Category Archives: lifestyle

Show Me Smiling Truffle Dogs with Floppy Tongues!

Dogs like to be active, and they like to work. Sniffing out things, chasing down things, and digging up things all qualify. And there is one occupation that is valued as highly as any other – that is the work of the truffle dog. Here is a post on this, if the matter is of particular interest to you.

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The truffle dog is trained to sniff out where truffles are growing underground and to start digging. The thing is, you need to stop them before they get to the truffle, and eat it.

In fact, pigs are better at this with a more acute sniffer, and they do not need to be trained. And I have read that if a pig has never tasted a truffle, they can be stopped before they consume the ones they locate. But once they have had one, they go a bit crazy for them, and will break out of their pen at night to find more! Legend has it that experienced truffle hunters who use pigs are often missing a few fingers!

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All in a day’s work in the countryside. And as some are finding out, you can live in the countryside enjoying that type of earthy pursuit. For example, why not run a cooking school in Le Marche, Italy.

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Why not indeed! Here is a quick interview of a young lady wand her husband ho are doing just that!.


I’ll Have a Kouign-Amann with My Renovation

A Houign-Amann, if you didn’t know is

… a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough (nowadays sometimes viennoiserie dough), containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The effect is similar to a muffin-shaped, caramelized croissant.

It looks like this

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So, what does it have to do with renovation? It was a staple of the Dave Lebovitz kitchen while he didn’t have a kitchen.

Yes, we are talking renovation. That process of slow torture that many of us have endured. But not so many have endured this in Paris. Dave has written a book about how it went.

Clue: It was not easy.

Connecting to the Agrihood

I readily admit that I am a sucker for this sort of thing –  connecting home and food production. So the idea of building a community around a farm makes sense to me.

And that is apparently a new living concept called the “agriuood”.

Agrihood developers aim to bring the amenities of a rural farming community, like fresh produce and ample outdoor space, to modern, metropolitan neighborhoods. The homes are typically built to high environmental standards, too — think solar panels and composting.

Very cool idea!

Kevin Kelly Treks with Mongolian Nomads

Thousands of years ago, humans began to change the way they lived. Instead of following around herds of wild animals, they began to farm in a given place. It was one of the major turning points of human civilization. Not just because agriculture provided a more secure food source. Also because it changed our sens of values.

Kevin Kelly spent time with the nomads of Mongolia to get a sense of what they value and how they live. It is a fun read!

And it is instructive.

There is a lesson here about our collective digital future. Obviously we aren’t headed to a time when we sleep on the floor of a tent under hand-wrung felt blankets (except at Burning Man), but we are headed to a future where we may own and carry less while depending on the environment to provide more.

In the future, we may be buying fewer things and craving the mobility —- and least the intellectual mobility — that nomads found to be normal.


Art Deco? Paris? Then Hotel Bachaumont

Not everyone likes art deco. Some think it over done. Too much style.  Not “lived in”.  Then again, in certain institutions, like a hotel, and in certain places, like Paris, art deco seems normal.

Enter Hotel Bachaumont. Here is an image

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I could see myself toddling down that hall. And I would be comfortable here

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Food Republic has a positive review.

Traveller lists it as one of the best new boutique hotels in Paris.

Time to give it a try?