Advent -19


This calendar started out as a way to share thoughtful gift ideas that wouldn’t bankrupt the giver while still thoroughly pleasing the giftee, and hopefully not requiring child labour in cities I never knew existed. While writing I was able to share some holiday memories and favorite objects from my daily life. Before I knew it, the calendar had taken on a life of its own and it grew into away to support people I respect who have projects I particularly admire.

Kristen of the Kale Project is one of these people. Kristen did not come to Paris as a starry-eyed franco-phile. She left a fantastic group of friends she loves, a city she adores and the life she’d always dreamed of living to (quite willingly) follow her knight, Sir Lancelot, who had been transferred here.

Paris is a great city, but life here can be harder than it needs to be. Simple things, like how to work a drier, can be complicated. Even for the French. For a non-French speaker, it can be a full time job (today I spent 4 hours trying to get a sliding glass door fixed. No luck, I have to wait until New Years for my next shower)! Naturally, Kristen was finding living here something of a challenge. And there was the problem of the kale. Or more precisely, the fact that the French don’t eat kale and there was none to be found, which was a major challenge for a girl who had been raised on the stuff.

Instead of letting it get her down, or flying home every six weeks to escape her new world, Kristen decided to face reality head on and do something that would make her life better here; she launched the Kale Project, successfully getting local farmers to grow kale. Thanks to Kristen the vegetable vendors run out of kale at the market each week and the French are discovering kale! And she did it in a matter of weeks.It was an amazing moment to watch. Now that there is kale in Paris, Kristen is pushing forward and I can not wait to see where this project leads such a bright, determined soul.

What could this possibly have to do with holiday gifts? Why recipe books, of course. Give the gift of health and offer those you love a health-ful eating cookbook. My personal favorite is Everyday Greens, but that is only because I spent a year of my life as the official recipe taster for the official recipe tester of this cookbook. And also because I think Greens may be one of the most beautiful restaurants earth, sitting out there on the SF Bay, over looking the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, and then there are the Korean pickles. I love the EDG pickle recipes!!! And Kristen recommends the Wild About Greens cookbook.

FINALLY, Kristen has a gift for you; KALE!!! Organic kale seeds, in a very cute, hipster package are yours for the asking. Simply send me your mailing address to sylvia (at) and Kristen will send you a gorgeously designed packet of seeds that you can plant, or offer as a gift, for a truly healthful holiday via La Poste!!!


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6 thoughts on “Advent -19

  1. Although I live next door to Vermont, I have not yet conquered Kale. I bought it once, at the farmer’s market. I had no idea what I was doing and winging it did not yield a tasty result. I will have to try out her recipes – although hopefully I’ll like one that’s a little healthier than her gratin. I should not be eating gratins!

    Thanks 🙂

  2. I had the privilege of meeting Kristen last July and she was on the verge of launching the Kale project.

    I used to grow Kale myself in my vegetable plot ( which has now been sadly neglected by trips to Paris) so we had a nice chat.

    I am so glad it all worked out. I must admire her for introducing Kale to Paris successfully. I thought at the time it was a daunting ask.

    Love Denise

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