Halloween in 7 days and 1 more hour of sleep this Sunday

Remember to call Carabistouilles for your table at their Halloween special! I’m helping out with the decorations and activities for children. Lots of fun music and films too.  Hope to see you there!


And don’t forget to change your clocks on Sunday.

Have a good extra hour of sleep!!!!

Thanksgiving, a real family project!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only because of the food, which is so delicious and perfect for the season. It’s especially because of the spirit and the message behind it. I prefer not to think of the historical background because unfortunately the Indians suffered more than profited from the new settlers. Let’s leave the past where it is since we can’t do anything about it. We can think now and ahead about what we are thankful for. That is the real spirit of Thanksgiving.

When I was growing up in New York, my parents did not celebrate Thanksgiving because they were French. Instead we went out to a fine restaurant in the country. I can remember Lire la suite

« So French » café in Orgeval, Thursday October 17 from 9 -11

Hello newcomers and longtime residents of France,

Our next café will be held on Thursday October 17 from 9 am to 11 am in lovely Orgeval, about 15 minutes from Saint Germain en Laye. A new restaurant called CARABISTOUILLES just opened, « place de l’église », which is in the heart of Orgeval. Try to  park near the church. Behind the church is a covered market, and there, you’ll see steps going down to a little terrace, where you will find the entrance to the restaurant. It’s a cozy, well lit with natural light (like an artist’s studio), and vintage looking place, owned by two young local guys who are brother in laws. Very eager to liven up Orgeval, they haven’t finished surprising us with new ideas. They describe their place as a « maison de tradition gourmande ». I tried it on Saturday with my family and mother in law. We found the chicken club sandwich to be very tasty! My son liked it too, even though it had grated carrots in it! 🙂 (They’re working on a children’s menu.) Also, the magret de canard with a « cassis » sauce on the side, and a mushroom gratin, all melting in my mouth at each bite. Loved the lemon cake too! I won’t tell you more.

They also have about 10 different teas and many pastries to choose from, because it’s also a salon de thé, open from 7 am to 7 pm tuesdays through saturdays, and for dinner thursday, friday and saturday nights (reservation recommended).

What a perfect place to have our first themed café! « So French » has been chosen as the title because we wish to talk about French culture, traditions and lifestyle. It is your time to ask questions about the French ways, or answer them if you are francophone. We do not wish to « French bash » here but to learn and laugh about our differences.  Danielle and I will bring our own questions and facts but we want them to come from you too. So we decided to pick questions you may have out of a hat. Please try to send them to us in advance! We hope a lot of French people will come so we can have an interesting debate!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me or to Danielle at familycafeproject@yahoogroups.com or agnescatton@yahoo.com.

By the way, do you know what Carabistouilles means? I didn’t! I grew up mostly from the south east of France, that’s why. It’s actually used more in the north of France and Belgium. I can’t think of a good translation offhand. Perhaps nonsense or foolishness? I think it’s also a game…so much to learn from this funny word! I love learning about language and culture!

à bientôt!

Agnès and Danielle

First café meeting, thank you for coming! Merci!

Dear all,

Danielle and I were very pleased with the number of people who came on Thursday. It was a great success to celebrate the inauguration of our association. I personally found the reunion to be very exciting because it was fun to meet new people and to be together. It was welcoming and warm thanks to Lire la suite

Annonce de la naissance du Family Café Project


Je suis pleine d’émotions aujourd’hui. Des négatives mais surtout des positives…mais rassurez-vous,  je vais me concentrer uniquement sur le positif. Pourquoi me rendre malade avec le négatif?! ça ne sert à rien.  Et puis je n’ai plus le droit de râler (n’est-ce pas Christine?).

Positivons!!! Alors, Lire la suite

Happy Fat Tuesday!

mardigrasToday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday! It’s also a day of major striking here and I have my kids home with me. So this one will be short.

I wanted to educate my kids about Mardi Gras today by showing them some fun parades around the world. Well, after doing some research on internet, I discovered the wiseGEEK site. I found a clear explanation about the meaning of mardi gras, some interesting facts and videos too. We escaped a while to New Orleans…sigh…would love to go there now.

Okay, we already made Valentine cards and masks with hearts so we don’t feel like doing anymore.

Did you know today is also called Pancake day? Great idea!!!!

Happy mardi gras!