Political and economic unrest plagued France during the late eighteenth century under the reign of a dolt king (Louis XVI). The majority of people were already barely surviving when the cost of flour began to rise, and soon the peasants could no longer even afford bread.
On July 14, 1789, a mutinous mob stole rifles from royal stores but saw there was no powder. It had been stored in the Bastille, a fortress in Paris used as a prison or as Voltaire referred to it, the "palace of revenge."
The storming of the Bastille in order to obtain the valuable gunpowder is the event which set off the French revolution. The Bastille as a place of torture became the symbol used for the revolutionary movement.
Every year on July 14, Paris honors the national holiday with a military parade down the Champs Elysees and with fireworks by the Eiffel Tower.
For those not in France, going to a French restaurant, serving your own menu (suggested menu below) at home, or taking a picnic of French bread, cheese, strawberries, and champagne is a lovely way to enjoy French flair on a summer day.
- Endive Salad
- French Onion Soup and bread
- Scallops Francais (see recipe below)
- Buttered vegetables
- 1 pound scallops, fresh
- 2 T chopped onion
- 1 can sliced mushrooms, 3 oz (drained)
- 1 can cream of vegetable soup, 10-3/4 oz (condensed)
- 2 T butter
- 2 T milk
- 2 t lemon juice
- pinch pepper
- pinch ground marjoram
- pinch leaf thyme
- 2 T buttered bread crumbs
- Lightly brown onion and mushrooms in butter.
- Add scallops, let cook a few minutes, remove drippings.
- Place scallops in shallow baking dish.
- Combine soup, milk, and lemon juice together. Stir in seasonings, then drizzle mixture over scallops.
- Top with crumbs.
- Bake 350° for 30 minutes.