Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dis donc...

This is my expression of the day, and I really can't think of a good translation, but I have managed to hear it no less than one million times today, so voila, it's my blog title.

So today was a bit more interesting than yesterday...I woke up, did my regular promenade with Virgile, then around noonish a friend of Veronique's stopped by for lunch on her way to a meeting or whatever. I had the impression that they were running a bit late, because Vero asked if I could help in the kitchen, which never happens (not because I can't cook mind you).

She took out what were called "Blinis" on the package, but were actually just tiny pancakes, and asked me to cut them in fours, then spread some sort of tuna mix as well as caviar (the cheap kind) on them.

Yech.

I've never eaten caviar or anything similar before, but I have some real issues with fish...I like it, but on my own terms. So it stands to reason I have issues with fish eggs. And don't even get me started on creamy tuna.

Trying to be adventurous, however, I tried the caviar...and really had to think of something else while I ate it.

So been there done that and won't do it again. It's just as well I don't have posh tastes.

After lunch, Lionel took me to the modern art museum, which was free, and very...modern. Kind of cool actually, when it was all said and done. I particularly liked the life sized teddy bear with a gigantic erect penis, made entirely out of cockle burs...all I can say is...OUCH.

We then went to the Médiathèque, which also had an art exhibit, this time of local students. There was no cockle bur penis, but it was still pretty impressive.

After taking a little tour of the building, we went out to a high point the city where Lionel pointed out the different landmarks. Photos were taken, then back in the car to go to a recital at l'Ecole de Musique, where Louise takes flute lessons.

The recital was basically an open house sort of thing where all the instruments were displayed, and all the students, young and old, had a chance to play. I have to say it was pretty damn cute to see some of these little kids get up there and play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" type stuff. Particularly the kids with accordians. Oh la la. You can't get any more French than that. Maybe one of these days I'll see them in the metro.

The best performance of all, however, was the percussion, where several little boys played the bongos, marimba, xylophone, and...THE COW BELL!!!!!!!!!!!! You can never have too much cow bell.

Halfway through the song, the two kids at the marimba started elbowing each other and the audience pretty much forgot about the music.

After the recital, we headed chez Lionel's sister for dinner. What a feast. I love the French way of eating, yet at the same time, I think I'm too American to do it in moderation. I think it's because at the beginning I don't realize how much food we're actually going to be eating, and by the end of the meal, my pants are splitting open.

Actually, no, I take that back...it's actually very deceiving, because there are such lengthy pauses in between courses, that even if your buttons are popping open, your food starts to digest. Then, in spite of having just told yourself you are not going to eat anything else, by the time they pull out the platter of cheese you think, "Fromage? Of course I'll have some fromage!"

In addition, you also think "Hell I'm in France! Il faut manger some good cheese!!"

So voilà, my dilemma this entire week.

In any case, here was the menu tonight:

Apéro: little croustillants, chèvre wrapped in ham, red peppers stuffed with tuna (yeesh).

Entrée: melon, ham, and bread.

Plat: all kinds of pork grillades: pork filet, merguez and smoked sausage.

Fromage: the most amazing chèvre I've ever tasted and brie.

Dessert: fromage blanc (yesssss) with fresh strawberies and cherries.

Keep in mind that yes, this is a lot of food, but ideally the French eat it all in small portions...

That, so far is the proverbial fly in the ointment.

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