French Cookware, Cookbooks & Other Things

French, collecting copper pots & pans

French, fleur de lis

A visit with my good friend Ruthie Cook became a morning photo shoot of her beautiful French cookware and other things.  It all started with the conversation about her bike travel through Central Europe during the summer of 1961.  Along with her travel, the introduction to the cuisine of Europe became the inspiration of her retail store specializing in European cookware.  Her beautiful French collection have brought enjoyment to her and all who come to visit.


French copper pots & pans

French hammered copper pots and pans by Mauviel are such examples.  A wonderful way to bring a little bit of French decorating into the kitchen.  For collectors, hand-made hammered copper pots and pans are the most desirable for their quality, function, and beauty.  Over the years, the method of applying copper sheets became more popular in production to reduce cost and time.


French copper pots & pans

French copper saute/crepe pan

The ultimate destination to find a large selection of copper cookware and other kitchen supplies is in Paris France at E. Dehillerin {18 and 20, rue Coquillière}.  Retail stores such as William Sonoma and Sur La Table carry a nice collection of copper pots and pans here in the United States.


French copper pots and other things

 ceramic pie/tart dish, Vallauris clay pot, French cookbook-Dorie Greenspan, copper pots & pans


French pot

Vallauris clay pot filled with warm baked bread.

Vallauris casserole pots have been made in the southeastern part of France for centuries. These ceramic vessels are still being made and used in cooking and baking today.   The renown artist, Picasso helped to reenergize the art of pottery making in the region.  From 1948 to 1955, he lived in Vallauris and established an art studio where he created sculptures and other artworks.  The National Picasso Museum  was built in Vallauris to showcase the talents of the people and history of the region.


French cookbooks

These are great French cookbooks for cooking, baking, and inspiration.


French coffee press ...

A simple way to make and serve coffee in the morning or any other time of day using a French coffee press and these adorable white ceramic mugs….and a few pastries {not shown}.


French, wine glass & spoons

A wine glass holding mother-of-pearl caviar spoons and knives.


French, linens

 Crisp ironed linens all hung up and ready to be used.

French, fleur de lis

After the visit and time spent perusing through Ruthie’s beautiful collection, it brought to mind the classic film that I have admired and enjoyed watching for over 20 years, Babette’s Feast.  I saw the movie recently …  twice …..maybe three times… or more, since I took these pictures.

If you have not seen the movie, Babette’s Feast, it’s truly a must see film.  In 1987, the movie won “Best Foreign Language Film”.

The story took place in the 19th Century  on a remote fishing village in Denmark where two sisters, Martine and Filippa lived all their lives.   During their later years, a visitor {Babette} came to them and the sisters were confronted with the decision to provide her a place to stay, whom they knew nothing about. They agreed and offered her a room in their home and in return, she worked for them by cleaning and cooking.

In a turn of events, Babette was given a fortune and in return wanted to use the money to prepare a French meal in celebration of the sister’s beloved father’s 100th birthday.

Babette’s menu begins with
an amontillado and features “Potage à la Tortue” (turtle soup);
“Blinis Demidoff au Caviar” (buckwheat cakes with caviar and sour cream);
“Caille en Sarcophage avec Sauce Perigourdine” (quail in puff pastry shell with foie gras and truffle sauce);
a salad featuring Belgian chicory and walnuts in a vinaigrette;
and “Les Fromages” featuring blue cheese, papaya, figs, grapes, pineapple, and pomegranate.

The grand finale dessert is
“Savarin au Rhum avec des Figues et Fruits Glacées” (rum sponge cake with figs and glacéed fruits).

Numerous rare wines,
including a 1845 Clos de Vougeot, along with an 1860 Veuve Clicquot champagne and spirits,
complete the menu. 

French, Babette's Feast



The film clip is a very, very, short account of the elaborate French dinner from that night.
{video not playing, click Here}


 images/sources:  St. Charles Public LibraryBabette’s French dinner menu/Wikipedia

posted by Kay

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8 Responses to French Cookware, Cookbooks & Other Things

  1. Lynne September 20, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I just recently found an old piece ( 50’s – 60’s) of Vallauris pottery on Etsy! It is now the centerpiece of our fall table!

    I truely loved this post! How sweet is your connection with Ruthie Cook!!!
    She is brilliant, and so are you!
    Merci, dear Kay!

  2. Ruthie September 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Yes, my dear Kay, Lynne says it so well!
    Thanks you for this lovely post and some new and wonderful info on Vallauris Pottery
    I have neglected to research.
    Our morning together was fun but, watching you work your magic as you gather and place collected items for a photo shoot was truly, my pleasure and a gift to me.

    thank you…………………Ruthie

    • Kay September 21, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

      It’s always fun with you Ruthie! Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Daniella November 23, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    Oh I love all things french! Lovely inspiration here. Have you read Mimi’s new book, A Kitchen In France? It’s a must have for any French cookbook collection!

    • Kay November 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

      Thank you Daniella for coming by for a visit and recommending the new cookbook by Mimi Thorisson. I have not read it yet but hope to soon. Do you have a favorite recipe from it?
      I have been enjoying her website and all the beautiful photos and recipes.

      • Daniella November 24, 2014 at 11:30 am #

        The Soup Au Pistou (which is only in the book) is delicious! I can’t get enough of the pesto paired with it. It’s makes the soup!

        • Kay November 25, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

          Wonderful soup – I will definitely have to try Mimi’s recipe! Thanks Daniella.

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