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Archive for October, 2008

As you may or may not realise, things have been a bit quiet around Frenchified of late. You can blame the Dutch for that. I won a competition to go to Blog08, a bloggers’ conference in Amsterdam, through vowing to wear Big, Wooden, Netherlandish clogs all day long if I won. Apparently, that was funny, so I won and jetted off to the land of wooden shoes to learn what I could about blogging. As part of my competition pledge I also had to set up Clogblogger, a site devoted to clogs. That meant no time for Frenchified.

One of the great things about going to Blog08 was meeting new people. One new acquaintance, Natasha Cloutier, hails from Canada but has lived in the Netherlands for some time. As you can probably tell from her name, Natasha lived in the francophone part of Canada, and therefore has a passion for French language and culture, especially French music.

Natasha’s site, Oh La La, concentrates on French sounds from the 50s right up to present day. She even creates downloadable podcasts with some of her latest favourites, so if you feel like Frenchifying your MP3 player, tune in to Radio Oh La La and tap your feet to everything from classic Gainsbourg croons through to the retro beat of César et ses Romains. Enjoy.

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Thanks to ThePolskiBlog’s blogroll, I have today found a fantastic French food blog based in Austin, Texas of all places! Called The French Fork, it’s the blog-child of Laetitia Bertrand, a French native with a no-nonsense approach to French gastronomy. Because I can’t say it any better myself, here’s Laetitia’s blog profile:

Laetitia Bertrand was born in Bourgoin-Jallieu, France, and was raised in the small village of Bouvesse, just outside of France’s gastronomical capital, Lyon. Passionate about food, she was influenced by both her grandparents’ cooking from an early age. Today, she aspires to take the mystery out of French cooking – believing that French cooking does not have to be hard, or complicated. She currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, where they pursue a French lifestyle and split time between Texas and France.

Laetitia’s latest posts include gratin dauphinois and a recipe for zucchini soup made with La Vache Qui Rit. It would seem we share a love of those cheese triangles. Believe it or not (and remember, I’m a Pacific-born kid) the first time I ever had La Vache Qui Rit was in Honolulu. We were there on a family holiday, staying at a self-catering apartment with a fantastic pool complex. We shopped for provisions at a local corner store, and that’s where we first bought La Vache Qui Rit cheese. It was called Laughing Cow there, for obvious reasons, but I loved the happy cow face on the packaging and it’s one of those brands which is so strong that it hasn’t needed changing since. In fact, bearing in mind that my Honolulu introduction to the happy vache was just less than thirty years ago, that has to be a superb example of brand survival.

I digress. Visit Laetitia at The French Fork for practical culinary inspiration but I’d suggest you eat something first. This is the sort of site that makes you hungry.

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Just to let you know that I have hundreds of things to post about concerning the Frenchified world, but a bloggers’ competition has come between me and abundant posting time. I entered the competition to win a ticket to Blog08 and Essential Travel threw in the flights and travel insurance, so later this week I will be at my very first Blogference, wearing a big pair of clogs to promote the concept that won me the competition: Clogblogger. If you want to catch me, click here. Or here. And before you know it, I’ll be back HERE.

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