One of our recommended books is Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table by Carole Bumpus

SEARCHING FOR FAMILY AND TRADITIONS AT THE FRENCH TABLE

Book Two


In this engaging new installment of Carole Bumpus’ heartwarming culinary memoir/travelogue series, Carole and her trusted guide and dear friend, Josiane Selvage, complete their gastronomic and cultural tour of France. The trip was inspired by Josiane’s deceased mother, Marcelle, and in a touching tribute, Carole and Josiane also search for Marcelle’s roots—a mystery created by the chaos of both world wars.

Beginning in Paris and heading north into Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Loire and completing the tour in the Auvergne, Carole searched for the traditional “cuisine pauvre” (peasant foods) common to the French table, but she also treasured visits to cultural sites that illuminated the French character and history: ancient cathedrals,

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In this engaging new installment of Carole Bumpus’ heartwarming culinary memoir/travelogue series, Carole and her trusted guide and dear friend, Josiane Selvage, complete their gastronomic and cultural tour of France. The trip was inspired by Josiane’s deceased mother, Marcelle, and in a touching tribute, Carole and Josiane also search for Marcelle’s roots—a mystery created by the chaos of both world wars.

Beginning in Paris and heading north into Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Normandy, Brittany, Loire and completing the tour in the Auvergne, Carole searched for the traditional “cuisine pauvre” (peasant foods) common to the French table, but she also treasured visits to cultural sites that illuminated the French character and history: ancient cathedrals, a truffle farm, the troglodyte caves in the Loire Valley, Mont St. Michel, and the Bayeux Tapestry.

As she traveled, Carole listened to French families describe their personal histories, the myths and traditions unique to their communities, and learned the family recipes used for festivals and celebrations. But alongside the joy of discovering delicious dishes and making new friends, Carole was reminded of the sobering economic and political realities of both world wars, and the ways those wars have shaped France, its people, and its cuisine. These realities were made all the more poignant by Josiane’s efforts to uncover her mother’s family history.

This series celebrates families coming together to share traditions, history, and meals. More importantly, it highlights how understanding one’s history, especially understanding how relatives survived difficult circumstances, brings greater compassion and heartfelt connectedness within families.

Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table, Book One (2019) covered the first half of Carole’s culinary adventure in France.

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  • She Writes Press
  • Paperback
  • August 2020
  • 376 Pages
  • 9781631528965

Buy the Book

$16.95

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About Carole Bumpus

Carole Bumpus is the author of Searching for Family and Tradition at the French TableA retired family therapist, Carole Bumpus began writing about food and travel when she stumbled upon the amazing stories of women and war in France. She has traveled extensively throughout France and Italy, where she has interviewed more than seventy-five families to date for her food and travel blogs. She published an historical novel, A Cup of  Redemption, in 2014, and her unique companion cookbook, Recipes for Redemption: A Companion Cookbook to A Cup of Redemption, in August 2015. She is an active member in The California Writers Club and The Women’s National Book Association. Bumpus lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches classes on writing, does public speaking, and continues to write about women, food, and war.

Author Website

 

Praise

“The author’s straightforward narrative delivers vivid imagery of both the surroundings and the people…An engaging gastronomic presentation of French history and culture.”Kirkus Reviews

“Bumpus’s attention to detail creates a rich sense of people and places….The food that Bumpus tastes and writes about is unforgettable, thanks to the array of included recipes with unusual names….Eloquent and packed with history, geography, and recipes, Searching for Family and Traditions at the French Table: Book Two is a melting pot text––a travel memoir that’s concerned with cuisine and culture, too.”Foreword Clarion Reviews

“…her conversational style easily draws the reader into the experience. An enjoyable book for those interested in France, WWII, and French food.”Judy Alter, StoryCircle Book Reviews

“Bumpus weaves wonderful stories into her adventures. But, at the same time, she gives her readers fly-on-the-wall glimpses of ordinary family life, and the opportunity to savour with her the incredible cuisine of France. Whether you love France, enjoy discovering new things, want to try some of the traditional recipes at the end of this book, or just want a thoroughly enjoyable read, I highly recommend this book!”The Good Life France

Discussion Questions

1. What is a culinary travel memoir? Why is this book considered part of that genre?

2. Had you heard of peasant cuisine? How is that different from what a traveler would eat in a restaurant?

3. Would you personally have been able to join strangers for a meal and leave as friends?

4. Do you think it’s important for travelers to learn about the history of places they visit?

5. How did visiting tourist sites inform Bumpus’ culinary adventure?

6. How did history–personal and global—impact this memoir?

7. Have you tried any of the recipes? Did you enjoy the experience? Which was your favorite?

8. What did you learn from French families that you think American families should know?

Interviews