Monday, October 29, 2007

Interesting things I've eaten lately.

Because I haven't even tried to load my Mont-St-Michel photos onto my computer yet, I am here to write a little something that doesn't require pictures. I was sitting down waiting for the door to open to one of my classrooms this week when I pulled out a pen and paper and started writing a list. So here it is:

Gratin Dauphinois, which is a fantastic version of potatoes au gratin with crème fraiche, emmenthal cheese and spices which I unfortunately don't remember. And it was homemade by M Riey.

Fennel. I ate fennel as a vegetable. Also prepared by Monsieur Riey, this was the Florence (or sweet) variety as opposed to the fennel usually used as an herb. I was unaware that sweet fennel existed, but I was happy to find out that it is tasty.

Tea. Okay, that's not terribly interesting, but I bought a cuppa from a vending machine (the French have very high-class vending machines), on which I pushed the 'thé fort citron' button, but forgot to reset the sugar to nothing. So, what I ended up drinking tasted like a warm, liquid lemon drop. I think it was that lovely liquid lemon drop that inspired this list, in fact. I had another the following day (hey, it was cold outside).

A quarter roasted chicken. The only real reason this is an interesting dish is because I eat it regularly, whether in a Parisian café or a down-home American restaurant. And that's because it's almost always fantastic. In this case, it was in a little restaurant with a view of the English Channel in Mont-St-Michel. It was especially good this time because it was served with fries, and because it was a nice warm meal and a cold day.

Bounty. It would appear that in France Mounds candy bars are called Bounty. If it isn't the same exact candy bar, it's really darn close. Kind of like how a Mars bar is like a Milky Way in the US.

Uncle Ben's Curry, out of a jar. Yes, Uncle Ben makes curry. Hey!- it goes with rice, and that IS his specialty. I didn't have any chicken, but I did manage to boil some rice to go with. Somehow, it didn't taste at all like the rice I remember making in my now-defunct rice maker. When I get a new apartment back in the States, a rice cooker will be the first thing I buy.

Shark fin soup and Thai beer. I went to the Parisian version of Chinatown (which is kind of a joke next to the one in New York), and had a nice dinner with friends on Saturday. Christina misses her dad's cooking, especially the shark fin soup, so we had a little of that. I found that it tasted a little like gravy. It was almost thick and a little oily, sort of like egg-drop soup, except brown. The beer from Thailand was a nice light lager that tasted a lot like my American beer of choice, Bud Light.

That is, of course, only a part of my diet here in France. I eat a lot of yogurt for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, fruit for dessert. Tonight I'm gonna try to makes something with lentils, spinach, rice and shredded emmenthal cheese. With a hotplate and a microwave, we'll see how that goes.

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