Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sundays are for...

Manifestation (man eef esta sion  political demonstration

 Today it was the gays.  For the rights to legal marriage and adoption.

Among the funny signs:

You make homos and we make you heteros

God loves the gays, it's just his fan club that didn't get the message

Thursday, January 24, 2013

and a random surprise

A heart

Someone left their heart in our metro

Really, it's the simple things.

Have you ever taken appropriate packaging for aluminum foil for granted?  I bet you have.

1st tug on the brand new roll

If you try to tear a square off, the thin cardboard housing collapses. Or, if you are lucky, it catches on one side and not the other, ripping you off a perfect triangle.
Exactly the right size for covering a bowl.
Quality manufacturing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thoughts for today

Snow is only bad when you are in a hurry, or have a bad heater.  Otherwise it makes everything muffled and quiet and full of light.

I love oranges with babies

While I think the word doudoune should be struck down from the French language.  It is the perfect time of year for a doudoune.  And I am completely converted after receiving one from my Dad 2 years ago and, previously having rejected all shapeless puffy clothing, putting it on and proceeding to wear it day and night for 2 weeks straight.

+1° Celsius is the most miserable temperature. 

Bitchy, Cold and Shy are sometimes very difficult to discern.  1 of those 3 words could be used to describe 90% of the French women I know. 

Just in case you were unsure, I make an awesome Pokemon cake (with fire shooting volcano).

Monday, January 21, 2013

the trick

John Lund/Getty Images/Blend Images

"There is a trick," he says as he takes the 2 remote controls and pushes the Power button aiming it at the flatscreen. 
“Yes, I know.  You unplug it and wait for a minute and then plug it back in.”
“No, you have to push Power with the cable remote. See, and then the red light goes off and when it comes back on you do it again.  It gets shorter and shorter every time and then you can turn it on.”
“But that takes a long time, why wouldn’t you just unplug it?”
“Because it works this way”
10 minutes later the red “power” light comes back on and he pushes the Power button again. 
Next time, 8 minutes, then 7, then 5, then 3, 2 and then instantaneous red light. 
And now we can watch tv.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bread Snob

Feeling long-winded this morning, friends, so you've been warned. 

I went to Seattle to visit my sister and her husband "B".  (Funny -everyone is a "B")
Anyway, she called me a food snob.
Which might not be completely unexpected thing to become if you live in Frantasyland.
And she says it like it is a bad thing. 

So here is my bread snobism of the day

Pavé Tradition: Traditional paving stone
This is my bread from yesterday.
You can't imagine the smell.  Well, maybe you can.  Did you have a breadmaker in your house when you were young?  Do you remember that smell?

We have all those bakeries around us.  The smell is awesome.
And, since I don't plan around the bakers, I feel like I win the jackpot if I happen to hit the boulangerie at the right time of day to get bread just out of the oven.   
Tradition is my favorite.  They won't slice it for you if it is warm, soo you have to rip off the end.
Because you can't just leave warm bread alone.

Trading gray for white. And other reflections.

We traded gray skies for white.  I can manage frozen white.  I can't manage gray soup just above freezing. 
Gray sticks in your brain and bones. 

In Sweden in the winter of 2011 there was no snow.  My Swedish friend said the newspapers were reporting an exponential increase of visits to tanning salons. 
It seems the Swedes prefer frozen white, too.

And in other news...

This was our breakfast this morning. 
On the carpet in our living room with B's butt on the right choosing music on the IPAD. 
Sometimes I get the impression I have gone back 10 years in my life. 
Since I arrived in Paris 5 years ago, we have been invited to 16 weddings and gotten 12 birth announcements. We live in a mini apartment. And eat breakfast on the floor, (albeit a better decorated one than I would have had 10 years ago).   
Part of this is Paris.
But still, I feel like I should put some Nickelback on my cd player and and watch Spiderman or The Lord of the Rings...oh wait, I can watch the new Spiderman.  Or The Hobbit.
Apparently 2013 is the new and improved 2002.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Feeling old & hip

I haven't listened to a radio station in 5 years.   
All my music comes from other people or television shows. Which I then choose on my itunes or deezer.

Russian Doll

The majority of our couple-friends are mixed.  Franco-Italian, Franco-Irish, Franco-Japanese, Franco-Mexican...
It makes it interesting.  Like a cultural/adaptation study.  You see how couples adapt in their relationship and around home.  And you REALLY see who wears the culottes in the family.  Though you could be wrong...

I met this Russian beauty thanks to a friend of B's.  We had the couple over for dinner and he was chiding her and her French grammar mistakes at the dinner table.  She sweetly accepted. I silently slapped him in my own mind.
So I invited her to my house on a Friday night with some other girlfriend's of mine.  She was quiet and kind - and seemed to have none of the regular complaints

He keeps talking but he isn't actually answering the question....

He dances like it is the 80's

His love of stinky cheese is making our fridge smell like something died in there, even with the tupperware!

He's just so French sometimes. 

No girl is that nice and no significant other is without small annoyances. 
And then we had dinner at their house.  And they were both so excited because they cut themselves off from wine during the week and now it was Saturday night dinner.  We brought chocolates from Chapon and she ate one during apéro, which he didn't like one bit, but she did it anyway.  And then we had foie gras, but with vodka. 
And then all bets were off. 

And just this last Saturday there was a baptism for their little girl (18 months old) at the Russian Orthodox church.  Apologies for quality of the IPhone photos, and the miserable gray sky (but you know how I like to kill people's French dreams).

Saint Alexandre-Nevy Cathedral

The hour of speaking/singing in Russian with candles and annointing oils.

Baby didn't mind the priest and his annointing oils until he plucked her naked from her mother's arms and stuck her in the bath. 
Finished Franco-Russian baby, complete with fur collar and beret!

Don't worry, relationships aren't about winning. 
At least not until your easter candy is brought by a flying bell instead of a bunny, there are no more stockings hung by the chimney, no bacon at brunch and you are eating snails and oysters for Christmas.  We won't even talk about the lack of pumpkin anywhere. 

But you can win this one, France.  And my Russian friend agrees

This is the end of a 2.5 foot pyramid (piéce montée) of cream puffs filled with vanilla pudding and covered in hard caramel.  The petals at the bottom are crushed grilled almonds in the same hard caramel.  And the colored pieces sticking out are candied almonds.  One of the only acceptable foods to eat with your hands.

Otherwise known as a croque-en-bouche or Croquembouche; literally: crunches in the mouth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

No, Lawrence, the opposite is not true...

I made myself a cold press coffee today and discovered that it doesn't help you acclimate to the icy cold. 

And just for the record, I have drunk hot tea in the desert.  And Lawrence, I think those Arabians were lying to you. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

A patch of blue...

Hello blue sky. 
It has been a full week of permaGRAY soup. Gray streets, gray buildings, and gray sky with rain so fine it doesn't actually fall, just sits in the air waiting for you to walk into it. 
I actually bought croissants this morning, opened the shutters, bearing the chill, so that I could see your face. So even if you only came for an hour, thanks for stopping by.   

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I used to buy knicknacks
                            and then t-shirts

Now I steal pens and hotel notepads
                and pick up other useful things to bring home from vacation.

sugar cubes from Marocco
 like sugar cubes.

because no one wants to live in their memories forever.
or keep dusting them for the next 10 years.

Word of the Day: souvenir = memory/vb to remember

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas day lunch

Ok, here it is...our Christmas lunch from this year (After 4 days of celebratory holiday meals with different parts of the family).
Not that I am complaining, but really - don't talk foie gras, oysters or escargot for another year.  Or chocolates, for that matter.

Trois amusettes:  a foie gras crème brulée, oyster in gelée with tobiko,and shrimp with a horseradish mousse
to die for, hands down my favorite part of the meal: duck bisque with foie gras in a phyllo shell

Lobster and ris de veau

Veal with butternut squash purée

cheese I can't remember, comté 18mois, Epoisse, Marc de Bourgogne, apricot, cheese I can't remember

pre-dessert: yuzu smoothie

Orange mousse layer cake with orange sorbet

post-dessert: salted butter caramels, house-made hazelnut marshmallows, chocolates with seeds and candied orange and macarons

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Galette de rois

'tis the French season of the 3 kings.

'tis the season to stick the youngest person under the table to shout out who gets the next piece of galette (or in our case - the next piece of couronne des rois briochée).
'tis the season to eat a soft sweet bread covered in rock sugar and apricot glaze with a mini porcelain something (baby jesus? brief case?  sportsman?) baked inside that someone will crack their teeth on... and then get to wear the revered, golden paper crown.

I think the game is fixed.   

Thursday, January 3, 2013

...and it is not even mine.

 A male friend of mine pulled this out of a shopping bag with a bunch of other metal plates about 2 weeks after this post.  I don't know why he had it or where he got it, but I immediately took a photo and sent it to our 6 foot tall friend (big splash) who thinks I am waging war on his manhood. 

"But non!"  I say (because I am Franglish) "You just can't leave piss on my walls!"

Here, it is like that!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New neighbors

and sometimes
neighbors, boooo.

I like...

stone stairs so old they are sloped from years of use.