1. It occurred to me this morning that I am like the Rum Tum Tugger. The minute I leave Paris (and more specifically, my dorm room) I want to come back, and as soon as I’m back, I’m ready to leave. And there’s no doing anything abow-wow-wow-wout it.
2. I made killer chicken soup yesterday. My Franprix sells a box of assorted vegetables that are meant for a pot au feu, which is a very simple French dish of boiled beef, carrots, onions, leeks, turnips and herbs. My soup pot is not particularly large, so I used four chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on, plus one of each vegetable that came in the box (and I’ve still got several carrots and several leeks left!). I shredded up one of the thighs and put it back in the soup (the rest I’m using for various other meals), plus one cut-up carrot, ton of salt and brown rice. Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice!
3. If you haven’t dipped a fresh baguette in the best chicken soup ever, you haven’t lived. Also, I stored my chicken soup in a pickle jar.
4. Last night I explained the story of Purim to one of my hallmates. In French. It came up because he asked me how my Christmas was, and I told him that I’m Jewish, but I had a really nice Christmas dinner with Fariel down the hall. He asked me if I cooked any Jewish specialties; I told him chicken soup (!!) and a few minutes later he asked if there were Jewish desserts. I thought for a second about which thing I wanted to try to translate into French, and I went with Hamantaschen…soon realizing that I don’t know how to say “three-cornered.” So I told him that on Purim we ate cookies in the shape of triangles (only I didn’t say triangles–I made the shape of a triangle with my fingers), to which he replied, “Wait, is that the Trinity?” I was like…er. And from there followed the story of Purim. La Reine Esther!
5. I always feel good when I can help fellow expats along their way. I went to the post office today and there was a group of Asian students (two Chinese and one South Korean, I believe), who didn’t speak French. They were struggling just to buy stamps, and then I ran into them outside at the letter-boxes, so I explained to them that “étranger” means “foreign,” and the box labeled “étranger” was for mail going outside of France.
6. Yesterday I went to Claire’s on a hair clip mission. I haven’t bought hair clips in about ten years–I figured out a long time ago that they’re pretty much pointless in my hair, of which there is quite a lot. But right now I’m growing my hair out and it’s in kind of that triangular phase in between very short and chin-length. I knew that Claire’s, despite being too American for words, would have exactly what I was looking for. So I got six different clips, the kind with the teeth. And then I saw a necklace that said “love potion,” and I thought, “A philtre!” I had to buy it. It was just too perfect. And it made me realize just how much I miss my music community back in Chicago, the Gilbert and Sullivan people and Music of the Baroque and my church choir and everybody.
7. Yesterday I went with Heather and Jake to a brewery/pub called The Frog, off the Cour St. Emilion métro stop. Jake has an interview there today, so he wanted to sample their beers. I had a cup of coffee, and tasted a little beer (not nearly as offensive as I always imagined!), and we shared some insanely delicious fried onion cluster things. But the craziest thing about it was how American it was. I think Bercy Village, which is the little area the pub is in, is the least French place in Paris. You could airlift the whole thing into Scottsdale, Arizona, and nobody would be any the wiser. The restaurants in the “village” are enormous, with dining rooms that go on forever. All three of us commented that you never see anything like that in Paris. To me it was utterly bizarre. It was like an alternate universe.
Well, that’s about it for potpourri (and no daily double, alas!).