Monday, September 05, 2016

Update from Grand Rapids with pastries, of course

The weather here in Grand Rapids, like the people, has been rather mild of late. Reasonable temperatures, with an occasional burst of high humidity but otherwise quite pleasant. Again, like the people. Excuse me if I've said this before, but one thing that strikes us both over and over again is the sheer vastness of the sky here in western Michigan. It is indeed awesome.

Life for us is, in a word, good.  My mother-in-law continues to enjoy good health, as do we. Susie's teaching is going well as is her work for Nonna Cafe in Ada, preparing customized doughs for their French pastries. She is also considering another opportunity that may bring her back to her own particular style of baking. . .  But more of that later, after we return from France.

As for me, well, I continue to work on reshooting grave sites of Civil War soldiers, specifically the men of the 3rd Michigan Infantry (1861-64) as well as updating their online biographical sketches. My Paris cemeteries project is on hold for the moment until I can update large chunks of information next month in Paris. As I believe I have already noted here on this blog, I have four guides to art in the three Paris cemeteries ready to publish as soon as I return.

In the meantime I'm preparing for a presentation on Paris cemeteries that I'm scheduled to give in late October at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Aquinas College.

I am also working on a side project, the sculptures in the Cimetiére de l'Est in Lille, France, where we'll be visiting Glen and Christina in mid-September. I have already identified more than 50 works of art there, set up a database to store the information as it becomes available and even created my own map -- it appears that there is not an official guide to the cemetery, odd as it may sound.

Oh, these tasty treats are here to remind us how sweet life can be:

l-r: pavé aux amandes (almond cake squares), cocoa financier, choux puffs with raspberry currant cream and chocolate ganache tarts

and this is what one does with scraps of croissant dough

cherry-berry-matcha feuilleté

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