Thursday, January 31, 2008
It got me wondering how one would find out that their blog was mentioned in the media. Well, I decided to Google "cassoulet cafe blog" to see if anyone besides my blogging buddies have ever heard of my blog. The only thing that came up was my blog and one other mention. It is a button on the side bar of La French Page website. That in itself is not interesting. What is interesting is the description of my blog. It goes like this:
Cassoulet Cafe Blog: An American's View of What is Wrong With France.
While I appreciate the link, I'm sort of shocked with the description. To set the record straight, I think that I show what's wrong and right with France.
Now after reading the NYTimes article on freebies thrown at beauty bloggers, should I expect some free cassoulet thrown my way? All in the name of reviewing, bien sur! Or better yet, maybe a cassoulet meal at a renowned cassoulet restaurant in Toulouse or Castlenaudary during our stay?
Something tells me the people at Spanghero or La Cave au Cassoulet don't read Cassoulet Café Blog. ;) I'm glad you do!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Namely, cassoulet and raclette. We've already discussed cassoulet, and you know I'll be consuming more than my fair share of it! But we haven't discussed raclette. Let me show you a picture of our last raclette meal:
So what is raclette, you ask. The cheese or the meal? According to Wikipedia (and I confirm) Raclette is both a type of cheese and, informally, a dish featuring the cheese.
So, Raclette The Dish is a meal originating from Switzerland (but common in France) where you place a nifty little apparatus center stage on the table, and cold, hungry people sit around as if it were a campfire, and melt their raclette cheese on personal-size pans under a broiler. When the cheese is good and bubbly, you pour it on assorted foods you've chosen from the buffet of offerings. Typically you have boiled potatoes, charcuterie, cornichons, and vegetables.
My favorite combo is the raclette over potatoes. I'm not a fan of cheese on pickles, but the meat and starches do me just fine.
Our friends tell us they often bring the raclette grill on skiing trips and have raclette for lunch in the ski lodge. What a wonderful idea! I can't imagine the looks we'd get if we brought one to, say, Mt. Bachelor. Who cares?! It would be fun, if we could find an outlet.
So the other night on Skype, our wonderful friends have confirmed that they will be giving us another raclette soiree to feast upon. Laughing, they reminded us of our very first raclette meal..... in the middle of August.
I'm glad we're going in Spring.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
When you walk in the courtyard door, this is what you see:
When you turn to leave, walking back out of the door, this is your view. I thought La Belette Rouge would especially love my timing of this photo op! Can you guess why?
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
The bridge goes over the beloved Garonne River, my son's middle name-sake. When I was in labor and they told me to focus on something, it was our bridge that I walked back and forth on in my mind, trying to make myself go to a Happy Place. It worked.
The bridge was the low-tech "GPS" for finding our neighborhood. We could find home easily, in those first confusing weeks of being in a new city, using the bridge as our reference point.
Walking across the bridge on warm summer mornings, looking to the right and seeing the silhouette of Les Jacobins is etched in my brain forever. Watching sunsets from the bridge is something I never got tired of. Seeing it lit up at night gave me a great feeling; knowing I lived just beyond The Bridge, Our Bridge.
Stay tuned for more Toulouse photos, A Preview of our upcoming trip in March/April 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
And it was also very weird. The toppings can be bizarre, and good ol' American pepperoni n'existe pas. Would you have ever thought to have honey drizzled on your pizza, over the creme fraiche? We actually ordered that one more than once, The Daisy Age.
The prices are great, the pizza is good and the name is the best! Have a look yourself!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Let's start off with what I have done already:
- Bought airline tickets
- Reserved and paid for gite
- Told all family and friends of our arrival/departure dates
- Freaked out about the flight (hate flying...well I love flying, hate idea of crashing)
- Freaked out about the rising Euro and falling Dollar
- Repeated 4 and 5 about 200 times.
- Plan to repeat 4 and 5 about 200 more times.
- Reserved a minivan (9 passenger) for an astronomical amount of moolah.
- Cried about number 8
- Bought Red Coat
What I need to do:
- Keep trying to find cheaper transportation (must have van to accommodate all travelers in party)
- Buy more clothes (a great pair of jeans and more nice tops, more shoes. Jean shopping was affreux today. Wahh wahh.)
- Buy some shades since my Gucci's purchased in France last trip were stepped on and crushed (par moi), and besides, I think Gucci shades are passé now, non? ;)
- Find a way to make the dollar get stronger
- Get a great hair cut at the exact right time before trip (nothing new, just a great trim)
- J'ai besoin de pratiquer le francais..... :(
- More French lessons for Hubby as well
- Make a packing list
- Make more lists of things that need to get done
This is the first of many lists to be, as I realize how many things I just left out. I am such a procrastinator about packing, I prefer to have a thorough list made out, and start packing the night before we leave.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I've also repeatedly said I was "aroused" when I meant excited,as in, "I'm excited to go shopping today! Are you excited for your wedding next month?" Another faux pas was several times of the usage of a word I thought to mean "breast" when I was discussing breastfeeding. What I said was actually a vulgar word that a woman would never use when discussing her own.
It's not hard to say conard instead of canard, and who can tell if baisser has one "s" or two? No American I know!
I just received an email from a dear friend of mine. She's French and grew up in the South of France, near Toulouse, but now lives in Paris.
She's lived there for nearly four years now, after marrying a native Parisien.
I think my friend fits in very well in Paris. She dresses like a true Parisienne, she lives like one, she appreciates the culture and everything Paris offers. She loved the idea of Paris....before she moved there. But an image in our mind is often much different than the one that comes to fruition later. As is the case with my dear friend.
No, she is not in a bad marriage. It's just that after a few months, the honeymoon phase of living in Paris wore off, and real life settled in quickly. Living in a minuscule apartment with sky-high rents in the suburbs of Paris was a start. Then the daily commute on public (often striking) transportation to an office job working too many hours under a chauvinist pig boss, making far too little money to indulge in a daily macaron and chocolat chaud at Laduree. Then the reality of having to make all new friends in a place where a "southern accent" is ridiculed, even though that seems to be where the sun hides itself from Paris. Enduring it all without family near by.
The Daily Grind can happen anywhere. Any place can become humdrum. This makes me think of the saying we all grew up with; the grass is always greener on the other side. Or the version I recently heard: the grass is always greener over the septic tank.
I'm not saying Paris should be compared with waste water treatment, but sometimes life gets in a rut as we go through the routine of work/sleep/play no matter where we live. Moving may help put some excitement into our lives and give us some much needed change, but at the end of the day, we still have to get the mundane things done and this is when the fantasy starts to fade.
*This was not intended to rain on any one's party, so to speak. I don't want to discourage any Paris dreams, I'm just reflecting on my friend's situation and trying to put myself in her shoes. It's also a moment for me to do a reality check and remember that picking up and moving my family far away didn't (and won't) make my life transform into a perfect fairy tale.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
....the San Francisco Treat!" Funny, I've passed through it tons of times, going over the Golden Gate and Bay bridges, had layovers there more times than I want to count, but I had never actually spent any time down in the touristy Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf. We had a great day with beautiful weather (as you can see) and had a nice little visit.
Boudin looked like it had great bread, but the name really put me off, since in France, boudin is blood sausage. Blech!
I didn't buy any crepes because they were spendy! And I have a great recipe from my French aunt and I have Nutella at home. But I loved the little creperie and had fun watching them make them.
The next time I'm in SF will be during a layover on our way to France!