An amazing find Spring cleaning in France & the treats of Summer!

An amazing find Spring cleaning in France & the treats of Summer!

Sarah's Mum Françoise is the best cook! Cherry Cake or Clafoutis aux Cerises. In any language it's divine!

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 40

Guest: Sarah Zwick - Be My Guest in France Immersions

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J’adore chatting to ma belle amie Sarah Zwick about regular life in France.

Spring cleaning is a time of uncovering many new things and fabulous old memories!

Recently Sarah and I talked about her finds when she was renovating her home in the Basque region of southwest France.

The story of how she came across the book of a particular child from over a century ago in her attic and learned of his involvement in the Great War is fascinating. The connection is amazing, especially in her own home! Knowing the periods of history that have occurred over the last few hundred years, and finding info about the people who lived in your home during such times as the Nazi occupation of France or the Revolution is crazy!

In this episode we heard of the story of a little boy who lived in Sarah’s house a generation or two before her family, as well as how plantings in the garden from that time or earlier are still benefitting her family now.

Now that le printemps has turned into l’été the time has changed from cleaning and opening up, to celebrating!

Sarah let us non-Frenchies into a little secret of the Bal de Pompier! (the fire fighters’ ball)

The fire fighters originally had to keep manning their post during the 14th July festivities since the Revolution. Back in 1806 they decided they wanted to have fun too! So they started a little party. It became so popular that every last night of a festival is now called Le Bal de Pompier!

I love these traditions that have come down through the generations in France and the knowledge of it only comes out when having a relaxed convo with friends.

Sarah reported how this is such a cultural phenomenon that grandparents have reported to their grandchildren that they met “their grand-mere at the bal de pompier!”


Sarah shared the recette de sa très belle maman Françoise pour Clafoutis aux Cerises (Cherry Cake).

Françoise is an exceptional cook so I have included her personal recipe here with a link to something similar if her personal recipe doesn’t work for your own cooking circumstances wherever you may be.

Clafoutis aux Cerises de Françoise


– 1 sachet de sucre vanillé

– 700g de cerises

– 40g de beurre

– 20cl de lait

-100g de farine

– 60g de sucre en poudre

– 4 œufs

– Sucre glace

– une pincée de sel

Préchauffez le four à 210°C thermostat 7.

Lavez et équeutez les cerises.

Faites fondre les 40g de beurre dans une casserole.

Dans un saladier, mélangez le sucre, le sel, la farine et le sucre vanillé.

Incorporez les œufs petit à petit puis le lait.

Mélangez bien et ajoutez le beurre fondu.

Beurrez le moule et disposez les cerises au fond.

Versez la pâte.

Mettez au four pendant 10 minutes à 210°C puis baissez le four à 180°C et laissez cuire 20 minutes.

Servez le clafoutis tiède ou froid saupoudré de sucre glace. Et voilà ! Let me know if you need help with the translation. Also, the temperature is in Celsius, not Farenheit ⚠️



Talking of summer (l’été) has Sarah thinking of current sing-a-longs with friends at sumer gatherings!  I so wish I was there!

J’adore this tune from Boulevard des Airs –  Emmène-moi.

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