deal with your Mustard when you get home. Bien sur.
So I left empty handed, certain I could order everything later from my Los Angeles computer.
None of these unusual niche mustards are gettable online here in the U.S. And the Maille website itself only delivers within France.
Note to self: Not everything is globalized and available online -- a good thing to remember when you travel and find special items -- pounce!
Clearly, I need to go back to Paris immediately to pick up some of those coveted jars.
Remember Marion Cottillards's perfect summer dress in Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris"?
As promised, I created my own version of this captivating dress to wear right now --and you never know --it could very well transport you back to 1920's Paris!
I spent a lot of time draping this easy, pull on style to create a very flattering silhouette which you may order in either a heavy ivory rayon crepe or a dressier silk chiffon. You may request some added length, as needed, and your dress will arrive with its own pretty slip.
The detailed red filigree trim is hand painted in my design studio, so each individual dress is one of a kind and the ornate designs will vary slightly from dress to dress.
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A fragrant thicket of mint greets you as you walk into a lush garden filled with raised beds of colorful chard, cornstalks and bursting clumps of lettuces and other herbs and vegetables. Where are you?
The 24th Street School kitchen garden, hidden away in the Adams district near downtown Los Angeles. A haven of growing goodness wedged at the far end of the asphalt schoolyard, this 3/4 acre plot is the prototype for a school garden envisioned by the Garden School Foundation.
Some people may be familiar with this garden because chef Nancy Silverton has long associated herself with the the program, as well as noted landscape designer and artist, Nancy Goslee Powers, who developed the garden plan.
Here, students learn about the benefits of gardening, fresh produce and growing and preparing their own fresh and healthy food...
Julia Cotts, Director, the Garden School Foundation
and the creepy crawling benefits of worms and compost bins.
For the elementary students at the 24th Street School, the garden is also a bit of a sanctuary. They'll choose to sit in the soothing shaded areas with crayons and coloring books for their lunch hour or dance happily together in the greenery at recess.
It is an impressive place and the positive effects are in evidence not just in the bounty of the carefully tended sections --like the Salsa Garden or the orchard fruit trees --but in the smiling faces of the students eagerly asking questions. They're having so much fun, they forget they're learning.
Tonight, Saturday, October 22nd in Santa Monica is a benefit for the program, with cocktails, food and music.
The host of tempting live and silent auction items include private dinners prepared at your home by chefsTravis Lett, from Gjelina in Venice, Corina Weibel chef/owner of Canele restaurant in Atwater and Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmer's Market Cookbook