Creativity Corner Vive La Différence

Vive La Différence – Eat, Pray, Love

October 14, 2013

It’s Vive la Différence Monday! Where does the time go. It’s certainly colder and wetter than last month!

My guest this month is Carole Poirot , writer of Mademoiselle Poirot. Carole photographs all of the images on her blog. ‘I am passionate about interior design and decorating, cooking, baking, painting and photography. I’m a dreamer with a day job, a romantic with a big dose of cynicism, a mum with a motorbike, an admirer of beauty with an edge.’

For new readers:

The concept: each month i will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image. There are 20 themes and 20 objects my guest can choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then also create an image based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a line drawing, a collage, a hand painted image, a styled table top, the choice is yours! The fun part is that you guys will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.

Carole chose the theme: Eat, Pray, Love with the objects: food, art supplies and books – Here’s her take on this.

When Tina asked me to take part in the Vive la Différence series, I was immediately up for it – before I even knew what it would entail – as I admire her blog and voice. When I received the list of items and subjects, I panicked for a second as I wondered which subject would have any relevance to me and what I do. Going through it though, I saw ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and knew it was the one I could really relate to.

Disclaimer: This has nothing whatsoever to do with the book or film and it’s a shame that these three words will now forever be associated with it.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ does encompass (nearly) everything I do and everything that features heavily in my daily life. The love for the people in my life, my love of books, interiors, painting, and good seasonal food are all things which make me feel fulfilled and happy. I grew up with all these things, have learned to cook from scratch from my mum and still love sharing home made meals with family, friends and anybody who likes to sit around my pine table to enjoy some wine and laughter along with the food. I have always read books and have always loved interiors. As a child, used to rearrange my bedroom in the middle of the night to get it just right. I remember asking my parents to buy me some wall emulsion so that I could repaint my room – in pale pink and chocolate brown! In my defence, it was the mid-80’s… When invited to ‘adult parties’ with my parents, I was the one sitting in a corner drawing the faces of the people there and being thoroughly happy to be left to do that. Loving all these things, being able to act on that love in my daily life and having people around me whom I love and who love me back is something I not only hugely appreciate, but also feel very fortunate to have.

Feeling this fortunate brings me to the ‘praying’ bit. Though I’m not a particularly religious person and I don’t subscribe to one particular religion in itself, I do thank whoever might be out there for my good fortune. Some people might call it ‘praying’ and I guess it fits the general idea of what praying means to most people. I ‘pray’ to say thank you for what I have, as I believe that there will always be an element of luck, good fortune, or ‘somebody watching over me’ involved in my success. I don’t believe that people rise to the top by talent and hard work alone. These are obviously very important and significant factors, but if they were truly the absolute and only deciding ones, then there would be an awful lot of people right at the top who are currently unrecognised despite all of their hard work. I have had complete chance meetings which have resulted in some great things for me and they were purely down to luck. My abilities came into it later when I had to prove that my luck was deserved.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is shorthand for everything that is good in my life, everything that interests me, the people who surround me, my work, my good fortune. If I had my way, I’d add one more to this list as I believe it really fits in: Karma! You can pray as much as you like, but if you show a lack of respect and empathy for others, karma will rightfully be a bitch! But that’s one for another post I guess…

Vive la Différence - Eat, Pray, Love - Carole Poirot

Eat, Pray, Love has indeed been hijacked by Elizabeth Gilbert but I did enjoy the book when it came out. The words eat, pray and love are very profound as they all encompass everything from fun right through to healing! Well, maybe ‘pray’ hasn’t got much connotation with ‘fun’, some may say but then Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists provocative book argues that we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion—without having to believe in any of it. I wouldn’t exactly call myself an atheists, but i see myself more spiritual than religious.

For my vignette I photographed home-made soup. This is something I have nearly daily, especially in autumn/winter. I find it nourishes my soul as well as keep away any nasty bugs I might otherwise catch. It’s no wonder that chicken soup is sometimes called ‘Jewish Penicillin’. Here’s what I use to make my soups.

Home-made chicken/beef stock
Olive oil or cocomut oil
First I use banana shallots, carrots, celery. Then I will rotate between frozen peas, broad beans, chestnut mushrooms, broccoli and courgettes.
Once it’s all softened (only takes a few minutes) I put in the stock and bring it to the boil.
Now I shred in some spinach, cavolo nero or kale and throw in some mange tout at the very last minute.
Serve with either coriander or basil, a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated ginger or/and horseradish. Season to your liking.

To make this into a full meal, I will poach a piece of salmon inside the soup and sometimes also add some rice noodles.
That’s it. It’s fresh, full of goodness and gives you lots of nutrients and greens all in one go! Why not give it a try.

I’ve also included some favourite books of mine, relating to eat, pray, love. See if they appeal to you:

The Self-Healing Cookbook. Although written as a macrobiotic book, i bought it to help me understand the relationship between food and our minds and moods. I’ve cherished this book for the past 15 years.

Everything I’ve ever done that worked. ‘A beautiful collection of short essays which act as a spiritual and emotional first-aid kit.’ (The Guardian) Lesley Garner’s writing is beautiful and comforting all in one. Here she’s distilled her own life’s experiences.

Everything I’ve ever learned about Love. Another book by Lesley Garner. It’s the first time I found a book that so eloquently explained the multitude facets of love. Your idea of love will be forever expanded and transformed.

Oh, and for the art supplies, see my yellow squiggles:-)

Vive la Différence - Eat, Pray, Love - Tina Bernstein

It remains for me to thank Carole for taking part in this series and sharing so generously of herself.. Merci.

I hope you all have a great beginning to the week and I’ll see you back here on Thursday!

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  • Reply Igor October 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Two great interpretations of the theme! Speaking of eat: I am coveting the new Ottolenghi book ‘Jerusalem’ – I need that in my life:-)

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you Igor. Yes, do get ‘Jerusalem’ It’s worth every penny:-)

  • Reply Kimberly Hughes October 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Such a fantastic series and I love seeing Carole’s work here – knowing her, it’s such a perfect representation of the Carole I know. Incredibly talented and passionate and artistic with a little bit of an edge 😉 Also, that soup looks banging. NOM. I love a good soup, saving that one for future reference! xxx

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Hello Kimberly. Thank you for stopping by.. glad you enjoy the series.

      I have not met carole yet but we are due to me very soon. I already get a feeling of the ‘edginess’:-))

      Do try the soup. It does wonders to body and soul xx

  • Reply Trisha October 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I adore the first one especially – beetroots are so lovely ! I like to use them as a food colouring.

    I agree EAT PRAY LOVE – awesome motto! x

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks. Glad you enjoyed Trisha!

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar October 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I love to see both takes on this month’s theme, Tina and Carole! I think the texture and tone of Carole’s and the bright, homely feel of your’s, Tina. I really want to get my hands on Nigel Slater’s new cookbook, EAT. Fab post, lovely. x

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Hello mr lovely. I believe this is your first visit to VLD.. you know your fellow male bloggers have been roped in.. careful:-)

      Had a brief peak at Nigel’s cookbook at Selfridges. What amazed me was that it’s £26 and £10 on Amazon… that’s crazy. I love all his books but this is
      a little simple for me:-))

      Thanks Will xx

  • Reply Anya Jensen October 15, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Lovely theme and 2 of my favorite bloggers. FAB indeed – I adore Carole’s muted palette and Tina’s vibrant take on the subject. Again Tina I applaud you for finding the best people, and for you Carole to pick this subject that is so you. Happy day lovely ladies Axxx

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Ha. You know I have secret fantasies of getting you veteran lot to do VLD again, maybe I cna come up with a VLD2 idea…

      Thanks lovely. Glad you enjoyed xx

  • Reply Chi @ 106 October 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Oh, this is just perfect for the cold foggy days that have suddenly descended upon us in the UK! Wholesome soups – LOVE your addition of a recipe, Tina! – and great books – I’ll check them out and probably buy them all as soon as I can! – are just what the doctor ordered. 😀

    Like both of you, nourishing my spirit – as well as my mind and body – is extremely important to me especially in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

    I always think each Vive La Difference is my favourite – until the next one comes along! 😀 They’re all so very good and the passion the guests have for their chosen theme is clear to see.

    Well done, ladies and thank you, Tina, for introducing me
    to Carole. She writes so beautifully and I’ll certainly be visiting her blog from now on! x

    • Reply tina October 15, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Haha. The soup is really fab. You can vary it in so many days and hopefully it will fight off all the germs that go round!

      Lesley Garner is such a wonderful writer. Her books are short essays, easy to read but really profound. They are so reasonable that I think you can stretch to that and I know
      you’ll thank me:-))

      Haha. I feel the same way. Each VLD I’m pumped up, I love what my guests produce and think it cannot possibly get any better:-)

      Carole has the most wonderful photographs.
      Thanks Chi xx

  • Reply Lena October 16, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Thank you for introducing us to Carole and thank you for another Vive la Différence. That Vignette is a beautiful interpretation of Eat Pray Love and your soup – so good! Thanks for the book tips, too – my list of books you recommend is growing and growing. btw: I just got “around the world” after seeing it on your blog and the whole family is enjoying it!

    • Reply tina October 17, 2013 at 11:33 am


      Ha. Great you’re all enjoying it. It’s very much a book for the whole family!!

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey October 16, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hi Carole. As a child I was also one for rearranging my room 🙂 I enjoyed your thinking about the theme Eat Pray Love. And your styling is wonderfully wholesome. I’m Catholic – non-practising and always critical of the church – but when I see I statue of Mary (I’m assuming it’s her) I always find it comforting.

    Then Tina… I love how your vignette hit me in the face with those block letters. Great soup recipe too. It’s funny but soup is one of my least favourite foodstuffs. I think I find the whole soup eating experience tedious. Adding salmon & rice noodles however is a great way to perk it up.

    Thank you both for your illuminating thoughts x

    • Reply tina October 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

      I didn’t know you were re-arranging your room as a child – how very cute!

      Yes, I wonder about your Catholic faith.. how you felt about it. Now I know:-) I feel a bit the same. As a non-practicing Jew I’m also comforted by symbols like the star of David et cetera. I wonder whether this has something to do with our upbringings and, dare I say it, conditioning!

      Interesting way of describing ‘the whole soup eating experience’. “Tedious” is a fascinating word choice. Do you mean that you’re not a fan of purely vegetable meals, that you need meat, fish or pasta or potatoes to bulk it up? That’s understandable. x

  • Reply Catherine October 17, 2013 at 2:59 am

    Thank you Carole for sharing so much with us, I found it enriching and really enjoyed reading your thoughts about food, thoughts very similar to mine. Praying to say thank you reminded me of a quote I heard a few years ago, I’m not sure who it’s from… “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, then that will be enough”.

    Tina your soup looks so nourishing, I’d love to make it when I want to do something special for myself or if I’m not feeling well, thank you for the recipe. The books you’ve shown us look wonderful, I must look them up. Thank you both for such an inspiring VLD. xx

    • Reply tina October 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

      What a lovely quote Catherine… and so true.. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, then that will be enough”.

      Do you not think your family would like this sort of soup? Is it too healthy:-)? The key is to make your own stock and then use grated horseradish or ginger or even home-made or bought pesto. I’ve used that often!

      Thanks Catherine x

  • Reply tina October 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I’m always humbled when my guests agree to take part in VLD and can never wait for their vignette to drop into my inbox. Thank you Carole for another beautiful submission and for your great interpretation of Eat, Pray, Love…and thank you all for your continuing support of this series. x

  • Reply Doris October 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Hi Tina & Carole, I loved both of your interpretations, one spiritual and one homely. Tina, I love that it’s getting cold and foggy outside, it always prompts me to stay home and cook something hot and delicious. Off to check out my recipe collections :). xD

    • Reply tina October 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Thank you Doris:-) x

  • Reply Holly October 20, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Great work ladies! I can’t help but notice how wholesome each of them feel, even though they’re so different. Comforting to look at both – which I think captures the theme well.

    Tina’s soup is awesome. I know because I was lucky to try it recently 🙂


    • Reply tina October 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Haha. Yes, it was so fun having you here and cook for you xx

  • Reply Alison Sye October 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks to the both of you because I actually felt uplifted after reading this post. Great to see a recipe too. I make soup twice a week or so (the family favourite is leek and potato), so will give this one a try. Plus, I’ve just bought a new soup mug for work…

    • Reply tina October 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Leek and potato? Yum!
      Hope you’ll enjoy your soups at work. Thanks Alison x

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