Sunday, March 27, 2011

3rd course

Poitrine de canard de Challans laquée au soja
Fine semoule arrossée d'un Consommé à la fève de Tonka,
jus de cuisson lié à la purée des dattes

Duck breast with stuff

more cheese

Comté de Grande Garde by a Master Cheesemaker

This girl's entire job is to cut and serve cheese. There are only 15 tables.

If that doesn't say "We're damn serious about cheese" then I don't know what does.
or maybe "We're batshit crazy about cheese"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Isn't she lovely

Friday night was rainy when we came out from the cinema. People on the streets were sparse and we huddled under our umbrella with some candy and walked and walked all the way to the Louvre. And there was a saxaphone player whose long notes echoed off the stone walls of a corridor. And it was magical.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dedicated to #3

My sister #3, who has always remained the darling of the family, takes particular pleasure in buying me gifts.....

from gas stations.

The latest, of which, she had the misfortune of sending me a photo of.

Which I will now post here on my blog.

She spent 9 dollars to send this treasure to me. She loves me.

Evenmoreso because she didn't send me the Owl poster.

I will color it and bring it back to her so she can display it on her wall.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

uh, yur mom!

I miss "your mom" jokes.

I am going to bring them back,

by myself

in France.

So this will be our conversation tonight (I guarantee it):

b: Ca va? (What's up?)

kb: Yur mom!

b (looking at me blankly, like when I baited him into "the GUNSHOW!" joke)

kb: hehehehe (waiting for b to go again)

b: What did you do today?

kb: Yur Mom!

b (stunned and confused that he doesn't understand what I am talking about. Thinking about his mom): I don't understand.

kb (attempting badly to explain the reasoning and why it's funny): You see, it's funny. It's like the white kids from the suburbs making jokes like they are from the inner city about their friend's moms.

At this point it is no longer funny because there is absolutely no translation going on and white suburban kids imitating inner city kids just sounds dumb. Which is maybe why kids are sometimes called "crackers". But I am on a crusade...

b(intentionally leaving the subject): So what do you want for dinner?

kb: Yur mom!

Tulip season

Perfect for brightening up Tuesday......
It's Thursday!!
Happy St Patrick's Day

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


DIF = Droit Individuel à la Formation

Translation: Your company puts money away for it's employees (required by the government) so that you can take classes and continue to develop professionally.

Magical Frantasyland.



Things that wig me out about the beggars in Paris
  1. Wailing women
  2. Babies that sleep all day
  3. Watching someone make their cardboard sign
  4. Young adults
  5. People who leave their sign and cup out but are absent
  6. people on their knees
  7. people who refuse change because it is too small
  8. the printed messages

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Panna Cotta

Because panna cotta is a game. Pacman, in fact.

I always want to believe in Panna Cotta. That, if it is just prepared correctly, then it is actually some sort of amazing, delicate delight. But it is JUST NOT TRUE.

I had a dinner in an italian restaurant, Crudus, in a very chic area between Opera Garnier and the Louvre. A little pear bubbly. Artichoke hearts alla Romana (finely cut and pan fried in garlic and olive oil) and "big pasta" in a pumpkin sauce with scamorza cheese. Simple, true italian food. And then stupid panna cotta.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I do honestly believe that I will see that green velvet dress I donated when I was 14 to the starving children of Africa on a girl from Africa. I actually look for it in people's photos.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mamoth cheese

The Mamoth Brie and Swiss cheese put out at the "Leaving" party of one of b's colleagues who moved to Bordeaux.

Cheese. It's what's for dinner.

The single best kitchen item I have ever bought....

A fire proof kevlar and nomex (whatever that is) kitchen glove.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dust covered collections

When I was 15 my friend S surmised that I loved bath products....because I had a lot of them. And so that's what she would buy me for my birthday. Which increased my bath product stock. Which would have been great, if I used bath products.

b and I have a large stock of alcohol. It sits in the corner, mostly collecting dust. Every time I make a dinner with some sort of specialty drink - a new bottle comes along. And to be fair, it takes up a lot of room in our 48 square metre apartment (516 feet squared - if you know what that size means). It's great, if you are a drinker. A drinker who has extra space in your shoebox apartment.
So one night my girlfriend C went home after having drinks at our place. (Apparently a lot of drinks at our place) and mentioned the liquor corner to her husband, or as she put it "Ils ont une enorme variété des alcools" ("They have an enormous variety of alcohols").

So, not only do we have a corner taken up by our almost useless collection of alcohols, but now we are alcoholics.

Reminder: trains are not cars....

Friendly, personal self-reminder: The trains have "times" because they are not your personal chauffered car. Just because you schedule in your 35 minutes of travel time, doesn't mean the train/bus/metro will be waiting for you to show your pretty little head before it leaves. You just might not be the center of the Parisian transport universe. Don't feel sad, just be early. There might also be a strike.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Epilation ou Apendicite ?

LIEGE is a city in Belgium (which was at one point also France)

LIEGOIS is a style of waffle

And LIEGE is also a metro stop on line 13 in Paris.

In my daily trips passed this metro stop, I noticed that no one gets out. Well ok, 3 people on a good day in a metro of 400 people. So I started wondering what was and wasn’t at this nice CLEAN metro stop.

Until my friend A got appendicitis and was treated at a clinic at Liege.

And C told me where she get’s waxed at Liege.

And now I know your secret, 3 people getting out of the metro, because only one of you seems to be hobbling in pain towards a medical facility.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dessert yogurt:

This is officially the best dessert yogurt flavor. carmelized apple, creamy yogurt, bits of pie crust.

So you want to go to the toilet, do you?

When in Europe and needing to "use the facilities" you ask for the "toilet".

I found this particularly difficult as I don't want anyone imagining that I am actually going to use the toilet.
Because, of course, when I go to the "bathroom" I could just be going to fix my hair and makeup.

Because when I lived in the States I totally did my hair and makeup. Much like this girl.

Ok so at least I didn't have to imagine them imagining me sitting on the TOILET.

(Sidenote: Separate shower rooms and toilet rooms are convenient. BECAUSE- one person in the shower and one person on the toilet.)

SO onto the next part of toiletmania.....

There are public restrooms and private restrooms. I'm not talking public restrooms, like the pods on the street that can be accessed with a couple of coins -we won't even go there (see above). I mean public bathrooms like at Quick, Pomme de Pain or any other establishment, versus the toilet in my apartment or at work.
I realized yesterday that I subconsciously plan my schedule of being out-and-about around toilet stops. Because the public toilets are absolutely dégueulasse, (disgusting). Don't think that I am kidding when I say that there was a dark brown spot on the tile in the toilet room at Starbuck's.

SO, if I am not going to a sit down restaurant, I am wary.
If I am shopping, I try to squeeze my bladder as much as possible before I go out. Because the other thing is - you just don't ask if you are not buying something.
You don't have emergencies and run in to a restaurant thinking they will be kind and understand that you are so full of pee that your eyes a yellow that is how high your emergency has reached, because they don't care. And the people who do care, have toilets as clean as gas station rest stops.
Like, suit up before you go in there.
With a mask.

In contrast, private bathrooms are always clean. Proper toilet etiquette dictates that anyone that uses the toilet for any "serious business" must use the brush to clean it. And every toilet has a brush. When you are in an office of 8 people, you just know. So everyone does their business and cleans up afterwards. I might have thought it was acceptable to leave anything below the water line, but I would be totally wrong.

And that
is about all there is to say about toilets in France.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


So I am the first one to admit that I am mean.

I have tried to scale back and not do things on purpose. But sometimes I just can't help myself.

Take my sister for example.
She is extremely religious. I used to be religious too. But now I am, not so much. (That is another story for another day). And sometimes (ok most of the time), I cannot help myself from stepping on her holy dreams.

This is what happened the other day:

#2: "We are going to see the jail cell where Joseph Smith was murdered" (restorer of the LDS religion)

KB: "Wow, that should be cool"
(KB internal thoughts: But seriously, how many years ago was that? And if they were "run out of town" then who kept that place in tact? And who even knows if that was the exact place? Even if it was kept in tact by their "enemies" then what if it was the cell across the hall? The whole thing seems a little shady. Can you imagine. Everyone all reverant and crying at the wrong place?!)

At this, I cannot contain myself.

KB: "But how do they even know that is the place? Who took care of it after they were run out of town? How do they know it is that cell?" (The grabbing begins. Or rather, digging. I'm trying to simultaneously dig out of this hole I am digging myself into. I am not sure which way to dig)

KB: "You know, b and I went to Israel on vacation and when we looked at all of the religious sites and you have to wonder - since the bible was written almost 200 years after everything happened. Who would remember where Mary was born? She wasn't holy news when she was born." (head in hands. KB internal thoughts: Seriously, can you not just let her be? Is there really any harm in her being in humble and reverant awe at the wrong location?)

Insult to injury: This was the first time I had "met" her new boyfriend over skype. Nice to meet you, I'm evil #4

The beauty of neighbors

Please, ask me what my neighbor's doormat means.

I am a suburban girl. I'd like to say country girl with mountains, but that would be almost entirely untrue. (But we totally lived by the mountains!) My neighborhood had row after row after row of stucko, brick, and wood, 2 level houses with happy little families inside. I never imagined a family, or even individuals, could live their whole lives in an apartment. Until I spent Christmas with my friend M and his family in Madrid. It was like a whole house! Rooms for everyone and even a guest room, Plus a 20th floor view of the city. It seemed luxurious even.
I thought that was cool.

But Paris? Even the Parisians are dying to get away on the weekends. They all want to have a "maison de compagne," a house in the country. Why, you might ask? Aside from the regular bustling, 9 to 9 workday (-2 hour sit down lunch break), sardine-like packed metro and general dirtiness? Well, let me give you my story:

We live on the "1st" floor (which is actually the 2nd floor), at the end of the hallway with a balcony onto the backside (read: garden view) with little or no vis-a-vis (people who are so close they can see what you are eating for dinner). This is actually really good. We do not hear LOUD city streets. We get a lot of light and sun from our "garden view". But we still have neighbors.

Neighbors that have parties at 3a.m. on a Wednesday morning. Neighbors that do construction on the ceiling above your head for 4 months. And neighbors that can apparently be heard throughout the hallway on a Sunday morning as you are headed out to pick up bread (no, that isn't your left shoe squeaking). And neighbors that, because you share a ventilation system, make your toilet room smell like a discothèque (dance club, where chain smoking is required).

My plan of attack for that last one is to ask my nice new neighbor to cover the ventilator. And if she doesn't take me seriously, I will suffer the smell of rotten shellfish next to our shared ventilation for a week. And if it still doesn't work I will add colored lights, a disco ball and 80's music to our toilet room.

Need I say more?