I conquered the weigh your fruit/veg and have the guy put a sticker on it station!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I might have been walking through the grocery store afterwards grinning because I’ve bombed it every single time until now.
Let’s back up though. The French are very particular about how things should be done. The super market is no different. Here’s a couple things I’ve noticed:
When checking out, items, even if they are in a basket, have to be taken out of the basket and placed on the moving conveyor belt, but only when the one plaque separating your stuff from the next persons has been moved to divide it.
Avoid eye contact with other customers. haha no really.
And then there’s the weighing area. There are three scales with a person behind them that has every produce number memorized. Here’s how it goes. Utilize every single scale, placing the items all at once- one on each scale, then moving them off, after a sticker is placed on them, as quickly as possible. Then put down the others. You can only weigh things that are not priced by the item. So- when you’ve got 10+ items to weigh it can get a bit hairy! Talk about hand coordination!! It kind of becomes a game. Place, take off, switcheroo, take off, keep everything separated, only weigh the right things. ya I did that!!!!! bahahaha The weighing person got a big smile afterwards and I almost skipped away. almost.
Forget to weigh something? They stop the checkout line while you go to get it weighed and ticketed. :-) agh!! Ah France… hahaha
Now to figure out the yogurt section. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MUCH YOGURT IN MY LIFE. This is literally one third of the section. I don’t know if I’m terrified or excited to find the one I like.
Awesome day in Paris :-)
Part of the fun of going to the Cordon Bleu has been the wide variety of friends I’ve made from so many different countries! Just about every person in our group is from a different country. So cool! For fun we decided to have a dinner party where each person brought a dish representative of their country. We knew finding the ingredients would be tough, and it sure was! Luckily though, there are several stores here that cater to expats. I also found a great article on finding Mexican ingredients in Paris.
Not having an oven, I had to get a little creative with what I wanted to make. Chili came to mind as a perfect Texas dish, but it’s Spring here! I settled on enchiladas, using a recipe you an make in a skillet! Instead of the green sauce I was majorly craving, I settled for red because tomatillos and jalapenos were no where to be found! I got all the ingredients for guacamole at the store but, no tortilla chips. :-/ wah wah wah… Just about every grocery store has a “TexMex” section, like the Italian and Asian sections. Pretty hilarious. The guacamole is in a jar and looks super sketchy. The tortillas? Good till October? hmmm…
I did want to go get tortillas at the new Mil Amores Tortilleria. I still see these tortillas in my future but I’ll just have to remember that you can only order them on Friday, with pick up on Saturday. Fresh corn tortillas! omg…. yum. with amazing French salted butter??? drooling.
Here’s how the enchiladas turned out!
I might have accidentally picked up turkey instead of chicken. No big deal. I was very excited when my apartment started smelling like Mexican food. ooo please last for a couple days! And having Cumin in my cupboard now? Amazing!
I also made zucchini enchiladas, for our vegetarian friends. Using the same sauce, I made a filling of chopped zucchini, onions, and garlic, mixed with 1/4 cup of sauce and plenty of cheese.
The recipe was great! Perfect for keeping the kitchen cool in the summer even if you have an oven.
I also attempted to make Dulce de Leche brownies in a skillet…. not so successful. haha They didn’t quite have the consistency I wanted annnnd the bottom might have burned just a bit. Well a lot. whoops.
So delicious! Can’t wait to do it again!
Afterwards we took a stroll along the Seine and strategically picked a spot next two a group of guys playing the guitar and banjo.
And… snacked on crumpets and clotted cream. :-)
This weekend we made a short leap to Fountainebleu! The home of a beautiful chateau where one of the Louis’ was born. Napoleon and a pope lived there at one time as well.
Fontainebleau is about 30 minutes outside of Paris by train. It is still within the Paris metro zones though, so the ticket is cheap! Buy a one day, all zones pass at the ticket counter for a 7.80 euros train ticket. If you have a Navigo pass, you can also use this to take the train on the weekends. The train departs from Gare de Lyon. The trains are up top, so you have to take an escalator to get to the main platform. You will want a Transilien or Ter train heading toward Laroche-Migennes, Montereau, Montargis or Sens. Get off at Fountainebleau-Avon station and hop on the bus shuttle which is directly outside the station. Follow the crowd and you will get on the right bus. Here’s more information on getting to Fontainebleau, but trust me on the ticket, you will just need a one day all zones pass to get out there.
It was absolutely vacant when we got there! What luck! Must be because we went at the beginning of April. It was SO nice not having it crawling with tourists. It was freezing (45 degrees abouts) but we still managed to take some awesome photos outside.
And a jumping photo, of course!!
See, told you! Vacant!
I’ve already been in class for two weeks???? Crazy talk!
We have learned and made so much already! Luckily I think I’ve actually lost a little bit of weight just from all of the walking! phew- at least it’s not the other way around. People at the school joke about the 5 kilos you gain. baha. ha. butter.
So far we have made….. drumroll!!
Diametes (Diamonds) Sable Cookies.
We learned that when you are making a cookie roll to later cut into slicing, first squeeze it into a log, and then roll it on a hard surface. If you just roll it, you will end up with an air pocket in the middle.
With some champagne of course. yumm!!
So we actually made the pastry crust with a tart mold. And here’s the interesting thing- it’s actually just the ring, without a bottom! This helps prevent sticking. The dough is formed to the ring in a way that it stays just right. Before filling, you place it on the baking sheet, because a full tart would not hold it’s shape uncooked. Bake Bake and then loosen the sides just a bit and the ring comes right off!
For the filling, it was important that the cut apples kept their shape, and didn’t turn to apple sauce. Did you know that if your apples oxidate (turn brownish) after you’ve cooked them, then they were not cooked through. Just like pasta you want to pick up a piece, squeeze it just a bit and feel for a firm center with a bit of give kind of like al dente pasta. Also, you only want to add water to the apples if absolutely necessary to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If it’s a juicy apple, the water probably isn’t needed and it will dilute the flavor.
The sliced apples were the hardest part. The apple peeler/corer is very different than those in the States. boy did it take me several tries. After that, you want as thin slices as you possibly can and as even as possible.
We started out the day bright and early going to mass at Saint Etienne du Mont, a beautiful church by the Pantheon. We got there uber early expecting a crowd. Instead the church was just about vacant, so we got an awesome seat and got to watch the choir warm up!
Four priests, lots of incense, and an hour later, we were chilled to the bone! The church is made of stone and the cold just permeates everything in the Winter. Note to self: Bring a major coat to wear to church and keep it on during the service!
On the way home we stopped by a market to pick up some grub for an Easter Brunch at our apartment! Check out these cute eggs!
I made French toast with strawberries on top and Kerri made a play on eggs benedict without the Hollandaise. Then I started to wonder, why is it called French toast and do the French make it?